Dog bites are unfortunately very common. Over 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States alone. Most of these bites are from the family pet or dogs that people know. While any dog is capable of biting, some breeds are more likely to bite than others. One breed in particular is responsible for the most bites and most serious bites year after year – the pit bull.
What Makes Pit Bulls More Likely to Bite?
Pit bulls were originally bred for the violent work of bull baiting, in which they would clamp down on a bull’s face and not let go until the bull collapsed from blood loss. This means they were selectively bred for their strong jaws and bite. Even though bull baiting was outlawed in the 1800s, pit bulls continued to be bred for dog fighting, adding to their genetic predisposition towards aggression.
In addition to genetics, how a pit bull is raised plays a big role in its tendency to bite. Pit bull puppies that are not properly socialized and trained are more likely to be aggressive towards people and other animals when they mature. Owners play a huge part in managing their pit bull’s behavior. However, some pit bulls are simply wired to be less tolerant and quick to bite, even with extensive training.
The Pit Bull Bite Epidemic
Numerous organizations have conducted studies on fatal and severe dog attacks over the past decades. Every single study identifies pit bulls as the breed responsible for the most bites and most damaging bites.
For example, a 15-year study by the American Veterinary Medical Association found that pit bulls caused the most bite-related deaths of humans between 2005 and 2019. Rottweilers were a distant second on the list.
Another long-term study by Dogsbite.org reported that from 2005 to 2017, pit bulls killed 284 Americans. This was a staggering 65% of all dog bite-related deaths during that period. About 30 different dog breeds were involved in the remaining fatal attacks.
The numbers don’t lie. Pit bulls are disproportionately dangerous compared to other breeds. They have the power to do extreme damage when they decide to bite.
Powerful Jaws That Don’t Let Go
What makes pit bulls so dangerous is their unique biting style. When they bite, they have an instinct to “clamp and hold” rather than bite and release. They will latch onto a person or animal and not let go.
Their jaws also have a lot of power. Studies have found that pound-for-pound, pit bulls have the strongest jaws of all dog breeds. Their jaws can be lethal weapons.
When a pit bull clamps onto something and begins shaking its head violently, the results are catastrophic. This biting tendency comes from their history fighting bulls and other dogs. A pit bull that clamps onto a person’s arm or face and thrashes can literally tear off flesh.
This is why pit bull attacks often leave the victim permanently disfigured or disabled. The pit bull will not stop its attack until the victim is dead or the dog itself is killed. People who survive savage pit bull maulings are often left with life-changing injuries.
Myths About Pit Bull Aggression
Despite the overwhelming evidence that pit bulls are dangerous, some groups argue that pit bulls are unfairly singled out. They make a few common arguments:
Myth #1: It’s the owner, not the breed
While bad owners certainly play a role, research shows breed is a factor in aggression. Some breeds are inherently more dangerous. Pit bulls were bred to attack. Appropriate ownership can manage risk but not eliminate it.
Myth #2: Pit bulls don’t actually bite more often than other breeds
Studies controlling for breed misidentification have still concluded pit bulls bite most frequently. DNA breed analysis has confirmed most dogs involved in attacks are pit bulls or pit mixes.
Myth #3: Pit bulls are safe if properly socialized and trained
Socialization reduces risk but doesn’t remove it entirely. Even well-raised pit bulls can attack suddenly. And pit bulls that do attack tend to do so much more severely than other breeds.
Responsible Pit Bull Ownership
Though pit bulls are high risk, they aren’t necessarily “mean” dogs. Like any breed, individuals have varying temperaments. With conscientious ownership, most pit bulls live peacefully in homes and communities. Here are tips for owning pits responsibly:
- Train and socialize pits starting as puppies to encourage good behavior around people and animals. Always use positive reinforcement.
- Neuter male pit bulls to reduce aggressive tendencies. Spay females to eliminate maternal protectiveness.
- License your pit bull and follow local regulations for dangerous breeds. Some areas ban pit bulls.
- Supervise interactions with children closely. Never leave a pit bull unsupervised with a child.
- Muzzle your pit bull in public places. This prevents bites if your dog lunges.
- Walk your pit bull on a non-retractable leash for control, even if it is well-trained.
- Avoid dog parks. Pits can be aggressive towards other dogs. Arrange controlled play dates instead.
- Liability insurance is a must in case your pit bull harms someone and they sue.
If managed carefully, pit bulls can thrive as pets without hurting others. But make sure you have the dedication and resources for responsible ownership before adopting one of these high-risk dogs.
Dog Bite Lawsuits
Dog bites affect millions of people annually in the U.S. When considering which dogs are most dangerous, one breed stands out as the culprit for the most frequent and most severe bites – pit bulls.
Due to breed-specific traits like their strong jaws, tenacity when biting, and high prey drive, pit bulls are responsible for the vast majority of dog bite fatalities. They simply do more damage when they attack compared to other breeds.
Pit bulls don’t deserve the label of “monster dogs”. But the evidence is clear – as a strong, powerful breed often owned irresponsibly, pit bulls are the most likely of all dogs to bite and cause extreme injury. Being aware of their risks allows current and potential owners to take steps to manage pit bulls safely and humanely.
Legal Funding For Dog Bite Claims
Dealing with the aftermath of a serious dog bite can be extremely difficult. In many cases, victims require extensive medical treatment to recover from their physical injuries. The costs of these treatments can quickly skyrocket, leaving victims in a challenging financial situation. On top of high medical bills, victims are often unable to work for a period of time after the incident, resulting in lost wages and making the financial stress even worse.
For low-income victims especially, these costs can be impossible to manage without assistance. This is where lawsuit loans can potentially help. Lawsuit loans are cash advances given to plaintiffs involved in civil lawsuits, like a dog bite lawsuit. They are often offered by third-party specialty lenders.
How do they work? The loan provider gives the plaintiff an upfront lump sum payment, which is repaid only if the lawsuit settles in the plaintiff’s favor. If the plaintiff loses the case, they don’t have to repay the loan. The cash from these lawsuit loans can help dog bite victims pay for medical bills, living expenses, and more while they await the outcome of a lawsuit against the dog’s owner.
For a dog bite victim struggling to stay afloat financially, a lawsuit loan may provide vital relief in the short term. But they need to fully understand the repayment terms to avoid shock down the road. Thoroughly exploring all options for financial assistance is wise for any dog bite victim considering legal action after an incident.