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2019 United States Fatal Dog Bite Statistics


fatal dog bites

A huge cache of 2019 U.S. dog bite fatality statistics was released in July by dogsbite.org.

48 fatal dog attacks were recorded in 2019. This was the highest number ever recorded in a single year. Pit bulls were the most common dog involved: they contributed to 33 (69 percent) of these deaths, despite the breed being regulated in over 900 cities and in military housing areas. “Mixed-breed” was the next most common type of dog involved, contributing to six deaths.

California saw the most lethal dog attacks in 2019, with nine deaths. This is the most recorded in a state in a single year. Two of the deaths occurred in Stanislaus County. Pit bulls were responsible for eight of these deaths. Texas had seven deaths and Kentucky had four.

The 30-49 age group saw more deaths (13) than the 0-4 age group (12) for the first time. Pit bulls were responsible for 85% of these adult deaths. The CDC last collected breed data about fatal dog attacks on humans in 1998. Pit bulls have killed over 415 people in the United States since.

Canines killed 421 Americans from 2005 to 2019. Pit bulls contributed to 346 of these deaths and rottweilers contributed to 51 of them. Combined, the two breeds contributed to 76 percent of these deaths. The remaining fatal attacks were spread out amongst 35 different breeds of dog.

81 percent of dog bite-related deaths in 2019 involved a pit bull (33), American bulldog (1), rottweiler (4) or a mastiff-type guard dog or war dog (1). These breeds are used to create fighting breeds and “baiting” bull breeds.

42 percent (20) of fatal dog maulings in 2019 happened off the property of the dog owner. This was a 75% rise from the 24 percent 14-year average. 75 percent of off-property attacks involved pit bulls and 95 percent of off-property attacks involved multiple dogs.

40 percent (19) of dog bite fatalities in 2019 involved dogs with a history of aggression against humans, 21 percent had a history of aggression against animals and 13 percent had previously bitten or attacked the victim before killing them.

19 percent of dog bite deaths involved a dog owner being killed by the family dog. Pit bulls were responsible for 56 percent of fatal attacks directed at the dogs’ owners.

56 percent of dog bite deaths involved non-family dogs. Pit bulls were responsible for 74 percent of these deaths.


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