Every year, approximately 4.7 million dog bites occur in the United States. Of all those bites, about 800,000 require medical care.
Any breed of dog can become aggressive and cause harm to a human. Some dogs are more likely to do this than others, though.
Have you had an encounter with an aggressive dog recently? Do you want to know which dogs are most likely to be aggressive so you (and your kids) can avoid them?
If so, keep reading. Explained below are some important facts about the most aggressive dogs in the U.S., along with advice on what to do if one bites you.
Signs of Aggression in Dogs
A dog’s behavior is considered aggressive if it is dangerous and directed at another animal or a person. Aggressive behavior includes the following:
There are lots of reasons why a dog might become aggressive. They may think they’re defending their territory, for example, or they may suffer from social anxiety.
Most Aggressive Dogs in the U.S.
Any dog could exhibit these aggressive behaviors. The following dogs are most likely to become aggressive, though:
Chihuahuas may be small, but they also tend to have worse temperaments than a lot of other, larger dogs.
They’re very loyal, but they can be so loyal that they become jealous and bite at people or other dogs who come near their owners. They do not like strangers, either.
Dachshunds are another small but often-aggressive breed. They usually don’t do well with small children or other small animals like hamsters or mice because they have a strong hunting instinct.
Chow Chows are very territorial and have dominant personalities. They’re very assertive and require a lot of guidance and training to become well-mannered dogs.
Chow Chows also get started easily because they have poor peripheral vision. They might become aggressive if they feel someone or something has snuck up on them.
These dogs are intelligent and are often bred to be guard dogs or to assist in police work. They’re strong and protective, but they can become territorial and aggressive if they’re not trained well.
Dalmatians are energetic but tend to be reserved around other dogs. They need a lot of socialization early on, otherwise, they can develop aggressive tendencies. They also can be aggressive toward children if they’re not exposed to them from an early age.
Like many other aggressive dogs, Rottweilers are loyal to their owners, often to a fault. They become defensive of their owners and homes easily and often are not inclined to accept strangers.
Jack Russel Terrier
These small, energetic dogs can be quite difficult and may become aggressive if they don’t have opportunities to get their energy out on a regular basis.
They are very stubborn and impatient, too. They often can become impatient or aggressive around children.
German Shepherds are very intelligent and make excellent guard dogs. They can become too defensive, though, when they encounter strangers or feel that someone is encroaching on their territory.
Pit Bull Terrier
Many people might be surprised that pit bull terriers don’t rank higher on the list of most aggressive dogs.
Pit bulls have a bad reputation for being aggressive, angry dogs, but they actually have better temperaments than a lot of other breeds.
They can become aggressive, though, if they’re not well-trained. Like many other dogs that have a tendency toward aggression, they are very loyal and protective of their families and homes.
What to Do If You Encounter an Aggressive Dog
Just because a dog is named on a list of aggressive breeds, that’s not a guarantee that every dog of the breed that you meet will be aggressive or cause harm to you or your children.
If you do encounter a dog that’s showing signs of aggression, though, you should take the following steps to avoid being bitten or harmed in another way:
- Cross the street to avoid invading the territory of a barking or growling dog
- Back away slowly — don’t try to outrun an aggressive dog that’s not on a leash
- Speak in a soft, soothing tone — don’t yell or scream
- Don’t make direct eye contact
If the dog lunges at you, place an object like a jacket or backpack between you and it. Let them take the object if they bite at it so you have a chance to get away
What to Do If a Dog Bites You
If you do sustain a dog bite injury, you should take the following steps immediately after:
- Apply pressure to the wound
- Wash it with mild soap and water as soon as you can
- Cover it with a clean cloth
- Apply an over-the-counter antibiotic cream
- Wrap the wound with a clean bandage
- Visit your doctor to have them inspect the wound
- Be on the lookout for signs of infection (redness, swelling, fever, etc.)
It’s important to alert local authorities to report the dog bite. The authorities will need to contact the dog’s owner and ensure that the dog is up to date with its vaccinations. They may also need to hold the dog for a few days to make sure it’s not rabid.
You may also want to hire a personal injury lawyer if you think that the dog that bit you is a threat to others. Hiring a lawyer can also be helpful if the bite is severe and you require extensive medical care as a result.
Do You Need to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Now that you know more about the most aggressive dogs in the U.S. and what to do if you have an encounter with one, do you think you need to take action?
Is it possible that you need to hire a personal injury lawyer to help you get compensated for your injuries and prevent an aggressive dog from hurting other people in the future?
If this is the case, we’ve got lots of resources that will help you find the best personal injury lawyer in your area.
Check out the Lawyer section of our website today to learn more about what to consider when you’re searching for a good personal injury lawyer.