The Latest Dog Bite Statistics (updated February 2024)

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Headline dog bite statistics for 2024

  • Almost 1 in 5 dog bites require medical attention.
  • Between 2005-2019, 521 US citizens were killed by dogs.
  • Most dog bites happen to children – between 2010 and 2021, 32% of fatal dog attacks happened to children between the ages of 0 and 4.
  • 81% of dog bites are minor or require no medical attention.
  • You have a 1 in 112,400 chance of dying from a dog bite. In comparison, you have a 1 in 66,335 chance of dying in a cataclysmic storm, and a 1 in 3461 chance of dying while choking on food.
  • Dogs are the 3rd deadliest animal on the planet, causing the deaths of 30,000 humans. They are less deadly than snakes (100,000 deaths) and mosquitoes (1 million deaths), but deadlier than assassin bugs (12,000 deaths) and tsetse flies (10,000 deaths).
  • Most dog bites aren’t reported.
  • As many as 200,000 people are bitten by dogs for every fatal attack.
  • Pit bulls and Rottweilers are responsible for 77% of all dog bites.

Dog Bite Statistics By Country

UK Dog Bite Statistics

  • There are an estimated 12 million dogs in the UK.
  • 2 people died from dog bites in 2019.
  • Between 2013-2019, 22 people were killed by dogs.
  • Hospital admissions due to dog bites rose 17% in 2022. In 2021, 7424 people were admitted to hospital for dog bites. In 2022, 8655 were admitted.
  • Around 30 people per day needed to go to hospitals for dog bites between April and November 2022.
  • The dog breed is not listed on death certificates in fatal dog attacks.
  • A study of fatal dog attacks in Europe between 1995-2016 found that England ranked 4th in the top 5 countries, only behind Hungary, France and Romania.
  • Dog attack rates have risen 34% over the last 5 years – in 2018, there were 16,394 reports of out-of-control dogs causing injury. In 2022, this had risen to 21,918.

Are American XL Bullies banned in the UK?

As of 2024, owning or breeding American XL Bullies in England and Wales is illegal.

The Prime Minister has said he wishes for the breed to be defined so it can be banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act. XL Bullies has joined the Pit Bull Terrier, Dogo Argentino, Filo Brasileiro, and Japanese Tosa on the banned list.

Why is the UK banning American XL Bully dogs?

American XL Bully dogs are being banned in the UK as they have been involved in a number of high-profile attacks throughout 2023. This includes several deaths and attacks against children.

How many people have XL Bullies killed?

Bully XLs have killed 11 people in the UK since 2021, with a further 3 deaths suspected to have been caused by the breed.

What are the laws for dog ownership in the UK?

UK law states that it is illegal for dog owners to let their pets be ‘dangerously’ out of control anywhere, whether in the privacy of their home or out in public. Owners can receive an unlimited fine or be sent to prison for up to 6 months if their dog is dangerously out of control.

What is the punishment for UK dog owners if their dog injures someone?

The punishment for dog owners, if their dog injures someone, is an unlimited fine, and they could go to prison for up to 5 years. The owner can be imprisoned for up to 14 years if their dog kills someone.

Do you need a dog licence in the UK?

You do not normally need a dog licence to own a dog in the UK. However, for some breeds, like those that are wild-hybrid crosses, you will need a licence. In all cases, owners must make sure that their dog is microchipped by the time it is 8 weeks old.

Dog Bite Hospitalisations in the UK

  • Hospital admissions from dog bites have risen from 6.34 per 100,000 population in 1998 to 14.99 per 100,000 in 2018, an increase of more than 100%.
    • Healthcare costs have also increased – admission costs in 2018 were £25.1 million, with emergency admissions costing £45.7 million.
  • Between April-November 2022,
    • In the same period, attacks on 0-4 year-olds rose from 565 to 614. 
    • Attacks on 10-14 year-olds rose from 306 to 378.
  • Since November 2021, 15 people have been killed in dog attacks (correct as of May 2023).

How many dogs are seized in the UK?

Police seized around 3500 dogs across 33 force areas in 2022, an increase of 36% over 2018. The main reason given for these seizures was that the dog was ‘out-of-control’.

What is the most common place for dog attacks in the UK?

The most common place for dog attacks in the UK is Kent and Medway. 250 attacks were recorded in the area, ahead of the Black Country with 180, and Coventry and Warwickshire with 170.

Dog Bites Against Postal Workers in the UK

  • Since 2014, Royal Mail has carried out 30 private prosecutions against dog owners for attacks against their staff.
  • Between 2021-2022, there were 1673 dog attacks on postal workers. This meant an average of 32 attacks on Royal Mail staff every week.
  • As of May 2023, Sheffield is the city with the highest number of attacks, at 51. The city with the second-highest number of attacks is Belfast, with 50.
  • The ‘S’ postcode (Sheffield) has appeared in every top-10 area for dog attacks against postal workers since 2013.
  • The number of attacks in 2022 decreased by 1% compared to the previous year.
  • 39% of dog attacks on postal workers in 2022 happened at the front door.
    • 30% of dog attacks happened in the garden.
    • 387 injuries were sustained through letterboxes.
  • Dog attacks caused more than 1700 absence days at Royal Mail in 2022, with one employee absent for 238 days.

US Dog Bite Statistics

  • A dog bites someone every 75 seconds in the US.
  • On average, 2 people are killed each year by rabies.
  • Pit bulls accounted for 69% of fatal dog attacks in the US in 2019.
  • Around 69 million American households have pets.
  • An estimated 85 million dogs are living in US households.
  • Around 4.5 million people in the US are bitten by dogs every year.
  • Pit bulls account for around 6% of dogs owned in the state of Las Vegas.
  • 700 US cities have banned Pit bulls.

What US states have laws regarding dog bites?

Individual US states have differing laws regarding dog bites.

29 states have laws dictating that dog owners are responsible for injuries their pets cause – there are exceptions, such as if the dog was provoked. Texas has a ‘one bite’ law, whereby a first offence is essentially ‘free’ from prosecution. Attacks after the first make the owner liable for damages.

4 states have no laws regarding dog bites – Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi and North Dakota. 

Are any dogs banned in the US?

There are currently 75 dog breeds that are banned or restricted in certain US states.

Some states don’t have any legislation surrounding banned dog breeds. Other states have banned certain dogs, including the Akita, the American Pit Bull Terrier and Staffordshire Terrier.

Dog Bite Hospitalisations in the US

  • 340,000 people visit the Emergency Department yearly for dog bites – more than 900 daily.
    • Of these visits, 40% are children or adolescents.
  • Hospital stays for dog bites average $18,200.
  • California also had the highest number of fatal dog attacks, with 48 occurring between 2010-2021. The top 5 states for fatal dog attacks between 2010-2021 are:
    • California: 48
    • Texas: 47
    • Florida: 31
    • North Carolina: 22
    • Ohio: 21

Dog Bite Insurance Claim Statistics in the US

  • Liability claims relating to dog bites cost insurers $882 million in 2021.
  • New York had the highest average cost per insurance claim at $68,203 in 2021.
  • The number of claims increased by 2.2% in 2021, rising from 17,597 in 2020 to 17,989.
  • The average cost per claim decreased by 1% over the same period – $49,558 in 2020 to $49,025 in 2021.
  • California had the highest number of claims in 2021. 

Dog Bite Statistics By Breed

Pit bull statistics 2023

  • In a 20-year study of dog bites and fatalities, Pit bulls were found to have a ‘Dog Bite-Related Fatality Risk Rate’ of between 0.97-1.95. This means that Pit Bull bites result in 0.97-1.95 deaths for every 100,000 Pit Bulls owned. For comparison, Malamutes topped the risk rate list, with 6.79 deaths for every 100,000 Malamutes owned.
  • A study of 228 dog bite injuries at a trauma centre, of which 82 could be linked to a specific breed, found that attacks by Pit bulls had a higher risk of death, higher hospital bills and higher morbidity rate than attacks by any other dog breed.
  • American Pit Bull Terriers were responsible for 7772 dog attacks in the US and Canada between 1982-2021.
  • Over the same period, American Pit Bull Terriers fatally attacked 561 people.

How many people are killed by Pit bulls?

185 people were killed by pure-bred Pit bulls in the US between 2010-2021. Pit Bull mix breeds were responsible for a further 41 deaths.

What is the bite force of a Pit Bull?

The bite force of a Pit bull is around 235 PSI.

German Shepherd

  • Between 2005-2017, German Shepherds were responsible for 20 deaths in the US – 4.6% of a total of 433 deaths.
  • German Shepherds have a Dog Bite-Related Fatality Risk Rate of 0.72 – meaning that bites from these dogs will result in 0.72 deaths per 100,000 German Shepherds owned.

What is the bite force of a German Shepherd?

The bite force of a German Shepherd is 238 PSI.

Alaskan Malamute

  • Malamutes were rated the most at-risk dog in a study on dog bite-related fatalities, with a risk rate of 6.79 – meaning that Malamutes are responsible for 6.79 deaths for every 100,000 Malamutes owned. 

How many deaths are Alaskan Malamutes responsible for?

Malamutes were responsible for 15 deaths over a 20-year period.


  • Mastiffs were responsible for 14 deaths between 2005-2017, accounting for 3.2% of dog bite-related fatalities during the period.

What is the bite force of a Mastiff?

The bite force of a Mastiff is 556 PSI. This is roughly three times the bite force of the average dog.

Dogue De Bordeaux

  • Also known as a French Mastiff, this dog has a bite force of 556 PSI.

How many people have Dogue De Bordeaux killed?

Dogue De Bordeaux killed 6 people in the US between 2013-2016.

Cane Corso

  • Cane Corsos were responsible for 3 deaths between 2005-2017 in the US.

What is the bite force of a Cane Corso?

Cane Corsos have a bite force of 700 PSI.

Chow Chow

  • Chow Chows were responsible for 11 deaths over a 20-year period.
  • They have a risk rate of 2.32, meaning they are involved in 2.32 fatalities for every 100,000 Chow Chows owned.

What is the bite force of a Chow Chow?

Chow Chows have a bite force of 220 PSI.

Labrador Retriever

  • Labrador Retrievers have a bite force of 230 PSI.
  • Labrador Retrievers were responsible for 9 deaths between 2005-2017, accounting for 2.1% of dog bite-related fatalities in those years.
  • They’re the most popular dogs in the US and UK, with 61,599 registered in the UK in 2021.

What is the bite force of a Labrador retriever?

The bite force of a Labrador Retriever is 230 PSI.


  • Dobermans have a bite force of 245 PSI.
  • Dobermans were responsible for 10 deaths over a 20-year period. They have a risk rate of 1.16, which means they cause 1.16 deaths for every 100,000 Dobermans owned.

Great Dane

  • Great Danes were responsible for 1 death between 2005-2017.

What is the bite force of a Great Dane?

Great Danes have a bite force of 238 PSI.


  • Rottweilers were responsible for 45 deaths in the US between 2005-2017, accounting for 10.4% of a total of 433 deaths during the period.
  • Pit bulls and Rottweilers are responsible for 77% of all dog bites.

What is the bite force of a Rottweiler?

The bite force of a Rottweiler is 328 PSI.

Siberian Husky

  • Siberian Huskies have a bite force of 320 PSI.
  • Huskies were responsible for 13 deaths in the US between 2005-2017 – 3% of a total of 433 deaths.


  • Wolfdogs or wolf hybrids were responsible for 3 deaths between 2005-2017.
  • A separate study, conducted between 1979-1998, found wolfdogs had killed 14 people.

What is the bite force of a Wolfdog?

The bite force of a Wolfdog is 406 PSI.

Recent Dog Attacks 2023

Woman mauled by Pit bull as she tries to save dog

Wigan dog attack leaves man and woman badly injured

Boy, 7, seriously injured in suspected dog attack in pub garden

Female dog walker, 28, ‘was mauled to death by the dogs she was hired to walk’

Funeral director used sledgehammer to fend off dogs who mauled girl

Police seize XL Bully dog after savaging girl, 15, left with ‘serious injuries’

Man who lost arm after being mauled ‘nearly died’

Child, 4, ‘playing in park’ attacked by three dogs in east London

‘Dog ripped chunks from my leg – I was told it would be let loose again if I told cops’

The Latest Dog Bite Statistics (updated February 2024) FAQs

Most dog bites aren’t serious – 81% don’t require medical attention.

If you have been bitten, clean the skin around the wound with warm water and soap. NHS guidelines state that you can use antiseptic but should avoid getting any in the wound. Try to remove any objects in the wound, such as dirt or hair, and gently pat dry once the wound has been cleaned.

If the bite is severe, seek immediate medical attention. 

Which dog bites the most differs depending on the country. Pitbulls caused the highest number of deaths in the US in 2019, accounting for 69% of fatal dog attacks that year. A study of dog attacks that resulted in hospital admissions found that Pitbull bites were most likely to be serious.

However, in the UK, a study of dog attacks found that Jack Russells were the breed most likely to bite.

Jack Russells were found to be the breed that bites the most in the UK. The top 5 breeds most likely to bite people in the UK:

  • Jack Russell
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Pitbull Terrier
  • German Shepherd
  • Rottweiler

In the UK, The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 states that it is a criminal offence for your dog to be ‘dangerously’ out of control. A dog is considered dangerously out of control if it injures someone or causes someone to have a reasonable fear that they will be injured. It doesn’t matter if you are out in public or your home – your dog needs to be under control at all times.

If your dog bites someone, you could receive an unlimited fine, a prison sentence, and be banned from owning dogs. The severity of your punishment depends on a number of factors, including whether the dog has attacked someone before and whether someone else was responsible for the dog at the time (such as a dog walker). Mitigating factors include whether the dog was provoked, whether a warning was issued and ignored and whether the injured person put themselves in danger (such as breaking up a dog fight).

Wolfdogs have a bite force of 406 PSI.

As a wolf hybrid, these dogs can be larger and stronger than many other breeds. As a result, wolfdogs have a powerful bite.

Dogue De Bordeaux have a bite force of 556 PSI.

The Dogue De Bordeaux is a type of Mastiff originating from France, with a powerful build and an incredibly strong bite.


  • DogsBite
  • Insurance Information Institute
  • APPA National Pet Owners Survey
  • American Veterinary Medical Association
  • Fuicelli&Lee Injury Lawyers
  • Office for National Statistics
  • National Library of Medicine
  • St. John Ambulance 
  • National Safety Council
  • Pet Comments
  • Annals of Surgery
  • PitbullInfo
  • UK Government
  • Star
  • American Kennel Club
  • Statista
  • NHS
  • Royal Mail
  • Dog Breed Info
  • BBC
  • National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC)
  • Forensic Science International
  • The Sun
  • World Animal Foundation
  • Bully Watch

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