Dog bite statistics ::

Each day about 1,000 U.S. citizens require emergency care treatment for serious dog bite injuries. Annually, about 9,500 citizens are hospitalized due to dog bite injuries.1 The below statistics and studies examine injury occurrence and the breeds of dogs most likely to inflict severe and fatal injuries. For those new to this area, Quick Statistics and recent Dog Bite Studies are good starting points. Also see our October report that reviews level 1 trauma center studies from 2009 to 2016.

Quick statistics

A collection of national nonfatal and fatal dog bite statistics and study-specific statistics. Data include the number of people injured and killed by dogs each year, hospitalization rates for dog bite injuries, costs associated with dog bite injuries, single and combined year dog bite-related fatality statistics, as well as national and worldwide breed-specific law statistics. Sources of these statistics are government bodies, medical researchers, insurance and nonprofit organizations.

Areas within Quick Statistics are reviewed and updated each year. The most recent federal government dog bite study was published in 2010 (See all Government dog bite studies).

Dog bite studies

A collection of recent retrospective studies (2011 to 2016) examining dog bite injuries in level 1 trauma centers in multiple U.S. geographical regions. Current dog bite-related fatality studies and studies examining breed-specific dangerous dog laws are listed as well. Studies listed on this page are specifically open access to the public and do not require payment. Sources are peer reviewed medical science journals, studies by government bodies and nonprofit organizations.

For a full listing of dog bite injury studies divided into seven categories on DogsBite.org, please visit our Studies Index, which includes many more open access dog bite studies.

Dog bite fatalities

A growing collection of U.S. dog bite fatalities separated by year and their related statistics starting in 2005 to present day recorded by DogsBite.org. Each yearly report contains an analysis of that year, including breeds of dogs involved in fatal dog attacks, ages and gender of victims, risk and relationship factors, such as family dogs versus non-family dogs, attacks by chained dogs, attacks involving four or more dogs (pack attack), dog ownership information and state level information.

From 2011 forward, each annual report also provides a combined year graphical chart, showing the two dog breeds that account for over 70% of all fatal dog attacks in the U.S.

Dog bite fatality citations

A growing collection of newspaper citations separated by year and gathered through news reports at the time of the fatal dog attack incident by DogsBite.org. For instance, in 2016, we collected over 700 news reports from local, regional and national news sources pertaining to dog bite fatality victims for that year. Each fatality citation links to a summary about the victim's death and nearly always to a more extensive blog post. Copies of these news reports are available upon request.

From 2013 forward, each year contains our annual Breed Identification report that contains images of the involved dogs from news reports, social media websites and law enforcement.

Dog bite studies index

Our studies index contains dozens of U.S. dog bite injury studies separated into seven categories: Dog Bite Death and Injury Studies, Dog Bite Fatality Studies, Government Dog Bite Studies, Dangerous Dog Law Studies, Dog Behavior Studies, Pit Bull Ownership Studies and Emotional Injury Studies. Some of the studies are cross-listed in more than one category and many are open access to the public. Studies marked by an "abstract" label require payment to read in full.

Studies in our index date from present day back to 1975. Please contact us if you believe that an important injury or dangerous breed-related study from any of the categories is missing.
  1. Emergency Department Visits and Inpatient Stays Involving Dog Bites, 2008, by Laurel Holmquist, M.A. and Anne Elixhauser, Ph.D., Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD., November 2010.