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Are dog bites more likely in certain breeds?

On Behalf of | Nov 9, 2023 | Dog/Animal Bites and Attacks

Many Hawai’i residents own dogs. In fact, some have two, three or more canine pets in their households. Just as you’ll find a variety of dog breeds in your neighborhood, so too are you likely to encounter different types of dog owners, including those who take their responsibility seriously to prevent dog bites versus those who do not properly train their pets, or worse, those who encourage aggression in certain breeds.  

If you live in an area where there are a lot of dogs, or you are a dog owner, it pays to learn as much as you can about breed-associated aggression. This can help you avoid dog bites, and as a dog owner, can help you train your pet properly and keep others safe. In Hawaii, a dog owner might face conviction of a felony crime and even time in jail if his or her pet bites someone and causes injury.  

Pit bulls place more people at risk for dog bites than other breeds

Breeding among pit bulls encourages strength and aggression. Sadly, many people have abused or improperly trained dogs of this breed to fight and attack other dogs, as well as people. This breed is more often associated with fatal dog bites than any other dog. This does not mean that you cannot train a pit bull to be obedient and friendly. However, if you’re going to own a pit bull or be around one, be aware that they are prone to aggression and must be properly trained. 

Chihuahuas inflict more dog bites than many other breeds

Large dog breeds with powerful jaws (like Pit Bulls) can cause severe (even lethal) wounds. There are much smaller breeds that are prone to dog bites as well, though. For example, Chihuahuas are known for their aggressive behavior. A bite from a small dog poses as much risk of infection as a larger dog’s bite. Chihuahuas often show aggression toward adults, as well as children. In fact, they often rank as one of the most aggressive breeds. 

Many countries have banned the Tosa Inu dog breed

People bred Tosa Inu dogs in Japan for the purpose of fighting and killing. They are large dogs with powerful jaws. A single bite carries a PSI (pressure per square inch) of nearly 600 pounds. You can legally keep a Tosa Inu as a pet in Florida and the rest of the United States. However, many countries have banned them because they have fatally attacked humans so many times.  

Hawai’i dog owners must provide a safe environment for their guests and visitors, and when their pets encounter people in public, such as at a local park or while walking down the street. If dog bites occur and you suffer injury, you will want to seek medical attention, not only to obtain treatment but to create documentation of the incident, in case you decide to file a claim in civil court.