Rottweiler Fatal Attack and Bite Statistics

Filed Under Dangerous Dog Breeds > Rottweilers

Pit bulls were responsible for 66 mauling deaths of humans between 1979 and 1998 (fatal dog attacks that involved at least one pit bull according), but Rottweilers were recorded for 37 mauling deaths mostly during the 1990s. German shepherds followed with 17, Huskies at 15, Malamutes at 12, and Doberman pinschers with nine.(1)

By compiling U.S. and Canadian press accounts of fatal dog maulings between 1982 and 2010, Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People, shows the breeds most responsible for serious injury and death.(2)

The combination of pit bulls, rottweilers, presa canarios, and their mixes:

  • 80% of attacks that induce bodily harm
  • 70% of attacks to children
  • 83% of attack to adults
  • 69% of attacks that result in fatalities
  • 75% that result in maiming

1982-2010 Fatal Dog Attacks and Maimings

Breed Bodily
harm
Child
Victims
Adult
Victims
Deaths Maimings % of dog population
Pit bull terrier 1,552 691 529 166 859 .041
Rottweiler 457 262 118 73 246 .009
Husky 56 36 4 21 14 .081
Wolf hybrid 82 68 4 19 46 .003
Bullmastiff (Presa canario) 58 22 21 9 31 .013
German shepherd 79 52 20 9 50 .018
German shepherd-mix 37 26 8 7 24
Chow 53 35 15 7 35 .016
Pit bull-mix 102 44 21 7 51
Doberman 14 8 6 6 7 .008

*Chart ordered by number of deaths; includes only a portion of breeds listed in report.(3)

Rottweilers Responsible for Almost Half Fatal Attacks on Humans in 10-Year Period

According to a special report filed in 2000 by a team of researchers, “Studies indicate that pit bull-type dogs were involved in approximately a third of human DBRF (i.e., dog bite related fatalities) reported during the 12-year period from 1981 through1992, and Rottweilers were responsible for about half of human DBRF reported during the 4 years from 1993 through 1996….[T]he data indicate that Rottweilers and pit bull-type dogs accounted for 67% of human DBRF in the United States between 1997 and 1998. It is extremely unlikely that they accounted for anywhere near 60% of dogs in the United States during that same period and, thus, there appears to be a breed-specific problem with fatalities.” (Sacks JJ, Sinclair L, Gilchrist J, Golab GC, Lockwood R. Breeds of dogs involved in fatal human attacks in the United States between 1979 and 1998. JAVMA 2000;217:836-840.) (4)

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Sources:

(1) Kay Chirichigno, 2000. Inaccurate Rottweiler Statistics Reveal Solution: People & Dogs Need Training To Prevent Future Dog Attacks.

(2) Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada, September 1982 to June 25, 2010.

(3) 1982-2010 Fatal Dog Attacks and Maimings by Breed.

(4) The Breeds Most Likely to Kill.

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