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The REAL Top 10 Deadliest Dog Breeds

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Shades of Thomas Paine is about the unbiased search for truth, typically truth regarding the lies spread by the powerful for their own benefit, but occasionally truth regarding dogs or brownies. 

Pit bulls have become a flashpoint of debate, with supporters saying pit bulls are as gentle as a beagle and detractors saying any pit bull can and will snap at any time. As the author of SOTP, I wanted to know the truth. Not opinion, but fact.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Pitbull3.jpg

I found a treasure trove of information at dogsbite.org, in an exhaustive study of dog attack fatalities from 1982 to 2014. It separated the dog attack fatalities by breed, and in an enormously valuable decision, also noted what fraction of the total dog population each breed represented for many of the dogs. This data is admittedly incomplete, since not all dogs that had killed people had population data as well, the most notable of which was the wolf hybrid which would probably place very highly on the list below if it were actually a domestic dog.

Total deaths doesn't tell me enough to know how likely an individual dog is to attack based on its breed. So, I divided the total deaths by the popularity of the dog. To make the method clear, imagine beagles made up 50% of the dog population and the fictional Uzbek Death Hound made up .001% of the population. Also imagine that beagles killed two people in the study and the Uzbek Death Hound also killed two. 2 divided by 0.5 gives the beagle a Kill Factor of 4. The Uzbek Death Hound gets a Kill Factor of 200,000. This means if you were near an Uzbek Death Hound you would be 50,000 times more likely to be killed than if you were near a beagle, but at the same time, you are 50,000 times more likely to run across a beagle. Your likelihood of being killed by either dog at random is actually the same, since they ended up killing the same number of people, but the Kill Factor gives you helpful information as to how dangerous any individual dog is likely to be.

I did this operation for all the available data, and the results were somewhat surprising.

  1. Bullmastiff- Kill Factor 90,000
  2. Chow Chow- Kill Factor 80,000
  3. Akita - Kill Factor 11,428
  4. Airedale - Kill Factor 10,000
  5. Malamute - Kill Factor 7500
  6. Catahoula/Coonhound - Kill Factor 5000
  7. Pitbull - Kill Factor 4409
  8. Italian Mastiff - Kill Factor 4000
  9. Rottweiler - Kill Factor 3079
  10. Husky - Kill Factor 2500

The Coonhounds/Catahoula and the Airedale Terrier each killed only two individuals in the past 30 years but are also extremely rare, so they appear somewhat anomalously on this list. I decided to see who was the most dangerous with more than 2 fatalities since it was too easy to top the list simply by being rare and having a single instance of a fatal attack. This is the gently massaged data, removing breeds with one and two-off fatalities.

  1. Bullmastiff - Kill Factor 90,000
  2. Chow Chow - Kill Factor 80,000
  3. Akita - Kill Factor 11,428
  4. Malamute - Kill Factor 7500
  5. Pitbull - Kill Factor 4409
  6. Rottweiler - Kill Factor 3079
  7. Husky - Kill Factor 2500
  8. Boxer - Kill Factor 560
  9. Doberman - Kill Factor 470
  10. Mastiff - Kill Factor 434
  11. German Shepherd - Kill Factor 403
  12. Great Dane - Kill Factor 277
  13. Labrador - Kill Factor 121
  14. Golden Retriever - Kill Factor 97

I was very surprised to see the Bullmastiff at the #1 spot, over 20 times deadlier than the notorious pit bull. I was also surprised to see the Akitas, Malamutes and Huskies, all sled dogs, at the #3, 4 and 7 spots. The Chow was unsurprising, as they are very rare, and all of the Chows I have heard of have also attacked someone at some point. By the #6 spot, the Boxer only has a kill factor of 560, a little over one half of one percent of the kill factor of the Bullmastiff, and only five times deadlier than the Golden Retriever (a dog rarely purchased for its intimidation factor).

If I were to write my own list, it would look like this:

  1. Bullmastiff
  2. Chow
  3. Sled Dogs (Akitas, Malamutes, Huskies)
  4. Pit Bulls
  5. Rottweilers

Past Rottweilers, dog danger drops dramatically. 

In conclusion, Bullmastiffs and Chows are preposterously dangerous, and are far and away the most dangerous dogs commonly owned, with the Chow over seven times as dangerous as the next most dangerous dogs on the list.

 

 

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Richard is an engineer by day, and a political activist by night, fighting would-be totalitarians and government busybodies everywhere.

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