More pit bull stats
A reader emails:
Thank you for your article about Pit Bull attacks. In almost every article that I have read where percentages involving Pit Bulls are mentioned I never see percentage of the total US canine population Pit Bulls represent. In searching the internet and emailing people who might know, I have received information that Pit Bulls represent 5% to 9.6% of the total US canine population of roughly 55-60 million dogs.The lower percentage of 5% translates to roughly 2 1/2 million Pit Bulls in the US. Other dog breeds involved in fatal dog attacks have dramatically smaller populations. Some breed populations numbers for the US that I did find are as follows:
In addition to Pit Bulls, these 3 breeds were involved in fatal attacks from 1979-1998 as follows:
Other breeds of dogs that also caused fatalities were during that same 20 year period were:
I was unable to find any reliable population numbers for any the other breeds involved in fatal attacks.
I am unsure if the Chow, Rottweiler and German Shepherd population numbers are accurate but if they are even remotely close, Pit Bull population is 10 times the population of Chows and 2-3 times more than Rottweilers or German Shepherds. If this is the case, would it not be logical to conclude that the actual number of fatal attacks involving a Pit Bull would be higher than other breeds? When I used those populations and divided them by the attacks each breed was involved in, Pit Bulls were last on the list. Chows were number one. The AKC has only registered dogs in their statistics and do not even recognize Pit Bulls to be a specific breed and therefore no numbers on populations were available. I have had a difficult time getting dog populations by breed on the internet. It’s been a frustrating search and I still have not gotten any reliable numbers regarding breeds and their populations. In my opinion, without knowing the true populations of each breed involved in fatal dog attacks, all the statistics and percentages of specific dog breeds involved in these attacks are misleading if not flawed. Do you agree? When I read that Pit Bulls are responsible for 60% of all fatal dog attacks it is the same as finding out that California has more suicides than Rhode Island. Also, are there any web sites that have any information on breeds and population numbers in the US that you are aware of?
I’ve never found any info on that. Trouble with ‘pit bulls’ is that so many different ‘breeds’ are also considered to be ‘pit bulls’. So, the numbers would likely be inflated.