A Chicago family recently lost their 5-year-old boy after he was brutally attacked by a dog. In a case often seen by a dog bite attorney in Chicago, the boy, his mother and a sibling were visiting a neighbor’s home when the dog suddenly attacked for no reason. According to the Chicago Tribune, the dog took the boy by the neck and began shaking him like a rag doll. Despite attempts by the mother and neighbors to remove the dog from the boy, it still refused to let go. It was only after the boy’s mother pulled the dog and boy outside and neighbors were able to use random objects to beat the dog that it finally let go of the child. The little boy died at the scene.

Unfortunately, this scenario plays out in similar ways during almost every dog attack. While many animal lovers proclaim that there is nothing inherently dangerous about aggressive dog breeds, and that nurturing can overcome any tendency toward aggression, the truth is that an unusually large number of attacks are perpetrated by the same breeds. The following five dog breeds are considered the most dangerous in the nation.

  1. American Pit Bull Terrier

In the U.S. and Canada, over 295 people have been killed and another 2110 maimed by pit bulls since 1982. According to DogsBite.org, this breed of dog is responsible for 86 percent of attacks that produce bodily harm and 76 percent that result in death despite making up only 6.69 percent of the dog population. This makes pit bulls almost 3.5 times more deadly than any other breed of dog.

What is unusual about the pit bull’s tendency toward aggression is that it has a tendency to attack anyone. Most breeds are more likely to attack children because of their small size. Pit bulls may attack anyone that happens to be around them when they have a bad moment. Instead of simply nipping or biting to get their point across, pit bulls often end up maiming or killing. Most pit bull owners swear that their pets would never harm anyone, but it is often the children of these families, or even the owners themselves, who are attacked without notice or provocation.

Insurance providers have begun to refuse coverage for individuals who own pit bulls. Instead, insurers make them purchase a special policy that provides liability protection in case their pets attack others. However, a dog bite attorney in Chicago may see many pit bull owners that never tell their insurance providers about their dogs and therefore do not have proper coverage in the event of an attack.

  1. Rottweiler

From 1982 to 2014, the Rottweiler has been responsible for 85 deaths, 296 maimings and 535 instances of bodily harm. Despite being the second most likely breed to be responsible for an attack, the Rottweiler only makes up 2.76 percent of the dog population. Unfortunately, these dogs are twice as likely to attack children as adults. Parents should exercise extreme caution when their children are near these animals.

  1. Husky

Huskies have a strong history as a sled dog. This makes them athletic, energetic and strong, but it also makes them less socially inclined and more dangerous. Many people choose the animals as pets due to their gorgeous fur, but unless properly trained, they can be as wild as their close relative, the wolf. The breed has been linked to 26 deaths, 27 maimings and over 80 instances of bodily harm since 1982.

  1. Wolf Hybrid

Wolf hybrid breeds are often as wild as they sound. These dogs are bred from a wolf and a regular dog of varying breeds, so they are only one generation from being wild animals. These breeds are often difficult to tame and require extensive training in order to overcome the aggression and other dangerous inclinations that these animals are designed to feel in order to maintain life in the wild.  The aggression can be severe in cases where a wolf is mated to another aggressive breed. Some states have made it illegal to even own a wolf hybrid. According to DogsBite.org, the wolf hybrid caused 19 dog attack deaths in the last 22 years. The breed also left 49 people maimed and caused bodily harm of some kind to 85 people. Almost all of the reported victims were children.

  1. Bullmastiff (Presa canario) 

Bullmastiffs are huge animals that can reach 130 pounds and cause extensive damage with their large, powerful jaws. Due to their history as guard dogs, the breed tends to be naturally aggressive. In 2014, a bullmastiff killed a 13-year-old boy when it got out of its enclosure. In another incident, a teenage boy was killed after saving a little girl who was attacked by a bullmastiff. Since 1982, the breed has been responsible for 18 deaths, 63 maimings and over 100 instances of attacks resulting in bodily harm. The dog can be seen as particularly dangerous when these high numbers are considered along with their incredibly small representation in the population: only .02 percent of dogs are bullmastiffs.

A dog bite is always a serious matter. Those who have been injured in an attack by any breed of dog may be able to receive compensation for their ordeals. Injured parties and their families should contact a dog bite attorney in Chicago for assistance as soon as possible following an attack.

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