Dog attacks caused 46 known human deaths in 2020, according to a recently released report. Of those deaths, only three were not caused by bull breeds or mastiff-type dogs.
Dog attacks tend to increase in the summer months as more dog owners bring their dogs on outdoor excursions, so now is a good time to educate the public about potentially dangerous dog breeds.
Pit bulls continue to top the dangerous breeds list
Pit bulls participated in 72% of the fatal dog attacks in 2020, which is 16 times the rate of German shepherds, American bulldogs, mixed-breeds and Mastiffs, each of which participated in dog attacks that caused two deaths. This occurred even though pit bulls account for only 6.2% of all dogs owned in the United States.
Children were the victims in a third of fatal cases
33% of the people who died due to dog bites in 2020 were children age nine or younger. Additionally, 7% were children between the ages of 10 and 18. Half of the children killed in dog attacks were infants. Adults made up 61% of dog bite fatalities. Pit bulls caused almost 80% of deaths suffered by adults in dog attacks.
Minnesota statute prohibits regulating dogs based solely on breed; however, dog owners are responsible for injuries caused by their dogs unless the dog bit a person who was not legally allowed on the premises where the bite occurred or provoked the dog into attacking. Additionally, Minnesota dog owners must register any dog that the state considers dangerous due to aggressive behavior.