Under the right — or wrong — conditions, any dog in New Hampshire has the potential to be dangerous. However, some dogs are more commonly associated with incidents of fatalities than others. This may result from people breeding specific types of dog for more aggressive purposes, such as guarding a home or illegal dog fighting. In other instances, some breeds may be associated with more fatalities because of their size and jaw structure, which increases the likelihood of a dog bite becoming fatal.
According to a Forbes article, pit bulls are overwhelmingly associated with deadly incidents. Between 2005 and 2017, pitbulls were involved in 284 fatal attacks. To show how much higher this is compared to other dogs, next in line is the Rottweiler at only 45. Third in line is the German Shepherd with 20 fatal incidents. To put this into even better context, consider that pit bulls only account for 6.5% of the dog population in America. This certainly does not mean that all pitbulls are dangerous, but the likelihood is several times higher for that breed than any other.
CNBC reports that dog bite insurance payouts are on the rise. In 2014, canine-related injuries, including dog bites, accounted for more than one-third of insurance liability claims for homeowners. This translates to roughly $530 million. The good news is that dog bite claims were down by 5% in 2014 compared to the prior year. However, the cost of those claims spiked by 15%. Overall, the average cost of a claim increased by 67% between 2003 and 2014 across the U.S.
There is no foolproof plan for preventing a dog bite as a passerby. Contractors that enter premises and even people enjoying a fun day at the park may become dog bite victims. However, by identifying what breeds are perhaps most likely to be aggressive, people may better steer clear of them or prepare for potential aggression with evasive tactics.