Dangerous Dog Breeds
There is widespread disagreement about how much of a factor the breed of a dog plays in determining its propensity to inflict a dog bite on an innocent child or adult. Insurance companies use data gathered from around the country to compile lists of the breeds most frequently involved in attacks on humans. These lists are used to deny insurance coverage to owners of homes in which a dog matching one of dangerous breeds is kept.
Experts, such as veterinarians, dog trainers and dog behaviorists, are of the belief that any dog, regardless of its breed, is capable of inflicting a dog bite. It is their view that insurance company lists and state laws targeting specific breeds ignore the role that proper training and socialization have in determine the likelihood of a pet suddenly inflicting a dog bite on someone.
Data Compiled by the CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compiled a list of the breeds considered to be the most dangerous based upon the frequency of their involvement in fatal dog bites over a ten-year period. The top dog breeds as far as association with fatalities and the number of deaths attributed to them during the study period included:
- Pitbulls (66 deaths)
- Rottweilers (39)
- German Sheperds (17)
- Huskies (15)
- Malamutes (12)
- Doberman Pinschers (9)
- Chow Chows (8)
- Great Danes (7)
- Saint Bernards (7)
It should be noted, as pointed out by the CDC in releasing the information, that the frequency of dog bite fatalities could be related to the popularity and larger population of a particular breed. Another factor influencing the number of fatal dog bites could be the lack of training skills of the owners, and their inability to control large dogs that can cause injuries that are more serious than those caused by the bite of smaller breeds.
State and Local Laws Targeting Specific Dog Breeds
Some states have followed the example set by insurance companies by identifying certain dog breeds as being more dangerous than other breeds. Owners of the breeds identified as being dangerous must comply with regulations requiring neutering and spaying, using a muzzle and leash when the dog is taken off the owner’s property and the use of fences and warning signs at the premises on which the dog is kept. There are some local communities that have passed ordinances banning residents from owning dog breeds identified in the law as being dangerous and likely to inflict a dog bite.
Dangerous Dog Breeds in Florida
Florida does not ban or otherwise restrict the ownership of dogs based upon breed. In fact, Florida Statutes section 767.14 allows local governments in Miami, Tallahassee and elsewhere throughout the state to impose their own restrictions on the ownership of dogs considered dangerous, but it prohibits laws that identify a specific breed.
The state law recognizes that owners of all dogs must take reasonable measures to protect members of the public from dog bites. These measures include proper training, keeping a dog on a leash when in public places, taken extra care with dogs that show a propensity toward biting people and having insurance coverage to compensate dog bite victims.
Getting Advice from a Florida Dog-bite Attorney
The Felicetti Law Firm P.C. represents victims of dog bites throughout Florida. Whether you live in Tampa or Fort Lauderdale, our resourceful and skilled attorneys focus on the needs of the victim in pursuing the maximum compensation allowable under the law.
Call (800) 707-1954 today to schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys, or you can use the convenient contact form on our website.