Dog attack, a national dog bite victims' group dedicated to reducing serious dog attacks, releases 2016 U.S. dog bite fatality statistics. Last year, dogs inflicted 31 deadly attacks. Pit bulls accounted for 71% (22) of these deaths, just over 7 times more than the next closest dog breed. The combination of pit bulls, American bulldogs and rottweilers contributed to 84% (26) of all deaths. 10 different dog breeds participated in lethal attacks in 2016.

2016 highlights - dog bite fatality statistics

In 2016, 42% of all dog bite fatality victims were either visiting or living temporarily with the dog's owner when the fatal attack occurred — the highest percentage on record in the nonprofit's 12-year data set. Pit bulls accounted for 77% of these deaths. In 2016, 32% of all fatalities involved a dog or person new to the home (0-2 months). Of this subset, 70% were inflicted by pit bulls and children 9-years and younger accounted for 80% of these dog mauling deaths.

Annual dog bite fatality data shows that adult victims 30-years and older outpaced child victims in 2016, 58% to 42% respectively. Of the total adults killed by canines in 2016, pit bulls were responsible for 67%. Overall, female victims were greater in number than male victims, 52% to 48%. Among children ages 9-years and younger, male deaths were greater, 62% versus 38% and among adults 59-years and older, female deaths outnumbered males, 75% vs. 25%.

In 2016, dog ownership information shows that non-family dogs inflicted the majority of deaths, 55% versus family dogs 45%. Within the family dog subset, 86% were inflicted by pit bulls. In 2016, 61% of all dog bite fatalities involved more than one dog, up sharply from the 11-year average of 44% (2005 to 2015). In 2016, 35% of all fatal attacks involved 2 or 3 dogs and 26% involved a pack attack of 4 or more dogs, up from the 11-year pack attack average of 14%.

2016 U.S. Dog Bite Fatalities

2016 U.S. Dog Bite Fatalities
In 2016, only 6% (2) of all deadly attacks resulted in meaningful criminal charges; the lowest level ever recorded by the nonprofit. 2016 also marked the first appearance of the Belgian malinois in the nonprofit's 12-year data set, responsible for inflicting two mauling deaths. One case involved a police officer's "personal" dual-certified police K-9 killing a person and seriously injuring another. The former officer was charged with two felonies in February 2017.[1]

12-year highlights - dog bite fatality statistics

This year's release includes statistics from the 12-year data set (2005 to 2016). During this period, canines killed 392 Americans. Pit bulls contributed to 65% (254) of these deaths. Combined, pit bulls and rottweilers (43) contributed to 76% of the total recorded deaths. When mastiff-type guard dogs and war dogs are addedthe types used to create "baiting" bull breeds and fighting breeds this small group of dog breeds accounts for 84% (328) of all dog bite-related deaths.

[1]"District Attorney Files Felony Charges In Grover Beach Dog Mauling Case," San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's Office, February 2, 2017 (