What is the most dangerous large mammal in the US (besides humans)? You'll probably guess wrong.

Most of the time, people will get this question wrong. Here's a recent list:

Bee/Wasp 53
Dogs 31
Spider 6.5
Rattlesnake 5.5
Mountain lion 1
Shark 1
Alligator 0.3
Bear 0.5
Scorpion 0.5
Centipede 0.5
Elephant 0.25
Wolf 0.1
Horse 20
Bull 3

Remove the bugs, snakes, and other cold-blooded critters from the list and the domestic dog is the #1 killer (31), followed by horses (20), and bulls (3).

Dogs kill 30 people every year and maim thousands. And you can bet that most of these serious/fatal attacks aren't by golden retrievers, cocker spaniels, Yorkshire terriers, or chihuahuas. The are done by fairly large (20 lb on up) dogs with dog fighting and guarding DNA in their blood, even if they aren't purebred animals.

The general "pitbull type" is a dog with an athletic build (deep chest, sturdy and muscular legs, strong neck), about 25 lb on up, short coat of any color, but most particularly with an oversized head, medium-short muzzle, and huge cheek muscles. Typically, such a dog will have at least some (and usually at least half) purebred pitbull DNA.

I might as well include some other dangerous dogs: cane corso, dogo argentino, presa canario, rottweilers, chow chows, and similar types of dogs based on fighting dogs, guard dogs, and mastiffs.

These dogs can do horrific damage and even kill people.

Most of the most serious injuries and deaths by far are children. And sometimes, it's even the family dog killing a smll member of the family. More typically, it's just some kid in the neighborhood whose appearance or behavior triggers aggression in the dog.

Here's a list of kids killed by pitbulls (so, it doesn't even include German shepherds, chow chows, dobermans, rottweilers, etc.),

If I ask, "Why do we need to have such potentially dangerous dogs around?" I'll get some pretty nonsensical replies.

"Most pitbulls are really great dogs." My reply is that every pitbull I've met (owned by friends or acquaintances) was a very friendly and affable dog. I'm not talking about those dogs. I'm talking about the other ones, The ones who go nuts and kill or maim someone.

"The problem isn't the dog, it's the owner." My reply is that, unfortunately, we can't act against an owner until their dog attacks someone (or another dog, which is even more common than attacks on humans). Let's not forget all the cats, rabbits, and other pets and domestic animals killed by these dogs as well. Anyway, by the time there are legal grounds to act against an owner, the damage has already been done, so lets forget the "it's the owner" reply. It offers no solution.

So I ask, why do we bother to have them around? Why is there so little interest in controlling them?

I was just unfriended by someone on Facebook who called me a canine "racist." You'd think I was proposing wiping out a species. All dogs from the chihuahua to the great dane are the same species. There are just breeds, which means inbred, and mixes. They are not separate species.

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Why eliminate humans from the category along with wasps, especially as they are at least mammals?

Statistically, more people are killed by humans than all the others combined.

So, why have humans, they are quite dangerous to humans.


Why not cigarettes?  Smoking kills way more people per day than dogs kill per year.

Why not fishing?  More people die fishing than are killed by dogs too, and so forth.

Why not alcohol?  Drinking kills more people a year than dogs.

And, are ALL 30 of those dog related deaths due to  pitbulls?

Are some from tripping on a chihuahua?


German Shepards?

Smothered by over 100 Dalmatians?

What about CATS?

Some cat bite statistics are as follows:
There are an estimated 400,000 cat bites each year.
An estimated 66,000 hospital emergency visits each year are due to cat bites.
In 2009, there were 81 rabies cases from dogs, but 300 rabies cases from cats, meaning that cats were three times more likely to be rabid than dogs that year.
Obviously, there is no reason to have such obviously dangerous cats around.
No one should be allowed to have cats, they serve no purpose, and spread disease such as rabies, cat scratch fever, especially if allowed to mix with outdoor vermin and catch and spread / act as vectors for further diseases from mice, etc.

Why have them around?
Why is there so little interest in controlling them?

The only way cat bites are "serious" is if they pass along cat scratch fever. But that is a disease one almost always gets from feral or outdoor cats. I'm all for keeping cats indoors and taking steps to reduce the numbers of feral cats.

Google on "cat bite" images and this is what you get.

As for rabies, you must be joking: "Since 1990, there have been 50 human deaths due to rabies in the U.S. Two-thirds of these have been associated with exposure to bats." (source)

I didn't include humans in the statistics because it's obvious and a distraction because we could eliminate certain kinds of dogs but I think it's probably unconstitutional to eliminate US citizens (which group would you want to start with?).

Otherwise, I was hoping for a serious reply.  Your little laugh emoticon at the bottom indicates that you never intended to take the topic seriously.

Too true.

Just bustin your jones 'cause you have cats, and hate dogs that rip off people's faces, for some reason.

That, and you are all up in arms about something that causes ~ 30 or so deaths a year...

While even recreational boating causes over 600 deaths per year, etc.


BTW - I said cases of rabies above, not deaths, and that cats were more than three times likely to carry rabies than dogs.

Cases is not deaths.

In the US, rabies is usually treatable if caught in time.


Do you have a proposal of how this would work? Could we categorise certain breeds of dog as being dangerous based on statistical number of aggressive incidents for example? I am not a pet owner myself and would be interested in a way this could be sensibly implemented.

Free all the pets from their slavery.

Emancipation Now!

Eliminating the pitbull "type" would be a start along with some other "types" as well. I've already described the pitbull type in the OP.

I would think that anyone who followed the link to the photos of pitbull-caused images and who is also for controlling guns would also want to spare children in particular of a horrific death or traumatic attack or of being maimed for life.

It's a bit of a mystery to me as to how they manage to police this in the UK, but this link is to the UK government site regarding 'banned' dogs.

One has to do it by "type," otherwise you're overlooking functionally equivalent animals and only looking at purebreds.

Looks like a good start. 

I know there are good dogs that fit into these categories. It's just that the other ones are out there tearing toddlers to pieces.

People will say "Sure, but cocker spaniels are more likely to bite." I'm not worried about likelihood, I'm talking about the damage these fierce and often quite large dogs can do. I'll take a cocker spaniel attack over a pitbull or rottie attack any day, and any rational person should agree with that.

And we can get rid of all the nasty rabid cats too.


I think you mean bats, not cats.

Nope, cats.

Check the stats.


Here they are: "Since 1990, there have been 50 human deaths due to rabies in the U.S. Two-thirds of these have been associated with exposure to bats; the next most frequent type of exposure was due to contact with rabid animals while traveling in foreign countries." (source)

BTW, 50 human deaths in 26 years is 2 a year. Hardly a public health crisis.

If you think these stats are false, please contact Randy Pirtle at randy.pirtle@okstate.edu.


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