Dogs may be man’s best friend, but they are still animals. Even the most docile family pet will attack if somebody provokes them into doing so. It is not surprising that the most frequent victims of dog bites are children, likely because children are not likely to recognize the signs of a dog about to bite.

Not all dog breeds are equally likely to bite: some are statistically more likely to do so than others. According to the American Animal Hospital Association, the second most likely breed of dog to bite is a pitbull, followed by mixed breed dogs, German shepherds, terriers and Rottweilers.

What dog breed is most likely to bite? 

According to the study, the actual category that tops this list is “unknown.” The researchers were often unsure which breed of dog was in the dog bite case at hand, so the study suffered from a lack of data in some aspects.

However, the researchers were able to determine that the most likely type of dog to bite is a dog that has a short, wide head and weighs between 66 and 100 pounds.

Which dog breeds were least likely to bite? 

According to the study, which involved 43 different breeds of dogs, the least likely dogs to bite were Dalmatians, pointers, Great Danes, Pekingese and spitz dogs.

However, keep in mind that just because a dog is a breed that is statistically less likely to bite does not mean that the dog will not bite. Likewise, just because the breed is more likely to bite does not mean that the dog will do so. Understanding what a dog looks like when he or she is getting defensive is vital for everybody, especially children.