40 Pitbull Statistics

There is no breed surrounded by controversy like Pitbulls. Many argue that Pitbulls are loving, good with children, and loyal. They argue that Pitbull attacks result from a bad upbringing and mistreatment of humans. On the other hand, some argue that owning a Pitbull is risking your life based on dog bite statistics which reveal that pit bulls cause many attacks. This has resulted in some states banning Pitbulls and their breeding.

Furthermore, Pitbulls have been a matter of discussion, leading to some states banning them and some repealing their decision. Before you choose which side to support, read through the Pitbull statistics to make a sound decision.

What Is a Pitbull Breed?

The term “Pit Bull” is used to describe a variety of canine breeds that are related to bulldogs and terriers. At least a few Pit Bull dog breeds are categorized under this term, including the American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and American Bully.

1. Pit Bulls are not recognized as a breed of dog by the AKC.

(AVMA, Today, Shaw Pit Bull Rescue)

Pit bulls are not truly a breed, for starters. Instead, they are more of a dog category comprising several dog breeds.

Pit Bull facts indicate that a muscular body and a large head are common characteristics of the breed, but this does not imply that all dogs with similar physical traits belong to the same breed.

2. According to research, only 43.5% of the DNA in canines categorized as Pit Bulls had lineage similar to that of Pit Bulls.

(Pitbullinfo.org, AVMA, NCBI)

Pit Bull facts and figures show that the study, undertaken in two shelters in California and Arizona, also discovered that 62% of dogs with the classification “Pit Bull” had less than a 50% DNA concentration from Pit Bull-type lineage.

It is extremely challenging to pinpoint the correct dog breed in attacks and fatalities. For this reason, the CDC discontinued gathering breed-specific data on fatal dog bite incidents (DBRF) in 1998.

It is challenging to differentiate between myths and facts surrounding Pit Bull attacks in the US because there is no official data to go by.

3. According to statistics gathered by the ASPCA, Pit Bulls are the dog breed most frequently in animal shelters.


The ASPCA gathered information from more than 30 animal shelters around the US in 2014. Pit bulls were the most prevalent breed of almost 50,000 canines in such shelters. Chihuahuas came in second with little over 34,000 dogs living in shelters.

Sadly, only about 11,000 of those Pit Bulls were finally adopted, while more than 25,000 had to be put to death.

This information suggests that there are problems with pit bull population control and a low desire for their company. But like most of the other data on this list, this data might be incorrect due to misidentification.

Pitbull Bite Statistics

4. Between 1979 and 1998, 60% of dog-related human deaths in the USA were caused by pit bulls and Rottweilers.


The CDC, the Humane Society of the United States, and the AVMA collaborated to create this informative article. It reveals that between 1981 and 1992, a third of fatal dog bite incidents involving humans involved Pit Bull breed dogs.

Nevertheless, the CDC dog bite statistics show that in the course of 20 years, 25 breeds of dogs were involved in attacks that resulted in fatalities on humans.

The research also notes that a small percentage of dog-bite injuries were fatal assaults. As a result, it is not recommended to label any particular dog breed as “dangerous” based on the study’s data.

5. Twenty States confirmed between 2013 and 2021 that most bite incidents included pit bulls.

(Dogs Bite)

Actual Pit Bull data from 2019 show that the breed was responsible for 801 of over 4500 bites on people and animals in Arizona.

According to a Taxes study from 2020, Pit Bulls are 213% more likely to cause serious injuries than other dog breeds.

Over 80% of dog bites don’t need medical attention. Only 1.5% of these injuries are severe. Hospitalization is more likely when something becomes lodged in a child’s eye or ear than a dog bites them.

Pit Bull biting statistics can be discouraging and cause many people to dislike the once-popular breed in America. After all, nobody wants to care for a dog with extensive behavioral problems. But it all comes down to care and good training. Therefore, using a vibrating dog collar rather than a shock collar may help train any dog.

 6. It’s estimated that 33 Americans were killed by pit bulls and pit bull mixes in 2018.


According to statistics on Pit Bull attacks for the following year, there were 48 dog bite-related fatalities in the US in 2019. Furthermore, Pit Bulls are to blame for 69% of them.

7. Between 2005 and 2019,  346 American fatalities are blamed on pit bulls


The same data shows that women have been murdered by Pit Bulls more often than males. Pit Bull attack statistics show that from 2015 to 2019, 66% of the victims killed by Pit Bulls were adult females.

8. A 2019 survey reveals that “unknown” is the most dangerous breed in terms of dog bites.

(AAHA, National Canine Research Council)

Pit bulls came in second on the list, accounting for 22.5% of all bites, followed by mixed breeds (21.2%) and German Shepherds (17.8%).

The authors claim that “unknown” tops the list since it can be challenging to accurately identify breeds from only visual information.

Statistics on the number of Pit Bull bites reveal that only 13% of the 38 DBRF instances reported in 2018 had genetic or pedigree proof.

9. Two breeds of dogs, Pit Bulls and Rottweilers accounted for two-thirds of the dog bite-related injuries treated in a Philadelphia hospital.


Pit Bulls were responsible for 50.9% of all attacks, according to a Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia analysis of dog-bite-related injuries over five years.

Rottweilers caused about 8.9% of injuries, while mixes of the two breeds were responsible for 6% of assaults.

This research places Pit Bulls first among 30 other offending dog breeds in terms of attack statistics compared to other breeds.

However, it’s crucial to point out that the analysis only examined the emergency room records from one pediatric hospital in one state.

10. Between 2016 and 2020, over 47 dog breeds were linked to deadly dog attacks.


Akitas, Labradors, Pit Bulls, and many other breeds are on this list. According to statistics on dog attacks, pit bulls are among over 40 other breeds that have resulted in fatalities, including German Shepherds and Boxers.

Simply put, not just dogs who are deemed dangerous or “vicious” can exhibit aggressive tendencies and turn against humans.

11. As per Pit Bull attack statistics, only one attack was reported by a pit Bull-type dog between 1965 and 1975.


However, things started to go south for Pit Bulls; by 1986, 350 incidents of this breed of dog attacking people had been reported.

Families began euthanizing their Pit Bulls, fearing their pets might attack them. It was uncontrollable since the media encouraged prejudice towards these dogs by publicizing the incidents.

Their reputation worsened because they were frequently used by street “thugs” and criminals as fighting dogs.

Pit Bulls in the US by the Numbers

12. Pit Bull mixes account for 4.5 million, or 6%, of all dogs in the US

(Dog Bite Law)

The Pit Bull is not recognized as a purebred dog by the AKC. According to Pit Bull statistics, a dog may not be a member of this breed merely because it has a broad chest and short hair. Therefore, a DNA test is the best method to determine the breed.

The old English Bulldog, whose origin is traced in the1800’s, was the pit bull’s ancestor. Gamblers began matching certain dog breeds against rats when the bear and bull baiting was outlawed, and that’s how Pit Bulls acquired their name.

Because of their resembling characteristics, over 20 canine breeds are mistaken for pit bulls. That throws some doubt on those horrifying statistics of pit bull attacks.

Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Finland, New Zealand, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, and Puerto Rico are among the 12 nations that have outlawed Pit Bulls.

13. 22% of the dogs available for adoption at shelters were Pit Bull-type dogs or Pit Bull mixes.

(ANIMALS 24-7)

As per statistics, the percentage of Pit Bulls in shelters increased to 31% in July 2019. Pit bulls and Pit Bull mixes account for 50% of all dogs taken into shelters.

14. Pit bull-designated dogs stay in shelters for three times as long as other canines.

(The Washington Post)

While Pit Bull puppies spend an average of 42 days in animal shelters, dogs that resembled Pit Bulls but were given a different breed classification only spent 13 days there.

15. According to Pit Bull statistics, 7.9% of dogs listed for sale in 2019 were Pit bulls.

(ANIMALS 24-7)

In 2019, there were more than 1.3 million Pit Bulls for sale. In addition to the millions of Pit Bulls in shelters and rescues, this is a 375,000 increase over 2018. Worse, most Pit Bulls for sale result from backyard breeding.

16. In shelters, euthanasia rates for Pit Bulls are 50%.

(ANIMALS 24-7, KC Dog Blog)

It’s estimated that shelters put 800,000 dogs resembling Pit Bulls to death each year. In other words, as per statistics on Pit Bull death, roughly 40% of all canines put to death in shelters are Pit Bulls.

Animal rights advocates are urging lawmakers to halt the sale of commercially produced puppies in puppy mills to end euthanasia.

If puppy mills are forced out of business, people will have to adopt animals from shelters. This will lead to a decrease in the number of Pit Bulls in animal shelters and euthanasia rates.

Pit Bull Abuse Statistics

17. Owners have permitted and contributed to the suffering of these animals by holding the false belief that Pit Bulls are not pain sensitive.


Pit Bulls are more likely than other breeds to be forced into dog fights, according to statistics on Pitbull violence statistics. Chains, torture, and starvation are used to make these dogs more aggressive. However, all 50 states prohibit dog fighting.

In 2021, three men kept 42 Pit Bulls and trained them for a notorious dogfighting ring. The dogs were starved, choked, bruised, and mistreated before being rescued during the investigation. None of the puppies could be given out for adoption, so they were given to organizations with experience working with Pit Bulls.

88% of dogs involved in brutal attacks are mistreated or neglected. Furthermore, studies show that people under investigation for domestic abuse are also usually accused of animal cruelty.

18. The most mistreated dogs worldwide are pit bulls. 


Some unfriendly Pit Bull facts reveal that they are frequently tied and starved to arouse their natural tendencies for aggression. Then, those who prevail in the battle are maintained and raised for financial gain.

19. The breeds that are most frequently used in dogfights are pit bulls.


Pit Bulls are tortured before entering the pit because they are starved, tied, and subjected to constant abuse. To make their animals more aggressive and tough, some owners cut off their ears, sharpen their teeth, or infuse them with steroids.

When the dogs are no longer functional, they are electrocuted, hanged, drowned, shot, or whipped to death, according to horrifying Pit Bull fighting statistics.

20. Pit Bulls were taken from Michael Vick’s kennels in as many as 51 instances.

(BarkPost, WebMD)

Despite not being the largest, it was unquestionably the bust that attracted the greatest public interest.

More than half of the 70 dogs confiscated when Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick was arrested in 2007 for operating a dogfighting ring were Pit Bulls and their hybrids.

More good news about Pit Bulls is that about a dozen passed the AKC Canine Good Citizen test, and 17 were adopted.

The rehabilitation of some seized Pit Bulls was so effective that they are now used as therapy dogs.

Discrimination, myths, and facts about Pit Bulls

21. Because of the widespread discrimination against Pit Bulls, many people avoid owning this dog breed.


Study participants who watched footage of dogs identified as Pit Bulls and related dogs thought the “look-alikes” were more attractive. Nevertheless, they preferred Pit Bulls more after the labels were taken off.

22. According to data and surveys, 25% of Americans view pit bulls negatively.


Furthermore, statistics show that the 19th most common breed of dog in the US is the pit bull.

Nevertheless, up to 51% of Americans still negatively perceive Pitties. Meanwhile, 21% of respondents have a neutral opinion.

23. Taking labels off aids with dog adoption.

(The Washington Post)

An amazing discovery was uncovered when labels were removed from canines in an Orlando shelter. According to Pit Bull’s data, only 52% of dogs with the “Pit Bull-type” classification were adopted. Comparatively, 64% of dogs were adopted once the breed tags were removed.

Moreover, non-labeled Pit Bull-type dogs stayed at the shelter for 1.5 fewer days, and euthanasia rates decreased by 12%.

24. According to surveys, people don’t trust Pit Bulls.

(The Washington Post)

In a 2016 study, participants were asked to evaluate approachability, intellect, aggression, and trainability by showing photos of Labrador, Border Collie, and Pit Bull dogs. All areas except trainability and aggression saw pit bulls ranking last.

25. Myth: Pit bulls don’t experience pain during fights.

(Animal Farm Foundation)

Unfortunately, this is not true. They experience the same level of suffering that any other dog would.

Fighting Pit Bulls, on the other hand, were developed to not be violent toward their owners, even during or right after about. This lack of aggression might factor in the perception that they weren’t hurt during fights.

26. Fact: The jaws of Pit Bulls do not lock.

(Animal Farm Foundation)

They have a canine-like jaw that lacks a special locking mechanism. However, they are enthusiastic when they bite, which may be the root of this belief that is widely spread. Therefore, you’ll need to have some sturdy dog toys available.

27. Myth: Compared to other dogs, pit bulls have a more powerful bite 

(Canine Journal)

According to statistics on pit bull bites, the American Bulldog ranks fourth and the American Pit Bull much behind. However, Rottweilers have a more powerful bite, with Kangals topping the list with a 743 PSI biting force.

28. Myth: Pit bulls used to be thought of as nanny dogs.

(Animal Farm Foundation)

This rumor appears to have its roots in a single assertion made in 1971 by Lilian Rant, the president of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of America. But Rant’s statement that many Staffordshire Bull Terrier owners called their canines “nursemaid dogs” was obviously made in the present tense and not as a reference to years of earlier history.

But it’s important to note that no matter how much you trust them, you should never leave a dog of any breed alone with a youngster. However, given that they are properly socialized and trained, Pit Bulls are frequently extremely tolerant of young children.

29. Myth: Pit bulls attack without reason.


This myth is frequently used to support the idea that pitbulls are fundamentally unreliable and unpredictable. However, the ATTS’s temperament studies clearly show that Pit Bulls aren’t prone to unprovoked aggressiveness.

Additionally, because most people are not familiar with dog behavior, therefore are unable to accurately identify what “provokes” a dog attack. The majority of times a Pit Bull attacks a person, the victim provokes the animal, although sometimes unintentionally.

Better education and awareness are required to teach people how to behave properly around dogs of any breed, even though we don’t advocate tolerating Pit Bulls who have demonstrated hostility against humans.

30. Myth: Both Golden retrievers and pit bulls have equal pass rates.

(ATTS, DogTime)

The success percentage for golden retrievers was 85.6%. Pit Bulls are marginally less aggressive than one of the most popular dog breeds in the US, according to fascinating facts about Pit Bulls.

The little Yorkshire Terriers (83.7% pass rate), Corgis (79.6%), and Chihuahuas (69.6%) are other canines that exhibit more aggression than Pit Bulls.

31. Fact: Pit bulls are renowned for being wonderful therapy dogs.

(Service Dog Certification)

Pit bulls are incredibly sociable and friendly animals. They are ideal service dogs and therapy pets since they are built and have a pain tolerance level that can manage some conditions that other dogs can’t. 

History of pitbulls

32. The origin of Pitbulls is directly related to their name


Old English Bulldogs, from which pit bulls were originally bred in the UK, were used in cruel games like a bull- and bear-baiting.

History of Pit Bulls reveals that this sport was formerly prohibited in England. Instead, these puppies were used for a game called “ratting,” in which rats and dogs were placed in a pit, and the goal was to see whose dog could catch the most in the shortest time.

However, the history of Pit Bull fighting was not continued once they came in America. Instead, they were utilized by farmers as companions, pest controllers, and protectors.

33. Pit bulls were once referred to as “America’s Dog.”

(Love-A-Bull, Good Pit Bulls)

American history and Pit Bull facts both support the idea that Pit Bulls served as the country’s mascot during the war.

The army also used them, with Sergeant Stubby being the only canine appointed to sergeant during World War I. Sergeant Stubby was a decorated military soldier who took part in 17 fights and fought in four campaigns.

Pitties weren’t just popular with the military. Additionally, they acted as mascots for basketball, baseball, and football teams.

34. There aren’t any accurate or convincing statistics showing how popular or numerous Pit Bulls are in America today.


There aren’t any accurate or comprehensive statistics showing how popular or numerous Pit Bulls are in America today.

You may find various statistics online indicating that between 6 and 20 percent of all canines in the US are of the pit bull breed. However, these statistics are, at best, based on informed approximations.

Pit Bulls are the third most popular breed of a dog adopted from animal shelters, according to the ASPCA survey that was previously mentioned. Because of this, some sources immediately think Pit Bulls are the third-most common breed in the US.

But only 19% of all canines were acquired from shelters, according to HSUS data. The remainder were obtained from friends and acquaintances, purchased from breeders, or taken in as strays.

Given this, it is wrong to conclude that Pit Bulls are as common as many of the frequently given statistics would suggest. It is, however, impossible to say for sure.

35. It has been shown that pit bulls are more aggressive toward other dogs.


The School for Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania revealed in a 2008 study that Pit Bull-type dogs displayed “substantially lower hostility to humans, but increased aggression to dogs.”

This hostility was particularly obvious toward dogs with which the Pit Bull was unfamiliar. However, It didn’t apply to the owners of strange canines.

In this regard, they weren’t the most aggressive breed. Dachshunds and Chihuahuas both held that position.


36. Do pit bulls suddenly snap?

Like all other breeds, pit bulls do not unexpectedly snap for no identifiable reason. However, pit bulls bite More frequently than any other breed. In the United States, there is no system in place to adequately track statistics on dog bites and attacks, and many cases go unreported.

37. Do pitbulls pick one person?

Pit bulls are committed, compassionate, and people-oriented, yet they do not keep their commitment to one particular person. Even though they will favor their master, Pit bulls can be put up for adoption and trained to form relationships with new people. They have enough love and loyalty to offer within the boundaries of the family.

38. Can I identify a Pit Bull?

Not just by merely seeing a dog. According to Pit Bull statistics, there are so many different breeds and hybrids, such as the English Bulldog and Pitbull Mix, that the AKC doesn’t even recognize Pit Bull as an independent breed. Unfortunately, this leads to many false beliefs about Pit Bulls, which are almost always mistaken for other breeds.

39. How many people have pit bulls killed?

Only 21% of fatal dog attacks from 2015 to 2017 were followed by prosecutions. However, pit bulls were involved in 75% of these occurrences.  Estimates show that pit bulls have been responsible for the deaths of 441 Americans since 1998 and 515 Americans since 1980.

40. Are pit bulls the dumbest dogs?

The Pit Bull, notably the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and American Staffordshire Terrier, are average to above-average intelligence dogs. They rank 48th and 94th  respectively in terms of working intelligence and obedience.


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