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Pit bulls are not the only vicious dog breed

Pets are often part of the family, and you may have friends who refer to their animals as their children. Some may even include their dogs or cats in family portraits or throw parties for their pets' birthdays. Perhaps you are one of those whose emotional attachment to your pet runs deep.

Nevertheless, animals can be unpredictable, and you may not have seen it coming when a neighbor's dog attacked you. Whether your neighbor invited you onto the property or you were just passing by, an unprovoked attack likely left you with physical and emotional scars, particularly if the dog was a pit bull.

What is a pit bull?

As much as dog lovers strive to give the benefit of the doubt to breeds known as pit bulls, studies continue to show that such dogs are often aggressive and violent. In fact, more than half of injuries from dog bites come from pit bulls, with Rottweilers — another habitually aggressive breed — far behind at 9 percent.

You may not realize that pit bulls are actually a group of three distinct breeds: the American pit bull terrier, the American Staffordshire terrier and the Staffordshire bull terrier. If a pit bull attacked you, it may have been because such dogs were bred to attack large animals and to kill other dogs in violent pit fights.

Owner responsibility

Many argue that the demeanor of a dog is largely due to the way an owner raises it. If you know the owner of the dog that bit you, you may be able to confirm or deny this. Studies show that owners of vicious dogs typically have high levels of aggression themselves, as well as violent criminal tendencies. However, the vicious dogs in this study were not limited to pit bulls. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists nearly a dozen breeds of dogs they consider risky to your safety, including:

  • Rottweilers
  • German shepherds
  • Huskies
  • Malamutes
  • Doberman pinschers
  • Saint Bernards

These dogs are likely to attack, and when they do, their size and overall power often cause significant injury.

A long recovery

As you recover from the dog attack, you may suffer from serious physical injuries. In addition to scars and a high risk of infection, the trauma of a dog attack may leave you with emotional and psychological damage that you may never overcome.

If the owner of the attacking dog had previous experience with the animal's aggressive tendencies, the dog owner may carry some responsibility for the dog's violence toward you. Owners of aggressive breeds may overlook such tendencies in an effort to protect their dogs from the stereotypes against them. However, you have every right to seek justice for the pain and suffering you endured because of the dog attack.

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