Meet Your Greatest Nightmare: New York Data Reveals Most Dangerous Breeds

Dog bites are the bread and butter of thousands of lawyers. One of the greatest secrets of the personal injury lawyers, however, is that a large portion of the bite business comes not from big dogs but little lap dogs. The secret is now out. New York health officials have released the 2010 data showing that the Chihuahua and Shih Tzu are two of the top five menacing breeds in the city.

The “one free bite rule” is a commonly misunderstood torts doctrine — suggesting that you are not subject to strict liability until after the first time your dog bites someone. In fact, you are subject to strict liability whenever you know or have reason to know of the vicious propensity of your animal. That can be satisfied by conduct such as frequent snapping or aggressive behavior. Indeed, that was the evidence used in the famous case from San Francisco involving lawyers and dog owners Marjorie Knoller and Robert Noel. They were found both criminally and civilly liable after their two Presa Canario dogs killed apartment neighbor Diane Whipple. Various neighbors complained about the dogs, which the couple inherited from a convict. Paul “Cornfed” Schneider is a reputed member of the Aryan Brotherhood and was planning a guard-dog business to be called “Dog-O-War.” Three days after Whipple’s death, the couple adopted Schneider as their son. The dogs had not bitten anyone but were known to be aggressive.

Those were large dogs, however. New York confirmed that Chihuahuas and Shih Tzus were surprisingly among the top five culprits. The leader of dog bites remained the pit bull, which many towns have outlawed. The pit bulls are followed by Rottweilers. However, the next two are the Shih Tzu and Chihauhua — followed by the standard poodle.

Dr. E’Lise Christensen of NYC Veterinary Specialists blames the figures in part on the “poor little rich dog effect” — owners who take their little dogs everywhere from the mall to restaurants. Dog owners Joy Oriol addes that these dogs tend to have a “Napoleon complex.” However, it appears when your Shih Tzu has a Napoleon complex she generally mauls the French waiter rather than invades Russia.

Source: New York Post found on Reddit

Jonathan Turley

20 thoughts on “Meet Your Greatest Nightmare: New York Data Reveals Most Dangerous Breeds”

  1. really… shih tzu and Chihuahua bite because they are not familiar with a lot of things that distract them and more in cities, so they get stress and get a different reaction.

  2. Toy Breeds: DO NOT PICK THEM UP DURING TRAINING when they misbehave unless it is a genuine emergency.

    Little dogs are so little, that owners often interrupt training by picking up the little pets instead of teaching them proper conduct. This prevents the dog from learning how to behave because when it starts to misbehave, it is removed from the area of difficultly by being raised up several feet in the air and held. It learns nothing except to get rewarded with a hug.

    A larger breed (even some only six months old) often cannot be picked up during training because of their large size. That is good because the owner and the dog learn to cope with all feet on the ground. Habits and commands are taught, learned, and remembered for the lifetime of the dog. Whereas with the little dogs nothing is learned except to wait to be removed from the situation.

    This gets old too. When owners get lax about bad behavior and the pet isn’t picked up, biting can become the means of coping for the dog.

    Bad breeding is a problem as well. Dealing with a good breeder or getting a mix is important. There are some pure bred dogs who are incapable of being trained to behave. It has been bred out of them by the ubiquitous “unscrupulous puppy-mill breeders”. Some of these dogs may eventually have to be put down. Sad.

    There is a great book called The Puppy Report. It is the story of a journalist who bought the family pet from hell. The dog became a serious threat to his own family. And this led the journalist to investigate the problem of vicious pure bred dogs and how that disreputable and even reputable breeders have corrupted breeding programs to favor physical perfection over temperament.

    Temperament might be determined when young. You take a young puppy, hold it in your arms and gently turn it over on its back while in your arms. It should not struggle. To test for intelligence, take a baby blanket or little towel and drape it over the puppy. If it is bright it should try to get out from under the cloth. It is important that a puppy is exceedingly motivated by food (I think this is similar to husbands 🙂 A dog that is motivated by food is very easy to train. These things are no guarantee, but they could help you avoid a wrong choice.

    The best food I like to use when training a puppy (and even older dogs) is low fat peanut butter. Just a smearing of it on the tip of the finger is a greatly anticipated reward to a motivated puppy. Also, fat-free grated cheese. Tiny little pieces can be offered even to the smallest dogs. During the height of training, you can have zip lock bags of bits ready to go in the fridge and take into the yard or wherever. Some people even use cooked, lean, skin-less, chopped chicken kept in little bags in the fridge.

    I have found that an early training program using food helps later on (especially in the vigorous mid years) of perhaps having a fail-safe for retrieving a dog from danger. Just yelling out “treat!” (repeatedly) may get your dog to stop chasing a squirrel into the street. Yell it loudly. Throughout early training always say the word “treat” when offering one. Eventually, you won’t be able to even spell the word without a bright dog knowing what you are spelling.

    Then make sure your follow through and give the pup its reward. Though in middle-age, your pet shouldn’t need treats for training purposes. These are more for fun, friendship, and emergencies. Just give in moderation.

  3. pete
    1, February 21, 2011 at 8:00 pm
    i gonna start breeding chihuahuas to pitbulls. all i need now is a really horny chihuahua and a pitbull with no self-esteem.



  4. Awww, did I sit on your two thousand buck dog? Isn’t that the same one that pissed on my loafers? What a coincidence.

  5. i gonna start breeding chihuahuas to pitbulls. all i need now is a really horny chihuahua and a pitbull with no self-esteem.

  6. When I was 13 I was hired by the neighbor as a baby sitter. In addition to the kids, she had two toy poodles.

    I lived with an intelligent German Shepherd and felt comfortable abound dogs. I used to comb and walk my German Shepherd so I was not afraid of the toy poodles.

    The one toy poodle stepped on a hanger. When I tried to get it out, the other toy poodle bit me in the face.

  7. Having grown up on a sheep farm in Indiana, which included an array of German shepherds, I am of the general mindset that I no longer trust any dog that weighs less than I do.

  8. Coyote Howling…


  9. Shit-zoos are really overbread due to their popularity. There are a lot of them with genetic disorders, especially re the teeth. People are also less apt to train small dogs because they see them as babies and not harmful.

    Also, look at what insurance companies are now saying about some breeds. They will exclude dog bite coverage for some breeds like rottweilers and put bulls.

  10. My stepfather almost had his head bitten off by a stray rottweiler in Chicago-over 100 stiches. The dog literally had his head in his jaws. He was lucky his skull wasn’t fractured.

    Aunt was standard poodle breeder and I grew up with them. Don’t think of them as biters. One breed I would add to the list is yorkies.

  11. “Don’t feed the dog that bites you?”

    –Cry Baby, Bri Baby, Brian is a Sissy.

  12. FYI: “…Shih Tzu has a Napoleon complex she generally malls the French waiter ”
    mauls – as in to tear apart, inflict severe damage, savage
    mall – where little dogs go shopping while being carried in Dolce&Gabbana totes.

    I suspect being “malled” wouldn’t be too bad, other than having to suffer through all those teen boutiques and spa places…being mauled, however, is a whole ‘nother subject. 🙂

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