AKC and “not good” with children
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1998:
NEW YORK, N.Y.––The American
Kennel Club on April 8 apologized to “dog
owners and breeders” belonging to 500 member
clubs and 4,000 affiliates for identifying 40
dog breeds as “not good” with children in the
19th edition of the AKC Complete Dog Book.
Thirty thousand copies were published
in December 1997. About 10,000
unsold copies were recalled on January 28 due
to protest over the breed identifications.
The book will be reissued in June,
the AKC said––without the list.
Dogs on the “not good” list who
have never appeared in the ANIMAL PEOPLE
log of pet dog attacks resulting in death,
maiming, or other life-threatening injury
included the Afghan hound, basenji, borzoi,
Brussels griffon, English bull terrier,
Chihuhua, dachshund, English toy spaniel,
French bulldog, German shorthaired pointer,
German wirehaired pointer, giant schnauzer,
Italian greyhound, komondor, kuvasz, Lhasa
apso, Maltese, Manchester terrier, Manchester
toy terrier, miniature pinscher,
Pekingese, Pomeranian, puli, Rhodesian
ridgeback, schipperke, Scottish terrier,
Sealyham terrier, Shiba inu, Skye terrier,
Tibetan terrier, toy poodle, whippet, wirehaired
pointing griffon, and Yorkshire terrier.
The ANIMAL PEOPLE dog attack
log has been kept since September 1982.
Dogs on the AKC “not good” list
who appear in the ANIMAL PEOPLE log but
with 10 or fewer attacks include Akitas,
chows, Dalmatians, Dobermans, and
The only dog on the AKC “not
good” list who appears in the ANIMAL PEOPLE
log with high frequency is the Rottweiler,
with 111 life-threatening attacks, injuring 69
children and 25 adults, causing 22 deaths.
Among the dogs in the A N I M A L
P E O P L E record but not on the AKC “not
good” list were German shepherds, pit bull
terriers, and wolf hybrids.
German shepherds, among the most
popular of all breeds, have accounted for 22
qualifying attacks, causing three deaths. Pit
bull terriers, not recognized with an AKC
breed standard, had made 282 total attacks as
of April 1998, injuring 131 children and 126
adults, causing 28 deaths. Wolf hybrids had
made 42 total attacks, 41 of them on children,
causing 12 deaths.
The National Center for Injury
Prevention and Control found in a study of 177
U.S. dogbite fatalities, 1979-1994, that tallied
by breed, the death tolls were pit bulls 57;
Rottweilers 19; German shepherds 17;
huskies 12; Malamutes 12; wolf hybrids 12;
pit bull mixes 10; German shepherd mixes 10;
Dobermans 8; chows 6; husky mixes 6;
Great Danes 5; St. Bernards 4; and Akitas 4.
The NCIPC numbers differ from
ours because of the differing time frame and
because our numbers count only pets, not
guard dogs or fighting dogs.
The most comprehensive breed-specific
data ANIMAL PEOPLE has on file pertaining
to bite frequency, as opposed to frequency
of death and maiming, was compiled
by Palm Beach County Animal Control, in
Palm Beach, Florida, from 1986 through
1996. The Palm Beach data on reported bites,
of all levels of severity, was compared to
licensing data to produce percentages of dogs
of each breed who bite someone during a year.
The six breeds most likely to bite
were German shepherds, 14.5; chows, 10.7;
pit bulls, 9.4; Labrador retrievers, 9.2; small
terriers, 8.9; and Rottweilers, 8.5.
Next in order, but only a third or
less as likely to bite, were Dalmatians, 3.0;
cocker spaniels, 2.9; golden retrievers, 2.5;
Dobermans, 2.3; and generic hounds, 2.2.