We have all heard folks say that certain breeds of dogs are just, by virtue of their breed, dangerous animals; e.g., pit bulls. This may be untrue, and the dog’s violent tendencies may be a function of poor stewardship/management by the dog owner. I am not knowledgeable enough to offer an opinion, but there are various lists that point to various breeds as being more dangerous than others. I offer links to a couple here, without opinion as to their accuracy:
- Dog Breeds Expert: Listing of 16 Most Dangerous Dog Breeds
- List25.com: List of 25 Most Dangerous Dog Breeds
- The Richest’s: World’s 10 Most Dangerous Dog Breeds
Again, I am not endorsing the accuracy of these lists, although some breeds, such as pit bulls and presa canario’s presence on this list should not surprise anyone.
Dangerous Dog Breeds and the Law
Does this mean that Michigan law recognizes that some breeds are dangerous by their very nature and breed? Actually, no. In fact, in one case, Taylor v Mobley, 279 Mich App 309; 760 NW2d 234 (2008), the Michigan Court of Appeals upheld a trial court’s ruling that a dog’s breed was irrelevant to the issue of damages, further holding that evidence of the dog’s breed may well be inadmissible under MRE 403, making inadmissible, otherwise admissible evidence that “is more prejudicial than probative”.