Smallest breed of dog capable of killing a human adult?

What is the smallest breed of dog that is capable of killing an adult human?

A teacup chihuahua on a flight of stairs would do it.

A standard chihuahua can leave scars, and with a well-placed bite to an artery could kill you through blood loss if you didn’t get immediate medical care.

Any dog can kill you with rabies, no?

Those tiny dogs…they have tiny, pointy teeth…yeowch!

Well, you would need to define your mano - a - mano combat rules a little more precisely. You mean a healthy adult male (or female) who will try to defend themselves and is able to run away and seek protection elsewhere? Or do you mean naked man (no clothes) vs. dog in a steel cage match?

If the dog is sufficiently motivated and trained and jumps straight for the throad, I imagine a pretty small dog like a bulldog could kill a human.

Sorry, I should have been clearer when I started the thread.

I am picturing a scenario where running away is not an option – the human is in a small enclosed area with an enraged (but not rabid) dog.

I know that a German Shepherd-size dog is quite capable of killing an adult human. Possibly an Airedale (not really that much smaller than the German Shepherd) could do the same. I was just wondering how far down in size you could go with the dog, and still have it capable of killing the human.

Heck, even a rabbit, according to a British documentary on the crusades I once saw.

Sorry, need more details.

A tiny, otherwise healthy dog could kill an healthy adult if the wound is allowed to fester. Happened to an elderly client of ours when he broke up a fight between two of his malteses with his hands.

Are you looking for death by exsanguination in the human instead of death by infection?

What about someone who is incapacitated? Like the French woman who had the first face transplant after being mauled by her dog while she was passed out? Even a puppy can chew through your carotid if it is motivated and you sit still long enough.

You can choke on a chihuahua.

Not if you don’t forget your safe word.

Is the dog prepared? Is the human adult’s shirt ripped? What about the dog’s shirt? Chihuahuas oft wear clothes in cooler climes, ya know…

How are you going to say your safe word if you’re choking?

I did not have “eventual lingering death by infection” in mind; I was envisioning “death by mauling/biting/general canine mayhem”. I am picturing a healthy human adult of average size trapped in a small space – perhaps an 8’ by 8’ room – with an enraged dog. the human has minimal clothing on, say shorts and a thin "no-sleeves"shirt, so there is plenty of exposed skin for Rampaging Rover to chomp into.

You could also subdivide the experiment by gender (of the human). A man is in one enclosed room, a woman in another. Both would be of average size and are just “run-of-the-mill” type folks, are not martial arts experts or trained fighters. They have no weapons of any sort, but are willing to fight the attacking canine as best as they can.

I figure any “toy-size” breed is just going to get stomped. Some medium-size breeds could probably inflict some major wounds on the human. But could they kill the human outright?

What’s the dog’s motivation? Most dogs wouldn’t attack a human or would whimper away if struck. If you’re talking average dog, there wouldn’t even be a fight. Dogs need to be trained or left in the wild to develop their instincts to attack and keep on attacking if wounded.

Moved to IMHO, where speculation can entwine with factual answers.

And, my son almost choked on a hot dog. :slight_smile:

samclem GQ moderator

A bichon frise.

With a gun.

Make your safe word “Heimlich.”

How about “Man vs. Schnauzer: The Final Showdown: Texas Cage Match: This time, it’s personal!” I’m guessing anything with enough bite to get about halfway around your upper arm could kill you.

This reminds me of a joke I thought was hilarious when I was 11:

A man walks into a bar and asks, "Whose Great Dane is that out on the sidewalk?
A guy at the bar answers, “It’s mine.”
The man says, “Well, I’m sorry, but I think my dog killed your Great Dane.”
The guy at the bar demands, “What kind of a dog could kill my Great Dane?”
“A chihuahua.”
“How could your chihuahua possibly have killed my Great Dane?”
“Well, I think he’s stuck in his throat.”


Actually, as I recall, the guy who walked into the bar was Scottish. I have no idea why.

Sorry for the hijack.

I’ve got a pug with some killer gas…

It’s a tough premise to answer.

I’m a 6’3" 220 guy in better than average shape. I’m pretty certain that if I knew my life was on the line, no dog could kill me before I killed it in that closed room. That presumes that once the dog was dead I was able to get medical attention, of course.

People under-estimate how big and strong a human is. A well placed kick would maim and kill most dogs, even large ones. A dogs jaw could be dislocated by a strong pair of hands. People generally understand the principles of leverage and anatomy and assuming you were able to keep some semblance of calm you’d probably be able to use your height and opposable thumbs to great advantage.

The vast majority of dogs don’t have jaws that are large enough or shaped properly to grasp anything like a human leg, arm or neck. A bulldog would have no chance of inflicting deep wounds with the shape of its mouth.

If I were wearing a belt, which I always am, it’s steel buckle would make a very dangerous weapon.

Extremely large dogs like Grate Danes and Mastiffs would pose a serious threat and certainly would be lethal a fair percentage of encounters, but I think that I’d win if I were able to get my hands around it’s neck before it got it’s jaws around mine.

A smaller person, a woman or a younger or older man in lesser health would quickly lose a rapidly increasing percentage of matches based on their size and strength. Of course a panicked person, which many of us would be, would be greatly diminished. But if we were to suppose that the human and dog were pitted in some brutal gladiator match where the human had some time to come to terms with it, I think the smart money would usually be on the human.