I am a true lover of most of our furry friends; especially dogs. Dogs bring so much joy to a home, provide company if you’re alone and in some cases provide a sense of protection. My current dog, Dingo, is an Australian Cattle Dog aka Blue Heeler. At 6 months old I started him in training and a nearly 2 years later, he tested for, and passed, his Canine Good Citizenship. I used to take him to nursing homes to visit the folks, but he’s 12 now, a bit arthritic so he’s a homebody for the most part. He alerts when someone is there but with my commands, he has never been agressive. But, before making the choice of breed (mutt or otherwise) know if the fido you’re bringing home will create a problem with your homeowner insurance.
According to a study from the CDC, about 4.7 million dog bites occur each year in the United States. Roughly 800,000 of those require medical attention. But, why does a dog bite? They could be scared or feel threatened. They could be protecting their young or not feeling well or just, by nature, like to nip during play. You can avoid the potential of a dog bite by doing a few things:
- If you have children, do not bring home a breed that is typically aggressive
- Do not approach a dog you don’t know
- Do not run and avoid direct eye contact, if being chased
- Never disturb a dog while eating or sleeping
- Allow a dog to sniff you before trying to pet
You can find more interesting facts by visiting: Canine Journal
Here are the 10 top dog breeds most often found on the prohibited lists:
- German Shepherd
- Wolf Hybrid
- Doberman Pinscher
- Presa Canario
- Chow Chow
- Pit Bull
Pit Bulls seem to be the most talked about breed and they, along with Rottweiler’s, are banned on 100% of the lists. So, if you own one of these breeds or contemplating getting one talk to your agent. Not all insurance carriers have the same Prohibited list and some carriers offer exclusions for animal liability or may have no restriction at all.
What can you do if you own or want to own one of these breeds? There are some things you can do:
- Ask for an exception: is your dog a trained service dog?
- Has the dog gone through training and has a Canine Good Citizenship certificate (AKC)
- Shop for new homeowner insurance
- Purchase a stand alone canine liability policy
Big or little, a dog can do harm if it bites or attacks. I personally love mutt’s; they have so much personality. Whatever dog you decide on, do your research so you understand the breed; is their breed typically aggressive? Take the time to go through training so your dog knows how to socialize and play but under controlled commands. No agent out there ever wants to inform their client, after a dog incident, that they have to choose between their homeowner insurance and their furry family member.