Insurance Limitations on Certain Dog Breeds

January 13, 2021

The question is: are certain breeds of dogs genetically predestined to be aggressive, or is aggression purely an environmental issue, i.e., a matter of treatment and training? There is somewhat of a split among the experts.

According to dog expert Cesar Millan, on his website Cesar’s Way, “I deal with a lot of red zone dog behavior cases, and I often hear people incorrectly blaming the breed. Any breed can cause trouble. The difference between an aggressive chihuahua and an aggressive pit bull is that the bigger breeds can cause proportionately bigger damage.”

Furthermore, The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) states in an article on their website entitled “Are Certain Breeds of Dogs More Aggressive Than Others?” that the study did not prove that certain breeds of dogs are more dangerous than others but simply proved what veterinarians have long believed: that nearly any dog can be aggressive, or non-aggressive, based on its early training, socialization, and environment.

On the other hand, according to the APA Guardian, “It is undeniable that some breeds are naturally more aggressive than others.” And, oddly enough, some list the diminutive chihuahua as the most aggressive breed of all. In any event, if you have a dog that was involved in an aggression incident or have suffered an injury from being attacked by a dog, contact an Allentown dog bite lawyer for help.

Insurance Companies’ Response

It has become commonplace for insurance companies to reject or restrict homeowner insurance coverage of certain dog breeds that they consider “dangerous.” These breeds typically include:

  • Pit Bulls
  • German Shepherds
  • Akitas
  • Staffordshire Terriers
  • Chows
  • Alaskan Malamutes
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Great Danes
  • Siberian Huskies
  • Rottweilers
  • Presa Canarios
  • Wolf hybrids

Rottweilers, pit bulls, and wolf hybrids are highly restricted and are more likely to be prohibited altogether. If you own one of these breeds, your home insurance company might require you to exclude dog liability coverage from your policy, increase your rates or cancel your policy altogether.

So, is this fair? To be penalized for owning a certain breed of dog? Well, you have to give the insurance companies some credit: they do their research homework. These restrictions are based on statistical analyses of dog breeds and their histories of aggression. 

If you are the owner of one of these breeds, then the restrictions probably come off as not only unfair but discriminatory. If, on the other hand, you are a neighbor of a family that has one of these breeds, you’re probably all for it.

Contact an Allentown Dog Bite Lawyer at Drake, Hileman & Davis for Help With Dog Bite Incidents

Although the experts are somewhat split, the prevailing thought is that training has a much greater effect on a dog’s level of aggression than breeds do, yet the larger breeds can cause the most damage. If you have been involved in a dog-related incident, let an Allentown dog bite lawyer at Drake, Hileman & Davis help. They will treat you and the animal with kindness and compassion and will help you with any claims you may have.

Contact us for further information and to schedule your free consultation.