Homeowners Insurance and Your Best Friend: 10 Dog Breeds They’re Nervous About
Your dog is probably your best friend, but your homeowners insurance company might not be so friendly. Some companies have been hesitant to insure homeowners with dogs that they think are somehow naturally vicious. Well, I don’t know about most folks, but I’ve met some pretty ferocious Chihuahuas in my day. But just so you know, here are 10 breeds that might make your homeowners insurance company balk (or is it “bark”?):
- Pitbulls – This is obvious. Pitbull attacks make the news because these dogs have strong jaws and tend to do quite a bit of harm. “Pitbull” covers the Pitbull Terrier and the American Stafforshire Terrier, both of which are said to be undeserving of such a poor reputation, according to advocates from the Humane Society of the United States. Fans of the breed say the dog isn’t vicious by nature, but some owners who buy them do so with the “tough-guy” image in mind. The dog is only responding to what’s expected of it.
- Doberman Pinschers – “Dobies” were the stereotypical guard dog of the 70’s. Fans of the TV show “Magnum, P.I.” will remember Zeus and Apollo, the dogs who guarded the character Higgins’ estate. Dobies are very intelligent and loyal and, like the Pitbull, are often victims of their owners’ expectations. They can be very affectionate, but when aggressive behavior is encouraged, aggressive behavior will be exhibited.
- Rottweilers – A Rottweiler, or “Rottie”, is a very good breed for a guard dog. Being very pack-oriented, once they learn who’s in charge is they will obey. (I bet you wish some kids were like that, eh?) What many people don’t realize is that they are energetic and need to be taken for walks and socialized with others so they can work off that energy and learn that not everyone is an intruder. If they don’t get what they need, they can act out and, temporarily at least, turn vicious.
- Chow Chows – Chows are so wonderfully fuzzy and have those cute black tongues that you just want to hug them like teddy bears. You’re going to want to resist that urge. Chows are hunters and are very protective of their families, especially against outside dogs. Good training and early socialization can usually stem this behavior, but if you’re moving into a new neighborhood, you may have to start the socializing all over again.
- Great Danes – Great Danes are usually associated with that loveable pooch “Marmaduke”. While dogs are naturally territorial, Great Danes cause more injuries by being friendly. They weigh around a hundred pounds and if they’re not trained to avoid jumping on people, their attempts at affection can cause injury.
- Perro de Presa Canario – The name means “Canarian catch dog” and they were used to herd cattle on the Canary Islands. Like the Chow, the “Presa” is a hunter and can be aggressive with outside dogs. They respond well to early training and socialization, however, and often the sight alone of these massive dogs (upwards of 120 pounds!) is enough to make anyone think twice! Unfortunately, where certain dog breeds are banned, the Presa is often on the list.
- Akitas – The Akita is a large, strong-willed dog from the mountains of Japan. They are not pack-oriented as most dogs are, and while they may adapt well to a particular family, visitors can be seen as outsiders. A well-trained Akita may ignore the “intruder” in a cat-like manner if the family is around and not alarmed, but a sudden move to pet the Akita could result in a bite.
- Alaskan Malamute – The Malamute is also a strong-willed, independent dog. They seem to be natural fighters and will go out of their way to pick fights with other dogs if they are not well-trained and under frequent behavior correction.
- German Shepherds – German Shepherds, those classic, wolfish-looking dogs, are very intelligent and obedient and are still the leading police-dog in the world. They don’t warm up to strangers very quickly, though, and this perceived unfriendliness makes many people wary of them. Unless well-trained, they are also prone to attacking smaller breeds of dogs. It’s also worth noting that a German Shepherd can bite with about 3 pounds more force than a Pitbull!
- Siberian Husky – The Siberian Husky is said to be closer in temperament to the wolf than any other dog breed. While they are generally seen as good with children, they also have reputations as escape artists. They also need near-constant supervision or they can become destructively anxious, especially when kept indoors.
I know your dog is probably considered one of the family, and I wouldn’t ask you to kick your best friend to the curb, but as you can see some people have reasons to be wary of certain dogs. Just like people, however, dogs are individuals and don’t always live up to the stereotypes. If you need homeowners insurance, contact us and let’s see how we can help. Don’t let the others “hound you” away from your pet!