Gone To The Dogs!

Doggone Dog

When you were completing your application for homeowners or renters insurance, did your agent ask you whether you own a dog(s)?  When you answered yes, were you asked specifically about the breed and whether or not the dog(s) had bitten anyone?

Why does your dog have anything to do with your home and why do insurance companies care?  They care because your homeowners policy includes personal liability coverage.  If your dog would bite or hurt someone, whether at home or away from home, you will be held liable, and the insurance company will have a lawsuit to deal with.  Most companies limit their risk by not accepting homes that contain certain breeds of dogs. 

The following breeds tend to be on many companies list of dogs they are concerned with because they tend to be higher risk for causing injuries (the bolds tend to be on most lists, while the others vary a lot):

1.    Pit Bulls & Staffordshire Terriers
2.    Doberman Pinschers
3.    Rottweilers
4.    German Shepherds
5.    Chows
6.    Great Danes
7.    Presa Canarios
8.    Akitas
9.    Alaskan Malamutes
10.    Siberian Huskies
11.    Wolf-hybrids

If you’re looking to get a puppy from this list, it would be wise to consult with your insurance agent whether it will impact your homeowners coverage.  You may want to re-think your puppy purchase.

And, it’s quite likely you know someone with a sweet and gentle Great Dane or a lovable Siberian Huskie, so there can be good dogs in that group, right?  Yes.  So much so, in fact, that some insurance companies are making accommodations for dogs on that list if they receive a  certificate from AKC's Canine Good Citizen® program.  To receive the certificate, dogs must pass a test which involves the following; accepting a friendly stranger, sitting politely for petting, appearance and grooming, out for a walk (walking on a loose lead), walking through a crowd, sit and down on command and staying in place, coming when called, reaction to another dog, reaction to distraction and supervised separation.

If you have a dog on the restricted list, you may want to inquire with your insurance agent whether completing the  AKC's Canine Good Citizen® program would benefit you and your dog.

For more information visit:  The American Kennel Club. Locally, the Kennel Club of Freeborn County offers this class.