Dog Bites and Blacklisted Pets

Insurance companies often make assumptions about certain dog breeds and dog bites when it comes to policies for homeowners’ insurance. Should everyone—from homeowners to pedestrians to outdoor employees—have the same concerns about particular dog breeds or mixes? According to a recent article in Bankrate.com, companies that specialize in dog liability insurance just may be onto something new in terms of dog bite injuries and statistics.

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Are Some Dogs Riskier Than Others?

In San Diego, Einhorn Insurance, a company that specializes in dog liability insurance, recently put together a list of dog breeds that are “most often deemed dangerous by insurance companies.” However, Einhorn emphasizes that “it doesn’t agree with these opinions” and seeks to help homeowners and dog owners who are responsible.

But should pedestrians and other passersby agree with Einhorn? Or should we be worried when we walk by a home with a dangerous breed sitting on the front porch? Let’s begin by taking a look at some of the breeds that many insurers have deemed more likely to attack than others and have been placed on ban lists:

  • Pit bulls and Staffordshire terriers: in general, when people talk about “pit bulls,” they’re usually referring either to the American pit bull terrier or the American Staffordshire terrier. These dog breeds “have a reputation for being unpredictable and dangerous,” and they’re often responsible for fatal dog bites in California.
  • Doberman pinschers: this breed hasn’t been among the most notable in recent years when it comes to dog bite injuries, but Dobermans were involved in a number of attacks back in the 1970s “when the breed’s popularity grew.” A pet Doberman most recently was implicated in a fatal dog bite involving an infant in 2008.
  • Rottweilers: like pit bulls, Rottweilers have been cited in a number of dog bites in California and other states in recent years. But is the breed to blame, or do these dogs tend to attract certain types of owners? In general, advocates for these dogs emphasize that they “need obedience training, socialization, and daily exercise” in order to be “kept under control.”
  • Chow chows: while this breed is a popular pet, its tendency to “protect its human family” can mean that it will behave aggressively around other dogs and outsiders.
  • Great Danes: primarily due to the dog’s large size, this breed has been known to be involved in several fatal dog attacks in recent years.
  • Presa Canario: as Bankrate.com explains, this breed “has become somewhat notorious because of a 2001 case in San Francisco” in which “a woman who kept two of the massive dogs is serving 15 years to life in prison because of the actions.” The dogs brutally attacked a neighbor in the hallway of the apartment building, and the injuries proved fatal. This breed often “makes the list” when it comes to breed bans.
  • Akitas: this breed to known to become aggressively quickly, particularly around children. To be sure, an Akita was responsible for a 3-year-old boy’s severe dog bite injuries in Murrieta, California back in 2013.
  • German shepherds: like pit bulls and Rottweilers, German shepherds often are cited in severe and fatal dog bite incidents.

Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Dog Bite Lawyer

After looking through a list of frequently banned breeds, should we believe that certain breeds are more dangerous than others? An article from the American Veterinary Medical Association emphasizes that “breed is a poor sole predictor of dog bites,” and that targeting particular breeds isn’t the proper way to prevent injuries. Instead, we must address specific factors related to:

  •      The individual pet;
  •      The target (the owner of the animal, a family member or friend, or a stranger);
  •      The dog’s living conditions and training; and
  •      Whether the dog is urban or rural.

While there’s no concrete predictive tool for animal attacks, it is important to speak with an experienced San Diego dog bite attorney if you are injured in an attack. Contact the Walton Law Firm today to learn more about how we can assist with your case.

Photo Credit: BusyBee-cr via Compfight cc

See Related Blog Posts:

Should California Have a Dangerous Dogs Act?

Dog Bite Injuries and Infections

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