When choosing from the multitude of dog breeds out there, it can be difficult to find all of the attributes you want in a loving pet. We all want something relatively cute, cuddly, and friendly stalking our homes and yards. Some dog breeds fit that description perfectly. But there are so-called “dangerous dogs” out there, too — some who have earned the label unfairly.
Dangerous dogs are relatively uncommon, all things considered. Sure, you’ll hear about the occasional dog attack. But given how many dogs Americans have as pets — roughly 78 million — running into dangerous dogs isn’t much of a concern. But what if you want to get your pet insured? Well, then owning certain dog breeds can become an issue.
Insurance and ‘dangerous dogs’
Pet insurance might not be worth the money, but for many pet owners it provides peace of mind. Flying with a pet can be dangerous, as can many household items. Insurance can help alleviate some of the worry associated with these dangers.
But insurance companies don’t love all dog breeds and have labeled several types as “dangerous dogs” they don’t want to cover. Is your dog one of those breeds? Let’s take a look at the most common dogs many insurance companies don’t want to cover.
1. German shepherds
German shepherds are pretty common, and most of us don’t think of them as dangerous or run away in fear if one approaches. They are used by police departments and for security purposes around the world because of their strength, intelligence, and obedience. But their use in law enforcement — and ability to take down human suspects — might be one reason why people fear them.
The next dog breed was originally bred to herd cattle …
If you’ve seen a DMX video, you know Rottweilers can be somewhat fearsome. They’re not as common as many other breeds, so people might only know about them from menacing media images. Originally bred to herd cattle and pull cargo, Rottweilers rarely become dangerous and generally are more aloof than aggressive in situations where they might be uncomfortable.
Chow chows don’t often plan to turn you or your family members into chow. But they freak people out, and insurance companies have taken notice. You do hear of chow attacks here and there, and their lion-like appearance might be unsettling to some. The dogs are fiercely protective of their owners, but generally they are more aloof and won’t attack.
Insurance companies certainly don’t think this dog breed is so great for them …
4. Great Danes
Insurance companies evidently are wary of dogs that are roughly the size of Seabiscuit. Great Danes surely fit that description, and due to their size, they are often considered dangerous. A Great Dane can easily overpower children and smaller adults, though they rarely attack. Plus, your neighbors are probably not going to be stoked if you decide not to pick up after your Great Dane — which can create sizable problems.
5. Doberman pinschers
Maybe playing Resident Evil has spawned a fear of Doberman pinschers in you. Dobermans are often used for security purposes and have actually been used by the military during wartime. They’re typically not vicious, but as with many other breeds, there are exceptions. Because of their use with law enforcement, Dobermans carry the same reputation as breeds, such as German shepherds.
Akita sounds like a Mortal Kombat character — but it’s actually a relatively common dog breed. Akitas are powerful and built somewhat like a linebacker, meaning they could probably do some damage if they wanted to. There are isolated instances of Akita attacks, and that has fed fuel to the idea they’re a dangerous breed.
7. Alaskan malamutes
The Alaskan malamute is a close offshoot from the wolf. These dogs are quite energetic, and sometimes that energy can run amok. Like other breeds, there are reports of malamutes attacking people, but they’re relatively rare. Still, when an insurer sees a malamute is in the mix, it might complicate your ability to get insurance.
8. Siberian huskies
Similar to an Alaskan malamute, Siberian huskies are also close cousins to their wild wolf counterparts and might make people nervous by their looks alone. They are generally not aggressive but tend to be highly energetic, sometimes to the point of hyperactivity if they’re not exercised enough. They also tend to be mischievous and are excellent escape artists. Your insurance company probably won’t like that.
9. Wolf hybrids
You can’t blame insurance companies and neighbors of being wary of your wolf hybrid. These are animals that are part wolf. They have the capacity to kill and are more or less naturally inclined to do it. For that reason, wolf-hybrids are often considered dangerous and problematic to have as pets.
The next dog breed may always have a stigma attached to it …
10. Pit bulls
Pit bulls are actually some kind of terrier mix, not necessarily a breed, which explains the differing looks of the dogs. But there’s still a lot of concern about them, even as campaigns hope to change that perception. Pit bulls are strong and agile, and it likely was their use in dog fighting that led to them being labeled as dangerous. However, the United Kennel Club actually doesn’t recommend using pit bulls as guard dogs because they are “extremely friendly, even with strangers.” Maybe insurance companies don’t like that they’ll let someone rob your house.
11. American Staffordshire terriers
Also known as the “Am Staff,” this breed is one that falls under the pit bull umbrella. They look and behave alike, and mixed breeds are common. They also have the same muscular “linebacker” build that many other breeds on this list possess. The breed is strong and confident, so training is a must to keep the dogs in check.
12. Presa Canarios
The Presa Canario (or Perro de Presa Canario) was originally bred in the Canary Islands. For that reason, it’s sometimes called a Canary Mastiff. They’re typically big, dominant dogs that are used for working with livestock. But this isn’t your granddaddy’s sheepdog. The Presa Canario has garnered a reputation for being dangerous. There is an argument as to whether that reputation is fair, of course, but there have been attacks documented.
13. A mix of any of these breeds
Finally, the research team from Einhorn Insurance Agency says a mix of any of the preceding breeds can be dangerous. This makes sense, of course, as if any of these particular breeds on their own can have a dangerous streak, a combination would, too. It’s important to remember, though, any individual dog isn’t necessarily dangerous. There are many factors that can impact whether a dog becomes violent. But if you’re hoping to get insured, owning any of these breeds can make it difficult or more costly.