If you’ve ever applied for home insurance, you know how many questions the process involves. But there is one question that dog owners dread more than any other: the investigation of their dog’s breed.
Owning a specific breed of dog may prevent you from qualifying for certain home insurance policies. This is because the insurer views you – and your dog – as a liability.
Here is a selection of some of the dog breeds that most often appear on “prohibited” lists. Whether or not these breeds deserve the bad rap is up for debate, but if you’re hoping to find a new policy that will save you money on insurance, these breeds probably aren’t an option for you.
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1. Rhodesian Ridgeback
The ever-independent Rhodesian Ridgeback, which has a strong prey drive, is sometimes excluded from insurance policies. This may come as a surprise to Rhodesian Ridgeback owners who feel they have the perfect family dog.
However, it’s likely that this dog’s strong need for training and fiery protection has insurance companies worried that handsome brown dogs pose a bite risk.
As one of the more obvious choices for a guard dog, it may come as less of a surprise that insurance companies are hesitant to accept Bullmastiffs.
The Bullmastiff – which is a combination of a bulldog and a mastiff, as the name suggests – is a large dog that can weigh up to 130 pounds. It requires careful training from an early age and is not ideal for new dog owners.
3. Doberman Pinscher
If you own a Doberman, you probably know that it can be a very affectionate dog that gets along well with young children.
Unfortunately, these dogs have a reputation for being fierce, to the point of scaring off insurance companies – whether that stems from actual data or the dog’s history as a military and police dog.
4. Great Dane
The most threatening thing about the even-tempered Great Dane is its imposing size. Great Danes stand up to 24 inches from the shoulder.
That’s the most likely reason why these gentle giants end up on an insurer’s bad guy list. They are feared to destroy property simply by existing in their gargantuan state.
5. Pit bull
If you understand a thing or two about dogs, or if you just watch the news once in a while, you know that no breed of dog gets as much bad press as the American Pit Bull Terrier, more commonly known as a pitbull.
Interestingly, the American Kennel Club (AKC) does not recognize pit bulls as a breed of dog, pointing out that most dogs that we would consider pit bulls are actually a mix of other dog breeds.
The fact that it is difficult to determine which dog is a pit bull can make bans from insurance companies a slippery slope, as any dog with identifying characteristics could be labeled a pit bull.
The Akita is a muscular dog originating from Japan. Like some other entries on this list, the Akita is a very large dog and can weigh up to 130 pounds.
In addition to being the target of bans from insurance companies, Akitas are also banned in certain geographic areas, such as Singapore.
7. German Shepherd Dog
German Shepherd Dogs – as the AKC classifies them – are often viewed by insurers as a liability. So it may come as a surprise that they are the fourth most popular dog breed in the United States, beating out Australian Shepherds, Poodles and Beagles.
Unfortunately, this is another breed that has a reputation for being aggressive.
8. Chow Chow
There are big dogs, and then there are Chow Chows – although it could be argued that their fluffy coat is the real reason for this breed’s stature.
As a dog that dates back to ancient China, Chow Chows have been loyal companions to humans for thousands of years. Maybe too faithful, if you ask some cautious insurance companies.
9. Siberian Husky
The Siberian Husky is a born working dog that gets along well with children and other animals.
It surprises many owners that some insurers ban Siberian huskies from home insurance, although some companies claim the reason is the breed’s frequency of bites.
10. Cane Corso
The Cane Corso is known to be a very attentive watchdog, which is likely what makes insurance companies wary of the breed.
They can also easily weigh over 100 pounds, making them difficult to manage.
11. Alaskan Malamute
The Alaskan Malamute is a cousin of the Siberian Husky. Like huskies, the malamute is also a natural sled dog, although they can become aggressive as adults if not trained early in life.
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Although the Tosa is known to be calm and warm with its own family, this large dog breed can act aggressively towards other dogs and sometimes people. A Tosa can weigh up to 200 pounds.
Boxers are well known for being a muscular dog breed. This, combined with their protective nature, gives some insurance companies the impression that these dogs are dangerous.
Aggression levels can be managed if Boxers are exposed to many different types of people and dogs from an early age.
Rottweilers have a bad reputation. This fact often makes their owners wonder in disbelief – there are many cuddly Rottweilers. But insurance companies have noticed the stereotype.
And in truth, this muscular dog can be territorial.
15. Dogue de Bordeaux
Another ancient breed, the Dogue de Bordeaux hails from France and is known for its loyalty and affection.
However, this dog is also cited as one of the most stubborn breeds that will suffer from improper or inadequate training. These dogs occasionally find themselves on the forbidden list.
At the end of the line
If you’re a dog lover, you probably won’t let your insurance policy dictate what breed of dog you own – you’ll just look for another company that will cover you, even if you have to pay a higher rate.
Do your research when looking for an insurance company. Some companies, like State Farm, don’t ask for dog breed information in their questionnaires. So if you’re trying to find an insurance policy while saving money, you still have options.
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This article Insurers Really Don’t Like Covering These Dog Breeds originally appeared on FinanceBuzz.