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As a matter of fact the average dog bite claim cost around $30,000. So yes, if you own a dog, especially a big one, it is more likely that they will be the cause of a liability claim than a hole in your backyard, a big tree in your front yard, or loose carpet in your living room. We all love our furry friends, and it is hard for many of us to imagine them hurting our friends and neighbors. Our fur babies however have instincts to protect their human and their property. The list below explains some actions property owners can take to decrease the likelihood and severity of a dog bite claim.

  1. Do not let guests play with a dog while they are eating. Some dogs get food aggressive, and even if this behavior is not common with your dog, it might behave differently around humans other than its master.

  2. If buying or adopting a new dog, be careful about which breed you get. Small dogs generally do not cause as much bodily harm in the event that they do bite. This is one reason why homeowner insurance companies are not likely to exclude a snappy, 12 pound dachshund, but might exclude a 150 pound docile great dane. The dachshund cannot do much damage, but a great dane that weighs more than many grown women and most children can put a person in the hospital and cause great harm without much effort. Many animal rights advocates say these rules are not fair, and maybe they are not fair to the dogs. However, they are based on statistics from past losses, so there is evidence behind the higher insurance premiums companies sometimes charge for them.

  3. If you are adopting a dog consider purchasing a doggy DNA test. I ordered one of these for my mutt. All I knew when I adopted her was that she was part dachshund. 3 vets had suspected though that she was part pitbull, and said I should consider training her as if she were a pitbull. Her DNA test revealed that she had over 8 breeds, and none of them were pitbull. She was part collie, boxer, dachshund, bulldog, miniature pincher, and cocker spaniel. Each of those breeds respond to different training methods and have different instincts. A DNA test can help you determine the best way to train your dog and help identify dangerous breads that can affect your insurance coverage.

  4. Socialize dogs from a young age. From puppyhood dogs should interact with many dogs, adults, and children so they are less likely to perceive danger in these scenarios.

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