Top 10 Dog Breeds That Need Pet Insurance


The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has warned pet owners that regardless of size, sex or age, “any dog ​​can bite”, but added that most of the time, such cases can be avoided.

“Even the cuddliest, sweetest, and gentlest animal can bite if provoked,” the organization explained in a dog bite prevention guide on its website. “Remember that it is not a dog’s breed that determines whether it will bite, but rather the dog’s individual history and behavior.”

Read more: Revealed – Top 15 Pet Insurance Providers in the US

Why do dogs bite?

There are many reasons dogs bite, according to the AVMA, but they often do so in reaction to something.

“If the dog finds himself in a stressful situation, he may bite to defend himself or defend his territory”, notes the association. “Dogs may bite because they are scared or have been frightened. They may bite because they feel threatened. They may bite to protect something valuable to them, such as their puppies, food or a toy.

Some dogs also become aggressive when sick or injured, as they may want to be left alone. But even if they feel good or playful, there is always a risk that they will bite.

“Dogs can also nip and bite during play,” the association added. “While biting during play can be fun for the dog, it can be dangerous for people. It’s a good idea to avoid wrestling or tug-of-war with your dog. These types of activities can make your dog too excited, which can lead to nipping or biting.

What is the average cost of dog injury claims?

These examples demonstrate the importance of having the right type of coverage for many dog ​​owners nationwide.

AVMA data shows pet insurance companies paid a total of $881 million in liability claims related to dog bites and other dog-related injuries in 2021, the average cost per claim s amounting to around $49,025.

State Farm, which has paid out more than $1.1 billion between 2012 and 2021, is one of the insurers that has paid out the most dog-related injury claims in recent years.

Meanwhile, the top 10 states that reported the most dog bite incidents last year in alphabetical order are Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey , New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.

Read more: Dog Breeds with the Most and Least Expensive Insurance Rates

What types of insurance do dog owners need?

Pet insurance, including that for dogs, generally offers three types of coverage, primarily health related. These are:

  • Accident and illness: The most common type of cover, this type of policy covers injuries caused by accidents – including broken bones, torn ligaments, bites, eye trauma and poisoning – and illnesses – such as skin infections, cancer, arthritis, allergies, ear infections, diarrhea and internal parasites.
  • Accident only: Some insurers offer this type of plan, which basically covers anything associated with a sudden physical injury. This type of policy generally costs less than accident and sickness plans and is suitable for pets with pre-existing conditions.
  • Wellness: This optional coverage reimburses wellness expenses, including annual physical exams, spaying or sterilization procedures, routine blood work, heartworm testing and treatment, fecal testing , urine tests, routine vaccinations, teeth cleanings, and flea and tick treatments.

However, experts advise dog owners to take out another form of protection, which covers injuries and damage their pets cause to others. This type of policy is called pet liability insurance.

How does pet liability insurance work?

Most homeowners and renters insurance policies provide liability coverage up to a certain limit. This includes claims resulting from pet-related injuries and damages. In addition to dog bites, some plans cover property damage, including when a pet, for example, chewed on someone else’s couch or peed on someone else’s laptop. .

Dog owners can also purchase separate liability insurance for dogs, especially if their pets are among the breeds considered “aggressive” or if they feel that their home insurance policy coverage is not sufficient.

Read more: Dog bites are a growing liability for businesses and pet owners

Top 10 Dog Breeds That Need Pet Insurance

In a recent blog, Pawlicy Advisor listed the top 10 dog breeds that may require coverage due to different behavioral and health factors.

To compile the list, the pet insurance market considered several metrics, including bite force data from industry news website Pet Comments, temperament scores – which measure a dog’s behavior in various settings – from the American Temperament Test Society (ATTS), and the percentage of home insurers (among 42 providers) banning the breed from Forbes Advisor. These metrics reflect each race’s level of risk when it comes to attacking or biting others. Pawlicy Advisor has also taken into account the different diseases that breeds are prone to.

Here are the top 10 dog breeds that require coverage, according to the Pet Insurance Market. The list is in alphabetical order:


Bite Force: 350 to 400 pounds per square inch (PSI)

Bite Force Ranking: 11th

Temperament score success rate: 77.8%

Percentage of home insurers banning the breed: 79%

Common health problems: sebaceous adenitis and hip dysplasia

2. Alaskan Malamute

Bite Force: 235 PSI*

Bite Force Rating: Not Rated

Temperament score success rate: 84.8%

Percentage of home insurers banning the breed: 26%

Common health issues: Bloating (gastric dilatation-volvulus)

3. American Staffordshire Terrier (AmStaff)

Bite Force: 328 PSI**

Bite Force Rating: Not Rated

Temperament score success rate: 85.5%

Percentage of home insurers banning the breed: 100% (classified under pit bulls)

Common health issues: elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, progressive retinal atrophy and cerebellar ataxia

4. Bulldogs

Bite Force: 305 PSI**

Bite Force Rating: Not Rated

Temperament score success rate: 86.9%

Percentage of home insurers banning the breed: 19%

Common health problems: diseases related to the nose, eyes, teeth and respiratory system

5. Cane Corso

Bite Force: 700 PSI

Bite Force Ranking: 3rd

Temperament score success rate: 88.1%

Percentage of home insurers banning the breed: 19%

Common health issues: epilepsy, gastric dilatation-volvulus, and eyelid abnormalities

6. Chow Chow

Bite Force: 220 PSI

Bite Force Ranking: 22nd

Temperament score success rate: 71.7%

Percentage of home insurers banning the breed: 95%

Common health issues: hypothyroidism, skin and ear infections, obesity and depression

7. Doberman Pinscher

Bite Force: 245 PSI

Bite Force Ranking: 16th

Temperament score success rate: 79.5%

Percentage of home insurers banning the breed: 100%

Common health issues: certain types of cancer, dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), liver inflammation, wobbler syndrome, and bloating

8. German Shepherd

Bite Force: 238 PSI

Bite Force Ranking: 17th

Temperament score success rate: 85.3%

Percentage of home insurers banning the breed: 45%

Common health issues: hip and gastrointestinal tract problems

9. Labrador retriever

Bite Force: 230 PSI

Bite Force Ranking: 20th

Temperament score success rate: 92.2%

Percentage of home insurers banning the breed: None

Common health issues: elbow and hip dysplasia, as well as knee and eye problems

10. Rottweiler

Bite Force: 328 PSI

Bite Force Ranking: 12th

Temperament score success rate: 84.7%

Percentage of home insurers banning the breed: 100%

Common health issues: heart disease, including aortic stenosis

* Data from a dog breed expert

** Data from

Read more: 25 Most Dangerous Dog Breeds

How can owners prevent their dogs from biting others?

While the AVMA has pointed out that dogs – regardless of breed, age or gender – can bite others when provoked, there are several practical strategies dog owners can implement to avoid that such cases do not occur. These include:

  • Socialize the dog: This can help dogs feel comfortable in different situations. According to the AVMA, introducing the dog to people and other animals while he’s still a puppy will help him feel more comfortable in different situations as he gets older.
  • Being a Responsible Pet Owner: This includes carefully selecting a dog that is right for their family, giving them proper training and regular exercise, and spaying or neutering the animal.
  • Good training: Educating yourself and their children on how or whether to approach a dog can reduce the risk of it being attacked or bitten.
  • Avoiding Risky Situations: It is also important to know how to avoid escalating risky situations and to understand when they should and should not interact with dogs. These include when the dog is not with its owner, or when it growls, barks, sleeps, eats, plays with a toy, is sick or injured.
  • Pay attention to body language: Just like humans, dogs rely on body gestures, postures, and vocalizations to express themselves and communicate. While it’s not always possible to accurately read a dog’s body language, it can give people helpful clues as to whether he’s feeling stressed, scared, or threatened.

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