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Q: What’s up with America and dogs? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: What’s up with America and dogs?
Category: Family and Home > Pets
Asked by: machinist-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 08 May 2006 12:15 PDT
Expires: 07 Jun 2006 12:15 PDT
Question ID: 726630
Good day, 

The following numbered points I?d like to receive an answer to.  I
appreciate your help in advance.

1. Is there any official statistics on breeds of dogs that are
dominating in United States.  Any historical data?

2. A source listing ?incidents? that appeared to cause home insurance
to exclude from consideration various breeds (such as: akita, alaskan
malamute, canary dog/presa canario, chow, doberman, german shepherd,
pit bull, rottweiler, siberian husky, etc)? Again, historical data
such as (starting year XXXX so many insurance companies in these and
these states no longer accept participants who have these and these

And lastly, you?re personal opinion the trend, and it?s direction. 

[my personal situation: A Rottweiler owner in Boston area]

Will Americans be limited to Golden Retrievers in the near future?
Subject: Re: What’s up with America and dogs?
Answered By: belindalevez-ga on 17 May 2006 09:07 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
<Dog Breed Statistics.

The American Kennel Club has detailed statistics for the numbers of
each breed registered for the years 2003, 2004 and 2005.

2005 and 2004 figures

2004 and 2003 figures

This report gives the rankings for 2002. It also looks at which dog
breed was most popular in the past.
Cocker Spaniels 1940- 51. 
Beagles 1953-9
Poodles 1960-83
Cocker Spaniels 1984 ?90
Labrador Retrievers 1991 to today.
Source: AKC.

1995 figures for the top 10 are available here (see Table 2.2)
The top nine remained the same as 2003. Number 10 in 2003 was Border
Terrier and in 1995 was Yorkshire Terrier. Source: AKC.

Mintel (2004) also gives the top 5 breeds whether pedigree or not.
Border Collie
German Shepherd dog
Yorkshire terrier
Jack Russell.

Analysis of breed discrimination.

The problem of breed discrimination affecting homeowners? insurance
first came to light in 2003. During 2003 and 2004 the media exposed
breed discrimination. At this time numerous insurance companies were
denying coverage to homeowners based on the breed of dog owned.

This report gives details of highly publicised Pit Bull attacks are
given and studies into dog bite fatalities.

The insurance industry has defended its position in part on a series
of studies from the Centers for Disease Control ("CDC"), which the
industry claims as support for the proposition that certain breeds
have a propensity to bite.  However even the authors of the CDC
studies have stated that breed discrimination is wrong and is not
supported by scientific evidence.

The industry has also pointed to the large amount of money that has
been paid out in recent years for dog bite claims.  The Insurance
Information Institute ("III"), a trade group of the insurance
industry, stated that in 2002, $345.5 million was paid out in dog bite
liability claims, up *15 from $250 million in 1995.  The group argues
that dog bite lawsuits are on the rise and juries are awarding larger
claims. [FN77] They claim, therefore, the need to curtail their risk.
The industry's cost statistics are misleading, however. The III
states,  "[d]og bites now account for almost one quarter of all
homeowner's insurance liability claims costing $345.5 million." Some
perspective is in order. For every $100 in premiums, insurers spend
$77 paying claims. Of that $77, the overwhelming majority ($72, or
93.5%) is spent on paying property damage claims. Liability claims
only amount to $5, or 6.5%, of total claims.  Even then, dog bites
only constitute a percentage of that figure. Put into perspective, the
money paid out in dog bite claims is negligible when compared to the
overall amount of money paid out for other types of claims. Damage due
to lightning, fire, and mold all individually account for more claims
payouts than all liability claims combined.
In October 2003 Nationwide will now insure all dog owners and will
exclude dog bites from coverage. State Farm's national representatives
have repeatedly stated that the company does not practice breed
discrimination. However the author of the report says that he was
denied coverage due to the breed of dog owned.
A number of states are considering legislation that will stop breed
discrimination. A New Hampshire bill would prohibit non-renewal or
cancellation of a policy "based solely on the insured owning a certain
breed of dog."

Source: The Case Against Dog Breed Discrimination by Homeowners?
Insurance Companies. Larry Cunningham.

The Humane Society of Atchison, Kansas, reports that the numbers of
rottweilers relinquished because of insurance coverage has jumped 40%
within the past year.

The HSUS is collecting information about dog breed discrimination.

Breeds of dogs involved in fatal human attacks in the United States
between 1979 and 1998.
This study looks at the breeds of dogs involved in fatal human attacks.

Study: Dog breed discrimination by insurance companies is unjustified.
FIREPAW, Inc., a national research and education foundation
focusing on animal welfare recently conducted a study on the
controversial issue of discrimination in
homeowner?s policies by insurance companies based on the breed of dog
homeowners have. The study
was funded by The Toby Fund and sought to answer the question ?Does it
make economic and financial
sense for insurance companies to deny coverage or greatly elevate
premiums based on dog breed?? The
results indicate that even high-risk breeds present only a very minor
risk to insurance companies and the
practice of large premium changes or outright cancellation of
insurance coverage over such a relatively
minor risk is unreasonable.

Research highlights.
Dog bites are a minor cost relative to many other homeowners insurance hazards.
? Even pit bulls, the most maligned breed, do not have a risk high
enough to justify a premium increase of more
than 5%-10%.
? The research most commonly cited by insurance companies to justify
breed discrimination is inappropriate to be
used for this purpose as indicated by the authors themselves.
? Applicable research studies show that "high risk" breeds have only 2
to 5 times the bite risk. When combined
with insurance financial data, this implies these breeds only have a
risk of 6 cents per dollar in premiums.
? Dog bites liability costs have increased less rapidly than insurance premiums.
? Insurance companies typically fail to address other equally
important bite risks such as spaying/neutering of dogs
or address some risks inappropriately (chaining).

According to this article some states are considering barring ?breed
Source: 11 dogs that could raise your insurance costs. By Kay Bell.

Will Americans be limited to Golden Retrievers in the near future?
It would appear that the current trend is for small dogs. Since 2000
four of the top ten most popular breeds have been small dogs. Breeds
showing the most significant rise since 1994 include the French
Bulldog (increase of 252%), Brussels Griffon (234%), Chinese Crested
(134%) and the Papillon (122%).>

<Search strategy:>

<"dog registration statistics">

<"humane society" dog breed insurance>

<"most popular breeds" "dog breeds" 2000>

<Hope this helps.>
machinist-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thank you for your work.  Let's keep this thread up.  

I'll add to it when I have time and some materials, and others are at
most welcome to also contribute.

Subject: Re: What’s up with America and dogs?
From: myoarin-ga on 09 May 2006 08:13 PDT
Just a free comment and no answer to your question, but in Germany
there have also been many "incidents", children killed by dogs, and
several states and many communities have passed laws regulating
control of some breeds.  It is not the Americans in general, it's the
dogs and their training  - or lack thereof -  and some of the people
who choose to own them  - not all, of course.
Subject: Re: What’s up with America and dogs?
From: machinist-ga on 09 May 2006 10:31 PDT
Yes, I agree, and thank you for the comment.

I am looking forward to see if these laws on dog breeds will spread
through the entire European Union.

It might be easier to make a law within a community to completely ban
a breed than to create a set of measurements to exclude aggressive or
unstable dogs.  (Because we can judge dogs for being badly behaved,
but we can't judge badly behaved children, can we?)

and another beautiful argument - why would one want to own a
rottweiler if he/she has no cows?

Someone must have done plenty of research on this. If not, I may have
to dig in myself.

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