The Dangers of Incorrect Breed Identification
In our previous blog post, we discussed common stereotypes associated with dogs due to their breed. Certain breeds have become stigmatized due to media attention, and unfortunately this has led many individuals to not only unfairly be afraid of certain dogs, but come to the potentially dangerous conclusion that “naturally friendly” breeds will never bite. Not only is this a Dog Bite Liability Case waiting to happen, assumptions made off of dog breed can lead to heartache for many dog owners.
In a recent query involving 6,000 canine professionals, including veterinarians, only 27% of the participants correctly identified all the breeds presented to them. In fact, the average person only knows about 20 breeds. The problem with this is that individuals tend to react differently around a dog that they think is a dangerous breed when they are actually misidentifying the dog altogether.
This in itself isn’t dangerous per say, however if an injury occurs, the owners of these misidentified “dangerous” dogs are unfortunately more likely to be the victim of a lawsuit. Misidentification also causes many dog owners to fall victim to Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) which bans certain dogs from homes, neighborhoods, and even entire cities.
BSL breed identification is based on a dog’s appearance alone!
It’s quite often a visual glance and a guess that causes a dog to be identified as a particular breed. This is especially true in the case of non-pedigreed, mixed-breed, or stray dogs without documentation. Unfortunately, even though they are professionals in the animal field, veterinarians and animal control officers receive no formal training in breed identification, so their judgment of a breed is no different than the average citizen’s.
While the DNA-based breed identification tests currently on the market are not 100% accurate, they can still go a long way in proving or disproving your dogs’ breed. In fact, these tests recognize around 100 of the dog breeds out there. While these results could actually work against some pet owners, if a dog comes back with only a minute amount of a “dangerous” breed detected in its genes, a dog owner may have a better chance of not falling victim to BSL laws and unfair stereotypes.
At Canine Liability, we insure dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds. It’s important to remember that all dogs have the ability to bite, and as a responsible dog owner, you want to be financially protected should that occur. For more information regarding our products and services, please contact us today at 855.534.6495.