Dog Bite Liability: Understanding Dog Aggression
Owning an aggressive dog does not make you a bad owner, nor does it automatically define your pet as dangerous. An aggressive dog can be a liability, and a dog bite can occur with or without training, which is why it is essential to have dog bite liability insurance coverage. Proper training can help to at least reduce the risk of a dog bite. Before pursuing a new training program, it’s important to understand what type of aggression your dog is displaying, and why. Here are just a few different types of dog aggression.
A territorial dog will guard any “intruders” from their yard or home by barking, growling, or lunging. This behavior is reinforced if they are successful at getting the offending person or animal to back off.
Many times when a dog is adopted as an adult or a senior, they are very timid and shy. You also might not know everything about your dog’s background, such as if they were abused, neglected, or suffered trauma of any kind. There may be a trigger that causes the dog to have the same fight-or-flight response humans have. If they can’t escape they will defend themselves the only way they know how; by biting.
Dogs are pack animals, and their instincts tell them to adopt a type of hierarchical order that influences which group members get first dibs on food, the best sleeping spots, and opportunities to mate. This type of aggression is often seen when you own more than one pet.
Similar to predatory aggression, dominant aggression happens when your dog wants to guard what they believe is theirs, whether that be a piece of furniture, a toy, their food, their leash, etc. The simplest cure for this aggression is having your dog neutered.
Often seen in homes where there is more than one dogs, play aggression is not actually aggression at all. Dogs have their own language and are able to let each other know if it’s only a game. Recognizing the difference between this type of aggression and other types of dog-on-dog aggression is very important, since you never want to step in the middle of a real dog fight.
F.I.D.O., the Federation of Insured Dog Owners, Inc., now offers the Covered Canine Policy, an exclusive product and benefit for F.I.D.O. members only that specializes in Dog Bite Liability Insurance Programs This policy is available in California, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Utah and Wisconsin. It will protect you should your dog bite an individual and cause harm. It does not exclude any breed of dog and starts as low as $75 per dog, per year.
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