The breed of the dog in and of itself is not enough to establish vicious propensity of the dog.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have done research on the various breeds.  About twenty-five breeds of dogs were involved in 238 fatal dog bites, according to a twenty year study performed by the CDC which was published in 2000.  The report indicates Pit bulls and Rottweilers were involved in more than half the fatalities resulting from dog bites.  You may already be aware that the insurance industry is fighting to eliminate coverage for dog breeds known to have high bite rates.  Multiple high-profile dog maulings, such as the fatal attack on the woman in San Francisco by two Presa Canarios in 2001 have raised concerns by the insurance industry.  I have heard reports that commonly known insurance companies either have cancelled or refused to write homeowner’s policies for individuals with certain dog breeds.  The “hit list” includes the breeds you would expect, including Pit Bulls, Rottweiler, German Shephards, Doberman Pinschers, Chows, Wolf hybrids, and Presa Canarios.  Most insurance companies do not automatically reject owners with certain breeds, but may require letters from veterinarians, dog obedience certificates or a home visit by an insurance agent. 

Multiple insurance companies in Pennsylvania are trying to cancel insurance for people with certain dog breeds and there is litigation occurring regularly on this issue.  For a more detail explanation of Pennsylvania law in relation to your situation, please call us at 215-576-5150 or our 24 hour toll free number to connect through to our office to ask your specific question of someone who can properly advise you before you call the insurance company. 

The insurance company has an adjuster who is very anxious for you to sign some forms and give you a little “something” for your trouble.  He may promise to “take care of your medical bills” after you sign a few papers. Don’t fall into that trap.  Read the next section of the PA Dog Bite book, written by the Worthington Law Group, very carefully!

Isn’t It Enought That The Dog That Bit Me Was A Pit Bull And Not A Poodle?

4 thoughts on “Isn’t It Enought That The Dog That Bit Me Was A Pit Bull And Not A Poodle?

  • March 3, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    True, dogs are friends of human beings, but they are, indeed, animals. Under many circumstances, they act on instinct. It is not surprising that they bite sometimes out of protective instinct or because they have been awakened from sleep suddenly. If properly socialized and trained, most dogs won’t bite under normal circumstances. However, not everyone trains and socializes their dogs properly. Unfortunately, as quoted from a flyer dated 2008 distributed to many medical offices and entitled “Man’s best friend or child’s worst enemy?”, states “the victims of severe dog-bite injuries are almost exclusively under age 10” The face is the most frequent target. I used to believe that was because children are shorter than adults and therefore, their faces are closer to the dog’s mouth than an adult. However, some research has been done indicating that children tend to lean toward dogs as well as stuffed animals when they are in their presence, thereby inadvertently placing their faces closer to a dog’s mouth. This research is cited in the archived articles at Whether this research has been confirmed by other studies remains to be seen, but it is a fact that children usually suffer the most serious dog-bites. The flyer from Children’s hospital points out that kids under 6 years of age are at higher risk of injuries because of their size and that you should NEVER leave a baby or small child alone with a dog. ANY DOG. It instructs that you should teach your child these rules:
    1. Never disturb a dog if it is eating, sleeping or caring for puppies
    2.Never tease a dog
    3.Always ask the dog owner if it is ok for your child or you to pet the dog
    4. Never run past a dog.
    The flyer further instructs on what to teach your child if a dog scares the child, stating in summary:
    1. Don’t run away. Remain calm
    2.Act like a tree by standing still, feet
    together, and with fists clenched under the chin and elbows pulled in toward the chest.
    3.If you are knocked down, you should act like a log by lying still, face down with your legs together and your hands over your head and neck to protect those areas.
    These are all great suggestions which could prevent tragic incidents. Unfortunately, altogether too many children’s books humanize dogs and while this is a sweet concept, it teaches children nothing about safety around dogs. Parents don’t want their children to live in fear and may not teach the correct lessons about safety around dogs. Many children can hardly resist hugging a sleeping dog because it looks so cute. The results can be disasterous. I have seen the unfortunate results of this kind of incident too many times as an attorney representing victims of dog bites.

  • October 31, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    I just sent this post to a bunch of my friends as I agree with most of what you’re saying here and the way you’ve presented it is awesome.

  • October 31, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Thank you! Should none of the above suggestions work and you become the victim of a dog attack, make sure you take photos of your wounds and injuries, including bruising if you have experienced that. We have our clients take photographs as their injuries are healing to prove pain and suffering and permanent disfigurement. This is critical to successful legal representation in a dog bite claim.

  • February 13, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Good stuff as per usual, thanks. I do hope this kind of thing gets more exposure.

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