Nine Steps to Improve the Chances of Getting Liability Insurance for your Dog
How can you improve your chances of getting liability insurance for your dog on your homeowners or renters insurance policy? You are more likely to improve your chances if you do the following:
1 – Neuter and spay companion dogs as this can significantly reduce problems and deter some types of aggression found in in tact dogs.
2 – Keep your dog fit and happy to keep behavior problems at a minimum. Provide at least 30 minutes of continuous movement off lead where your dog can run and have tongue hanging out fitness. At the very least provide an on lead walk of two hours per day. You can split this into two one our exercise sessions. This keeps your dog happy and less likely to develop behavioral challenges.
3 – Get diplomas or certifications on your dog in, for instance, obedience classes or other specialized classes. As a behavior trainer of reactive and aggressive dogs, I offer clients certifications in three levels of classes titled Peaceful Transformations. The third level gives my signature as a seal of approval on the diploma for my confidence in the dog owner and the transformed dog. You might have something similar in your communities. Another option would be to get your dog’s CGC or Canine Good Citizen certification and take it one step further and get their therapy dog certification with Delta Society or Love On A Leash. The reason this would be important is that there are certain social skills required with these diplomas and certifications that make your dog a reliable companion and less of a risk.
4 – If an insurance company sends an inspector to your home, make sure you provide a fully fenced area where your dog cannot reach other people or animals passing by your home. This will increase your chances of coverage.
5 – Supervise your dog. Even if your dog is a great companion animal, children can be very irratic in their movements and intimidating to a dog.
6 – Be diligent in teaching adults and children how to approach your dog, how to interact with him or her, and you are always in charge of when interactions occur and when they end.
7 – Make your dog a part of the family and do not chain them outdoors. The inability to escape agitates the dog and could make them aggressive, a time bomb waiting to explode.
8 – Learn to communicate with your dog through understanding canine body language. You are responsible for your dog’s state of mind and well being and if you are anxious, nervous or angry, you could make your dog anxious, nervous or angry. Dog’s feed on your emotions. Your dog will know whether you are confident around strangers or not. If your dog is reactive, do not walk them near strangers and call in a professional if you have challenges you just cannot handle.
9 – Keep vaccines current, especially federally mandated rabies vaccine.
If your homeowner’s insurance excludes dog liability, then there are dog liability insurance companies that will insure your dog. Insurance companies are starting to exclude certain breeds of dogs from home owner’s policies and even cancelling policies depending on these vicious dog laws.