Own A Pit Bull? Why Stereotypes Could Be Costing You Money

sleepy pit bullLet’s face it, we all know stereotypes are bad, but that doesn’t stop people from believing in them. In particular, people buy into the horror stories about pit bulls being vicious, aggressive, and prone to attacking and mauling dogs, people and children. The sad truth of the matter is this, pit bulls aren’t inherently a vicious breed, nor or they a bad dog.

People, on the other hand, are the bad party in this scenario, mistreating their dogs or raising them to fight and be aggressive. Because pit bulls get a bad reputation due to the overly glorified media horror stories, pit bulls get a fairly rough lot in life. Many of them end up in shelters and don’t get adopted because of their supposed reputation and get put down shortly thereafter.

It’s not just shelters and media who have been building this into a bigger problem, but the insurance company as well. Many insurance providers will not cover a pit bull owner, or charge them extra for owning, what they consider to be, a “dangerous breed.”

The Dangerous Dog and the Problem of Insurance

While the exact stipulations will vary from state to state, the plain and simple fact is this, most insurance companies simply don’t want to deal with pit bulls. While there are other dogs that also make the list of “dangerous breed” Such as Chows and rotties, pit bulls are by far the most discriminated against breed. The reasoning on behalf of the insurance company is pretty straightforward, the average cost of a dog bite claim is just under $30,000, a hefty sum by any means. The problem is that the insurance company also expects a pit bull to be aggressive, claiming it to a matter of when and not if.

For owners that have a pit bull, it’s important that you take the time to go over your homeowners insurance policy carefully, especially when it comes to a breed that could be considered dangerous. Often times, they’ll sneak in what is and isn’t covered under your policy and you typically won’t find out until something has already happened.

It’s not Just Homeowners

The stigma of pit bulls doesn’t stop at your insurance policy, you might find that you’re denied a lease as well. Many landlords and apartment complexes (even the supposedly pet friendly ones) will refuse to let you sign a lease if you’ve got a pit bull in tow. If they do allows you to bring your dog, you might be facing additional monthly charges such as a premium for rent, or even higher dog fee. While their mentality is to protect their other tenants, this can have a huge impact against you when you’re trying to find a place to live.

That said, it’s still important to have a conversation with your landlord, which can sometimes be all the difference you need. While they might be hesitant, most landlords (and even the insurance company) understand that the character of the owner is just as important as the breed of the dog. Having a dog that’s well trained with a good temperament that lives in a positive environment can make all the difference as to if you get approved for your lease or not.

It takes a stronger person to be a pit bull owner, especially with all the hype and stigma that’s placed on these poor pups. Pit bulls are not inherently bad, any more than any other breeds go. When you purchase a dog that has the potential for aggression, you train them properly and socialize them regularly, which helps to remove that problem. Even a poodle can become Kujo if it’s not raised right, pit bulls are no different. If they’re raised with love, care, and proper training, your pit bull can be the friendliest dog in town.

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+Neil Kilgore is the Jack (Russell) of all trades at Greenfield Puppies in Lancaster Pa. He regularly blogs about dogs, breeders and puppies on the Greenfield Puppies website.