The 10 dogs most likely to bite humans and the importance of public liability insurance

Digby Bodenham By Digby Bodenham

Dogs are a man’s best friend, but like all good mates, sometimes they don’t get on. Figures from Liverpool police – the city is the second worst for dog bites – reported in The Sun, have revealed the 10 dog breeds most likely to bite humans.

While there are some breeds on the list that are stereotypically seen as aggressive, such as Pit Bulls, Rottweilers and Dobermans, there are a few hounds in the top 10 that might surprise you.

And it’s not a large, muscular dog at number one, it’s the tiny but feisty Jack Russell Terrier.

  1. Jack Russell
  2. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  3. Pit Bull
  4. German Shepherd
  5. Rottweiler
  6. Dachshund
  7. Boxer
  8. Great Dane
  9. Doberman Pinscher
  10. Siberian Husky

Why you need public liability inurance

Fortunately, serious dog bites are rare. Only 2% of dogs show aggression towards other people on a weekly basis, according the PDSA’s PAW Report 2015, which surveyed 13,057 dog owners.

But even if your dog has never bitten anyone, it only takes one snap of the jaw to land an owner in hot water. If your dog injures someone you are legally responsible and the victim can claim damages that, depending on the injury, can run into millions of pounds.

That’s why it’s important to have pet insurance that includes public liability cover. It pays out if your dog causes any harm to the public, that could be by harming livestock, destroying property or running into the road and causing a traffic accident.

Most insurance firms will offer public liability as a part of a pet policy or as an add-on.

Fairer inurance

At Bought By Many we believe groups of people with specific insurance needs should get a fairer deal on their insurance policies. Big companies can offer their staff discounts on things like health insurance, so why can’t hundreds of Jack Russell owners get cheaper policies?

We’re making that a reality. We’ve created groups for all of the dogs on the list (apart from Pit Bulls) and have negotiated discounts with insurers for our members ranging from £15 cashback to 20% off. All of our offers include public liability, so you know you’re covered. It’s free to join Bought By Many, just click on the breed name to be taken its group.

If the breed you own isn’t on the list you can find more of our groups here.

If liability cover is one of your top priorities you might want to consider a policy from Animal Friends Basic, it’s the cheapest provider we are aware of that includes public liability, although we can't offer a discount for it.

You can learn more about why you need pet insurance here. We’ve also written a guide to the 10 best pet insurance policies for dogs.

Bad dogs or bad owners?

We don’t believe particular breeds are necessarily dangerous, as the saying goes, “there's no such thing as a bad dog, just a bad owner”. Many people might not expect Dachshunds to be one of the dogs most likely to bite humans, but they’re sixth on the list.

For some of the others in the top 10 it’s probably not a coincidence that the breeds are athletic and energetic. If owners don’t give them enough exercise or attention they may become frustrated and there’s a chance they’ll lash out or become hostile in certain environments. Jack Russells aren’t bred to be dangerous but it might be that some owners aren’t giving them the care they deserve.

Because of their high-strung nature, insurance for Jack Russells is important. They can become possessive and are feisty and wilful, which can cause them to harm themselves or others.

Despite Jack Russells claiming the top spot on the list, we’ve found they are the cheapest breed to insure.

The PDSA PAW Report also found that 29% of owners say having a dog is harder work than they thought, which suggests some might be struggling to give their pet enough attention.

If your dog is well trained and well loved it is far less likely to nip anyone, but they are animals and you can never be 100% sure how they will react to a situation. Making sure your pet insurance includes public liability means you’re protected from facing a huge bill as a result of a dog bite claim.

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