Insurers Really Don't Like Covering These Dog Breeds

Dog breed restrictions are common among home insurance providers. Is your pet’s breed on the list?

happy playing dogs in summer park
Updated June 6, 2024
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Owning a specific breed of dog might prevent you from accessing some home insurance policies. That’s because the insurer sees you — and your dog — as a liability. 

Here is a selection of some of the dog breeds that most often show up on “banned” lists. Whether or not these breeds deserve the bad rep is still up for debate.

But if you're hoping to keep more money in your bank account, the following breeds are likely not an option for you to save money on insurance.

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Rhodesian ridgeback

ScullyPictures/Adobe Rhodesian ridgeback

The always-independent Rhodesian ridgeback, which comes with a strong prey drive, is sometimes excluded from insurance policies. This may come as a surprise to Rhodesian ridgeback owners who feel they have the perfect family dog.

However, it’s likely this dog’s strong need for training and ardent protectiveness make insurance companies worry that the beautiful brown hounds pose a bite risk.

Bullmastiff

cynoclub/Adobe bullmastiff in studio

As one of the most obvious choices for a guard dog, it may come as less of a surprise that insurance companies are nervous to accept Bullmastiffs.

The Bullmastiff — which is a combination of a bulldog and a mastiff, as its name would suggest — is a large dog that can weigh up to 130 pounds. It requires attentive training from puppyhood and is not a great fit for first-time dog owners.

Doberman pinscher

Kate/Adobe Doberman dog beautiful portrait autumn park

If you own a Doberman, you likely know it can be a highly affectionate dog that is great with young children.

Unfortunately, these dogs have a reputation for being ferocious, to the point where it scares off insurance companies — whether this comes from real data or from the dog’s history as a military and police canine.

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Great Dane

kisscsanad/Adobe Studio shot of an adorable Great Dane dog

The most threatening thing about the even-tempered Great Dane is its imposing size. Great Danes stand up to 24 inches from the shoulder.

This is the most likely reason why these gentle giants end up on an insurer’s naughty list. There is a fear that they could destroy property simply by existing in their gargantuan state.

Pit bull

Mary Swift/Adobe happy blue and white Pit Bull Terrier mixed breed dog

If you understand a thing or two about dogs, or just watch the news from time to time, you know that no dog breed gets as much bad press as the American Pit Bull Terrier, more commonly known as a pit bull.

Interestingly, the American Kennel Club (AKC) does not recognize pit bulls as a dog breed, emphasizing that most dogs we would think of as pit bulls are in fact a mix of other dog breeds.

The fact that it is hard to determine which dog is a pit bull can make insurance-company bans a slippery slope, as any dog with identifying characteristics could be labeled a pit bull.

Akita

Yuuki Kobayashi/Adobe Akita

The Akita is a muscular dog originally from Japan. Like some other entries on this list, the Akita is a very large dog and can weigh up to 130 pounds.

Aside from being the target of insurance company bans, Akitas are also banned from certain geographic locations, such as Singapore.

German shepherd dog

Dyrefotografi.dk/Adobe German Shepherd

German shepherd dogs — as the AKC classifies them — are often seen by insurers as a liability. So, it might come as a surprise that they’re the fourth most popular dog breed in the U.S., beating out Australian shepherds, poodles, and beagles.

Unfortunately, they’re another breed with a reputation for being aggressive.

Chow Chow

Alexandra/Adobe red chow-chow dog portrait autumn falls

There are big dogs, and then there are Chow Chows — although it could be argued that their fluffy coats are the real reason for this breed’s stature.

As a dog that dates back to ancient China, Chow Chows have been loyal companions to humans for thousands of years. Perhaps too loyal, if you ask some cautious insurance companies.

Siberian husky

Maria Moroz/Adobe A charming dog of the Siberian Husky breed

The Siberian husky is a born work dog that gets along well with children and other animals.

It surprises many owners that some insurers ban Siberian huskies from homeowners insurance, although some companies state that the reason is the breed’s bite frequency.

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Cane Corso

Arina Miroshnikova/Adobe Italian cane corso puppy in the field

The Cane Corso is known for being a very keen watchdog, which is likely what makes insurance companies wary of the breed.

They can also easily weigh over 100 pounds, which makes them hard to manage.

Alaskan malamute

5second/Adobe Malamute dog isolated on white background

The Alaskan malamute is a cousin of the Siberian husky. Like huskies, the malamute is also a natural sled dog, although they can get aggressive in adulthood if they do not have early training in their early life.

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Tosa

acceptfoto/Adobe Japanese Mastiff Tosa

Although the Tosa is known for being quiet and warm with its own family, this large dog breed might act with aggression toward other dogs and sometimes people. A Tosa can weigh up to 200 pounds.

Boxer

Mary Swift/Adobe purebred Boxer dog outdoors

Boxers are well-known for being a muscular dog breed. This, combined with their protective nature, makes some insurance companies feel like these dogs are dangerous.

Aggression levels can be managed if Boxers are exposed to many different types of people and dogs from early on in childhood.

Rottweiler

Eudyptula/Adobe black and tan Rottweiler puppy

Rottweilers have a bad reputation. This fact often makes their owners marvel in misbelief — there are many cuddly Rottweilers out there. But insurance companies have noticed the stereotype.

And in truth, this muscular dog can be territorial.

Dogue de Bordeaux

Денис Ржанов/Adobe Bordeaux Dog

Another ancient breed, the Dogue de Bordeaux hails from France and is known for its loyalty and affection.

However, this dog is also cited as one of the most stubborn breeds that will suffer as a result of improper or inadequate training. These dogs find themselves on the occasional banned list.

Bottom line

nataba/Adobe happy dogs sitting side by side

If you’re a dog lover, you likely won’t let your insurance policy dictate which dog breed you own — you’ll simply prepare yourself financially and shop around for another company that will cover you, even if you have to pay a higher rate.

Do your research when searching for an insurance company. Some companies, like State Farm, don’t ask for dog-breed information in their questionnaires. So, if you are trying to find an insurance policy while also saving money, you still have options.

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Author Details

Rachel Cribby

Rachel Cribby is a personal finance writer from Canada. Once a terrible math student with a fear of numbers, Rachel has embraced the world of personal finance and is passionate about empowering others to do the same. She especially loves taking topics that seem complicated and boring and making them interesting and easy to understand.