We have all heard the expression, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” meaning don’t make a judgment based on appearance alone.
Throughout the years, breed-specific legislation (BSL) and proposals have been introduced with the intention of reducing dog bites and dangerous dog behavior. These policies and restrictions are ineffective and punish responsible owners of well-behaved animals while failing to address real dangerous dogs regardless of breed.
Breed-specific restrictions and bans are also common in the homeowners/rental insurance industry. Many insurers commonly exclude liability coverage, increase premiums, or drop or deny coverage altogether based solely on the breed of dog owned. This type of discrimination not only harms responsible dog owners, but it’s also ineffective in addressing real issues related to dangerous dogs from an actuarial or public safety standpoint.
AKC Government Relations has worked on this issue for many years along with other concerned stakeholders. We are pleased that legislation to prohibit insurers from discriminatory practices based solely on the breed of dog is gaining traction. This year, bills addressing this practice have been introduced in states including New York, Massachusetts, and Arizona. Education is crucial to advancing these measures and drawing attention to the issue throughout the country. To help you advocate and support these efforts, we have put together a one-page resource sheet with talking points. For more information on breed-specific/dangerous dog Legislation generally, please visit our key issue page in AKC’s Legislative Action Center.