From handling North Carolina dog bite claims over the years, our lawyers have learned that people associate certain dog breeds with a reputation for dog bite attacks, while other breeds are rarely involved in maulings or express aggressive behavior. The distinction spreads wider than an individual's opinion: Some insurance companies won't offer coverage for homes that have aggressive breeds. Insurance companies have been known to cancel or not approve of coverage for homes that have pit bulls, German shepherds, Dobermans, and Rottweilers to name a few.
Every dog is capable of inflicting an injury. Animal behaviorists explain much of a dog's behavior is dictated by its owners, training and environment. However, some of a dog's personality originates genetically through breeding. While some notoriously aggressive dog breeds are commonly involved in dog attacks, other breeds rarely exhibit aggressive behavior. Proposed breed ban legislation in Dunn, NC caused an uproar in early 2012, and it came on the heels of Cumberland County's "bully breed" law proposal.
Here are examples of how breeding affects behavior
Border collies are known for being one of the dogs most likely to bite or nip a human. The reason? Collies have been trained for centuries to herd livestock – a process that involves nipping animals in order to group them together or move them.
Statistics show golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers are the two breeds least likely to bite. Retrievers have been bred to retrieve water fowl, the animals are bred to have a “soft mouth” that does not damage the hunter’s birds. This “soft mouth” makes the dogs less likely to bite. In addition, both breeds have been described as friendly, sociable, and non-aggressive dogs that are not wary of strangers.
The three other dogs that have been noted for their lack of biting are Chihuahuas, poodles, and Scottish terriers. While Chihuahuas are known for their aggression and their inability to get along well with children, this small breed of dog is not known for inflicting any sort of serious dog bite wound. Dog size does not matter in an attack and our Raleigh dog bite lawyers have consulted with victims of Chihuahua attacks. Scottish terriers are very loyal and family-oriented, despite their tendency to be stubborn. Poodles are highly trainable and very good with children.