American households keep close to 90 million dogs as pets. The number has been growing -- and so has an online obsession with dog shaming, along with coverage of horrifying dog attacks. As a result, cities, counties and landlords have moved to restrict some breeds.
And, home insurance companies may deny coverage when they consider a family dog to be a high risk, because dog bites account for more than a third of the money paid out in homeowners liability claims.
Psychology Today found these are the 14 dog breeds most often blacklisted by insurance companies. The dogs are presented in no particular order, and we follow with some advice on what to do if you own one of them.
14. Pit bull terriers
Pit bull-type dogs are overwhelmingly represented in media coverage of violent attacks. In January 2018, a 3-year-old in Oklahoma was mauled by a pit bull her father had bought from a friend days earlier. A month before that, a woman in Virginia was killed by her two pit bulls.
The issue with owning pit bulls is that they were bred to fight. Responsible ownership is particularly important, including extensive exercise, training and supervision at all times.
13. Staffordshire terriers
The Staffordshire terrier is considered a type of pit bull. These medium-sized dogs can be gentle and playful, but they can become destructive if left neglected, the American Kennel Club (AKC) says.
In 2016, a Staffordshire terrier escaped from its yard in the U.K. and attacked children on a playground. Nine kids were hospitalized with injuries, including deep puncture wounds. The owner was sentenced to four years behind bars.