Texas Living

Everything’s Bigger in Texas, Including Our Dogs!

By Kristy Alpert 2.22.16

Everything’s bigger in Texas — including our dogs! Owning a big dog is a big responsibility, and although these lovable giants have hearts as big as their frames, their grand sizes tend to create some unique liabilities.

Even though the biggest danger of owning any dog is the risk of it biting someone — the Insurance Information Institute estimates dog bites and other dog-related injuries make up more than one-third of homeowners insurance liability claim dollars paid out in 2014 — simple training and precautions can keep your dog from being a liability and make it a happy and healthy member of your Texas family.

From Great Danes to Great Pyrenees, here are the dos and don’ts for bringing home your gentle giant.

  • Do sign up immediately for obedience training.
  • Don’t discriminate on size when it comes to socializing your dog with other dogs. Unless your dog park prohibits it, let your dog interact with breeds of all sizes to avoid fear or aggression with smaller or larger breeds.
  • Do educate yourself about your dog’s breed.
  • If your puppy is older than a few months, don’t wait to take your dog out in public. Introduce your dog to new people daily to get him or her used to meeting new people. Many dogs that do not have sufficient experience with strangers may bite out of fear.
  • Do secure a fence around your dog’s play area to avoid liabilities.
  • Don’t teach your dog aggressive games like tug-of-war or chasing after you; focus instead on fetch and other nonthreatening games.
  • Do spay or neuter your dog. Fixed breeds tend to be less aggressive and can reduce your potential for an insurance liability.
  • Don’t leave your child with your dog unattended, no matter the size.

Don’t leave your gentle giant out in the cold this winter; keep them warm and cozy with these cold-weather pet-care tips.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2016 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance