Research & Policy Think Tank


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Home Insurance Legislators Unanimously Agree to Put Science Ahead of Fear When It Comes to Dog Owners

On Friday, Nov 18, 2022 the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) unanimously agreed to adopt a model law that bars insurance companies from using breed restrictions to deny homeowners and renters liability insurance. This is important for three reasons. First, it is a step forward in creating more equitable housing and inclusive communities, as these restrictions are a form of proxy discrimination. It is also highly likely that every state that adopts this legislation will see a reduction in

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Are Some Dog Breeds Grouchier Than Others?

A closer look at one of the most striking findings from the new study out of MIT and Harvard New, state of the art genetic analysis found no significant connection between breed and agonistic thresholds among a big sample of pet dogs. Nor did it find any connection between genetics in general and this particular personality factor, which the researchers defined as “how easily a dog is provoked by frightening, uncomfortable or annoying stimuli.” What the project, called Darwin’s Ark,

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Animal Shelters

Behavioral incompatibilities, not behavior problems

“It’s not a problem for the dog; it’s a problem for the human,” is among the first mottos regarding so-called dog “behavior problems” I learned as a novice dog trainer. The famed behaviorist, Dr. Ian Dunbar, would often begin a lecture on behavior modification with some version of this pronouncement. But even though he acknowledged the negative implication of the term, he would continue to use it because it’s such a common language phrase. Experts do this all of the time,

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NEW INFOGRAPHIC Preventable Factors in Dog Bite-Related Fatalities

In 2013, the “Co-occurrence of potentially preventable factors in 256 dog bite-related fatalities in the United States (2000-2009)” was published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. As the culmination of over a decade of research, it is the most comprehensive and reliable analysis of dog bite-related fatalities, focusing on multiple and verifiable data points. The goal was to identify co-occurring factors that might give us concrete insight into preventing DBRFs. We’ve broken down those findings and their

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