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Old 16 June 2010, 01:34
okami1 okami1 is offline
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Restrictions on dog breeds in rental housing

Every house search I've done in CA, and the one that I am doing in AZ, I have encountered quite a few rental properties who inquire about the type of dog you own, and place a restriction on what breeds they will allow. Typically, it's Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans... you know, all the MEAN ones.

Now, I understand why this is happening. Nobody wants to live next door to the gangbanger who has 6 huge, crazed pits. That is a legitimate concern. But know the owner, know the dog. My girls are rescue mutts, Staffordshire and some other stuff too, so there is no real way to actually know their pedigree, but the answers I'm getting seem to point to not allowing MEAN dogs (that's the phrase I keep hearing). So if someone doesn't like those MEAN dogs, or are afraid of them, I get the short end of the stick even though my dogs are well-behaved and disciplined. So far, we've been turned down for 2 properties on that consideration alone. Life's not fair. Call the wahmbulance.

In some cases, the policy is mandated due to the requirements of the insurance companies, and is completely non-negotiable. I know we have some folks here who work in that industry, and might be able to shed some light on how the decisions are made about what types of dogs are to be restricted, and what statistics or rubric is being used to evaluate those breeds.

Anyone else have this experience when looking for housing? I have heard that it can vary from place to place. I'd be interested in hearing your guys' thoughts about it.
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Old 16 June 2010, 03:02
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A lot of places up here do the same thing. Many have gone to restrictions of "Only dogs under 30 lbs," (nevermind the fact that the little rat dogs are the ones who chew up everything and annoy all the neighbors with their incessent yapping- no offense to all you hamster-dog owners out there).

Unfortunately, it's "their property, their rules," so not a lot can be done about it. Of course, you can always be creative with how you list their breed (even more-so if they're mutt rescue dogs, since no one really has any clue what they really are). My old dog was a lab-shepherd mix, and the sweetest dog you'll ever meet. Everyone who met her absolutely loved this pooch. I got denied a couple apartments because of the Shepherd half, so I started telling them she was a lab-carlin mix (Carlins have a similar coloring to sheps). No one really knows what the hell a Carlin is (and neither do I really), but if it isn't on the "not allowed" list, no one really asks too many questions.
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Old 16 June 2010, 04:09
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Years ago, my landlord changed his mind once he saw how well-mannered my Siberian-mix was; of course, not all landlords are like that.
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Old 16 June 2010, 07:07
Bodiebot Bodiebot is offline
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I have run into the same problems but I always offer to bring the dogs both labs for the landlord. I can guarantee the landlord at some point gave in because they have heard the same story and said yes. Its because some A HOLE who lied about their dog and the dog was not trained or they did not take care of the dog as promised, like picking up after it etc.
I remind the landlord that my kids will do far more damage then my two dogs, and they will look at you with a blank look of the truth slapping them in the face. Then they revert to the rules they have to enforce and in the end they are the owners. Good Luck I feel your pain.
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Old 16 June 2010, 07:16
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Tell them the dog is a retired seeing eye dog that went blind itself...stuff like that.

P
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Old 16 June 2010, 07:18
redfax redfax is offline
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Tell them the dog is a retired seeing eye dog that went blind itself...stuff like that.

P
And your dog needs a seeing eye rat to guide him around! :D
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Old 16 June 2010, 07:41
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I own a 3 rental properties. My insurance companies charges a higher premium if I allow certain breeds to be on the premises. (pit bulls, and rots). Frankly I could care less other than it affects my bottom line if I insure them, or expose myself to an uninsured risk if I turn a blind eye to it. It's just business. You might try and work it out that you'll cover the difference in the premiums if you landlord is willing but it raises the pain in the ass factor so most would rather just get a tenant without the breed. I have never had a problem with a grown dog. Puppies are another matter I want the dogs to be at least a year old prior to moving in. Puppy are cute but can cost thousands in damage.

As I was reviewing my policy to respond I noticed that USAA now covers up to $10,000 of personal property destroyed during war outside the US while on active duty! I crushed my Garmin and my Leopold binos running around An Najaf in 2003. I wish I could have made that claim.
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Old 16 June 2010, 08:03
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The stupid, knee-jerk, reactionary, non-thinking people outnumber the rest of us by the tens of millions.
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Old 16 June 2010, 08:18
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Did you list them as Staffies? I lived in an apartment complex where my neighbor had a staffordshire and pits were on the no go list. THis place even did a dog interview so as long as they didn't put pit bull they were good.
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Old 16 June 2010, 08:32
Lagnaippe Lagnaippe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gpool View Post
I own a 3 rental properties. My insurance companies charges a higher premium if I allow certain breeds to be on the premises. (pit bulls, and rots). Frankly I could care less other than it affects my bottom line if I insure them, or expose myself to an uninsured risk if I turn a blind eye to it. It's just business. You might try and work it out that you'll cover the difference in the premiums if you landlord is willing but it raises the pain in the ass factor so most would rather just get a tenant without the breed. I have never had a problem with a grown dog. Puppies are another matter I want the dogs to be at least a year old prior to moving in. Puppy are cute but can cost thousands in damage.
x1
We own rental property as well. It's all about insurance costs and puppy damage. An extra $200-300 pet deposit doesn't cover the cost of replacing doors, carpet, or any other damage that is guaranteed with a puppy.
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Old 16 June 2010, 09:28
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nevermind, misread.
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Old 16 June 2010, 09:48
Zuzu Zuzu is offline
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You can get an insurance policy through 24PetWatch that covers damage done to a rental property up to $700 worth of damage. 1 claim only. If I recall it's only payable to the landlord.

http://www.24petwatch.com/petinsuran...nce-tenant.asp

You may also want to look into having your dogs certified as Canine Good Citizens. The test isn't hard, any moderately trained dog can pass it and it's sanctioned by the AKC.

I've had purebred Siberian Huskies for 14 years and rented a couple places where landlords were reluctant because of the breeds destructive reputation. That policy was helpful in changing their minds.
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Old 16 June 2010, 11:07
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I've had purebred Siberian Huskies for 14 years and rented a couple places where landlords were reluctant because of the breeds destructive reputation. That policy was helpful in changing their minds.
Our landlord permits dogs with the exception of certain breeds, most as named by someone above. I was a bit surprised to see Siberian Huskies on the prohibited list but was not aware that they had that reputation. On the other hand, neither Malamutes nor Samoyeds were on the list. Is their reputation any better? Issue came up this week because we recently had to put our 18 year old whatever it was to sleep and are considering a Malamute.

BTW, in addition to an extra deposit, we pay $25 a month additional rent for having a dog. Since I've been in this apartment for 8 years now, they ought to have a pretty substantial fund to address any damage, although there has been none.
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Last edited by AJG; 16 June 2010 at 11:19.
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Old 16 June 2010, 11:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okami1
Anyone else have this experience when looking for housing? I have heard that it can vary from place to place. I'd be interested in hearing your guys' thoughts about it.
We are renting in TX while selling (read = losing) on our house in TN. While searching, breed and size restrictions were commonplace. We have a cat AND a dog, so we had some impediments in our search.

Still, at least for TX (N. Dallas), it wasn't too difficult to find first and apartment and later a house that allowed for the two animals, one being a GSD....
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Old 16 June 2010, 12:02
Notahappyguy100 Notahappyguy100 is offline
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I dont allow my tenants to have dogs period. Everyones dog is of course "well behaved". But when you let them move in the opposite sometimes turns out to be true.

Conversley when I rent in CA I look for an apartment complex that also bans dogs. I have had several bad experiences with yapping dogs living next to me, and of course when I talked to the owners about it, it was my fault.
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Old 16 June 2010, 15:41
okami1 okami1 is offline
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Thanks for all the replies!

I list them as Staffordshire mutts, or just as mutts. I include pictures of them kissing babies and shit when submitting a rental app, and that has worked pretty well too. I didn't know about the whole AKC Canine good citizen deal, pretty cool. Thanks for the heads up.

NHG100, sorry you've had bad experiences with dogs. Not everyone's dog is well behaved. However, mine are. They have never done anything to any house I've lived in. I've had drunk friends cause more damage to a house than my dogs. It's like landlords think they're dinosaurs or something. I guess just making it a non-issue is easier as a landlord, but it sucks for all the cool people out there who do own dogs and who would make great tenants. What I'm looking for is a middle ground where the landlord feels comfortable and has a demonstrable behavior pattern in their tenant's dogs, and where the tenant has a decent place to live.

If the landlord is willing to do a dog interview, I'm pretty confident that we'd be G2G. They can sit and wait and shake and say hi and wag their tails and smile with the best of 'em. Agree with the comments about the puppies though. Those little fuckers will chew up anything. Mine are going on 4 years old now, and I have testimony from a couple of landlords that the dogs lived in their properties without a problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KSM
Many have gone to restrictions of "Only dogs under 30 lbs," (nevermind the fact that the little rat dogs are the ones who chew up everything and annoy all the neighbors with their incessent yapping- no offense to all you hamster-dog owners out there).
This is what I'm seeing too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SOTB
While searching, breed and size restrictions were commonplace. We have a cat AND a dog, so we had some impediments in our search.
Were you seeing places that would allow one, but not the other?
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Old 16 June 2010, 16:01
Princeps Belli Princeps Belli is offline
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I have two rescues. One happens to look very much like a type of a restricted breed, but she's not. How do I know? Dog lineage and labels can be confusing, and without a genetic test, there's no proof, so I tell the apartments exactly what she is. She is a mixed-breed.
I have lived four years in two rental properties with breed restrictions, and I have not had one single problem or question about the dog at all. I don't sneak around about it either. It is what it is.

If it ever becomes a problem, I will pay the $120.00 to get a genetic test that tests for certain breeds and only certain breeds. That'll be adequate proof. Most tests only have certain breed designations. Pits, staffies, boston terriers, and bull terriers can all be broken into the bulldog and terrier groups. Some of these tests will reveal bulldog heritage and terrier heritage, with some possible Pointer or something like that, but it won't show up as a particular mix. Landlords will likely not worry about fitting the pieces together. They're more worried about legal liability in allowing "aggressive breeds" onto a property. Anyway, hope that helps.
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Old 16 June 2010, 16:31
Andraste Andraste is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJG View Post
Our landlord permits dogs with the exception of certain breeds, most as named by someone above. I was a bit surprised to see Siberian Huskies on the prohibited list but was not aware that they had that reputation. On the other hand, neither Malamutes nor Samoyeds were on the list. Is their reputation any better? Issue came up this week because we recently had to put our 18 year old whatever it was to sleep and are considering a Malamute.

BTW, in addition to an extra deposit, we pay $25 a month additional rent for having a dog. Since I've been in this apartment for 8 years now, they ought to have a pretty substantial fund to address any damage, although there has been none.


I had a Malamute growing up. She was great with kids but any unknown male coming into the house was in danger of losing their vocal chords.

Like with any dog, it comes down to early socialization, training and lots of exercise IMHO.

My dad was a vet, and my overall opinion of dogs is this: if it fits in your purse it's most likely to be a fear biter, a football or cat food. If it's big enough to put a saddle on, it's more likely to be family friendly. However, I wouldn't get a Mal for an appartment...they love the outdoors too much.
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Old 16 June 2010, 16:56
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However, I wouldn't get a Mal for an appartment...they love the outdoors too much.
90% of all dog "problems" I saw at the shelter where I volunteered stemmed from either too big dog in too small space or not enough exercise. People really don't have a clue how much exercise a dog needs nor how much energy they have. I couldn't stand seeing Australian Shepherds/Cattle Dogs and other herding breeds that were completely uncontrollable because they spent their entire lives either in one room, or crated, and given a 15 minute walk twice a day.

Same with my Setter. SHe was dumped because she was "uncontrollable." They kept her in a crate 18 hours a day and she got 2 walks - one in the morning, one at night. This is a breed that can run 150 miles a day when birding.

I wish we had to license people to own pets. I really do. It's never the pets' fault, it's always the "owners."
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Old 16 June 2010, 17:22
okami1 okami1 is offline
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If I was a landlord and dogs had jobs, I'd rent to them. Screw the owners.
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