Who Let the Dogs In? Navigating Around Breed Restrictions | Herepup
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Who Let the Dogs In? Navigating Around Breed Restrictions

Are you planning to move out, but you’re worried your dog might not be welcome in certain apartments? Or have you already given up on finding a pet-friendly apartment that would allow bringing your furry best friend along?

The bad news is it may be a bit tricky to find a home with some specific breeds. The good news, however, is that there are more options out there than you think. So, sit your pup next to you as you carry on reading, because this concerns both of you.

What are breed restrictions?

Breed restrictions are rules that prohibit certain dog breeds or breed mixes from certain rentals. Essentially, breeds widely considered aggressive are found on multiple restricted lists, and not just for their temperament. There are various other reasons a pet might be forbidden from a property, like the pet’s weight or height.

While some people may be open-minded about all pet breeds others may be more biased. Often, landlords want to avoid liability and potential damage to a property, so they impose breed regulations. Additionally, insurance companies often require breed restrictions when insuring multifamily homes.

Most commonly banned breeds in rental apartments are the following:

  • Akitas
  • Cane Corsos
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • German Shepherds
  • Great Danes
  • Malamutes
  • Mastiffs
  • Rottweilers
  • Staffordshire Terriers
  • Wolf Hybrids

Does this mean my dog is aggressive?

By no means. Common breed restrictions are usually based on stereotypes surrounding large or strong dogs. As dog parents, we understand that this does not apply to every pooch. That being said, many apartment buildings do come with strict breed restrictions, which makes it very difficult for renters with pets to find a home.

Nowadays activists and animal organizations are fighting hard to change harsh restrictions, but there’s still a long way to go. For one, your furry friend might be a cocktail of breeds but could still get a ‘no’ depending on the breeds that make the mix. Which is why testing your pet’s breed and understanding pet policy is fundamental.

Then why ban them?

Long story short, it’s easier for landlords and property management to avoid legal conflicts and complaints in case incidents do arise in their apartments for rent. This way, minor incidents and problems, like barking or unleashed dogs left unattended are simpler to avoid.

Before you make a move to change homes, make sure you know the breed or breed mix of your four-legged roommate. It’s important to be ready for negative scenarios and do your research before you apply for a property.

Sometimes, pet-specific legislation within a certain geographical area is the reason why you might get turned away when applying for a home. Typically, this type of restriction is set in place as a preventive measure, aimed at breeds that are thought to have a tendency to attack.

Of course, this goes beyond the authority of a landlord or insurance company, so before you switch cities, read about its breed regulation policies.

Can we work around it?

The key here is to not get discouraged and keep looking. There are several ways you can convince a landlord that your dog is not aggressive and deserves a chance. Since most biases are based on stereotypes, this is the chance to make your case.

Think big – don’t just show the landlord photos and videos as evidence of your dog’s good behavior. Throw in training certificates or behavioral class diplomas, as well as vet records to prove that everything is up to date.

Another option is to go the extra mile and set a meeting between the landlord and the potential furry renter. Think of this as your pet’s interview – this way you can best show that your dog is well-behaved and does not pose a threat.

It’s essential that your future landlord understands that your pet is no danger to the neighbors and property. So, actively appeal to their good side and feel free to use the “puppy eyes” technique on them.

A good way to buy peace of mind is by… well, paying for it. You can offer to increase the rent amount as part of your dog’s share and you might want to consider throwing in pet insurance to be on the safe side. Basically, you can offer to secure pet insurance on top of Renter’s Insurance and be covered in case an incident occurs.

At the end of the day, pets are family, but it’s our responsibility to train them and understand there are people who might not see things the same way.

While some communities are stricter with their regulations, there is hope in finding a place to call home for both you and your dog. Keep looking: there are properties that allow pets to roam free or are willing to forego restrictions, for a deserving pup.


Paul is an entrepreneur and marketer for the pet industry who works out of Chicago. He teaches people how to break free of the 9-to-5 grind by blogging for a living. Currently, Paul runs the HerePup along with the team of dedicated experts – so you know he has the knowledge to help you make the right choice.

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