Would you rent to a Rottweiler owner

17 Replies

We have a 2 bedroom upstairs apartment for rent in Superior WI, and a potential tenant is asking if we would accept renting to a 1 year old Rottweiler owner.

Would like to get others perspective on this, as my first instinct is "no ways"

The one and only objection to Rotweillers, pit bulls or any other "dangerous breed" is potential insurance ramifications. ive had dogs of both breeds as have many of my friends and family and as long as they arent raised to be mean i see them as fantastic dogs.

Hi Mario Alexandrou. To @Ryan Tuleja ‘s point about insurance, I would suggest you call your insurance company first and ask them for a list of dangerous/restricted breeds. My primary concern would be making sure that the insurance won’t get cancelled because of the Rottweiler. If convenient, I would meet the dog because I’d want to know what type of personality it has, and I would probably also request that the tenant procure additional insurance for the dog in case it bites anyone and provide documentation to show it. All this assumes I was allowing pets (which I have done in the past, but have decided is not worth the hassle anymore).

Id have no problem. I have a pitbull and Ive rented to owners of dangerous breeds. I can usually command a higher rent to rent to them

Who's in the downstairs unit? How would they feel about it? If it was a single family home with a private yard/dog run then maybe it would work. But with multifamily, you need to take into consideration the shared spaces, including how noise travels.

Make sure the owner/handler is responsible. Do they know how to properly care for the pet/animal and will they do so? Do they have renter's insurance that will cover actions of the dog? The dog is still rather young... what about chewing, barking and toilet training? How new are the furnishings in the dwelling? Get a bigger security deposit. And as others said, see how having dogs on the property might impact your insurance coverage.


Most insurance carriers will not accept this type of breed under your landlord insurance, so please check there first. 

Secondly, ask for vet records, have the dog bitten anyone before or been aggressive, meet the pet and ask them to get pet insurance for an extra level of protection and to be named as additionally insured on the policy.

I would accept the tenant if they meet your other requirements to rent and they have purchased a renters insurance policy which includes the dog and provide you with proof that the dog is spayed or neutered.

As a dog lover, I have a soft spot for all of them.  As a landlord, I say why take the risk of having a "dangerous breed" when there are other options?  I know plenty of people that have pitbulls, rotweilers, etc. and they can be very sweet dogs who are nice to strangers.  That is until they get cornered, poked with a stick by a teenager, played with too aggressively by a toddler, etc. 

In my area there was a local business owner who had a really sweet pitbull, nice to everyone, always wagging his tail.
One day a couple of 10 year old kids were walking by and decided they thought it would be funny to poke the dog with a stick.  Long story short, the dog's fight or flight animal instinct kicked in and he attacked one of the kids, almost killing him (lots of plastic surgery, time in the ICU).  The dog was ordered to be put down and the business owner got sued by the kid's parents and ended up losing his business.

Why take the risk?

Without knowing how the building is set up or built, here's another angle to consider. The other tenants.

Having a big dog will intimidate other tenants in the building as well as their guests. If it barks, which we can assume it will, then you're pissing off your other tenants and neighbors. So in addition to what the others have said, you run the risk of having higher tenant turnover. Depending on the actual construction itself, a dog like that running around upstairs will probably be heard in the unit below, hence them having more reason to leave. 

I'm moving out of my current residence in the not too distant future, and it's partially due to this reason. The only difference being the dogs are small, yet still just as annoying :/ 

I have a mal-shepherd mix that I've competed with in PSA (protection sport association).  I stopped by and asked my insurance company and they told me they wouldn't provide me coverage if I wasn't already a customer simply because he was trained to bite.  And if he ever bites someone then they will drop me.

But the more I've worked my dog the more I've learned that I'd rather have a well trained dog than just a pet when it comes to larger breeds.  When a dog bites it releases endorphins and unless trained to let go you almost have to pry them off a bite.  Also a well socialized dog is a must, I take mine with me to Home Depot and Lowes all the time along with Pet Smart.  The more he's around people the better.  I can go anywhere off leash (usually have a small tab just dangling) and he stays right on my side.  Thankfully my dog loves people, especially kids and isn't dog aggressive in the slightest but I still watch him like a hawk when around a bunch of kids to make sure he doesn't get spooked/freaked out and do something stupid.

Having said all that, I'd still be worried...lol  I've had people be afraid to be on the same isle with me.  One lady screamed in Academy Sports because she turned the corner and saw him, she was bit at a young age.  

All dogs are dangerous. Small dogs tend to be skittish and more prone to biting. Larger dogs tend to be protective and will attack if they feel threatened. Some breeds have a reputation for killing children.

No owner of a dog should ever trust their dog around strangers.

As a landlord if you want to protect yourself don't allow any dogs. If you want to protect your property don't allow pets.

With a no pet policy you don't have to choose.

Talk to your insurance company.  If it's not an issue, then rent the place. If it's an issue, then don't.  I've grown up around dogs - be sure you have a pet deposit (especially if it's a one year old dog).  Be sure your tenant has insurance as well.

I have a renter that has one but it's a sweet dog so I do not mind even though my insurance says no. But honestly from here on out I am going with no pets period. I find that every time I rent to people with pets the turn around renovation after they leave is far more work. I'd much rather spend an extra week or two finding renters with no animals. If they want a pet I tell them to get a fish tank haha. 

I am a landlord and a dog lover. 

but when it comes to my investment, why take the chance. Put in a pet policy that will protect you as the landlord. Have an aggressive breed restriction and a size restriction. Male the size restriction small enough that it will eliminate large dogs.....say 15 inches to shoulder heights. 

Once you have a call or letter from an attorney because the nice rottweiler that you played with for 3 minutes during the screening process has chewed up little Johnny down stairs or more likely little Johnny's annoying cat, it will not matter how gentle you perceived this rottweiler to be. 

Protect yourself and do not deviate from the breed or size restriction.