What is your list of disallowed dogs?

16 Replies

Hey everyone. I need to put together a list of disallowed dogs for my apartment building's website. I have a few in mind, but I don't want to leave any out. I think it would be easier to make a list that people can see instead of them constantly pleading their case that their German Sheppard or whatnot is really quiet and likes people. The last really good German Sheppard destroyed all the carpets and a door, went after and growled at everyone, and jumped into the lap of my handicapped tenant!


Make your life easier and do not allow pets. Tenants will do as they like if you give them any room at all.

You don't allow German Shepard's, fine they will simply bring in a mix breed Shepard.

Every breed has the capacity to be distructive...No pets.

I would worry more about if the tenants are taking proper care of their dogs than the breed of dog. Any dog of any breed can be either destructive or friendly and housebroken. It depends on their owners. I would be more strict about the owners when you accept a dog.

I allow dogs in my property but only if they provide documentation that the dog is spayed or neutered. I would not permit a puppy. Requiring spaying and neutering of all pets cuts down on messes indoors and demonstrates responsibility of the pet owners. It also prevents puppies in your property whom would likely be destructive.

And lastly we require that the tenant has renters insurance which would cover their breed of dog as an extra layer of protection before they sign the lease. They have to show us proof of the policy including the dog protection. Our homeowners insurance also covers all breeds of dogs.

As a dog lover myself, I understand that many people would not move into an apartment if they couldn't bring Spot with them.  Worse, if they are not allowed to have pets and still love the apartment, they often sneak the critter in, hoping that forgiveness is easier to get than permission.  I've seen statistics where only 40% of landlords allow pets, but 65% of tenant HAVE pets.  Duh.

Here's how we handle it for the 300+ units we manage: 

1. pet clause--$x per month extra in rent, varies depending on weight of pet.  Pet is named and described in lease and vaccination/licensing info for the pet is scanned into their file.

2. $x NON REFUNDABLE PET FEE (not deposit) at move in.

3. Check with several major insurance companies and get their list of 'dangerous breads'.  Yes, I know the bread is not usually the problem--the way they are raised by the owner is. 

However, with that list in hand, make it part of your application/qualification policy in writing.  Then you can blame the insurance company. 

Caution-- some areas are making it illegal to 'discriminate' against a certain breed of dog, but using the above strategy, and showing the owner's insurance won't allow it UNLESS there is a $1 to 3 million dollar rider for the dog on the renter insurance policy.  

All tenants are required to have and maintain renter's insurance indemnifying owner and management company. If they can't get the special clause (or will not pay for it) they will not be able to have the dog stay with them in the unit.

So long as you apply the standards universally, service animals of course excluded, it's all good.

Oh, we have a special pet rider, which is signed by all, that if the animal acts up, or it the animal's owner doesn't 'pick up', permission to keep the pet will be revoked.

Lastly, make sure you see at minimum a recent photo of the dog, or better, meet the dog in person.  How many times have I had an application that claimed the dog was a 'mixed terrier' and turned out to be a pitbull terrier.

Good luck.


Instead of going by breed, you could restrict by size and age, say nothing under a year of age, or over 30 pounds.

I don't allow anything over 35 pounds and allow up to 2 pets with an additional $500 pet deposit per pet.

For my recent SFR, we put the restricted breed list in the lease, and discussed with the tenants. The list was based on the restricted breed list from our insurance. It included pit bull, Doberman, Newfoundland, Mastiff, Akita, Chow Chow, Rotweiller. These restrictions did not apply for service dogs. Best of luck in your next steps!

Originally posted by @Thomas S. :

Make your life easier and do not allow pets. Tenants will do as they like if you give them any room at all.

You don't allow German Shepard's, fine they will simply bring in a mix breed Shepard.

Every breed has the capacity to be distructive...No pets.

 Easier said than done. I hear what youre saying, but a blanket no pets really lowers the quality tenant pool. Americans love their pets.

@Jennifer Rysdam   We do not allow the following dogs in our apartments.  Pit Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Terries, Rottweilers, German Shepards, Presa Canarios, Chow Chows, Doberman Pinchers, Akitas, Wolf-hybrids, Mastiffs, Cane Corsos, Great Danes, Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies. Mixed breed dogs that appear to be one of these listed breeds will not allowed.

We also limit pets to one (1) pet per apartment, but our units are 2bed/1bath units, 800-1000ft2, so we feel that's reasonable.  If we were rented single family houses, we might increase that to 2 total.  But the last thing I want is a zoo at my properties.

@Jennifer Rysdam This is a good question! I personally think that it is way easier to not allow them but in today's day and age that is a very foolish thing to do since it cuts down on your tenant pool dramatically. I believe @Marc Winter gave a very good in depth response. When I was with my management company we did something very similar except we also had an in person interview and weighing on the dog. We had so many people lie about the weight and take a "recent" picture of them and we see the dog in person and it's an 80lb Rottweiler not some "cute friendly little guy". Just make sure that you are strict, honest, consistent and up front about it. Yes people will complain and whine but make the insurance company the bad guy! Good luck and I know this can be a ruff(I'm sorry I had to lol) process, but it's very important you set standards!

There are plenty of quality tenants that do not have pets. It is a misconception that having a no pet policy will make it more difficult to find tenants. I find tenants that do not have pets are often better quality tenants since they do not want the mess and fuss of having pets messing up their homes.

However because the number of landlords that do not allow pets is rising those with pets are finding it much more difficult to find housing. As such it is possible to take advantage of pet lovers by charging a higher monthly rent. $50 or more per month can be charged to pet lovers. Problem with any tenant having a pet is that they will lie and say it is a emotional support animal to avoid any additional pet fees.

No animals or people allowed who  are aggressive or destructive to people, animals, or property. There are plenty of aggressive/destructive 20 pound dogs, and many calm well-behaved individuals that happen to belong to a stigmatized/prejudged group. 

If you're going to prejudge an entire group of individuals, the most predictably problematic group are puppies. Puppies chew stuff up and pee on things, and their personalities are still fluid. My dog's temperament changed (to more aggressive) after 10 months. 


@Jennifer Rysdam ,

This question should be for your insurance company, not bp!  Mine specifically stated

No pit bull or pit bull mixes.   We require all are spayed/neutered.    What you allow/don't  allow I think should be tied to the durability of the units,  and have the pet fee to match! 

Any dog over 25 pounds, any pit or pit cross.  We added the pit criteria because there was always someone who asked about their pit bull even with the weight restriction.

I wouldn't use the breed to determine if you will rent to them or not.  Plenty of pit bulls, rottweilers, dobermans, etc. are well behaved, friendly dogs.  If you allow pets, do it on a case by case basis.  Meet the dog, check their current residence to see the condition, call their vet, etc.  If your insurance won't cover a certain breed, you can require the tenant get their own insurance to cover the dog.  

To me, discriminating against a breed of dog is the same as discriminating against a person because of race.  

@Jennifer Rysdam Sounds like you have experienced pets who have caused excessive damage and disturbed tenants. Why allow dogs at all?

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