Lesly Gregory
happy pit bull

You never want to pick between that perfect apartment and your furry, four-legged roommate, but apartment hunting as a dog owner can lead to just this scenario. Between state legislation, apartment complex rules and landlord preferences, your dog's breed might be restricted from living in a certain location.

Protection from dangerous dog breeds

You might be rolling your eyes at the thought of your sweet Fluffy being considered “dangerous," but this classification system is primarily why certain states and communities impose restrictions.

Breeds in this category are usually considered rambunctious and hard to manage, in addition to being dangerous. They're more likely to attack a person, another dog or destroy property. If a building has dog breed restrictions, the animal can't be in your apartment at any point, not even for a visit.

The most commonly banned dogs by state based on legislation tracking include:

  • Pit bulls
  • Rottweilers
  • German Shepherds
  • Wolf dogs (part wolf and part dog)
  • Presa Canarios (also known as a Canary Mastiff)
  • Doberman Pinschers

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Legislation and insurance companies put the pressure on

According to the ASPCA, breed-specific legislation is in place to decrease dog attacks on humans and other animals. More than 700 U.S. cities have authorized breed-specific laws, which ban certain dogs' access to specific locations. It's important you do your research before starting your search to ensure your dog is welcome in the areas where you'd like to live.

Insurance companies that cover an entire apartment building can also influence dog breed restrictions by simply refusing to cover places that allow all dog breeds to live there. The restrictions can help minimize personal injury and property damage claim costs, which keep premiums lower for building owners.

Landlord concerns go beyond risk of attack

In addition to legislation and insurance company pressure, a landlord may opt to restrict dog breeds based on a variety of factors such as age, weight or size. Some landlords might not want puppies in their apartment due to the increased risk of property damage. Others might not want large-breed dogs for similar reasons.

Noisier breeds could be restricted, as well as the number of dogs you can have in your apartment. Restrictions can even be in place simply because the apartment building doesn't have enough outdoor space for your dog. If your dog is accepted into your new apartment, be prepared to pay a fee for pet ownership.

Is there a loophole for a breed restriction?

Knowing whether or not your dog breed is restricted from living in certain buildings or areas can not only help you narrow down your search, but it can also give you time to possibly change a landlord's mind when it comes to what breeds they allow. There are a few options you can employ to help make your dog welcome in situations where the landlord might be wary of your breed.

  • Consider creating a pet resume. Include basic information like name, age, breed, weight, size and gender, along with a picture. Share whether you've gotten your dog spayed or neutered and what kind of obedience training they've gone through. Don't forget to include your contact information as well.
  • Set up a dog interview. Being able to see, in person, why your dog doesn't fit the stereotypes of the breed could make an impact.

While there's no guarantee these strategies will change any policies in place, there's no harm in trying, especially when you've found an almost-perfect place to rent (they just need to green light your four-legged friend first).

Once you've found the perfect apartment for you and your dog, all that's left to do is sign the lease and agree upon a move-in date. Moves are often stressful for your pet as well as for you, so make sure you take the proper steps to keep your pets as comfortable as possible when welcoming them into their new home.

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About The Author

Lesly Gregory

Lesly Gregory has over 15 years of marketing experience, ranging from community management to blogging to creating marketing collateral for a variety of industries. A graduate of Boston University, Lesly holds a B.S. in Journalism. She currently lives in Atlanta with her husband, two young children, three cats and assorted fish.

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