We realize that housing options are limited for pit bull owners because of breed restrictions. Unfortunately, breed restrictions are not illegal, and apartment complexes, management associations and landlords are able to make and maintain these types of limitations.
While this issue certainly affects owners of pit bulls and pit bull mixes, it also affects owners of other breeds. We have seen the following breeds grouped into housing restrictions: Akita, American Bull Dog, American Pit Bull Terrier, American or Bull Staffordshire Terrier, Briard, Borzoi Hounds, Bull Mastiff, Bull Terrier, Cane Corso, Chow, Dalmatian, Doberman Pinscher, Dogo, German Shepherd, Great Dane, Great Pyrenees, Husky, Irish Wolf Hound, Komondor, Malamute, Neapolitan Mastiff, Pit Bull, Rottweiler, Scottish Deerhound, Spitz, St. Bernard, Stafford Terrier (sic), Presa Canarios, Shar Pei, Toso Inu and Wolf-Dog Hybrid.
We are working toward possible solutions to this problem within the City’s Pit Bull Task Force, but it is an issue that remains an obstacle for many and will not be remedied overnight. In the meantime, we recommend seeking out apartments, duplexes or houses that are owned privately by one person or a small company (many of these are advertised on www.craigslist.org), because they are usually more open to negotiation and discussion.
Tips when talking to or meeting a potential landlord or property owner:
- Create a “resume” for your dog, with cute photos, age, temperament, training, behavior, vet contact info, etc.
- Share details of any formal training your dog has had (especially Love-A-Bull’s free training program)
- Highlight any special recognitions (Canine Good Citizen, etc.)
- Brag about having a clean rental record with properties in the past or receiving full damage deposits back (and of course, provide references who can attest to this)
- Stress your habits of responsible ownership (providing supervision, exercise, socialization, medical care, etc.) to the dog on a regular basis
- Educate the landlord on the actual risk factors of pets that could cause property damage: dogs that are NOT neutered or spayed; dogs that do not get enough exercise or stimulation to release energy; dogs that are left unattended by their owners for extended periods of time; dogs that are not treated as family members
- Offer to pay an increased pet deposit or secure rental insurance
- Call the dog a “mixed breed” if it is indeed a mix, as the breed label is sometimes more important to a landlord
- Offer to do a “meet and greet” with the dog and the landlord to see good behavior first-hand. If a “meet and greet” isn’t possible, send the cutest picture of you and your dog that you have, via e-mail, and perhaps a story about what the dog means to you and what he or she has added to your life. As we all know, inaccurate stereotypes of pit bulls are pervasive, and the “meet and greet” or family photo/compelling story can be an effective tool in dispelling these negative impressions and replacing them with the positive attributes of a dog that is truly treated like a family member.
- Tell them that you are members of Love-A-Bull, an organization committed to responsible pit bull ownership through education and advocacy, and point them to our website to learn more about our mission.
Apartment complexes that we have been told accept all breeds:
Realtors/Apartment Locators/Landlords who are familiar with the issue and can help with possible housing options:
And if you are a home-owner looking for homeowners’ insurance, please see our extensive list of pit-friendly companies on our Pit-Friendly page.