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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry this is long. My bf recently got a job in a new city and we will be moving soon into an apartment with our 1 year rescue dog. She is around 35lbs and is a pitbull mix (appears to be pointer perhaps?) but doesn't look full pitbull, just has some traits. Obviously I am afraid of finding a place that will allow her, since every place has a "no aggressive breeds" clause. She is the sweetest, meekest, mildest girl, very well behaved.

I spoke with an apartment locator about the issue and he said it would be best to simply call her a "mutt" or mixed breed on the application, as nobody would allow her if she was a pitbull. Several people told us to do this. My fear is that even if we got away with it, SOMEBODY would complain about her being a pitbull and we would either get kicked out or be forced to rehome her(and that is an option I pretty much refuse to take).

We plan on getting letters from both the vets we've used, since they both adore her and go on about what a sweetheart she is. We also plan on enrolling her in obedience training now that we are able to do so (she had been hit by a car and was recovering). We figure this all would be helpful having professional recommendations that she is a well behaved, non aggressive dog.

Renting a house is not out of the question but is difficult to find and afford in the area we need to be. We are very responsible dog owners and we did not plan on getting a dog until we owned our own house, but if she didn't come with us she would have been put to sleep and she is the most wonderful pup, we are very happy to have her in our life.

Any opinions or experiences to help with here? Could an apartment kick us out or force us to get rid of her after we'd already moved in, even though they couldn't PROVE she was a pitbull (again, she is only a mix)? I would prefer to be upfront with them about it but everybody keeps telling me not to because we will never get allowed in.

Would appreciate any input!
 

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I would tell any potential landlord that you have a mutt that looks like she has terrier in her. I would ask him to look at your dog to see if he has any concerns that she may fall into a prohibited class. That way, you clear the hurdle up front. Otherwise you risk drama and hard decisions down the road. It would likely help if you passed the Canine Good Citizens test or even a therapy dog test designed to assist you in visiting nursing homes and the rest. When I rented with too many dogs, I also offered to pay and extra $1,000 damage deposit that I would get back if my dogs didn't wreck anything. That MAY help with a smaller rental unit, but obviously not in a complex.

There are also companies that will ensure pit bulls and the like as a separate and dedicated policy. I think "X" insurance does this. It isn't free, but it isn't awful either. If some landlords know that the dog has a "stand alone" liability policy, it may help.

Good luck! Been there done that! Never parted with a dog along the way, but sometimes it was hard.
 

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If you can, post a picture of the dog. If she doesn't look too breed typical, too 'bully', you might be able to get away with calling her an unknown mixed breed.

Some places though will refuse any bully breed, including the English Bulldog and Boston Terrier, go figure.
 

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My apartment bans pitbulls yet I see loads of pit mixes. Obviously, people just said it was a lab or whatever mix and just left off that the mix is pit even though it is pretty obvious. Guess the landlords were more interested in getting more rent money than what kind of mutt people have.
 

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Could an apartment kick us out or force us to get rid of her after we'd already moved in, even though they couldn't PROVE she was a pitbull (again, she is only a mix)?
Generally, Yes. Depends on how the rules and the lease are written but most places that ban "aggressive breeds" include the words "or mix" and/or "pit bull TYPE" dogs. And it is usually at the judgment of the complex manager.
You'd be surprised what people think is a "pit bull" ; often any dog with a blocky head or brindle coloring is a pit in the minds of apartment managers.

Renting a house is not out of the question but is difficult to find and afford in the area we need to be.
I'd suggest trying as hard as possible to find a suitable house. Another option to look at (depending on your area) is duplexes and small stand-alone apartment buildings. Many of these are owned by small time landlords as opposed to the management companies more common for apartment complexes. An independent landlord will have the discretion to allow specific dogs. You can show her training record, let him/her meet the dog and offer to pay additional damage deposit and provide proof of renter's insurance which includes personal liability insurance. State Farm is one company without breed restrictions (unless the local laws require it) and it really isn't very expensive to have high liability insurance AND its really important for any dog owner, not just bully breed owners.

Try contacting a bully breed rescue group near where you are moving and ask if they know of bully-friendly housing. One of my city's rescue groups compiled a dog/cat friendly apartment list in a spreadsheet. Not all are bully friendly or even dog friendly, but it gives people a place to start.

If its an urban area, try posting in the housing wanted section on craigslist.

Edit to add:
Also, if you move into someplace that allows pits by virtue of not banning them (as in, there is no mention of any dog types at all), then make sure to have it clearly written into your lease that your dog is explicitly allowed. I've heard of people running into problems when a new management company takes over and adds an "aggressive breeds" or even "no dogs" rule and since their leases didn't specifically allow their dogs they were stuck. Some local laws are more tenant friendly than others, but it is still a pain (and possible expense) to fight things like that if you don't have the lease on your side.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the tips and info, very helpful, the part about the insurance is good and I didn't know this was available.

I think it would be best to allow the managers to meet her in person, she's one of those "Hi I'm so adorable and sweet and shy and I will love you" kind of dogs(plus she looks much less threatening in her pink cute pink bandana/collar/leash) that I think it would be better to SHOW them what kind of dog she is rather than just say "pitbull" over the phone and just not mention breed unless they do.

If we had them sign some sort of paper saying they had met the dog in person and she was approved to live there, and then somebody complained about her being a "pitbull", would they still be able to kick us out?

I put up an ad on CL for private places for rent (not the big apartment complexes). It's so hard to search those on your own with all the spam but I've gotten several emails already for some places that seem good *fingers crossed*

Here are a few photos of her. Like I said, some people say "Oh she's a pitbull" and some people, even on trips to the vet and Petsmart, ask us what breed she is. She looks alot lets pitbull when her mouth is closed and her ears are back as they usually are, but most of the photos I have her ears are up. What do you guys think? Does she just scream pitbull?



shy face






 

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Um, yeah, that's a pit bull mix.

Definitely get her CGC. Put together a "doggy resume" listing her training and CGC and any positives you can think of for her. Don't bust in right away with I HAVE A PIT BULL, start with "I have a dog" and move from there.

Don't try to play this off as "oh, what, pit bull? I have never heard of such a thing, what is this pit bull of which you speak?" you'll just end up getting kicked out.

Here are some tips from a pit bull specific forum on renting with pit bulls that are sensible.
 

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Does she just scream pitbull?
Yeah, at least to the average Joe that is all they are going to see. I see pit/bully breed for sure in her mix.

If we had them sign some sort of paper saying they had met the dog in person and she was approved to live there, and then somebody complained about her being a "pitbull", would they still be able to kick us out?
It would probably depend on what your lease says and whether the apartment rules specifically DISALLOW pits or if the rules just don't specifically ALLOW pits. If the rules say no pits, you probably can't get an exception to it and if you do get an exception, you can run into the problem of WHO has the authority to give that exception (property manager? Property owner? ) A lot of it runs back to insurance coverage and so even if a manager is okay with it, the owner might not be because his insurance might have breed restrictions.
But if the rules don't mention dogs at all (or just say something like "dogs under 50 lbs allowed") then having a lease that says "one male cat city license #xxxx and one female mix breed dog city license #xxxx are permitted residents, additional animals to be allowed under regulations in place at the time of requested occupancy" or something along those lines can help.
 

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Do up a doggy resume. Include that she is a pitbull mix, rescued, has no issues, will not be left outside unattended, is housebroken and that you intend to take classes with her and do something like therapy work or obedience (assuming that's true). Also look into pet insurance, some have rental damage coverage as part of the plan. Use the vets as a referance as well. Sell her and you as a great tenant - point out that you are willing to do minor work if that's true, that you are looking for long term housing situations due to having a hard time renting with pets.

I wouldn't hide the fact that she's a pit mix, but I wouldn't broadcast it either. You could simply say she's a rescue that appears to have some pitbull type breeds in her mix.

Be polite, say what you're looking for (house, apartment.... how big, what features you'd like) and then just go through the rental ads and send it to every ad that you find. This saved us a lot of time, since we didn't have to phone a ton of places asking IF they'd take dogs. In the end we had a landlord who normally did not rent to pet owners show us 4 places. Had any of them been totally separate units we'd have rented, but most were an upstairs/downstairs with shared yard which didn't work for us.
 

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Hey-

I am actually having the same dilemma.

I live in Minneapolis, and it isn't just the apartments that have breed restrictions but the rented houses as well. And I have a pure American Pitbull Terrier named Zoey. She's sweet and loveable but she's still a pit.

If I were you, I would either find a relaxed landlord, or call your dog a mutt. The term "aggressive breed" is SO broad and allows for some flexibility. If your lease doesn't have caveats about which breed the landlord considers aggressive, go for just calling your pup a mutt. A truly more honest approach would to tell landlords that she is a rescue, since rescues generally have more temperament troubles.

If, however, the lease says "no pitbull terriers of any kind" or the like, then find somewhere else. My father is a landlord, and while he loves Zoey, he still won't let people rent his places with any type of pitbull and has that stated in his lease.

Has your pup been socialized with other dogs and small children too? Pitbull breeds aren't known for being scary and mean to everyone, just to things they aren't familiar with and generally with other dogs and needs to be socialized in order to prevent aggression. This is why getting your Good Citizen certification is a really good idea. A therapy dog cert is an even better idea. I also have a ridiculously large black lab--101lbs, bigger than me, super deep bark, scares a lot of people. He is also a pansy and lovely, but landlords don't see this when they look at him. He has his Good Citizen certification done and is working toward his therapy dog certification, and it really has gotten us into a lot of houses to rent. Sometimes, if you have a therapy dog, you can even rent places that don't allow dogs at all.

I hope this helps and good luck. I'm going to meet my new landlords today in fact to sign my lease and discuss Zoey!
 

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Um, yeah, that's a pit bull mix.

Definitely get her CGC. Put together a "doggy resume" listing her training and CGC and any positives you can think of for her. Don't bust in right away with I HAVE A PIT BULL, start with "I have a dog" and move from there.

Don't try to play this off as "oh, what, pit bull? I have never heard of such a thing, what is this pit bull of which you speak?" you'll just end up getting kicked out.

Here are some tips from a pit bull specific forum on renting with pit bulls that are sensible.
This response made me LOL. ITA with it all. The way it was phrased just tickled me.
 

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You can PM (private message) me if you don't want to post it, but what city are you living in? I know our rescues put out a list of dog friendly apt/renting places and I might be able to find one for your area.

Another suggestion: contact all pit/bully breed rescues near you. Ask them if they know any landlords or renters with pits. A lot of the fosters for our pit rescue rent, and they network with eachother to find available places.
 

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I agree with Bordermom, please don't lie to these people. You wouldn't lie for your job would you? Would you want your child (if you have one) to lie to anybody? Well this is the same thing. What if someone complained and then you'd be in trouble for not coming up front with it; the best thing to do is to see if the landlord or office will allow you. Our complex does not allow purebred Pits, but they do allow Pit mixes. Although they don't follow this rule b/c I see purebred Pits here.

Tell them how sweet your girl is (yes, she does look Pit mix), how responsible of a dog owner you are, and I'm sure people can't turn you away, or the money they'll get from you. Good luck though!
 
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