What type of breed restrictions are there?

What is RPM's Animal Policy?

CLICK HERE: Animal Policy

Breed Restrictions

RPM does not create breed restrictions, but, if they exist, RPM must enforce them.

The Team Members at RPM love and care for animals and would gladly accept them for all properties, but breed restrictions are ultimately not up to RPM, as it is typically the Insurance Company that creates these restrictions.

Breed restrictions are determined by the Insurance Carrier that has the Landlord Insurance policy for the property, NOT RealPM.com.

Each property is different, but here is an example pet policy:

PETS: No pets shall be allowed on the premises without the express written consent of the Owner/Manager. Any animal that will be on the property is considered a pet. This includes reptiles, arachnids, fish, birds, rodents, cats, dogs and any other animal, exotic or not, that would be owned, fed, taken care of or kept by any residents. Landlord will not, under any circumstances, allow a Pit Bull, Doberman Pincher or Rottweiler, fullbreed or mix to be kept on the premises. Landlord will not, under any circumstances, allow birds, exotic animals or arachnids to be kept on the premises. Landlord will not, under any circumstances, allow any reptiles other than lizards, frogs or turtles on the premises. Landlord will not, under any circumstances, allow any rodents other than Guinea Pigs or hamsters to be on the premises. Any unregistered pets at the premises may be removed to the appropriate authority, for disposition by Owner/Manager. If a pet is found in a unit that does not allow pets or a pet addendum has not been signed and fee paid, Resident will forfeit entire deposit and will be charged a minimum $500 pet fee (depending on allowance of pets) or given a 3-day notice for breach of contract.

Please see below for more info.

Breed Restrictions 101

Apartment hunting with a dog on a breed restriction list can be a real challenge.

by rentblog

So, you’ve decided it’s time to move. You do your research, choose your preferred neighborhood, and take the time to come up with several options for apartments you’d like to see. You set up viewings, find the perfect place, and send in an application. Then, alas, you’re rejected – but not because your credit isn’t where it should be or your income isn’t enough to cover the rent. It’s because of your dog! Now, because of breed restrictions, you’re not only out an application fee, but you have to start the whole process over again.

Unfortunately, many apartment buildings and landlords enact strict breed restrictions, which can make it difficult for renters with restricted pups to find a place to live. These days, though, breed restrictions are coming under a lot of heat from activists and animal organizations who think they simply aren’t fair. Take a look at what breed restrictions are, why many activists are against them, and what you can do if you have a blacklisted breed:

What Are Breed Restrictions?

Breed restrictions are just what they sound like: Certain breeds and their mixes are banned from living in certain buildings, houses and apartments. That means that even if Fido is a mutt, he may not make the cut, depending on the various breeds in his mix. Breed restrictions came about in an effort to protect people from what some consider “dangerous” breeds – especially pit bulls. In other words, if dangerous pets aren’t allowed in, there’s a lesser chance attacks or bites will happen.

There are three reasons dogs may be blacklisted from living in an apartment building. For one, some cities and counties have enacted breed-specific legislation that can ban breeds from even entering the city or county limits. Another common reason for restrictions is insurance companies, many of which have blacklists that the buildings or apartments they insure must abide by. Finally, breed restrictions may be the decision of the building’s landlord or management company.

Commonly Banned Dog Breeds

Pit bulls are the most commonly banned dog breed, and the ban extends to any pit bull mix as well. Other dogs commonly found on blacklists include mastiffs, Rottweilers, Alaskan malamutes, Siberian huskies, Doberman pinschers, Akitas, terriers, bulldogs, and several others. Dogs are typically restricted because of a perceived tendency to be aggressive or attack, or sometimes if they’re particularly large or strong.

Why are Breed Restrictions Bad?

Many activists as well as some high-level animal organizations (including the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) are completely against breed restrictions for several reasons. Consider this: Has Fido ever attacked another animal or human or acted aggressive above and beyond what’s normal for dogs? If not, why should he be restricted just because some other dogs of the same breed have shown aggression?

Basically, many animal organizations agree that aggressive behavior is much more about nurture than nature – it all depends on how the animal is raised. Plus, many believe that restrictions simply don’t work to lessen the chances of dog attacks or bites. What’s more, breed restrictions have increased the number of homeless dogs – sometimes owners simply set the dog loose or bring it to an animal shelter rather than trying to look for an apartment that accepts all breeds.

What Can I Do If My Dog is Banned?

Breed-specific legislation has been slowly decreasing, and that’s great for loving dog owners like you! However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that insurance companies or landlords are going to change their minds. If Fido is blacklisted, though, there are a couple of things you should consider:

  • If the restrictions were put in place by a landlord (not an insurance company), there’s still hope! Ask the landlord if he or she is willing to do a doggie interview during which he or she can meet and interact with Fido. If the building has an area for dogs to roam, ask if you can hold the interview there. That way, the landlord will be able to see Fido has no intention of attacking other dogs or people.

  • Next time you apply for an apartment, come prepared. Put together a “resume” for Fido, with pictures, vet records and any other information you have. You can even bring along a video to show the landlord. Who will be able to resist those puppy dog eyes?

Landlords must carry insurance on any property they own, and it is meant to take care of things like liability and personal injuries for tenants and guests on the premises. Attacks from dogs are just one of many things that can happen that causes landlords to file an insurance claim.

According to the website DogsBite.org, there are approximately 1,000 people in the United States that suffer from dog bites, per day. The website reports that 81% of dog attacks are on children. It also states that only about 9 percent of all dog breeds that exist today are responsible for the majority of attacks.

As a result, more and more insurance companies are coming up with lists of dog breeds that are banned from coverage. In other words, the insurance coverage will not extend to incidents involving that dog. We’ve got a comprehensive list of these breeds coming up, but first, what should landlords know about why insurance companies even care about dog breeds?

Why Do Insurance Companies Focus on Certain Dog Breeds?

Certain dog breeds have a reputation in society for being more aggressive than others, and some breeds are definitely most likely to be involved in bite-related accidents than other breeds. Studies and statistics reinforce which dog breeds are most involved in bites, maiming and fatalities.

Insurance companies are supposed to evaluate the risk of an incident happening, and they often feel that the presence of certain dog breeds on a home owner’s property boosts that risk. Certain dogs simply pose a higher risk of harming someone than others, so to many, it makes sense to ban those breeds from coverage.

This motivation for creating a banned breed list is a business decision made by the insurance companies to balance their coverage of the incidents that might happen on a person’s property and their need to minimize the risk of extreme payouts that could sink their company. Most insurance companies develop their own lists and issue them company-wide.

Certain states have deemed the practice of banned breed lists, such as Pennsylvania and Michigan, and many other states are working on legislation that would put a stop to such lists. Many opponents of banned breed lists argue that proper training and care can eliminate the problems in even the most stereotypically aggressive breed, and that poor training and improper care can elevate a “non-violent” breed of dog into something dangerous. However, insurance companies have to do risk assessments for a range of circumstances, and a banned breed list seems to make sense to many of them as a way to categorize potential problems.

So what does this mean for landlords? In order to protect their investment and ensure that their insurance coverage extends to cover any dog bite incidents, landlords must specifically ask their insurance agent about whether or not the company has a list of banned dog breeds. If they do, the landlord needs to make sure that all applicants and tenants are not owners of any of the banned breeds of dogs.

12 Most Common Banned Dog Breeds

There are many different lists put out by insurance companies across the country about which dog breeds are considered the most dangerous and therefore banned from coverage. Again, most of the banned breeds make these lists because statistically they are involved in more attacks on people than other breeds.

1. Pit Bull

With a history of being bred as fighting dogs, perhaps no breed is more associated with attacks than the pit bull. Statistics show that pit bulls are the number one breed involved in dog bits and dog attacks in the country, far more than any other breed. Advocates insist that the breed’s bad image has been elevated unfairly and that they make excellent family pets. The website, DogTime describes pit bulls as courageous, tenacious and highly trainable. However, without proper handling, they can be unpredictable and their size and strength make any attacks especially vicious.

2. Doberman Pinscher

Alert, fearless and loyal—these are the traits that are frequently ascribed to the Doberman Pinscher. Although Dobermans are less likely to cause fatalities when they attack, they are still capable of causing lots of injuries. These high-energy dogs are very trainable, and when socialized at a young age, experts say they are wonderful pets with little trouble.

3. Rottweiler

Without obedience training, Rottweilers can be unpredictable and possessive. However, their value as service dogs, therapy animals and work dogs is beyond compare. The problem with such a massive dog as a Rottweiler is that when an attack does happen, the likelihood of fatality rises, especially for children. With proper socialization and training, Rottweilers are among the most loyal and affectionate breeds.

4. Great Dane

Their size alone means that they can seriously injure someone when provoked, and Great Danes often look more intimidating than they really are. Mature Great Danes are powerfully built and can weigh in at 120 pounds. While many Great Danes are gentle and good natured when properly trained, their high energy level and sheer physicality can translate to dangerous levels if they become aggressive.

5. Presa Canario

While not a well-known breed, the Presa Canario, or Canary Mastiff, often appears on banned breed lists after a fatal 2001 incident that made the national news. The broad chest and powerful jaws give them a very fierce look, and they can top out at around 120 pounds at maturity. Without proper socialization, Presa Canerios can be aggressive toward strangers and other dogs.

6. Chow Chow

Despite the funny name, Chow Chows are known for being very territorial and may act out if they feel their family is being threatened. The American Kennel Club describes Chow Chows as serious-minded and dignified, a true reflection of the breed’s personality. These medium-sized dogs are big enough to cause harm if provoked.

7. German Shephard

Simultaneously viewed as heroic and smart, such as police dogs, and fierce and aggressive, as guard dogs, German Shepherds deserve both reputations. Depending on training, German Shepherds can range from calm to aggressive, and unfortunately is one of the most feared dog breeds in the country.

8. Alaskan Malamute

While their abilities as sled dogs and as working dogs are unparalleled, the Alaskan Malamute is known to require constant obedience training. In the best circumstances, the breed makes a wonderful family pet but their strong will and intelligence means that with the wrong owner, they can easily get out of control.

9. Akita

Even the AKC notes that Akitas, while beautiful and hard-working, should be supervised when around other animals and children. With a respect for social hierarchy is a big part of an Akita’s world view, they may be agressive and dominating if they are trying to establish themselves within the family. However, their endurance, strength and speed in learning have made Akitas very common as family pets.

10. Cane Corso

Bred to be fierce protectors of farms and families, the Cane Corso is also highly trainable. Also known as an Italian Mastiff, the Cane Corso can reach up to 110 pounds and its physique is definitely powerful and imposing. Descended from dogs used in ancient Roman warfare, Cane Corsos definitely need consistent training and strong leadership from its owners to curb aggressive tendencies.

11. Bull Mastiff

In order to become a well-behaved guard dog, the Bull Mastiff needs consistent training and socialization from an early age. While Bull Mastiffs may not currently rank quite as high as other types on banned dog breed lists, the number of incidents are creeping up. With powerful jaws and a muscular body that can reach 130 pounds, a Bull Mastiff can be especially dangerous when provoked or when it feels its family is in danger.

12. Wolf Hybrid

While wolf hybrids are not an actual breed, many insurance companies include dogs that have wolf lineage as off limits for coverage. With an estimated 300,000 wolf hybrids in the United States, owners often breed larger dogs like Alaskan Malamutes or German Shepherds with wolves to create an exotic-looking pet. Almost all the states ban ownership and breeding of wolves and dogs, and the unpredictable mixture of genetic traits make them hard for people to have confidence in these hybrids.

What Should Landlords Do About Banned Dog Breeds?

Once Property Owners find out the list of banned breeds that their insurance company has put together, they can make the decision to continue to be a customer of the company or shop around for a non-discriminatory insurance company.

If a Property Owner decides they must stick with their current insurance company, then the Owner or Landlord hired by the Property Owner should be proactive about informing applicants and tenants about the banned dog breeds. The best way to do this is during the application process, and asking questions about pets.

Banned dog breeds should also be listed by name in the lease agreement or as an addendum to the lease. If tenants move in without a dog and later acquire one that is on the banned dog breeds list, the landlord can consider this a violation of the lease agreement and there is grounds for a Comply or Quit Notice that could lead to eviction. This is considered such a serious offense because should the home be occupied by a breed prohibited under the insurance policy, that policy could be rendered invalid and put the home and Property Owner at serious risk.

Pet-friendly rental properties are highly desirable and landlords that allow dogs, especially with no restrictions on breeds or sizes will usually have plenty of applicants when a unit is vacant. However, insurance companies without a list of banned breeds are few and far between. It’s unfortunate that most of the time, dog attacks are a result of poor training and bad owners rather than the dogs themselves, but with limited options, the restrictions are often out of the Property Owner & Landlord's hands.