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Old 01-06-2010, 01:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to find German Shepherd friendly apartments?

So, after an exhausting day of looking at crappy rental houses and being let down over and over by very nice "large dog friendly" apartments... I'm at a loss.

I want to move. I live in a kind crappy neighbor hood and ever since the 7-11 right around the corner was robbed this year, I feel uneasy here.

Rental houses seem my best bet for GSD friendly housing, however... In my $600 and under price range I get too little square footage on the nice places, and the ones that are at least 1000 sq ft are destroyed messes.

As far as apartments go... I have found everything I want plus more at many places in my price range and even cheaper than I am prepared to spend. Their ads say "large dog friendly." But... When I call, and they ask the breed of my dog and I say German Shepherd, it's "Oh no! Those are on the restricted list!"

*Sigh*

Why can't they just meet my dog first? He well trained, non-destructive, well socialized (never met someone who wasn't his best friend right away... I even have pictures of him playing with my 4 year old niece), and sweet as can be.


I really want to get out of this 500 sq ft apartment I'm in, but it seems the only place I can be with my Bo.

I live in the metro Detroit area. I've been looking in cities such as Fraser, Utica, Roseville, North Warren, Harrison Twp, Eastpointe, etc...


Is there anyone out there from this area that can help?

Any suggestions on how to convince an apartment complex to at least MEET my dog before saying no?
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to find German Shepherd friendly apartment

have you thought of getting a Canine Good Citizen or Therapy Dog title on him?

i've lived in los angeles for the past 10yrs and have moved about 8 times with my gsd/s. there will always be compromises, but i've been more or less happy with my luck in places so far. or BLESSED you can say!

anyway - i've recently begun looking for places in an area that i'm familiar with, but have never actually searched for a rental. thru craigslist i've recently noticed quite a few listings saying that they will consider certain breeds if they have one of the above mentioned certifications.

it can't hurt.

i've also learned in my experience that private landlords are obviously more lenient than rental companies. and if the breed restrictions are due to their actual insurance, rather than their personal policies - then you're better off looking elsewhere.
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to find German Shepherd friendly apartment

I have a not so popular method and I am definitely not suggesting you do this. This is just what has always worked for me, yes I know it's very irresponsible but I have backup plans should I ever get evicted. I've always used a "don't ask don't tell" policy regarding apartments and my dogs, I always make sure the complex is dog friendly. I have lived in apartments for 5 years now and to this day have never paid a pet deposit and have never had an issue with the dogs I own and the countless german shepherds and siberian huskies I've fostered over the years, good dogs who otherwise would have been euthanized at shelters had I not taken them in. I never tell the management I have dogs and I am very sneaky and good at hiding them. None of my dogs or past fosters have been nuisance dogs or destructive(minus one bad gsd with SA who I have to exchange out for another foster asap) so no one would ever know I have big dogs. I have always made sure to only foster house and crate trained dogs. My two current dogs are adults and are very chill in the apartment so I never have to worry.

I am full well going to man up to my mistakes if I am ever caught and evicted but I am not an amateur when it comes to dogs and have pretty much perfected this technique for 5 years now. I don't take on more than I can handle and I know what dogs work best for me. My dogs also get hourly dog park trips almost daily to keep them exercised and tired.
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to find German Shepherd friendly apartment

Although it has worked so far for MustLoveGSDs, I'm glad she didn't suggest this as an answer to your dilemma. Getting evicted could land your dog in a shelter if you have no place to go w/him should it happen. An eviction provides very little time to handle personal matters. On top of that, it's exhausting just reading what she has to do to keep her dogs hidden. Call me lazy but I donwanna work that hard <g> and I'm to old to want that added stress.

To me Camerafodder has a much safer idea. It sounds like although you'd prefer to move ASAP you're not being forced into it so you don't have to make any quick decisions on where to move to. My suggestion is to take your time and as frustrating as it is, just keep plodding away at it. You will find something, and you'll may even find a landlord who has their own or loves GSD's and you'll be more than welcome to move into their rental property.

I don't know your area so this may not help at all but what about rural areas? A farmette or something like that? It may not be fancy but they can provide all you need and sometimes at really decent rent, too. If you find something like this is to pricey in your area, is there maybe a chance you could share the place/costs w/a roommate?
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Old 01-06-2010, 04:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to find German Shepherd friendly apartment

Oh god yeah it's not for everyone and my social life has gone to the dogs. I am only 23 but rescue and dogs are my strongest passion in life so I go to greater lengths to care for them than your average 20 something year old who would rather spend money partying than taking care of dogs and helping the homeless. I haven't fostered though since my last one and I ended up adopting him, there really is no extra stress with my current dogs because they are so laid back, the only annoyance is having to take them out to a park everyday so they can do their business.

I KNOW I am being stupid and irresponsible and I expect to be judged but this is my life and I have a thick skin, and like I said I don't have nuisance dogs, have never gotten complained on, and I have backup plans for my dogs and me. The rescues I volunteer with and have volunteered with are purebred rescues and wouldn't have trusted me to foster for them if they didn't trust me or my abilities. I do have positive news though, in may our apartment lease is up and we should be home owners by then if all goes well! Wooooo finally!!!


Boulder's mom you might also want to try craigslist. I once found a dog-friendly room for rent and lived in a cool house with awesome roommates for 400 a month all bills paid.
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Old 01-06-2010, 06:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to find German Shepherd friendly apartment

Have you thought about using a property management company?
Craigslist is a good idea.

I would pursue a CGC on Boulder, it does not take that much training and having that certifcate signed by the AKC stating your dog is a Canine Good Citizen goes a long way.

I have not had to rent in years, but the last time I did rent I had 2 GSD's. My dogs had a resume that I took with me. The binder had pictures of each dog, thier shot records, the CGC certificates, obedience titles, and a statemnt from the previous landloard stating they were friendly and well behaved, non destructive dogs. I was never denied a house to rent with them.
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to find German Shepherd friendly apartment

Most of the time, these management companys of large apartment complexes are saying no off the bat because of their insurance. It usually has very little to do with your dog or what they personally think.

I've always found places to live from Craigslist. Your best bet for rental with dogs is always through private party. We just rented a house with 4 GSDs. We also put together a flyer highlighting all the training we do and titles we put on our dogs. we also let people know about our crating policy. I think it eases their mind to know that the 4 dogs are not running loose in the house without supervision. I think this kind of approach helps people who are renting out that are uneasy with the type or number of dogs...but of course they have to have the authority to accept the dog in the first place.
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to find German Shepherd friendly apartments?

How about if you did not mention the dog until you went to look at the apartment? Take the dog with you and then they can meet your dog and see that he is friendly and well trained in person. I would also consider getting some references for him like Kathy mentioned. From friends, trainers, pet shop owners, anyone who will vouch for your dog....maybe the vet would write a letter for you.
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to find German Shepherd friendly apartments?

Good idea about the letters - especially from the vet, who will be seen as a qualified expert.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:15 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to find German Shepherd friendly apartments?

I got an email back in October from a lady who was setting up a website for pet friendly rentals. Don't know how helpful it will be, but here is the link:

http://www.myapartmentmap.com/pet_friendly/
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