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I need some fresh ideas on finding rental housing that allows a GSD. I live in Massachusetts, and I was lucky enough once to find an individual landlord that would allow me to have my GSD, but this house is old and having a lot of problems and we need a new rental. Unfortunately, GSDs are consistently on a breed-restriction list for most apartments, condos, and landlords, and for insurance reasons those properties won't allow GSDs at all, even if they are a property that otherwise allows pets. I've used Craiglist in the past to some success, but lately I'm coming up short on finding landlords that are willing to allow it. We're not in a position to buy a house right now, hence the need for a rental. Any suggestions? Are there any boards/forums/etc. where people have had success in finding GSD friendly-housing? Thanks!
 

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It's a non-traditional route, but nearly every town I've ever lived in has someone working at the chamber of commerce who knows everyone and everything about the town. It's usually my first stop. Can't hurt to walk in for a face to face chat to see what/who they might know about.
 

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Is it German Shepherds that are restricted or bully breeds? I don't know why, but a lot of people are under the misconception that our herders are bully breed types.
 

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Is it German Shepherds that are restricted or bully breeds? I don't know why, but a lot of people are under the misconception that our herders are bully breed types.
Unfortunately, German shepherds are almost always listed by name on the no breeds list. I have lived in apartments since I was 9 years old, and every single one said no GSDs, even pet friendly apartments. They are commonly known as aggressive problem dogs, right alongside the bully breeds.

The only luck I have had, OP, is finding a private landlord who is animal-friendly and willing to make an exception for the breed if he/she sees how well behaved your dog is and you can provide trainer, vet, and personal references. Maybe you could get a Canine Good Citizen certificate to help you with that? It looks like you have tried this all already though. Good luck!
 

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Yes.

German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Dobermans, Akitas, and Chows often find themselves on apartment and condo restriction lists in my area.
Don't forget most of the mastiffs as well! Cane Corsos are one of the most targeted mastiffs.
 

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Unfortunately, German shepherds are almost always listed by name on the no breeds list. I have lived in apartments since I was 9 years old, and every single one said no GSDs, even pet friendly apartments. They are commonly known as aggressive problem dogs, right alongside the bully breeds.

The only luck I have had, OP, is finding a private landlord who is animal-friendly and willing to make an exception for the breed if he/she sees how well behaved your dog is and you can provide trainer, vet, and personal references. Maybe you could get a Canine Good Citizen certificate to help you with that? It looks like you have tried this all already though. Good luck!
Here, I think they tend to get around it with weight limits. A lot of apartment buildings have 35 lb limits. My parents' HOA has a 15 lb limit - no dogs larger than 15 lb are even allowed to visit. (I find this kind of hilarious because they were trying to oust ONE SPECIFIC DOG and they had to set the limit that low in order to get rid of it. They make an exception for my dog, but she's the only one, which I also find hilarious because it's no dogs over 15 lb except for the giant German Shepherd.)

We do have a local business that dedicates itself to maintaining a list of dog-friendly rentals, shops, taprooms, etc. It's the first place I'd send someone looking to rent here. You might see if they have something similar in that city/metro area. Minneapolis-St. Paul has one and they've expanded now to Chicago. The idea may be taking hold in more places - worth checking into.
 

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Here, I think they tend to get around it with weight limits. A lot of apartment buildings have 35 lb limits. My parents' HOA has a 15 lb limit - no dogs larger than 15 lb are even allowed to visit. (I find this kind of hilarious because they were trying to oust ONE SPECIFIC DOG and they had to set the limit that low in order to get rid of it. They make an exception for my dog, but she's the only one, which I also find hilarious because it's no dogs over 15 lb except for the giant German Shepherd.)
I always joke that a dog under 20 pounds isn't really even a dog. What apartments don't seem to know is that smaller dogs cause more problems IMO. People tend to not bother training their tiny dogs because they are so easy to physically control. There are quite a few very difficult to house train little breeds too. I've only been bit by two dogs in my life, and they were both about 10 pounds. :|
 

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I always joke that a dog under 20 pounds isn't really even a dog. What apartments don't seem to know is that smaller dogs cause more problems IMO. People tend to not bother training their tiny dogs because they are so easy to physically control. There are quite a few very difficult to house train little breeds too. I've only been bit by two dogs in my life, and they were both about 10 pounds. :|
I am kind of the same. I just don’t say it out loud most of the time.

This particular HOA was mad about one owner not picking up after her dog, so they made a rule that effectively forced her to either get rid of the dog or prohibited her from visiting (I forget which). Like a flat no dogs over 15 lb on the premises, period, full stop...except for Tart’s GSD. :D


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I'd go with a realtor. They know the area and might have a listing for a house you could rent. Also there are companies that match clients with apartments. I've had luck with those, although at the time I had a ridgie mix, not a GSD.
 

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Ugh, finding suitable rental housing that allows your dog is such a pain in the butt! Perhaps you could try asking the staff at your local vet clinics? Someone on staff may even be a landlord themselves, or may know of someone who doesn't have reservations about our big, scary, aggressive breed. :)
Also, if there are any GSD clubs (IPO, tracking, etc.) in your area perhaps they could offer some insight. Good luck, OP!!
 

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You can obtain renters insurance, covering your dog as well as your property, from State Farm. They don't ask what breed of dog, so don't tell them ;) That may be a boost for a hesitant landlord. A reference letter from your old landlord stating what a wonderful and well cared for dog you have will help immensely. I was able to get a 'no pets' apartment with a letter and the meeting of my Chow, no problem.
 

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I need some fresh ideas on finding rental housing that allows a GSD. I live in Massachusetts, and I was lucky enough once to find an individual landlord that would allow me to have my GSD, but this house is old and having a lot of problems and we need a new rental. Unfortunately, GSDs are consistently on a breed-restriction list for most apartments, condos, and landlords, and for insurance reasons those properties won't allow GSDs at all, even if they are a property that otherwise allows pets. I've used Craiglist in the past to some success, but lately I'm coming up short on finding landlords that are willing to allow it. We're not in a position to buy a house right now, hence the need for a rental. Any suggestions? Are there any boards/forums/etc. where people have had success in finding GSD friendly-housing? Thanks!
Do you have to move or are you just wanting to? Because one of the things I have resigned myself to is sub standard housing. Pretty much as long as the floors not caving in (yup, that happened) and the place isn't on fire, I have learned to be good with it.
 

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A work around for the restrictions list is get your doctor to write you a note for a emotional support animal and then they are protected by law

On another note I'm looking for a place to rent after my divorce and I have a new puppy gsd I am in eastern Massachusetts just north of Boston if anyone knows who I can talk to find a place to live with the dog don't really want to pay more than 1000 to 1500 all in my dog is not registered as an emotional support animal but can at any point from my doctor any help with guidance on a place or person who can help I have not had this problem before because I owned my home but now things have changed please try to help I'm running out of time and options I have had gsd my whole life my last 2 were 14+ years old very experienced with the breed and will never give up my dog to find a place to live not that person there my kids I only will have 1 because my ex wife took my gsd Nate in the divorce as well
 

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Is it German Shepherds that are restricted or bully breeds? I don't know why, but a lot of people are under the misconception that our herders are bully breed types.
I think GSDs are restricted along with the other breeds. Trying to get home owner's insurance to cover a GSD was not easy. Many of the companies I looked into wouldn't do it. In fact, I still don't have him covered. So I have to be really careful outside with him...in case he gets into a scrap with another dog or gets loose.
 

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having your animal declared an emotional support animal simply to get around rental restrictions is a fraud and in many areas is a criminal offense. It is a huge problem in the community and is part of the reason that so many landlords have anti-pet sentiments.
Instead, work within the rules.

For the OP, make up a resume for your dog. Include a letter of reference from your current landlord. Copies of training certificates for classes that you have completed as well as letters of recommendations from your vet, groomer, anyone who works closely with your dog. Have proof of current renters insurance covering any incident involving your dog. Contant local realtors as well as property management companies. Look at individually owned homes or small locally owned complexes - they will have a bit more leeway to make exceptions to weight limits and breed restrictions (outside of those mandated by their insurance coverage). If you don't already have one, look into the CGC test at a minimum. It can make a big impression on the landlord.
 

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There are many facebook pages that have links to places that rent to dog owners. It is important to find a landlord who has no reservations if a big scary breed- that comment is extremely important. Many many years ago my then boyfriend was told by his landlord who was a long time friend of the family that he was able to get a dog. When it was time and we did find a dog she was not comfortable around him. The dog was not a problem he did not want to play with her lab he did not acknowledged her dog at all nor her. The dog was not shy, cautious, suspicious just extremely aloof. She told him she was not comfortable with the dog because he was not outwardly friendly with her or her dog. He was a above average highly trained dog. Now this was over 20 years ago but the reputation has not changed in the German shepherds breed at all. Just some one who had some real experience with this.
 

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having your animal declared an emotional support animal simply to get around rental restrictions is a fraud and in many areas is a criminal offense. It is a huge problem in the community and is part of the reason that so many landlords have anti-pet sentiments.

Instead, work within the rules.



For the OP, make up a resume for your dog. Include a letter of reference from your current landlord. Copies of training certificates for classes that you have completed as well as letters of recommendations from your vet, groomer, anyone who works closely with your dog. Have proof of current renters insurance covering any incident involving your dog. Contant local realtors as well as property management companies. Look at individually owned homes or small locally owned complexes - they will have a bit more leeway to make exceptions to weight limits and breed restrictions (outside of those mandated by their insurance coverage). If you don't already have one, look into the CGC test at a minimum. It can make a big impression on the landlord.
I agree but if you're in a pinch and you're doctor agrees that you actually would benefit from it it is an option although I should have explained it better the first time by no means do I want anyone to lie or possibly commit a crime was just saying that it is an option but only if you're doctor prescribed it

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This did prompt him to be eventually a home owner and was lucky enough to be able to bring the dog home with me- karat in the mean time. My mom had three dogs aT the time so it was a full house.

I this post is a long time ago. I do hope you found something. It is really disheartening to hear people giving up their dog because they could not find a place to live. It is very damaging and sad to witness.
 
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