This is the tough part of being a renter. A lot of apartment buildings and landlords, though they technically allow dogs, end up restricting certain dog breeds. Many landlords do this in order to keep other residents safe and minimize property damage either because their insurance company has a blacklist of breeds that they have to abide by or because it's their choice, and they consider these breeds to be aggressive.

Though aggressive dog breeds are often stereotyped, and the root cause is frequently neglect or poor training, these categorizations persist. The most commonly banned or restricted dog breeds in apartment buildings are:

  • Pit bulls (and pit mixes)
  • Rottweilers
  • Doberman Pincschers
  • German Shepherds
  • Akitas
  • Mastiffs
  • Staffordshire terriers

It's particularly challenging for pit bulls because they are the most prevalent breed at US dog shelters and also the most commonly banned by apartment buildings, so we end up in a self-fulfilling prophecy where buildings won't take them based off of a stereotype and they end up filling shelters and rescues where they can't get adopted. All of this is to say that pitbulls who are raised in loving, attentive households and properly trained are actually some of the sweetest dogs out there. The edge cases often come out of abuse or neglect.

While pit bulls and the other dog breeds listed above are commonly restricted, it would also be smart to check with your landlord to see if there are any other size restrictions. While your dog's breed might not be outright banned, many buildings have weight limits on the size of dogs they allow. It's something that's definitely worth checking even if your building says it is dog-friendly.

If you already have one of these commonly restricted breeds and are thinking about moving into a building that doesn't allow them, hope is not lost. There are a few things you can do like putting together a resume of your dog's background (age, weight, vaccination dates, a current photo, etc.), gathering all medical records, sourcing some letters of reference from previous neighbors or landlords and sharing videos of your dog out in the world (a testament to behavior.) It's not a guaranteed fix, but it is oftentimes enough to sway a landlord into really understanding your specific dog beyond his or her breed. So as always, it might be worth a full conversation with your landlord or property manager.