The trials and tribulations of renting (or staying) anywhere with big dogs

Sorry if this is a bit off my usual offtopic topics, but this is personal and also a commentary as well on lodging facilities that call themselves “Pet Friendly”.

We have two big dogs, German Shepherds, who while they are very protective of us, for the most part the most danger someone would be in, is of being licked to death, unless you try to mug us of course.

We are coming to the end of our renting an academic rental and having the oh so fun time looking for a place to rent, until our house up North sells.

On the exterior it looks like there’s a lot out there, many places, houses, condos, apartments, advertise they are “Pet Friendly.”

Sure, Pet Friendly if you have a dog under 25 lbs. That’s not pet friendly and it’s not pet friendly if you discriminate against large dogs especially. It’s especially frustrating because you call places that make a HUGE point out of the fact they are “Pet Friendly” and their not, if they say “small dogs only.”

We know that having dogs limits us on where we can live, in the past it’s never been a problem, having a house with a big yard. But regardless of the fact that owning a big dog does narrow down the possibilities, I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

And I know I’m biased, I am not fond of little dogs (Neither are my dogs, I can’t imagine where they got that from) and I think the breed restrictions that we come across occasionally are unfair.

I am not going to put little dogs in a label box, but 9 out 10 little dogs that I personally know of are: yappy, noisy, destructive and they bite. 9 out of 10 big dogs I know, are loving, easy going and quiet (except when the old lady with the Chihuahua stands outside for 10 minutes talking to the neighbor, and then, yes they bark)  I would bark too, if I could figure out how to say in dog language to the yippy dog “Stick a fork in it and be quiet.)

I see little dogs get away with more bad behavior because its easier to push a little 10 pounder off your leg and ignore it, then to ignore a 100 pound dog wanting to lick your chin. I think in general people with bigger dogs take the time to train them out of bad behavior instead of just laughing it off when a little dog does something annoying or destructive. “Oh that little Fluffy, there he goes again chewing your pantleg, we really should stop him from doing that, bad doggie, no biskie for you tonight snoggums.”

But I digress, which I am so fond of doing.

This brings me to a point for lodging (if you’ve stayed through my rant so far) in that I see some hotels/motels/B&Bs labeling themselves “Pet Friendly” and then they have restrictions on the size.

Which brings me back to my main point, larger dogs are usually quieter and less likely to make a mess or destroy the room that you are letting, then a little dog. Having talked to many pet friendly lodging facilities that allow big and small dogs, many of them can verify this.

People that travel with dogs for the most part, large or small, generally do train their pets well, which is why it puzzles me that some lodging has size restrictions. We ended up staying at Best Westerns for our trips cross country both times last year, because they generally had no size restrictions. We would rather have stayed in B&Bs but the ones near our routes had “Small dogs under 25 Lbs.

I think discriminating against any dog is unfair, regardless of breed or size.  It should be a like a job interview. Are you neat, clean, well kept, well behaved and don’t bite the heads off of your cubicle mates? I’d hire my dogs any day of the week over some of the line cooks I’ve had to put up with over the years.

If you are a “Pet Friendly” Lodging Facility and you do, or do not, have restrictions on size (or other stipulations) why or why not did you decide to have them and what have been your experiences with large or small dogs.

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4 Responses to The trials and tribulations of renting (or staying) anywhere with big dogs

  1. Sharon - Innkeeper says:

    We don’t have size restrictions but we ask for their AKC Good Canine Citizenship certificate on perceived aggressive breeds. This was at our vet’s recommendation. We didn’t want to turn down breeds but wanted to be sure they weren’ t a threat to other guests or other pets.
    If you aren’t familiar with the certificate, it has nothing to do with breed. It is a socialibility test that many vets and breeders have gotten certified to give. I think I’ve heard it costs as little as $5 to get one.

  2. I couldn’t agree with the writer more! I have a pet-friendly B&B and I welcome dogs of all sizes and breeds. In addition, I have a large weimaraner and 2 small Jack Russell/Chihuahua mixes. I love all my dogs, even the small ones, though they do try the patience.
    Small dogs tend to be a little more needy of attention than the big dogs, thus the jumping and more barking, but they also can’t hold it for long like the bigger dogs can.
    I actually find that the bigger dogs are better behaved and cause less problems, not that I’ve had more than two dog problems in the 4 years of running the B&B. But the 2 problems I had were caused by small dogs (a barker when the owner was not in the room and one small dog was allowed on the bed and he peed on the pillow).
    I also think that pet owners with naughty dogs (no matter size) don’t typically bring them to a B&B because they are conscious of other guests and don’t want to cause problems, plus it’s embarrassing to have to deal with a misbehaving dog the entire trip.
    I love all of my animals, no matter size so it’s a good thing I live in the Carriage House and not the main house. That way my guests don’t have to listen to my barkers (they don’t bark when I’m with them).
    I don’t understand why places accept pets only of a certain size, but in Asheville, that means more business for me because I take all sizes! 🙂

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