Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

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aednichols
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Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by aednichols » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:48 pm

Hello,

One of my current roommates adopted a pit bull mix during our current lease, with the landlord's and my blessing.

My concern is that if we wish to move and remain roommates, we may encounter stiff opposition to the dog. She is very nice, but is nevertheless a "problem breed" on paper.

Any experiences or advice out there? The relevant jurisdictions would be Boston and Cambridge.

Thanks in advance,
Adam

stan1
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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by stan1 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:54 pm

Maybe try a more local web site? Nextdoor should get you some hilarious responses along with a few that might be helpful.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by unclescrooge » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:56 pm

The people I knew who had problem breeds got creative in terms of identifying the mix.

For example, a friend's Rottweiler became a Lab mix.

Personally, as a landlord I would never rent to anyone with a pet over 20lbs.

campy2010
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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by campy2010 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:13 pm

I lived in Boston for awhile and the rental market is tight. Plus there are barriers put up by "rental agents" who screen out problem renters, like your roommate with a pet pit bull.

This is not the best forum for this question. There seems to be a reddit r/boston thread almost weekly by people moving to Boston with large dogs who have problems finding rentals. The routine advice is the suburbs are easier than the city and private landlords may be easier than agents or complexes. Or stay put where you live now since the landlord doesn't mind the dog.

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aednichols
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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by aednichols » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:28 am

I was hoping this board would have more landlords thanks to its demographics.
unclescrooge wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:56 pm
Personally, as a landlord I would never rent to anyone with a pet over 20lbs.
Are you concerned about bites or is it more that you don’t want a big animal running around, making noise, crashing into things etc.?

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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by unclescrooge » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:16 pm

aednichols wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:28 am
I was hoping this board would have more landlords thanks to its demographics.
unclescrooge wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:56 pm
Personally, as a landlord I would never rent to anyone with a pet over 20lbs.
Are you concerned about bites or is it more that you don’t want a big animal running around, making noise, crashing into things etc.?
Large dogs can create more wear and tear on the house. Especially if left alone and they get bored.

Yes, it's an unfair generalization, but I'd rather not deal with the potential cost of several thousand dollars worth of carpet/door replacements.

ohai
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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by ohai » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:35 pm

You can probably alleviate some concerns by sending the dog to some training school, and by getting an endorsement letter from the current landlord. Other than that, I imagine that potential future landlords will mostly have some policy already. So you can just ignore the ones who won't consider the dog. I doubt that you will ever run out of potential places to rent in that area.

scoreboard
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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by scoreboard » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:42 pm

MOST homeowners insurance policies just don't allow certain breeds. The odds are high that the property you are currently occupying doesn't allow a pitbull (even if you and the landlord said it is ok). Or the pitbull is excluded is really the right term as well as many other large breeds. So, if there is an issue the homeowners policy will absolutely not pay out making the owner and landlord liable. The landlord would be a fool to rent to someone who has a breed of dog that is excluded on their homeowners policy (but there are plenty of fools out there so you will probably find someone willing to rent to you).

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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by THY4373 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:50 pm

Not Boston and involving two cats vs one dog but I did notice that my cats narrowed down my options. Maybe 1/3 or more of the places I investigated (town homes or single family homes) were either no pet or no cat. It seemed those houses managed by commercial management companies were much more willing to rent to pet owners. The rental market in my location is not particularly tight and I was easily able to find a place.
Last edited by THY4373 on Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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G12
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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by G12 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:51 pm

aednichols wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:48 pm
Hello,

One of my current roommates adopted a pit bull mix during our current lease, with the landlord's and my blessing.

My concern is that if we wish to move and remain roommates, we may encounter stiff opposition to the dog. She is very nice, but is nevertheless a "problem breed" on paper.

Any experiences or advice out there? The relevant jurisdictions would be Boston and Cambridge.

Thanks in advance,
Adam
I have two Staffie mixes and have had 3 Dobermans, people can be fearful of any breed or specific breeds, especially in condo/apartment settings. I live in ATL and know renters here have much more difficulty trying to rent. First and foremost, you need to check if the area has breed specific legislation on Pits and other breeds as that is a non-starter.

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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by Trader Joe » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:21 pm

aednichols wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:48 pm
Hello,

One of my current roommates adopted a pit bull mix during our current lease, with the landlord's and my blessing.

My concern is that if we wish to move and remain roommates, we may encounter stiff opposition to the dog. She is very nice, but is nevertheless a "problem breed" on paper.

Any experiences or advice out there? The relevant jurisdictions would be Boston and Cambridge.

Thanks in advance,
Adam
Yes, always list "mixed breed" on the application and always specify "mixed breed" when going to the veterinarian (shots, etc.).

trevorshhh
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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by trevorshhh » Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:42 pm

I assume you're okay as you would stay with the same renter's insurance, but also be mindful of insurance restrictions. My insurance company doesn't insurance dwelling places with pitbulls and I don't think it's the only one with this restriction.

JoeRetire
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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by JoeRetire » Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:48 pm

Trader Joe wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:21 pm
aednichols wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:48 pm
Hello,

One of my current roommates adopted a pit bull mix during our current lease, with the landlord's and my blessing.

My concern is that if we wish to move and remain roommates, we may encounter stiff opposition to the dog. She is very nice, but is nevertheless a "problem breed" on paper.

Any experiences or advice out there? The relevant jurisdictions would be Boston and Cambridge.

Thanks in advance,
Adam
Yes, always list "mixed breed" on the application and always specify "mixed breed" when going to the veterinarian (shots, etc.).
Hopefully this isn't intended to fool someone. Landlords (at least the ones I know in Boston/Cambridge) know exactly what you mean when you respond "mixed breed". And many of them would immediately cross you off the list.

jibantik
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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by jibantik » Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:50 pm

If you dog doesn't have documented ancestry to one of the studs of the breed, then it's literally not part of a breed. Breed isn't a scientific classification system, like classifying species is. So unless you documented proof of ancestry, it's correct to call it a mutt. And who wants to turn down a shelter mutt? :D

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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by Millennial » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:03 pm

I'm a landlord in the Boston area. I don't allow dogs at all. Nothing against them personally, but I am worried about the additional wear and tear and there are plenty of qualified renters without dogs.

I do allow cats with references. I have also let responsible, long-term tenants dog sit for a few weeks here and there.

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aednichols
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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by aednichols » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:21 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:16 pm
aednichols wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:28 am
I was hoping this board would have more landlords thanks to its demographics.
unclescrooge wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:56 pm
Personally, as a landlord I would never rent to anyone with a pet over 20lbs.
Are you concerned about bites or is it more that you don’t want a big animal running around, making noise, crashing into things etc.?
Large dogs can create more wear and tear on the house. Especially if left alone and they get bored.

Yes, it's an unfair generalization, but I'd rather not deal with the potential cost of several thousand dollars worth of carpet/door replacements.
I think that's completely fair. She is 65 pounds and has claws - the hardwood floors absolutely reflect that.

Also, while the owner is extremely responsible, there has been the occasional unnoticed accident that soaked in to the wood and stained permanently.

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aednichols
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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by aednichols » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:24 pm

Trader Joe wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:21 pm
aednichols wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:48 pm
Hello,

One of my current roommates adopted a pit bull mix during our current lease, with the landlord's and my blessing.

My concern is that if we wish to move and remain roommates, we may encounter stiff opposition to the dog. She is very nice, but is nevertheless a "problem breed" on paper.

Any experiences or advice out there? The relevant jurisdictions would be Boston and Cambridge.

Thanks in advance,
Adam
Yes, always list "mixed breed" on the application and always specify "mixed breed" when going to the veterinarian (shots, etc.).
She goes to the vet at the shelter she was adopted from, and there is a paper trail dating to before the adoption listing her as a pit.

I highly doubt the vet would help "cook the books" on this one, as a matter of professionalism.

chw
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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by chw » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:37 pm

I believe you will have difficulty renting in a building with other units in it, as the landlord won't take risk of the dog hurting someone- especially a child. Pit bulls are considered a high risk breed for attacks on humans, and many insurers won't offer homeowners insurance if it is known a pit bull is living in the home. Even seemingly docile pit bulls have been known to attack other dogs or people suddenly, with no warning.

I would say your best chance of finding a rental may be a single family home, or perhaps a 2 family, where the landlord is a dog lover, who happens to like pit bulls

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MP123
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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by MP123 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:57 pm

In some states/municipalities a letter from a doctor or therapist qualifying the dog as an emotional support animal might help. But it wouldn't give you full ADA rights like a service dog would generally speaking.

Joylush
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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by Joylush » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:40 am

Lying to claim your pet is an emotional support animal is a crime in many states. Not to mention immoral. Should have thought through the consequences of getting a pit bull for a pet. Landlords don't like liars and will find a reason to deny you.

As a landlord who has a son with a pit bull mix who ran into issues with renting, my advice was this:

Ask the landlord to meet the dog before deciding.

Have previous positive landlord references.

Obtain and show proof of renter's insurance with dog bite liability.

Offer to pay a higher deposit to ease the landlord's concerns.

If the dog has completed any obedience training show proof of this.

In other words show you are a responsible pet owner and not a liar trying to circumvent his rules or exploit the service animals laws.

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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by SRenaeP » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:09 am

chw wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:37 pm
I believe you will have difficulty renting in a building with other units in it, as the landlord won't take risk of the dog hurting someone- especially a child. Pit bulls are considered a high risk breed for attacks on humans, and many insurers won't offer homeowners insurance if it is known a pit bull is living in the home. Even seemingly docile pit bulls have been known to attack other dogs or people suddenly, with no warning.

I would say your best chance of finding a rental may be a single family home, or perhaps a 2 family, where the landlord is a dog lover, who happens to like pit bulls
That probably wouldn't help unless the landlord is ignorant of their insurance stipulations. My landlord insurance won't cover 'dangerous' breeds.

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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by slayed » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:19 am

When I lived in Boston area (Cambridge) it was near impossible to find an apartment that would take my dog (I had a German Shepard), I imagine it will be even harder with a pit bull. When I finally found one it was in an owner-occupied 2 family home that wasn't in the best shape. Be prepared to settle for what you can get.

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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by buccimane » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:41 am

NJ/NY area, and my roommate also owns a pitbull.

He got the pitbull registered as a service dog (not an emotional support dog). Service animals are a protected class and landlords cannot discriminate. I won't go into the ethics of his actions, but finding a place to rent would have been near impossible given the size of the dog.
A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still

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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by JackoC » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:24 pm

aednichols wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:28 am
I was hoping this board would have more landlords thanks to its demographics.
unclescrooge wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:56 pm
Personally, as a landlord I would never rent to anyone with a pet over 20lbs.
Are you concerned about bites or is it more that you don’t want a big animal running around, making noise, crashing into things etc.?
I can comment as landlord though not so much about Boston specifically. On a commercial liability policy like for a multifamily building it's not generally going to mention dog stuff. However, though we had a 'pit bull' (at least the kind of dog people would call one) that was the greatest dog ever, seriously, and our daughter has one which is also adorable, we do think twice about any large dogs if there's a prospective tenant who doesn't have one. Which gets back to tight rental market or not. For tenants who were already in a building when we bought it we don't really care if a particular dog is not a clear threat. One tenant has a 'pit bull', it's noisy actually but seems a nice enough dog. And more to the point it would be hard for us to get into a liability jam over it: you can't tell existing tenants what to do in our jurisdiction. That's a PITA for the most part but also means you can't plausibly be sued for stuff tenants do that previous landlords said was OK.

I hope it at least gives a perspective. You don't have to believe in 'bad breeds' (which is utter nonsense, especially just judging by appearance) as a landlord to realize you might get into an insurance/liability jam, and avoid that if you can.

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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by fposte » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:08 pm

buccimane wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:41 am
NJ/NY area, and my roommate also owns a pitbull.

He got the pitbull registered as a service dog (not an emotional support dog). Service animals are a protected class and landlords cannot discriminate. I won't go into the ethics of his actions, but finding a place to rent would have been near impossible given the size of the dog.
There is no legally recognized registry for service dogs, though. The registries themselves are fraudulent private services attempting to capitalize on these kinds of situations.

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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by researcher » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:34 pm

The people I knew who had problem breeds got creative in terms of identifying the mix. For example, a friend's Rottweiler became a Lab mix.
Yes, always list "mixed breed" on the application and always specify "mixed breed" when going to the veterinarian (shots, etc.).
In some states/municipalities a letter from a doctor or therapist qualifying the dog as an emotional support animal might help.
This thread is nearly as fascinating as the recent "dog bite" thread.

Unfortunately, I'm not surprised that people are suggesting the OP lie about their dog in order to get preferential treatment.

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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by carol-brennan » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:20 pm

There's a guy with a pit bull in my building. What a liability, both for the owner and the association! I'll never understand it. It's nuts, keeping a dog like that. I know I'll sue for anything I can get if that vicious dog bites me. Almost happened already.

I love dogs, but folks, they don't belong in cities! Face reality. You think you can control them? You're kidding yourself.

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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by SRenaeP » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:59 pm

researcher wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:34 pm
The people I knew who had problem breeds got creative in terms of identifying the mix. For example, a friend's Rottweiler became a Lab mix.
Yes, always list "mixed breed" on the application and always specify "mixed breed" when going to the veterinarian (shots, etc.).
In some states/municipalities a letter from a doctor or therapist qualifying the dog as an emotional support animal might help.
This thread is nearly as fascinating as the recent "dog bite" thread.

Unfortunately, I'm not surprised that people are suggesting the OP lie about their dog in order to get preferential treatment.
And this is why a lot of landlords specify no pets. I had to affirmatively state on my landlord insurance application that no 'dangerous' breeds would be kept on the premises. Why take a chance on a tenant deliberately misleading you and causing problems for you down the line? Unfortunately, the dishonest few mess it up for everyone else.

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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by buccimane » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:22 pm

fposte wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:08 pm
buccimane wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:41 am
NJ/NY area, and my roommate also owns a pitbull.

He got the pitbull registered as a service dog (not an emotional support dog). Service animals are a protected class and landlords cannot discriminate. I won't go into the ethics of his actions, but finding a place to rent would have been near impossible given the size of the dog.
There is no legally recognized registry for service dogs, though. The registries themselves are fraudulent private services attempting to capitalize on these kinds of situations.
Legally, it is not mandatory to register an animal as a service animal OR even ask for proof that said animal is a service animal: Per ADA.gov "Mandatory registration of service animals is not permissible under the ADA." https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/service_animal_qa.html

However, some towns/municipalities has voluntary registrations.
A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still

fposte
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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by fposte » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:23 pm

buccimane wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:22 pm
fposte wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:08 pm
buccimane wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:41 am
NJ/NY area, and my roommate also owns a pitbull.

He got the pitbull registered as a service dog (not an emotional support dog). Service animals are a protected class and landlords cannot discriminate. I won't go into the ethics of his actions, but finding a place to rent would have been near impossible given the size of the dog.
There is no legally recognized registry for service dogs, though. The registries themselves are fraudulent private services attempting to capitalize on these kinds of situations.
Legally, it is not mandatory to register an animal as a service animal OR even ask for proof that said animal is a service animal: Per ADA.gov "Mandatory registration of service animals is not permissible under the ADA." https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/service_animal_qa.html
Federally speaking, it's not even that it's not mandatory, it's that there's no place even recognized. You can't register your dog nationally, in a way that has any legal recognition, as a service dog even if you want to.

If a town is trying to crack down on imposters by allowing registration, this seems an excellent illustration of why that doesn't work.

RetiredArtist
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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by RetiredArtist » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:01 pm

Surely a well trained dog & human would be more welcome- take the AKC canine good citizen class, & pass the test.

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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by DanMahowny » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:12 pm

RetiredArtist wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:01 pm
Surely a well trained dog & human would be more welcome- take the AKC canine good citizen class, & pass the test.
Yes. This one.
Funding secured

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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by JackoC » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:28 pm

researcher wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:34 pm
The people I knew who had problem breeds got creative in terms of identifying the mix. For example, a friend's Rottweiler became a Lab mix.
Yes, always list "mixed breed" on the application and always specify "mixed breed" when going to the veterinarian (shots, etc.).
In some states/municipalities a letter from a doctor or therapist qualifying the dog as an emotional support animal might help.
This thread is nearly as fascinating as the recent "dog bite" thread.

Unfortunately, I'm not surprised that people are suggesting the OP lie about their dog in order to get preferential treatment.
It isn't the same though as say if people suggest that other people put a false number or put a number in the wrong category on a tax return rather than the true number or category. That usually gets the comment removed or thread shut down here, which IMO it should.

Here the basic phenomenon we are dealing with is not factual, fear of 'pit bulls' over other similar large/strong dogs, it's public hysteria sometimes justified by pseudo-science from people without credentials. There is no demonstrated scientific basis for the concept of 'dangerous dog breed'. And even if it had any scientific validity, the fact that a mixed breed dog looks a certain way is no indicator of its underlying DNA. Two dogs which are the same % mix of A and B might have very different appearances, very much like A, like B or neither. Appearance of mixed breed dogs is of zero value in predicting behavior.

In the extreme there could be a case where a dog was purchased as a certified pure breed and then it's untruthful to say it's a mixed breed. Even though again breed alone is essentially irrelevant to predicting a dog's temperament or behavior according to any peer reviewed science. However in the overwhelming majority of actual cases dogs called 'pit bulls' *are* mixed breeds, therefore it's not a lie to say so.

Though as I said, with landlord hat on one must consider the liability potential of big strong dogs, and the fact that the legal system and juries, and insurance co's, aren't gteed to be rational. Also the whole 'therapy animal' thing is a different story, there are problems with that concept I agree. But in vast majority of cases of 'pit bulls', the owner would be the one under a mistaken impression if they thought their dog *wasn't* a mixed breed.

researcher
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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by researcher » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:54 am

JackoC wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:28 pm
It isn't the same though as say if people suggest that other people put a false number or put a number in the wrong category on a tax return rather than the true number or category.
However in the overwhelming majority of actual cases dogs called 'pit bulls' *are* mixed breeds, therefore it's not a lie to say so.
But in vast majority of cases of 'pit bulls', the owner would be the one under a mistaken impression if they thought their dog *wasn't* a mixed breed.
Quite the long-winded attempt to justify/rationalize lying about the dog. Per the OP...
"She goes to the vet at the shelter she was adopted from, and there is a paper trail dating to before the adoption listing her as a pit."

Yet you are suggesting the OP conceal & disregard the long paper trail listing the dog as a "pit bull"?
Here the basic phenomenon we are dealing with is not factual, fear of 'pit bulls' over other similar large/strong dogs, it's public hysteria sometimes justified by pseudo-science from people without credentials. There is no demonstrated scientific basis for the concept of 'dangerous dog breed'. And even if it had any scientific validity, the fact that a mixed breed dog looks a certain way is no indicator of its underlying DNA.

the fact that the legal system and juries, and insurance co's, aren't gteed to be rational.
"The following infographic shows that the Pit Bull is still responsible for the most fatal attacks in the U.S. by far, killing 284 people over that 13-year period - 66 percent of total fatalities. That's despite the breed accounting for just 6.5% of the total U.S. dog population."

https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccar ... b5ab0f62f8

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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by LawyersGunsAndMoney » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:48 pm

Renting will be more difficult than without a pitbull or a dog alltogether, but still do-able.

Your best bet is to rent from private landlords (rather than large complexes run by leasing companies). I would suggest being very upfront about it all - so that you don't waste your time (and the landlords) springing the "we have a large pitbull" at the last minute. Be prepared to pay some additional security deposit as you would with any large dog.

In my experience (NYC and DC not Boston) large corporate apartment complexes can be more difficult. My current apartment complex maintains a long list of banned dog breeds that was compiled as a result of every incident they've had in the past 2 decades across all of their properties nationwide. It includes not only Pibulls, Rottweilers, and the standard "scary" dog breeds, but also obscure breeds like Cairn Terriers and even Basset Hounds. Personally I have never met a Basset Hound that moved fast enough to be a danger to a human, but such was their policy....

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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by Ketawa » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:39 pm

researcher wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:54 am
"The following infographic shows that the Pit Bull is still responsible for the most fatal attacks in the U.S. by far, killing 284 people over that 13-year period - 66 percent of total fatalities. That's despite the breed accounting for just 6.5% of the total U.S. dog population."

https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccar ... b5ab0f62f8
I was curious after the dog bite thread, so I read more about this. This doesn't really prove anything.

From this AVMA post on Dog Bite Risk and Prevention: The Role of Breed Literature Review.
Pit Bull Types
Owners of pit bull-type dogs deal with a strong breed stigma, however controlled studies have not identified this breed group as disproportionately dangerous. The pit bull type is particularly ambiguous as a "breed" encompassing a range of pedigree breeds, informal types and appearances that cannot be reliably identified. Visual determination of dog breed is known to not always be reliable. And witnesses may be predisposed to assume that a vicious dog is of this type.

It should also be considered that the incidence of pit bull-type dogs' involvement in severe and fatal attacks may represent high prevalence in neighborhoods that present high risk to the young children who are the most common victim of severe or fatal attacks. And as owners of stigmatized breeds are more likely to have involvement in criminal and/or violent acts—breed correlations may have the owner's behavior as the underlying causal factor.

...

Given that breed is a poor sole predictor of aggressiveness and pit bull-type dogs are not implicated in controlled studies it is difficult to support the targeting of this breed as a basis for dog bite prevention. If breeds are to be targeted a cluster of large breeds would be implicated including the German shepherd and shepherd crosses and other breeds that vary by location.

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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by SRenaeP » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:47 pm

Ketawa wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:39 pm
researcher wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:54 am
"The following infographic shows that the Pit Bull is still responsible for the most fatal attacks in the U.S. by far, killing 284 people over that 13-year period - 66 percent of total fatalities. That's despite the breed accounting for just 6.5% of the total U.S. dog population."

https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccar ... b5ab0f62f8
I was curious after the dog bite thread, so I read more about this. This doesn't really prove anything.

From this AVMA post on Dog Bite Risk and Prevention: The Role of Breed Literature Review.
Pit Bull Types
Owners of pit bull-type dogs deal with a strong breed stigma, however controlled studies have not identified this breed group as disproportionately dangerous. The pit bull type is particularly ambiguous as a "breed" encompassing a range of pedigree breeds, informal types and appearances that cannot be reliably identified. Visual determination of dog breed is known to not always be reliable. And witnesses may be predisposed to assume that a vicious dog is of this type.

It should also be considered that the incidence of pit bull-type dogs' involvement in severe and fatal attacks may represent high prevalence in neighborhoods that present high risk to the young children who are the most common victim of severe or fatal attacks. And as owners of stigmatized breeds are more likely to have involvement in criminal and/or violent acts—breed correlations may have the owner's behavior as the underlying causal factor.

...

Given that breed is a poor sole predictor of aggressiveness and pit bull-type dogs are not implicated in controlled studies it is difficult to support the targeting of this breed as a basis for dog bite prevention. If breeds are to be targeted a cluster of large breeds would be implicated including the German shepherd and shepherd crosses and other breeds that vary by location.
The bolded text is another reason why landlords and insurance companies steer clear of this and similar breeds...

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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by researcher » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:34 pm

Ketawa wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:39 pm
I was curious after the dog bite thread, so I read more about this. This doesn't really prove anything.
Pit Bull Types
Owners of pit bull-type dogs deal with a strong breed stigma, however controlled studies have not identified this breed group as disproportionately dangerous. The pit bull type is particularly ambiguous as a "breed" encompassing a range of pedigree breeds, informal types and appearances that cannot be reliably identified. Visual determination of dog breed is known to not always be reliable.

It should also be considered that the incidence of pit bull-type dogs' involvement in severe and fatal attacks may represent high prevalence in neighborhoods that present high risk to the young children who are the most common victim of severe or fatal attacks. And as owners of stigmatized breeds are more likely to have involvement in criminal and/or violent acts—breed correlations may have the owner's behavior as the underlying causal factor.
How exactly does the information you posted disprove the fatal dog attack statistic I referenced? The answer is...it doesn't.
There was nothing in the article that indicated the 284 fatal pit bull attacks were misidentified.

Did you read the entire article you quoted? It is interesting that you didn't include this passage...
"If you consider only the much smaller number of cases that resulted in very severe injuries or fatalities, pit bull-type dogs are more frequently identified."

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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by Ketawa » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:46 pm

researcher wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:34 pm
Ketawa wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:39 pm
I was curious after the dog bite thread, so I read more about this. This doesn't really prove anything.
Pit Bull Types
Owners of pit bull-type dogs deal with a strong breed stigma, however controlled studies have not identified this breed group as disproportionately dangerous. The pit bull type is particularly ambiguous as a "breed" encompassing a range of pedigree breeds, informal types and appearances that cannot be reliably identified. Visual determination of dog breed is known to not always be reliable.

It should also be considered that the incidence of pit bull-type dogs' involvement in severe and fatal attacks may represent high prevalence in neighborhoods that present high risk to the young children who are the most common victim of severe or fatal attacks. And as owners of stigmatized breeds are more likely to have involvement in criminal and/or violent acts—breed correlations may have the owner's behavior as the underlying causal factor.
How exactly does the information you posted disprove the fatal dog attack statistic I referenced? The answer is...it doesn't.
There was nothing in the article that indicated the 284 fatal pit bull attacks were misidentified.

Did you read the entire article you quoted? It is interesting that you didn't include this passage...
"If you consider only the much smaller number of cases that resulted in very severe injuries or fatalities, pit bull-type dogs are more frequently identified."
I wasn't trying to disprove the statistic you cited, only providing context that there is little scientific evidence that pit bulls are an inherently dangerous breed despite the statistics. Are you trying to twist the article I cited into something it isn't? I think it's pretty clear. Dog bites and higher numbers of fatalities could be due to other confounding factors, even acknowledging the higher number of fatalities. But I don't have an agenda in this thread, I was only curious whether the stigma was justified. I don't own a dog and have never owned a pit bull.

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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by yummeemunnkee » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:03 pm

carol-brennan wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:20 pm
There's a guy with a pit bull in my building. What a liability, both for the owner and the association! I'll never understand it. It's nuts, keeping a dog like that. I know I'll sue for anything I can get if that vicious dog bites me. Almost happened already.

I love dogs, but folks, they don't belong in cities! Face reality. You think you can control them? You're kidding yourself.
+1 :thumbsup

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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by researcher » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:05 pm

Ketawa wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:46 pm
I wasn't trying to disprove the statistic you cited...
I cited an article that stated...
"Pit Bull is responsible for the most fatal attacks in the U.S. by far, killing 284 people over that 13-year period - 66 percent of total fatalities. That's despite the breed accounting for just 6.5% of the total U.S. dog population."

Your response was...
"This doesn't really prove anything."

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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by JackoC » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:24 pm

researcher wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:54 am
JackoC wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:28 pm
It isn't the same though as say if people suggest that other people put a false number or put a number in the wrong category on a tax return rather than the true number or category.
However in the overwhelming majority of actual cases dogs called 'pit bulls' *are* mixed breeds, therefore it's not a lie to say so.
But in vast majority of cases of 'pit bulls', the owner would be the one under a mistaken impression if they thought their dog *wasn't* a mixed breed.
1. Quite the long-winded attempt to justify/rationalize lying about the dog. Per the OP...
"She goes to the vet at the shelter she was adopted from, and there is a paper trail dating to before the adoption listing her as a pit."

Yet you are suggesting the OP conceal & disregard the long paper trail listing the dog as a "pit bull"?
Here the basic phenomenon we are dealing with is not factual, fear of 'pit bulls' over other similar large/strong dogs, it's public hysteria sometimes justified by pseudo-science from people without credentials. There is no demonstrated scientific basis for the concept of 'dangerous dog breed'. And even if it had any scientific validity, the fact that a mixed breed dog looks a certain way is no indicator of its underlying DNA.

2. the fact that the legal system and juries, and insurance co's, aren't gteed to be rational.
"The following infographic shows that the Pit Bull is still responsible for the most fatal attacks in the U.S. by far, killing 284 people over that 13-year period - 66 percent of total fatalities. That's despite the breed accounting for just 6.5% of the total U.S. dog population."

https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccar ... b5ab0f62f8
1. Like I said, if there is bonafide pedigree paperwork saying a dog is a pure breed and you say it's a mixed breed, that's lying. But if some shelter said the dog is a 'pit bull' based on appearance that means nothing relative to whether the dog is a mixed breed or not. Almost all dogs from shelters are mixed breed. Calling them that in the absence of a pedigree is just saying what they virtually certainly are, and usually obviously are. Our late shelter dog was a 'pit bull' on her vet profile, one website we originally saw her on said Dogo Argentino, another said American Bulldog. That was people guessing something they could not and did not know (though Dogo Argentino was the one most likely to be have been at least part of her heritage we believe), not a 'paper trail'. 'Mixed breed' would have been entirely correct, if we cared what anybody called her.

2. A main source of that article is the pseudo-science website, written by non-credentialed advocates, 'dogsbite.org'. A publication like Forbes should know better than to base anything on that site, but apparently does not, or did not in that case. Again, there's no peer reviewed science that's found breed to be a causal factor in dog attacks. The CDC some years ago abandoned keeping stats on attacks by breed because they found the breed identifications too unreliable. Then, the stats even if accurate would not correct for systematic differences in dog management (by humans) by breed...the factors that actual scientific studies like the ASPA's have found to be the causal factors in dog attacks (non-spay/neuter, dogs as yard ornaments not pets, etc). And that's before again considering that the great majority of dogs are mixed breed: even if there were breed DNA factors causing more human aggression (no actual evidence of it), two mixed breed dogs with virtually the same DNA could look very different. Judgments of 'breed' by appearance are worthless in predicting whether a dog is dangerous.

A long winded but I believe necessary way of repeating: the idea of 'dangerous dog breeds' is crap. However since this hysteria is so widespread and embedded in society (though gradually ebbing, more and more states and localities repealing breed specific laws etc) landlords have to consider how it might affect them.
Last edited by JackoC on Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by cbr shadow » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:38 pm

I've lived in (3) HCOL cities where people said I wouldn't be able to final a rental with my (2) Rottweilers, in all cases they were incorrect. It did make things more difficult, but it was never an actual problem finding a rental. It helped that we:
- Have excellent credit and income
- References from other LL's, including info about how neighbors loved our dogs, no complaints etc. Also stating there was no damage from the dogs
- A "Dog Resume". This sounds dumb, but works. I included photos of the dogs, references from previous LL's, Vet, and dog trainer stating that they're reasonably calm and well behaved. They're actually pretty energetic and are reasonably behaved, but that's all relative, I guess.

In all 3 cities I was approved for multiple rentals. In 2 of the 3 cities the landlord wanted to meet the dogs first and that went really well. I made sure the dogs were very tired (mentally and physically) before meeting the LL.

Hope this helps!

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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by LadyGeek » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:43 pm

The discussion is getting derailed on the behavioral aspects of pit bulls. Please stay on-topic, which is finding a place which will accept the OP's pit bull.
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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by GoldStar » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:50 pm

Boston had ordinance specific to Pit Bulls but a state law a few years ago prohibited the ordinances so they had to be removed (hundreds of ordinances across the state were).
Everytime another Pitbull attack or death occurs the debate re-launches (One article below of death of 7-year old). With so much press on pitbulls issues - I'm sure it will be a problem renting with one.
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/ ... story.html
Of course there is the "Service Dog" loophole that someone mentioned above.

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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by researcher » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:52 pm

JackoC wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:24 pm
1. Like I said, if there is bonafide pedigree paper work saying a dog is a pure breed and you say it's a mixed breed, that's lying. If some shelter said the dog is a 'pit bull' based on appearance that means nothing relative to whether the dog is a mixed breed or not. Almost all dogs from shelters are mixed breed. Calling them that in the absence of a pedigree is just saying what they virtually certainly are, and usually obviously are.

2. A main source of that article is the pseudo-science website...
I'm curious about your reliance on the "pure breed" and "mixed breed" argument.

So if a dog is not 100% "pure breed," we should simply categorize it as "mixed breed"?
What if it is 80%, 60% or 51%? You don't think that constitutes a pit bull, majority pit bull, or pit bull mix categorization?

Since I am not of 100% white European ancestry, should I select "Mixed Race" on medical/government/education forms?

And are you saying the statistics regarding fatal dog attacks is wrong?
That the pit bull / pit bull mix dogs in those attacks were misidentified?

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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by JackoC » Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:15 pm

researcher wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:52 pm
JackoC wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:24 pm
1. Like I said, if there is bonafide pedigree paper work saying a dog is a pure breed and you say it's a mixed breed, that's lying. If some shelter said the dog is a 'pit bull' based on appearance that means nothing relative to whether the dog is a mixed breed or not. Almost all dogs from shelters are mixed breed. Calling them that in the absence of a pedigree is just saying what they virtually certainly are, and usually obviously are.

2. A main source of that article is the pseudo-science website...
1. I'm curious about your reliance on the "pure breed" and "mixed breed" argument.

So if a dog is not 100% "pure breed," we should simply categorize it as "mixed breed"?
What if it is 80%, 60% or 51%? You don't think that constitutes a pit bull, majority pit bull, or pit bull mix categorization?

2 And are you saying the statistics regarding fatal dog attacks is wrong?
That the pit bull / pit bull mix dogs in those attacks were misidentified?
1. I believe this is relevant to the thread and accepted as so by the moderator. If a dog has a pedigree you can't honestly call it mixed breed. If there was any other reliable source for saying what breed dogs were it would also apply to those. But in practical reality, beside pedigrees, the assessments dog breed is almost always a guess. By people who almost never know what % of this or that breed the dog actually is, and in many cases don't what they are talking about at all. In most practical cases of non-pedigree dogs the dog *is* a mix, therefore it's not untruthful to say that. And also keeping mind that 'pit bull' is not even a breed, there are 4 actual AKC/UKC breeds generally accepted as being under that heading, but others sometimes appended.

2. This line of argument however while also relevant IMO (the irrationality about 'pit bulls' is something landlords have to still deal with), is apparently annoying the moderator. So I would simply say that if you research the question in *scientific* sources with an open mind, I believe you will come to accept: there is no peer reviewed science saying that dog breed is a causal factor in dog attacks, although there's lots of pseudo-scientific advocacy on the internet claiming so. And I won't comment further on it.

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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by jibantik » Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:56 pm

researcher wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:52 pm
JackoC wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:24 pm
1. Like I said, if there is bonafide pedigree paper work saying a dog is a pure breed and you say it's a mixed breed, that's lying. If some shelter said the dog is a 'pit bull' based on appearance that means nothing relative to whether the dog is a mixed breed or not. Almost all dogs from shelters are mixed breed. Calling them that in the absence of a pedigree is just saying what they virtually certainly are, and usually obviously are.

2. A main source of that article is the pseudo-science website...
I'm curious about your reliance on the "pure breed" and "mixed breed" argument.

So if a dog is not 100% "pure breed," we should simply categorize it as "mixed breed"?
What if it is 80%, 60% or 51%? You don't think that constitutes a pit bull, majority pit bull, or pit bull mix categorization?

Since I am not of 100% white European ancestry, should I select "Mixed Race" on medical/government/education forms?

And are you saying the statistics regarding fatal dog attacks is wrong?
That the pit bull / pit bull mix dogs in those attacks were misidentified?
Researcher you seem to have two problems (1) you don't understand what 'breed' is and (2) you don't understand correlation vs causation.

Breed is a very arbitrary categorization. It is not a scientific classification system like species (of which all dogs are the same). As has been mentioned, you can't say a dog is breed X because it looks like breed X. Breed simply means that it has documented ancestry to dogs in the stud book (for whatever organization you a basing that on). It is literally incorrect to say a dog is breed X unless you have proof of proper ancestry (pedigree). This is one reason breed-specific legislation is moronic. Many people think they dog is some breed but they have no proof of acceptable ancestry. Probably most people are wrong about their dogs breed and more than likely have a mutt.

Regarding point (2), statistics aren't wrong. How can they be? The conclusions one draws from them can be wrong, however. Here is an analogy that matches perfectly with your reasoning. [OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek]

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Re: Renting in Boston - how difficult with a pit bull?

Post by LadyGeek » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:26 pm

I removed some off-topic comments associating an analogy of human ancestry racial background with stereotypical behaviors. This thread has run its course and is locked (contentious, derailed).
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