GoPetFriendly.com

Pet Travel. Made Easy.

Dealing With Breed Discrimination

A few months back we got a note from the couple that writes the blog, Two Pitties in the City. They were planning a trip with their dogs from Chicago to St. Louis and were looking for some advice on hotels. Their primary concern was that they wouldn’t find accommodations that would allow them to stay with Ms. M and Mr. B, their two remarkable Pit bulls.

Unfortunately, it’s not an uncommon story – more than 100 breeds of dogs are currently banned or restricted somewhere in this country. And more are being added all the time.

It’s also no secret that finding an abandoned German Shepherd ultimately led to the startup of GoPetFriendly.com and the creation of this blog. Buster came to us in May 2008, we launched the website in June 2009, and made our maiden RV voyage in March 2010.

You know the rest … We sold our home. What few possessions we have are in storage. We travel full-time in the Winnebago with Ty and Buster.

And we’re doing it with a restricted breed dog.

Buster Buckled Up

German Shepherds are the fourth most restricted dog breed, surpassed only by Pit bulls, Rottweilers and Dobermans.

Since we spend most of our time in RV parks and campgrounds, we seldom run into the pet weight restrictions that you find in so many hotels. However, unlike the hotels, breed restrictions are fairly common at campgrounds. At least once a week we’ll see a sign at the reservation desk boldly proclaiming “No Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans. Thank you.” And, it’s not uncommon to see that list expanded to include Akitas, Boxers, Bulldogs, Chows, Huskies, Malamutes, Mastiffs, or Shepherds.

On occasion a campground will ban us – they say it’s because of municipal ordinances or requirements of their insurance policy. It’s frustrating and demeaning when it happens, but it will not keep us from traveling! There is always another campground in the area that is happy to have us.

Buster on the beach

So, if you’ve hesitated to plan a trip with your restricted breed dog for fear it will be too difficult, we’re here to help. We provide detailed pet policies for the hotels and campgrounds listed on GoPetFriendly.com, including any breed restrictions they impose. With a bit of perseverance, luck, and help from your friends, your dog will not have to be left behind just because of his appearance.

Planning a pet friendly trip of your own? We’ll make it easy:
Pet Friendly Hotels | Pet Friendly Destinations | Pet Friendly Activities

  • Jen says:

    I’m confused by your post. Are you saying that you stayed with your GSD at campgrounds that had posted breed restrictions? Or are you saying there are plenty of alternatives to those with posted breed restrictions. My dog is a rescue, likely PB, but I was wondering if I could get a veterinary statement that states she is a boxer/terrier cross…. ;-) I’m new to RV’ing and am really disappointed when I find an “ideal campground” and then see these ridiculous rules.

    • Amy at GoPetFriendly.com says:

      Hi Jen! Thanks for your note. What I was hoping to get across is that we’ve found plenty of options where breed restrictions weren’t an issue. State parks, national parks, national forests, and Army Corp of Engineers campgrounds are all fantastic – and we’ve never encountered a breed ban at any of these places.

      If you’re interested, we have a blog post that specifically addresses traveling with pitties: https://blog.gopetfriendly.com/tips-for-traveling-with-pitbulls/

      Good luck and waggin’ trails!

  • Pet Discrimination says:

    Let’s have these so called family and/or senior & pet friendly parks impose and uphold these rules to include unbehaved kids/teenagers (under the auspices of visiting their grandparents) only to cause havoc. I’ll take my dog (Doberman better behaved than many kids, or adults for that matter) and as a disabled senior my support.

    • Amy at GoPetFriendly.com says:

      I completely understand your outrage and upset. Fortunately, we’ve found that we enjoy staying in national, state and community campgrounds – and have never found one that discriminates based on breed. Of course, I wish that all campgrounds would judge every pet based on their behavior, but until then, we’ll choose to spend our money at RV parks and campgrounds that are truly pet friendly. Safe travels to you!

  • Pet Discrimination says:

    It is absolutely despicable that these practices occur – much of which is promulgated by greedy attorneys that misrepresent and make false claims against certain breeds and paint them to be vicious predators. I’d much rather be with my dog as opposed to some of these kids that destroy neighborhoods. As far as the RV’ing goes – if one has an ADA disability they may be discriminating against you – check the federal laws. On a final note: Places that advertise “PET FRIENDLY” but have breed and weight restrictions ARE NOT PET FRIENDLY – and they advertise with the *but don’t list any other information. Many of these are in the Frostproof, Florida area. They all need to be reported.

  • Wendy Athey says:

    Thank you for setting up this blog. My husband has recently retired after 30 years in the Army and we’re planning to spend the next couple of months camping around the country. We’re new to rv’ing and have a one and a half year old Rottweiler. We got him when he was 12 weeks old and he is an absolute sweetheart- the classic “Ferdinand” if you know that children’s book. It’s annoying that people judge dogs by appearances; I’ve encountered PLENTY of small breed dogs (suffering from Napoleon syndrome) who are way more aggressive than our rottie!

    • Amy at GoPetFriendly.com says:

      Hi Wendy! Thanks so much for your note and congratulations on your husband’s retirement. It sounds like you’re ready to start a new adventure with your pup. I completely understand your concern and disappointment. On the positive side, I can also tell you there are plenty of places you’ll be able to go camping with your Rottie! Sticking to the federal and state campgrounds is a good bet. We’ve never run into breed discrimination at national parks, national forests, Army Corp of Engineers campgrounds, BLM sites or state parks. And, they tend to be quieter, less expensive, and more scenic than the privately-owned campgrounds that impose breed restrictions.

      I hope that helps, and that the website is useful as you begin planning your pet friendly travels! Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do!

  • Rafael A. Garcia says:

    p.s. any suggestion in finding a hotel that allows pitbulls in kissimmee florida for about one month or two please if you have any information please feel free to let me know.

    • Amy at GoPetFriendly.com says:

      Hi Rafael! We have detailed pet policies for many hotels on GoPetFriendly.com – including a list of restricted breeds, if any. Also, you can generally count on the Kimpton chain to not impose any breed restrictions. The only other suggestion I have is to call the hotels you’re considering, explain the situation, and ask if they’re willing to accommodate you. I hope that helps and wish you all the best!

  • Rafael A. Garcia says:

    I’m moving to kissimmee florida and I have a pitbull that’s protective as any other dog that see’s a person that he don’t know or never seen before and I’m looking for a hotel to stay at until I find a home and I can’t find one any suggestion in finding a hotel also what are the laws out in florida for pitbull I’m kind of worry because of my baby boy who protect me from people he don’t know and he barks at them but he’s never lose he’s alway leached with a body hardness a very strong one where he can’t escape from it so please if you have any information I would like to hear them thank you!

    • Amy at GoPetFriendly.com says:

      Hi Rafael! Congratulations on your move – I’m sure you’re looking forward to getting settled again. To find current information on laws affecting pitbulls, you can visit the Wikipedia Breed-Specific Legislation page > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breed-specific_legislation or the interactive Breed-Specific Legislation Map > https://animalfarmfoundation.org/community-advocates/bsl-map/ from the Animal Farm Foundation. Both are great resources.

      As for finding a hotel, we have detailed pet policies for many hotels on GoPetFriendly.com – including a list of restricted breeds, if any. Also, you can generally count on the Kimpton chain to not impose any breed restrictions. The only other suggestion I have is to call the hotels you’re considering, explain the situation, and ask if they’re willing to accommodate you. I hope that helps and wish you all the best!

  • Elsie Henson says:

    Yes I’m new in Tampa Florida area and I’m having a hard time finding a RV resort to except my pitbull and I don’t want to get rid of her so can you help please

    • Amy at GoPetFriendly.com says:

      I’m sorry to hear you’re having trouble, Elsie. We do provide detailed pet policies for the campgrounds and RV parks listed on GoPetFriendly.com. In addition, I’ve found that state and national parks do not discriminate based on breed. I hope that helps and that you find a place that works for you and your pup.

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