Big dogs in 4 of the homes - how many will I lose?

I am looking at a park with 22 tenants and 4 large dogs.

If the dogs are not vicious breeds, do we need to remove all of them? I heard somewhere that all dogs over 30 pounds are out.

If I enforce a 30 pound weight limit, what percentage of the tenants will leave vs getting rid of their dogs?

Thank you!

We only make people get rid of vicious breed dogs. If it is not a vicious breed, then regardless of size, the dog can stay. But people do tend to become attached to their pets, so you will probably lose most of the families that have vicious breed dogs.

Let us know what your experience is,


What do the existing park rules state regrding the size of dogs allowed ?

If the rules state no large dogs you have two choices either change the dog rule or inforce it. If you are going to have rules you must inforce all of them or none of them.

If however you are planning on introducing a new “small dogs only rule” I would include a grandfather clause for existing dogs and inforce the rule for all new applicants.

I have found that potential tenants with large dogs generally do one of two things either withdraw their application and look elsewhere or lie about the size of their dog and try to sneek it into the park. The ones that sneek in oversized dogs get an eviction notice.

Based on this I would guess most of your tenants with large dogs will likley leave. If you do not mind if they leave then inforce the rule.

I’d discuss this with your insurance agent (hopefully Kurt Kelley). We had to deal with this issue last year, as insurance companies are getting out of the “dog business”. Greg is right that the tenants lie, cheat and steal to keep their large dogs, and you are never going to be able to say with 100% certainty that all bid dogs have been eliminated. However, your big concern is keeping your liability insurance which includes dog bites, so you have to follow the course of action demanded by your insurance carrier to best protect their interests.

With dog bites now ranking as the #1 liability claim in mobile home parks, all insurance companies are going to put a microscope on this issue shortly, and there will come a day in which no mobile home park will allow big dogs and that will be that. Maybe that’s why big dogs are free at the humane society, but small dogs cost $200. Small dogs are the future.

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Okay - so are you saying that a dog under 30 lbs is less liley to bite someone or if they do there is less damage or injury? It seems obvious at first glance that larger dogs may be more dangerous but is that really true? I was also thinking about extent of damage to the rental homes based on dog size. One of my managers just approved a 100 lb dog in a home we just spent thousands rehabbing - so should I change the weight rule to allow only smaller dogs? And then do you have a doggie scale in the office to see if they make weight? :wink:


The rules on dogs come from our insurance company – that’s where the weight came from. The actuarial tables show that small dogs do not give significant bites that win big settlements, but big dogs can kill or maim and win big jury awards. Big dogs do also damage homes much more significantly, but small dogs are not the best either if they are not properly managed. We have noticed that tenants with small dogs seem to be much more attentive to their animals, while tenants with big dogs tend to see them more as a personal defense system, and not as a valued member of the family. The key to dogs is not so much an exact weigh-in, but what the breed is. There are published lists of dangerous breeds and virtually the only large breeds not on that list are Golden Retrievers and Labs. Seldom do you need to whip out a scale to figure out if it’s a “small dog” or a “large dog”.

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Agreed. I checked with Kurt Kelley and he said there were some big claims in 2013 so this is something to pay attention to for sure.


Our park has dog restrictions. We have a basic small dog’s only policy, clarified as no dog taller than 20" at the withers (shoulder). We follow the kennel club standards in definition of size.

The question of size is more than simply the threat of bites. We find owners of smaller dogs can more easily control there dogs where as larger dogs are generally less controllable. In addition we have a rule that no dog is to be outside unattended or off leash. Again small dog owners are very good at following this rule as generally they treat it more like a child and do not want it left alone. Large dog owners tend to put them out unattended as they are too rambunctious inside.

If they are unattended they bark, if they bark they disturb the neighbors and that makes more work for us policing the rules.

Small dogs are far more suitable for a tight community than large dogs for multiple reasons all related to ease of maintaining the community.

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We went to an 18 lb limit on dogs indoor only. There is the liabilty issue and other reasons. A big dog doing a pound of dog crap a day times x 30 lots is 10,000 lbs of dog crap in the park annually. It was becoming a health issue. Lawns were covered with it. Kids getting in it. Big dogs tend to be left outside where they bark loudly and lunge at passersby scaring young and old. Indoors on the rentals, their claws on the windows wrecked them. Had a tenat “caring” for a 30 lb. Dog scratched a tenant’s arm while the tenant was holding a small dog. Had she been holding an infant, an eye could have been lost. Tenant has no money. Somebody has to pay for a life without an eye - that would be you Mr. Park owner.

The state passed a law that parks have to accept companion dogs regardless of size. Unlike service dogs that help the blind, companion dogs are just that. So people go to health practicioner (not even a doctor) and say I feel bad. A dog would make me feel better, get a note. Now a little dog could provide companionship as well as the 40 lb problem breed dog, but they want the pit bull and we are not supposed to refuse them on account of it’s a companion dog. Watch out if this law is proposed in your state.

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