Dogs can be a conflict-prone issue in the rental business. Our landlady is convinced that clear communication and mutual respect can help resolve potential disagreements.
Today I’m writing about a topic that might cause a shitstorm. I am prepared! The issue is pets, dogs to be precise, and thus a family member that is now part of one in four households – and usually comes along on holiday. So I’m talking about a large target group – and a steadily growing one.
To come straight to the point: I like dogs, but I never wanted one myself, neither before nor after corona, and certainly not because my children wanted one. As a non-dog owner, I approach the subject rather unemotionally, and as a landlady I am sceptical for professional reasons. Actually, it is not the animals that concern me, but the creative communication of the dogs’ masters and mistresses. While many proactively advertise their beloved four-legged friends as “well-behaved, not shedding and house-trained”, there are some who delay any information about their dog. Every now and then, after all the travel details have been meticulously discussed, I get the info: “By the way, we bring a small, lovely dog. Is that a problem?”.
Personally, I wouldn’t mind if guests informed me that they want to bring a shaggy, wild dog that they have well under control. Well, no one has ever dared to do that. Instead, I collect dog breeds. But is a Labrador a better holiday guest than a Golden Retriever? Does a dachshund shed less than a poodle? Would I prefer a Great Dane, who is very likely to sleep on the floor due to its size and weight, to a Chihuahua in bed? I’ve also had cute dog photos emailed to me and I take that as out-and-out bribe.
Why this effort? Many beautiful accommodations categorically refuse dogs, others have formulated their experiences into clear rules over the course of time. These, however, sometimes provoke resistance. Oftentimes, I’ve had to discuss why I accept one dog but not two. That would be no difference, I was told. And what about the guest who wanted to come with four dogs? How many paws is the limit?
Dogs are a conflict-laden topic in the rental business. That’s not my claim, no, that’s what a lady told me who wanted to book a holiday home with me. When I explained that it was not possible to bring her dog in the requested time period, she immediately expressed great understanding and told me that she herself also rented out holiday flats and that no dogs were allowed there at all. After all, she knew very well what could happen. I was speechless.
What now? More and more people have a dog and an increasing number have two or more. Statistically speaking, the number of dog-owning landlords who do not allow dogs should increase as well. A dilemma. Perhaps it’s an advantage that I don’t have a dog myself. For I can confidently promise you: well-behaved four-legged friends are very welcome here. But I would like to know before confirming any booking how many legs will be arriving. And if I decide to say no, I don’t want to discuss it.
PS: Dog-friendly accommodations are listed here.
Published: April 2023
Coverphoto: Spencer Watson / Unsplash