There is an ongoing thread in the Living The RV Dream Facebook group about RV parks that do not allow pitt bulls, Rottweilers, and other dog breeds that are considered aggressive. I wasn’t surprised that the thread got a lot of comments and raised a lot of emotions, but it also revealed just how short-sighted some people are about their dogs.
First of all, I love dogs, okay? Well, except for yappy little mutts, who really are barking rats. But a well trained, well mannered dog is a joy to be around, and while we have made a decision not to have any more pets at this time in our lives and careers, I have loaner dogs all over the country that I can stop and visit with to get my puppy fix. And yes, I’ve heard all of the arguments about that fact that there are no bad dogs, only bad owners. And yes, I have also heard all about how pitts, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, and German Shepherds get a bad rap. I used to raise and train German shepherds, and while I have known some absolutely wonderful Dobies and Rotts, you cannot convince me that there is a better, more faithful, more intelligent dog breed in the world than a quality shepherd.
But all that being said, I totally understand why many RV parks do not allow such breeds. First of all, right or wrong, they do have bad reputation in the minds of many people. So no matter how much of a lovable mutt it might be, a lot of people look and see a killer animal just waiting for the chance to maul their kids. That fear doesn’t make for a good camping experience and they may leave and/or not come back.
Furthermore, a lot of insurance companies will not allow certain breeds of dogs in the RV parks they cover. One of the requirements the companies that insured our Gypsy Journal rallies had was no “aggressive” dog breeds, and they specified several, including those listed earlier, as well as Chows.
People argue that the RV parks should find new insurance companies, and that not all RV parks have these rules. As to finding a new insurance company, what if they can’t, or can’t find one they can afford? And yes, some RV parks do allow any kind of dogs. I don’t know who they are insured with, if they are insured at all.
Another argument is that RV parks should allow guests with dogs to sign a waiver guaranteeing the dogs are safe. Just how long do you think that will keep the RV park from getting sued if that dog does bite somebody? You can’t turn on your TV without having some ambulance chaser urging you to call them so you can sue somebody. Like I said, some pets owners are very short-sighted when it comes to reality.
The long and short of it is that we all make choices that affect our RV travels. I choose to have a 40 foot diesel pusher with two slides, which means there are some campgrounds I can’t fit into. It’s the same thing with dogs. If you have what is considered an aggressive breed, or just a big dog that an RV park doesn’t allow on their grounds, that’s the price you pay to take your pet with you in your RV. Don’t blame the RV park owner for your choices. And if you prefer to take your business elsewhere where your dog is welcome, that’s the price he pays for the choices he makes for his business.
On another topic, Bib Difley has a troubling blog on RV.Net about HR5204, the latest attempt by bureaucrats to limit or charge for access onto public lands that belong to all of us. Check it out and take action.
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I have 2 pit bulls and I defy any rv park or insurance company in the world to tell me I can’t take them there. My dogs go everywhere with me and anybody who dont like it can suck it up. I was in a Ace hardware last week and some clerk tried to tell me they couldn’t come inside. I told him to try and stop me. Me and the dogs are easy going until you mess with us but then theres going to be trouble. We have been in rv parks all over and never had a problem.
Good blog Nick. We have a sweetheart of a Rotty but when we go camping we leave him with our son. It’s just easier that way for everybody.
One of my friends has been a vet for many years. One time, years ago, I talked to her about possibly getting a Rottweiler. She showed me some very deep scratches in the door of the examining room…told me that incident was why she NEVER treated them anymore…and that there was one vet, a man, who would in the area….but apparently no one else would. (This is a large population area in central WA. state, by the way). The main problem with a rottie is this kind of dog needs CONSTANT instruction to keep them in order and virtually no owner of them she had ever known of, was able to be that kind of owner. The reason for those deep scratches on the exam room door? The rottie had been given 3 shots of the maximum amount in order for her to try to treat the dog…and it still was out of control…after the marks on the door, it had to leave her office, untreated. We have always had blue heelers, for the most part. Blue heelers on the other hand are dogs you can teach how to behave and THEY CONSISTENTLY WILL BEHAVE, regardless of how they might feel, even if under threat. So she knew that a dog that had to be under instruction 100& of the time was not what I wanted.
Regardless of the reasons for an RV park refusing pets, no matter what kind, should not matter. Private owners SHOULD in a free country be able to determine what is best for themselves and their customers…and even if it seems unfair or ridiculous to others….that should be their right to do as they choose. I think your first commenter makes very clear why most of us would not want a dog of that type. And me too, Nick…have always loved dogs and always will. But in my opinion, some breeds simply should not be allowed to be bred anymore…and thereby be an end to the breed. Dogs can be VERY protective of their owners and still be safe around the public. But some breeds have killed and maimed a number of humans…so thereby goes my reason for why I feel they should not be allowed. People who do not care for others and their rights, often have pets who pick up on that and that can make them very dangerous. Some of them have even turned on their owners. SCARY!!
Here is my comment on HR 5204 that I posted in the Escapees Forum. According to the source I found, it concluded that there was only a 7% chance that this bill would become law.
H.R. 5204: Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Modernization …
… Act of 2014
Introduced: Jul 25, 2014 Status: Reported by Committee on Jul 30, 2014
Prognosis 7% chance of being enacted
Not a problem on HR 5204. We are talking lawmakers that can’t pass a bill in this day and age. Our system is broke!
There is one other troubling thing that is being pushed by some republican candidates and that is to sell and close down national parks, sites, etc. That is even worse than paying for access to public lands IMHO.
If you want to get rid of the National Dept. —–put the NP’s and all public lands up for the highest bidder! Like the concessions are by private companies.
Alright now I have the Grand Canyon for sale……starting bid 1 Billion $$$$, who will start it? Now 1.2 B…………………………………………………………….anyone?
Did you ever notice how dogs tend to have the same personality as the owners? If someplace tells you they don’t allow dogs, why would you try to bully your way in. Why would you want to go in?
Nick, you never cease to amaze me at your ability to see both sides of an issue and you ability to compare very different circumstances (IE: dogs vs. slides) in order to illustrate your beliefs. I guess that’s the author in you and I am so jealous of that trait. I am also amazed at how you and I think alike on the matters.
BTW, I own a very well disciplined Rat Terrier, who just loves to go RVing and shopping with us. We’ll be full timers when the sale of our house closes later THIS month. Wish us luck!!!!
Dang……get rid of National DEBT.
I have to agree with Nick about the RV Parks having a choice to let aggressive dogs into their park. We had a silky terrier who was severely abused before we got him from a rescue group. Charlie was the sweetest dog we have ever owned, we never trusted him around strangers, he never bit a person that is because we always had him under control. When folks came over he would bark, then we took control of him immediately but once he got to know folks he was fine. Many of our friends knew if he was out and was barking not to get near, he was protecting us, but the also knew that after the first bark we had him in control. He died last year after twelve years of unconditional love. We now have a dog who is the direct opposite he loves everyone and probable would let anyone in to rob us a as long as he get a butt scratch. But we also keep him in tight control when it comes to barking, he is learning when it is OK to bark, yes Nick he is a yappy Chihuahua mix. We have never had a complaint about his barking when we are gone. He is still a puppy only 19 months but he is a quick learner thank heavens
Jan, I’m glad I wasn’t the only person who noticed that one.
Since this is our 20th year of full timing we have been in literally hundreds of parks over these years which has given us the opportunity to observe hundreds if not thousands of pet owners, mostly dog owners, in an RV park setting. We have observed that if it is a self registration park with no rules posted or camp host, maybe one out of ten will clean up after their pet. Most owners seem to also be oblivious to obnoxious barking of their dogs and how far the sound carries in a park.. Also, almost all pet owners get defensive when asked to either clean up after their pet or curtail the pets barking. In reply to the arrogant post from the owner of two pit bulls, a business owner has the perfect right to set legitimate rules for his or her business. If the rules are not to your liking , you just don’t patronize the business.
For those of you looking to actually read the HR5204 bill and express your opinion on-line, this is another good link:
Todd your arrogance proves the point that there are no bad dogs just bad dog owners. You seem to feel that your rights are superior to those of the rest of us. Your attitude reminds me of the attitude of aggressive gun owners, who also seem to think that their rights exceed those of the rest of us. I hope that some day that shop owner, that RV park owner or your neighbor in the RV park is an aggressive gun owner who thinks like you and doesn’t like pit bulls. You two can get into an argument, he shoots you and your dogs kill him. The world would be a better place with two fewer fanatics (extremists). Maybe it will even happen in Big Lake some day. Great blog post Nick. Right on as usual.
Whose business is it what kind of dog I have? I don’t tell anyone how to live their life so don’t tell me how to live mine.
Nick, regarding comment #1, the jury says you can rest your case about dog owners!!
We have 3 Cats. If you can wake them up they will be perrrrrr-fect. I built them a hanging bed that is purrrrr-tected so they can’t fall out while traveling. Where do they spend their time, Yep on the table or the coach. I know I told them to move a bunch of times but Noooooooooo
We have owned dogs for years.
We specifically purchased our latest dog on the fact we will be 1/2 timing to full timing in our motor-home.
We chose a whippet so we would be under the 30 pound rule and is a non aggressive breed. After 3 years we have a wonderful affectionate dog that wants to lick everyone that comes close to him. We pick up 100% of the time and respect the wishes of the businesses and rv parks where we shop and stay.
People who act like the person who wrote comment #1 scare me and are the reason I cannot take my dog on a hike on some parks.
If you RV, chose your breed so you can RV!!!!!!
Molly (60 lb. golden,cocker mix) and I were attacked by a German Shepherd that has ” never done that before”. We were in our campsite and the owner was unhooking it to put it away and it just shot over us and took Molly down in a blur.the owner had to near kill her dog to get it to let go of Molly. We were both bit in the process, we both needed tetanus shots, the dogs needed vets. Molly lays down and cries when she sees a German shepherd. The sheriff said they would have shot both dogs if they had responded to the altercation. This was last June. The owner was devastated . Very ugly mess. It is in the breed.
My parents had a cute little Cocker Spaniel that would bite the piss out of anyone at any time and OFTEN.
I have had German Shepherds and now have a Doberman, both of those vicious breeds simply want to hang out and be great companions. Gentle and very loyal and great with meeting new friends, in fact the Dob loves to have strangers (new friends) scratch his head.
So for my part PEOPLE who have it wrong have it WAY wrong and many of those are the IDIOTS Nick refers to in a later post. The first commenter is an example of people who should be banned not their pets.