Top 10 Most Commonly Restricted Dog Breeds in The US


In the United States, certain breeds of dogs are entirely restricted by landlords, management associations, and apartment complexes. As a result, housing options are limited for owners of these restricted breeds. While all dogs are deemed a man's best friend, some breeds are known to be friendlier for apartment residents than others.

Moreover, breed restrictions are unfortunately legal in the United States. Some of these commonly restricted dog breeds in the United States include Pitt Bulls, American Bullies, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers, Cane Corso, Mastiffs, Rottweilers, Boxers, Great Danes, Staffordshire Terriers, Akita, Malamute, Husky, Irish Wolf Hound, and St. Bernard.

These particular breeds don’t typically make it onto the approved list for apartments because of fears of aggressive behaviors associated with them. In addition, The restricted breeds are simply deemed worse for apartments due to their energy level, size, and the amount of noise they make.

The Top 10 Most Commonly Restricted Dog Breeds in The US

  1. American Bully
  2. German Shepherds
  3. Doberman Pinschers
  4. Cane Corso
  5. Mastiffs
  6. Rottweilers
  7. Boxers
  8. Great Danes
  9. Staffordshire Terriers
  10. Akita

1. American Bully

American Bully dog restriction in the United States

Being a cross between three Pitbull-type dog breeds, the American Bully is one of the most commonly restricted breeds of dog in the United States. The American bully is known to possess the same DNA as the pit bull terrier. However, when raised properly, American bullies are known to be some of the most loving canines you’ll find. If suitably socialized, American bullies will tolerate children and other animals as well.

2. German Shepherds

German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is usually restricted from apartments or leased dwellings, even though it is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. In the United States, there are several districts where the ownership of a German Shepherd has been restricted. The restrictions are much more common in the urban areas of many states including Louisiana, Florida, and New York. Furthermore, The breed's restriction is largely due to their size, liability and insurance reasons. As a German Shepherd owner, it is important to prove that you are a responsible pet owner by always striving to showcase the best qualities of your dog.

3. Doberman Pinschers

Doberman Pinscher

One of the most commonly restricted dog breeds across the United States is the Doberman Pinscher. The breed is usually restricted by cities in several states including Nebraska, Tennessee, Georgia, Louisiana, and Michigan. In 2016, a Michigan family was left heartbroken after a Doberman Pinscher attacked and killed their 4-year-old daughter.

4. Cane Corso

Cane Corso

The Cane Corso is mostly restricted by cities in many states such as Nebraska, Washington, Arkansas, and Colorado. The Cane Corso is commonly restricted across the US because of the many isolated reports of bites and attacks by the breed. Plus, they are deemed unfriendly to families with young children. In November 2022, a Southern California teenage girl was viciously mauled by six Cane Corso dogs owned by her family at their home.

5. Mastiffs

American mastiff

Mastiffs are large dogs that are surprisingly known to be well-suited for life in an apartment. Unfortunately, these dogs, which are actually a group of related breeds, are restricted or banned in many US cities seemingly because of their large size. Some landlords and HOAs in states such as Michigan, Washington, and Wisconsin have imposed weight restrictions to keep large dogs out of some apartment complexes. In fact, some U.S. cities such as Wapato, Washington, and Abbotsford, Wisconsin, ban mastiffs altogether, regardless of their good nature and friendly disposition. That includes the French mastiff, American mastiff, English mastiff, and many others.

6. Rottweilers


Rottweilers are commonly restricted by cities in Wisconsin, Washington, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Dakota, North Carolina, New York, New Mexico, Nebraska, Montana, Missouri, Mississippi, Michigan, Louisiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Georgia, Arkansas, Alaska, and Alabama. According to reports, irresponsible breeding highly contributed to legislation against Rottweilers. In addition, Rottweilers are often deemed naturally aggressive because people who want personal protection dogs typically choose and train them to be aggressive.

7. Boxers

Boxer dog breed restriction in the United States

The Boxer dog is one of the most popular breeds among pet owners in the United States. They are affectionate and possess a playful character and distinct features that make people fall in love with them. However, many homeowner associations and landlords find them intimidating and dangerous because they are an athletic and muscular breed. However, according to Animal Wised, Boxers are not known to have a tendency for aggression or attacks.

8. Great Danes

Great Dane dog

One of the most commonly restricted dog breeds in US apartment complexes is the Great Dane. In many U.S. cities, Great Dane owners are often faced with situations wherein they are denied apartments because of the breed or appearance of their dog. As one of the largest dog breeds, Great Danes are also restricted by insurance companies. Despite appearances, Great Danes are particularly known to be friendly and affectionate. In addition, they are not known to be aggressive or possess a predatory drive.

9. Staffordshire Terriers

American Staffordshire Terrier

Staffordshire Terriers are one of the restricted dog breeds in the United States. This includes the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier, which are defined as pit bulls. Several municipalities and counties have ordinances that prohibit these dogs within their jurisdiction due to the severity of their bite and the undue risk they pose to their residents. In Melvindale, Michigan, for example, it is illegal to own or keep Pit bull terriers.

10. Akita

Akita dog

Despite its adorable look, the Akita is restricted by cities in Washington, Tennessee, Michigan, Iowa, and Louisiana. According to Akita Rescue Mid-Atlantic Coast, these dogs are known to be aggressive.

Other breeds restricted or banned in the United States include Boerboel, Akbash, Alaskan Malamute, American husky, Australian Cattle Dog, Shar Pei, American Eskimo Dog, Fila Brasileiro, Golden Retriever, Chow Chow, and Otterhound.

Things You Can Do to Get Around Breed Restrictions in The US

If you own a dog that falls under the restricted breeds, there are some things you can try to get around breed restrictions when you want to rent an apartment. Besides, it is how you train and care for your dog that matter, not the breed. In fact, some apartment operators say they look for better residents, as opposed to restricting dogs. That said, you may succeed in getting around breed restrictions by doing the following things:

  • Get your dog a canine DNA test
  • Train your dog professionally
  • Seek out apartments owned by one person
  • Get insurance for your dog
  • Offer a pet deposit
  • Build a “Resume” for your dog
  • Have your dog registered as an emotional support one

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