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Why Do RV Parks Have Dog Breed Restrictions?


RV Park Dog Restrictions: Why Are Certain Dogs Not Allowed?

According to Go RVing, 63% of RVers plan to involve a dog in their 2022 RV camping plans. Most dogs are enthusiastic adventurers and love being involved in whatever their family is doing.

Most RV parks see the value in welcoming dogs to their campground. Some RV parks even include amenities like dog parks with agility playgrounds just for dogs and their humans.

As dog-friendly as many RV parks are, the owners of dogs of certain breeds are sometimes shocked to find out that their dogs are banned from many parks. Typically, banned dog breeds include bully breeds, pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Doberman pinschers, German Shepherds, Wolf mixes, and Rottweillers.

Owners of these dogs rightfully feel indignant that their canine family member is on an RV park’s banned breed list—especially when they are responsible dog owners who have taken the care and responsibility to train their dogs to be well-behaved. So, why on earth do RV parks have breed restrictions, anyway?

Some reasons RV parks have breed restrictions

When your well-behaved dog is banned from an RV park strictly because of his or her breed, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that the park management is solely responsible for the decision to restrict certain breeds. Although this might be part of the reason to ban certain dog breeds, it is rarely the case.

Jurisdictional Breed Restrictions

Some states or towns prohibit certain breeds. It’s always good to check with the local authorities if you think your dog might be on their restricted breed list.

Liability Insurance Requirements

All RV parks have liability insurance. Some insurance companies require restrictions of certain breeds on RV park property.

If the RV park needs insurance coverage in the event of a dog-related incident, it has to restrict certain breeds. This does not necessarily mean that dogs of restricted breeds are more aggressive to people or to other dogs. It does mean that the insurance companies don’t want to be on the hook for damages that might be caused if a dog of one of the restricted breeds were to attack another dog, or worse, a human.

Some dog breeds can be more intimidating than others

There is no reliable evidence that dogs of any breed are more likely to be aggressive than others. However, a few dog breeds have been bred for many generations to be more responsive to changes in the environment. This is responsiveness to changes in the environment is often expressed by alarm barking.

A few of these dogs react aggressively to environmental changes, especially if they have been encouraged to do so. In any case, guests at the RV park may be more intimidated by a 180-lb Rottweiller dog barking at them when they walk past a campsite than they would be by a 30-lb spaniel. RV parks want to make sure they are providing an enjoyable guest experience to most people at the park.

Where you can RV camp with your restricted breed dog?

Just because private RV parks won’t allow your dog doesn’t mean you can’t go RV camping with them. There are still plenty of places where your dog may be welcome.

Finding a dog-friendly RV park is easy with RV LIFE Trip Wizard. It will show you campgrounds along your route along with several other points of interest.

  • Get in touch with RV park managers in the area you want to camp. Sometimes they will turn a blind eye if your dog is well behaved and you are a responsible dog owner.
  • Camp on BLM land. Barring jurisdictional breed restrictions, you and your furry best friend could find camping heaven waiting for you.
  • Camp at state parks: State parks don’t generally have dog breed restrictions. You’ll be required to keep your dog on a leash at all times.
  • Camp at national parks: National parks don’t have breed restrictions either. You’ll be able to camp with your dog at national parks as well, but many park activities will exclude your dog.

If you have a dog that is frequently subject to breed prejudice and dog breed restrictions, you’ll need to read RV park rules before you register to stay there.

Being a responsible dog owner

Dog breed restrictions are ultimately made to help keep the RV park enjoyable for the majority of people. Wherever you go camping with your dog, there are always a few unspoken rules of good dog owner etiquette:

  • Keep your dog on a leash at all times (outside of designated off-leash areas).
  • Always pick up after your dog immediately. Dog droppings tend to camoflauge themselves in the natural environment until someone inadvertently steps in them (yuck). Picking them up right away helps to ensure no one has to wash poop off their shoes.
  • Dispose of your dog’s waste in trash bins. Don’t ever leave filled waste bags along trails, or worse, toss them into the forest.
  • Don’t allow your dog to bark and lunge at passersby. No one likes to be barked at when they are camping. Click here to read our article on how to help curb lunging and barking.
  • Be a good neighbor by making sure your dog is quiet.
  • Spend lots of time playing with and enjoying your dog. Your dog will thrive on the interaction and you’ll have more fun. Camping presents an ideal opportunity to try out dog parkour with your dog. Dog parkour is super fun dog agility that uses objects in the environment for obstacles. Check out http://www.dogparkour.org to learn more.
  • Bring lots of dog toys and dog treats so your dog can have fun camping too. Keeping your dog busy will help him to be on his best behavior.

For all of your camping and trip planning needs, look no further than RV LIFE Campground Reviews and RV LIFE Trip Wizard. Campground Reviews is a trusted source of campground and RV park reviews offered by camping and RV enthusiasts just like you. With its accompanying RV LIFE App, RV Trip Wizard gets you to your camping destinations utilizing RV-friendly routes specific to your RV and travel preferences.

Been to a campground lately? Don’t forget to leave a review! Reviews help other RVers like yourself, and they help the campground. Leave a campground review today!

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Author Lynne Fedorick Avatar

Lynne Fedorick

Lynne lives, travels and works full time in the R-Pod 180 with 3 pointers and 1 small but vital corgi mix named Alice. Lynne began full time RVing as an experiment in 2019, but she quickly fell in love with the convenience, freedom and minimalist lifestyle offered by full time RV living. Lynne is a professional dog trainer, offering mobile and online dog training services through her website at www.mydoggeek.com. You can read about her travel adventures on her blog at: https://rpodadventure.wordpress.com/

32 thoughts on “Why Do RV Parks Have Dog Breed Restrictions?

  1. I have been bitten by dogs only twice in my life. The first was a Cocker Spaniel and the second was a Chihuahua. I have been barked at by big dogs and it can be scary but it’s those little dogs that can appear out of nowhere and attack. I leave my pit bull mix and my husky mix at home where they are comfortable, they don’t scare anyone and I don’t have to walk them or pick up poop.

  2. All dogs can be & should be basic obedience trained – regardless of breed. My job is to protect my sweet, friendly, smart, professionally trained dog. My job isn’t to correct your unattended child that runs into the road charging at an unknown dog.

    I’ve witnessed a 3 year old walking a medium sized dog that bolted with the kid being dragged while the 5 other feral children were playing with fire and locking themselves in the outside compartments.

    It boils down to irresponsible people & RV parks need to learn how to restrict people of that ilk.

  3. Q: What are the most famous dog owner’s words before his dog bites you?
    A: “He’s friendly. He doesn’t bite.'”

  4. Breed restrictions is just another way to promote racism. Imagine banning people on the basis of Race, Religion, etc, for fear of Liability?

  5. We have camped near all sizes of dogs that bark and lunge at every passerby. We have spent weekends in campgrounds where peace and quiet was entirely absent due to badly behaved dogs. We have a 6 lb dog. He is well-behaved most of the time and is very friendly. .We supervise him and don’t let him bark randomly at any campsite. Regardless of how annoying a small dog might be, they don’t have the ability to maul or kill another dog or a person. I have known several sweet, well-mannered pit bulls, but if a pit bull attacks, a serious injury is likely. I don’t know what the answer is. Our 13 year old grandson was attacked right outside his rural home by a German Shepherd, just 2 days ago. It came up from behind him, he didn’t know it was there. I have no compassion for that dog or his owner.

  6. Please don’t assume everyone wants a “meet and greet” with your fur baby. I’ve been bitten. I am not interested in meeting any dog, large or small. That said, please understand that I love animals; I haven’t eaten one in years. I just prefer to admire from afar. I’m tired of seeing them off leash at parks where the rules clearly say they must be leashed and how long the leash needs to be. Thanks.

  7. The constant lil yappers are so annoying and disturbing to the entire campground. The owners really think they are so cutesy, cutesy, but wrong! Campers don’t need this BS when trying to relax and enjoy their trip.

  8. I don’t trust certain breeds! I have owned a Doberman Pincher, probably one of the best dogs I’ve had, but he was extremely protective of his environment and would defend his territory. I knew what he was, but no one else knew him. That’s where the problem lies, I had a neighbor with a Rottweiler that was very gentle until a stranger came around, another neighbor had a Pit Bull, she was very gentle and played with their toddler daily. That being said all of these dogs may be gentle as a lamb but they also can be vicious if something sets them off, and that is where the problem lies. If you don’t realize that as the owner of one of these breeds then you are living in your own little make believe world.

  9. If you have a 180lb Rottweiler he is more than likely way over weight. average weight is between 100-130lb. no sense making them more intimidating than people already find them. Yes I have a Rottweiler.

  10. As a camp host in a state park, I see daily these dog breeds in the park. Just make sure the person walking the dog has enough strength to stop the dog. I lost my Mini Schnauzer in an RV park to a dog attack from an unleashed dog because the attacking dog was a good dog. A 50 lbs child cannot stop an attacking 75 lbs pit.
    Every Dog is a good dog,,,until they’re not….

  11. While chatting with 4 friends at a RV Park in Arizona, our Dobie was leashed and on his side sleeping at our site, when a nitwit on a bicycle, with his Shit-zu (unleashed) came by. The Shit-zu ran right up on top of my dog’s side.
    My dog woke up startled, and followed the Shit-Zu a few yards, then reached the end of his leash and stopped. The bike-guy came back, and started screaming that my dog was a “killer”, and should be “put down”. My Dobie never bit anyone or anything in his 10 years of life. When the park owner came by 30 minutes later to have us leave, all 8 witnesses told him what happened. If I could have found where that guy was camped, him and I would have had a further discussion in the woods.

  12. We travel with 2 well behaved GSDs, when we are outside the dogs are on a short leash and one even prefers her kennel but still on leash. They are never out alone and never off leash, ever! We live in the country so not sure if they like other dogs, so we need not only watch ours but also others who let their dogs off leash or use those 20′ retractable. 6-8′ leash means exactly that. We pick up after them and walk them during the non busy hours of the day.
    Owners are the problem and should be dealt with no matter which breed.

  13. Problem with dogs on the list, especially Pits, is that they can do a lot of damage in a hurry and were bred for it. No reason to have them exposed to other people in a crowded setting like camping. That’s why I leave my lab at home. I don’t trust other peoples dogs.

  14. I do understand, at least partially, dog owners’ feelings of unfairness when their breed of dog is restricted. I cannot intelligently speak about different breed’s aggressiveness or not – but I firmly believe that the dog owners set the tone and behavior. As has been stated, some of the smallest breeds can be just as challenging as larger ones. So, all of that said, I am not a dog owner, mostly because I am somewhat allergic to them and my wife is violently allergic, regardless of breed.
    So to all of you awesome dog owners out there, please remember that there are a lot of us out there that have very real issues that have nothing to do with breed. Please remember we love camping and actually like dogs, we just need to keep our distance from your fun-loving family member.

  15. it is sad that some people out there fear our pets. i raised two rott/mixed.
    they were the most loving and friendly dogs you could believe. molly at 95 pounds was nothing but a big lovable ball of fur.

    it is not the dog. but the people that are bad. no dog is born bad. they are just raised in a bad way. smaller dogs bit far more each year that all bigger dogs do. as the tiny dogs are just scared of everything.

  16. Personally I get along well with most dogs (and cats) and them with me. Except for one particular breed. Chihuahuas. I have never yet met a Chihuahua that did not yap at me, and keep on yapping at me, then run up and nip at my leg if I turned my back on it. And then if I turn around it will normally duck under a couch or chair, where it will continue its yapping, then if I turn my back again it zips out and starts nipping at my leg. Makes me feel like carrying a can of bug spray with me. And they never get friendly.

    The little dust mop dogs will bark at me also, but those I can talk friendly to and in a minute or so they are fine and will come up to be petted, those little dogs I like.

  17. It’s on our liability insurance, we do not cover theses breeds of dogs , so that’s the main reason, if you want to self insurance, and can show proof , guess then they can come !!!!

  18. It’s a shame that some breeds have a bad rap. The problem is not always the breed, but the owners fault.
    All breeds can be aggressive if the owner can’t or won’t control them. Most of the time is that the dog is not socialized with people and other dogs. Most people that get the restricted breeds train them to be aggressive.
    We had a neighbor that had two Rotties. They were the most gentle and friendly dogs around.
    A friend had a Pitbull that was the same way. An 80 lb baby.
    Another had a Lab that was just plain mean because the owner thought he should be a guard dog and treated and trained him that way, not as a family member.

  19. As a physician, I have seen some hideous bites on the faces of small children. If a dog has EVER bitten, without provocation it needs to be on a farm or put down. Sorry but that’s the way I feel about it since scars from bites are forever.

  20. Good article. What I find is that it’s the owner that’s irresponsible, letting dogs off leash because “they are a friendly dog, woii you’ll take hurt anyone, etc”. I’ve been on the receiving end of the hood dog attacking my little dog. Im generally not critical because I love animals but owners need to step up.

  21. Sadly, the problem is not with the breed but rather with some of the dog owners of these breeds. Some owners cannot train themselves let alone their dogs and their poor behavior, translated through their dog, gets the breed banned! Not fair to the dog but our world is run by lawyers and insurance companies.

  22. I love my dog and a responsible owner. However, there are MANY other dog owners in RV parks that are not.

    Dogs do what dogs do and 99% of the time it is the owners that are responsible for bad dog behavior.
    Until RV park management makes THEM responsible with warnings, fines or eviction, there will continue to be articles like this one.

  23. You left out a big rule for dog owners. Don’t walk up to other dogs thinking they can play with each other. Our dog feels restricted on a leash and doesn’t like other dogs approaching him in that situation. Dogs may have issues with certain breeds. Always ask before assuming they can play. Always be on the lookout for other dogs and keep yours away unless you have asked. Too many people just walk up then act surprised when a dog doesn’t like the situation.

  24. As in our EXPERIENCE we’ve encountered small breeds to be MORE AGGRESSIVE than a medium to large breeds in walking by, talking, they’re Constantly YAPPING and BARKING UNCONTROLLABLY without proper owner training and responsibilities. Owners of these smaller than medium breeds feel they don’t need a leash, WRONG! These breeds are always NERVOUS, AGGRESSIVE AND LOUD. Just because of size doesn’t mean we’ll behavior. All Furfamilies Need to be trained.

    1. Sher, you are so far off base with that comment. My small/medium size, always leashed, shih tzu never barked at any one or any thing. However, he was scared when an exuberant larger dog ran up to him wanting to play and, yes, he became defensive because he hated being stepped on. Being attacked by a pit bull, unprovoked, that jumped out of a car window on top of him didn’t help. He nearly died from that and never fully recovered.

      How we feel about this subject usually comes from our own experiences and from which side of the fence we are on. You’d have a hard time convincing me that certain breeds aren’t more dangerous than others.

    2. !00% spot on! The small breeds are always insane. But nobody cares or notices because they are small. Then, a larger dog turns around and takes one of these little psychos out, and suddenly they are the bad one. Even though they were only defending themselves.

  25. I am “prejudiced”. My neighbor’s pit bull climbed the fence between our houses into our backyard to attack me while I was working in my own garden. I had to go to the hospital. The dog had been there for about 10 years. Fortunately, the neighbors witnessed the attack so I did not have to prove that I was doing anything to provoke the dog.

    1. Statistically, pits are responsible for over 60% of dog attacks. Labrador Retrievers, for example, are only responsible for .5% of attacks. (Source: American Veterinary Medical Assoc.). Perception is one thing, but concrete facts seem to back this up.

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