Hi, first time poster long time lurker. I have been a host since 2014, and I rent out the basement of my house. I love airbnb and generally don't have any problems, but lately I've noticed a significant number of people who book my place that have issues with dogs. I have 3 dogs, and they live in my house with me (standard in the midwest). When its nice they go outside, and they aren't allowed downstairs. Because we share an entrance, my guests have to go thru my dogs to get to the basement. I have it mentioned in a few places that I have dogs, and every single guest that books gets asked if they are all ok with dogs. Everyone says yes, but about 1 in 3 groups are not actually ok with dogs. In fact they will have allergies, or are afraid. It's gotten so bad that I've asked multiple times, "Are you sure? My dogs live indoors and have the run of the house so you will meet them". Each time I am assured that everyone in their party is ok with dogs. My dogs are trained to quickly smell a guest and then run to the fridge for green beans (their treat of choice). They don't jump on guests, but since 2 are blind, they bark until they smell the guests. I don't like having people in my home that are afraid of dogs because it means the dogs have to be limited to either outside or locked in a room or garage. Its their home, the other people are visitors.
So my question is this, I am going to update a few things in my airbnb, and one of the things is to include a picture of the dogs inside the house, as well as include the dogs in our hosting picture. I am also going to include a code word (something like watermelon spritzer) that if a guest includes it in their first message it means they've read to the part where they are asked if they are ok with dogs, and they really are, and will receive a discount. What else do you suggest?
Tonights guests were asked twice if everyone in their party is ok with dogs, and the guy booking said yes both times. They are absolutely afraid of dogs, and the girl cries, the grandmother yells at them and runs downstairs, and it makes the dogs stressed. They are elderly and aren't fans of that behavior.
People with allergies will see the dogs, tell me I need to put them outside because they are allergic. I am pretty blunt and say "I did ask, and you said it was ok" and they will say something to the effect that they didn't understand the question.
In my reviews I mention that they will tell you they are ok with dogs but in fact are not, and I generally don't recommend them to hosts with indoor pets. I will say I am a little afraid of being pegged a racial profiler because the majority of the people who do this are from Asia or India.
So what should I do to make it obvious to even the non-readers that I have pets and love them more than a paying guest?
We've had the same problem, even with a pic of our dog in the listing.
Maybe everywhere they are referred to, they could be referred to as "Indoor dogs".
We're having the same issue with people booking our home despite the fact that we have stated clearly that we have pets. During, such visits, we have had to confine our dogs to our bedroom. :(
First contact message should contain:
"We have X large dogs Y,Z. We want to double-check that guests are aware of this and not at all uncomfortable or afraid around dogs."
Require positive acknowledgement, check again in a follow-up message that requires a positive acknowledgement if necessary. (After so many issues, I now require an explicit, positive acknowledgment of house rules even if I have to hound the guests).
Hi Kenneth, I do that as well. After a few years of this I've learned to be blunt. I will mention to people that of they are afraid of dogs we arent a good fit. The problem is they assure me they arent. Then they arrive and it starts. Maybe they think I mean if they are ok with those specific pictures of dogs and I should indicate that they are actual live animals? Objects in photo are larger than they appear!
So far everyone has been so pleasant and enjoyable, if it wasn't for the dog issue.
It sounds like an unfortunate bizarre disconnect between what people say and imagine, and reality. I have noticed of late that some people merely nod their head and say yes, no matter what they are asked ...
Perhaps ever more dog pictues? A large one jumping, with "woof woof woof" photoshoped over the picture? "We love dogs, you'd better too!" ??
That is, "even more blunt." Good luck!
I am going to give discounts to the people who really love dogs and we will see how that works. I'm hoping positive reinforements haha. In any event I'll be paid more for being irritated. Lots of people really love the dogs, and those are my favorite guests!
Arghh people are annoying- how dare they suggest you keep your dogs outside. I love dogs (seniors in particular, I take care of a 14 year old frenchie called Bella who is one of my first loves) and I always dream of asking them to sleep outside if it bothers them so, the dogs were here first... but then remember that I need to be diplomatic and opt to smile and get myself a cocktail instead.
Try also changing your profile to include yourselves and your dogs- I have seen many hosts with pets do this.
Good luck to you. :)
I second that because I have a little mini foxie, she is my world and because she is 10 she is indoors more often these days and sleeps on my bed at night...
However as a first time a Dutch couple arrive and they are already frowning at my front door as soon as they see my dog who is very friendly and greets them. Later in my kitchen my dog runs up to the man who is making a coffee she jumps up on his leg just to sniff him he kicks her away this is in front of me!!
How do I feel ? I already want them out of my home and am deeply offended but can't do much as they are booked in for the night.Thank god one night only!
I really object to this arrogant unfriendly behaviour from this nasty man as I pointed out that there is a picture of me and my dog on my profile they knew this!!!
THEREFORE I will now make it a condition on my profile airbnb page that if you do not like dogs you are not welcome in my home at all and please find airbnb elsewhere ..
The world is ugly and nasty enough because of nasty human beings I prefer my dog any day to not nice folk.
Good luck to all those who have encountered the same problem.
@Aloisia2 Of course it's ridiculous for people who dislike or are afraid of dogs to book a home-share that clearly makes it known that you have a dog. And outrageous to kick your dog.
But I have to say, as a lifelong dog owner, that not training your dog not to jump up on people is a mistake- it's bad dog behavior, even if you don't mind it yourself. I find that small dog owners seem to think it's no big deal, but it is- I don't want any dog jumping up on me, even though I like dogs ad am certainly not afraid of them. It's one of the very first things I taught my dog, as when she was young, she was so excited to see me when I got home that she wanted to jump on me. It only took a couple days of stopping her before she didn't do it anymore.
I stand corrected on my little dog's greet and jump behaviour, which she does every now and then when excited.I also stand corrected that I have not trained her properly, therefore I'm at fault more than my dog. Otherwise she is perfectly behaved in every other aspect.
@Aloisia2 I'm not sure you fully read my post. I in no way condoned the guest kicking your dog- I said it was outrageous of the guest to do so.
I also have a dog that is a hassle-free dog with no bad habits except for one- she barks at almost every car and human that walks by my gate. When I first built my home here, I had virtually no neighbors and almost no vehicles drove down the road- it is rural. And because I live alone, I was grateful when I realized she was such a good watchdog. But over the course of 11 years, the lots around me have been sold and homes built and the road is much more travelled. So her barking does get troublesome and I have to quiet her each time. She's 11 years old and I haven't found any way (I've tried) to break her of the habit now. In retrospect, I should have trained her from the time she was a pup to stop barking immediately on command, but at the time, it didn't bother me, as she stopped as soon as the car or person had passed.
If I got another dog, knowing what I do now, I'd make sure to train it from puppyhood not to do anything which would be disturbing to others, or to stop that behavior immediately on command. Live and learn.
@Heidi-And-Savannah0 There is no way I'd offer a discount to a guest simply as a reward for actually reading through the listing and confirming that they aren't afraid or allergic. That sets a precedent where they'll demand a discount from any host in the future who has dogs.
Outside of first world countries, not just Asia, people have a very different relationship with dogs than we do. They aren't coddled, they don't sleep in bed, they are kicked around or thrown rocks at if they are being bad or hanging around where not wanted.
I would put, in capital letters (yes, shouting) somewhere prominent in your listing description "DO NOT BOOK HERE IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO OR AFRAID OF DOGS.
As it sounds as if your main problem is with Asians in this regard, and some told you they "didn't understand", perhaps if you are dealing with an Asian guest, you could ask them what their native language is and use an online translator or dictionary to make this clear in booking messages with the guests.
Yes, by all means show pictures of all 3 dogs inside your house. Show them splayed out.
Also light heartedly apologize upfront that your 3 dogs have "run of your house"
This will warn all guests that your listing is NOT a standard "Midwest ONE dog lives in the House" kind of place. But a dog-crazed home owner (no judgement, just a description) with 3 dogs that run the house.
I am a dog person, but I do not enjoy 3 yappers everytime I come home - yapping until they smell me.
You are a superhost so obviously you are doing things right. Just disclose your dog situation more than you are doing so guests will know what experience to expect.