Service dog arrived without notice--right to be irked?

I’m completely mystified by the persistent and mistaken belief that service dogs don’t or shouldn’t bark.


Guests are not required to disclose a service animal before booking. However after the booking is confirmed you have some tools you can use.

My house rules.

No pets but service animals are welcome. South Carolina does not recognize emotional support animals as service animals for short term rentals (misrepresenting a pet as a service animal is a misdemeanor).

After booking, please let us know if a service dog will be present so we can supply clean up bags, furniture covers & notify the property management company so your dog’s presence will not be questioned. Failure to notify us of the service dog may result in immediate termination of your reservation.


That’s not necessarily true. I have an ESA that is being trained as a Psychiatric Service Dog (PSA) . My trainer has not indicated that my dog can not bark. He barks when someone invades my space in a quick manner or if he perceives a threat to me. Both of these actions are needed for the type of PSA my dog is being trained for.

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I think we mean: a trained dog won’t bark for no reason in a strange place.
my dog rarely barks, because awesome dogs don’t need to postulate. :laughing:
… (yes, I have a rhodesian ridgeback). at the most she’ll do a low growl to signal a mild threat. sometimes she might bark, to sound brave… so we laugh at her.
Just today i was at a strangers place picking up some furniture and her little fluff dog barked and barked at us, then came for a pat and lick, and i picked him up for cuddle…and to show him that he’s a soft touch. pity the owner can’t teach him not to bark for no reason. I love dogs, even those small fluff balls! but some of them just bark for no reason.

The thing about barking is that it’s a dog’s natural response to many things we can’t hear, smell, feel, or sometimes see.

Excessive barking is one thing. But teaching a dog not to bark is a real disservice to the dog, and the teaching methods are often cruel. The same is true for teaching dogs not to growl.

Of course service dogs bark. All dogs that are physically able and haven’t been scared out of it bark. There may be a rare dog that naturally doesn’t bark, but that is certainly unusual.

We may think a dog barks for no reason, but we can’t perceive much of what the dog can.


My dog was once barking her head off in middle of the night and I got up to tell her to shut up (she was an outside dog).
She looked up at me with this expression on her face, like " You want me to stop barking? Don’t you hear that? Why aren’t you barking? "

They must think we’re bark-challenged so they have to do all our barking for us.


I’m a bnb superhost, and my husband has a service dog, so we see both sides of the issue . When we travel, I do mention our service dog to the hosts, and often no pet homes will suddenly become unavailable, which is why many people are not forthcoming.
I find it more comfortable to stay in pet friendly homes whenever possible, regardless of our “ right “ to bring our dog anywhere we go.


A stranger coming into my house and taking away furniture seems like as good a reason as any to bark.

My dogs aren’t big barkers but my Coco definitely needlessly barks. I certainly try to discourage it.

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Hi there,
I am going to speak up on this. I did call airbnb on this issue. I offer a pet/allergy free guesthouse to my guests and I have two goldendoodle pups that I am worried about another dog being around a dog I do not know. Also, my dogs would be barking non stop if they knew another dog was over there. Airbnb did say I can put a disclaimer on my website saying service animals could cause a risk to my animals.

I would be beyond livid if someone showed up with a dog.


Also, is there paperwork that comes with a having a service dog? I would request to see it.

No, there is not necessarily paperwork, and you can’t legally ask to see any.
And a disclaimer that a service dog would “pose a risk” to your dogs isn’t going to fly if challenged. Your dogs barking is not a “risk”, it’s just an annoyance and real service dogs do not get in fights with other dogs.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t allow pets, either, and had a dog of my own until she died last year. I am just lucky that as a homeshare host I can also refuse service animals. In fact, the issue has never come up for me, as most guests to my touristy town fly here internationally, so tend not to bring dogs.


And how many “print your own” service dog certificates sites are out there…?


So if my guesthouse is part of my house, I can rightly refuse a service dog?

I assume but do not know if you are in the United States. If so, based on what you say, you cannot legally refuse a service animal.

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If you share common areas with guests, then yes, you can refuse any animals. If it’s an entire self-contained unit with private entrance, then you can’t.

My guests do have a private entrance to their bedroom and bathroom, but I share my kitchen with them.

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You can’t add in the last sentence @Annet3176
As Airbnb says service dogs do not need to be declared .

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I still can’t fathom how this trumps a person’s allergies. why does a disabled person get to dictate to a private citizen how they should run their business? why are they more important with more rights in a private home?


Wow @gillian what a lack of compassion for people with disabilities. Have you any idea how difficult it is to travel say if you are a wheelchair users or are sight impaired.

As you know if you have allergies and homeshare under Airbnb’s service animal policy don’t need to host someone with a service dogs so this area is already covered.


Pointing out that people with allergies shouldn’t be considered less than those who use a service dog, isn’t a lack of compassion.

And it isn’t just a matter of a host who has allergies sharing space- shouldn’t people who are debilitated by pet allergies be able to find a place to rent that hasn’t had pets in it?



Yes you can ask about the presence of a service animal AFTER the booking is confirmed

According to the policy the service animal does not need to be disclosed before booking.

If guest doesn’t disclose the service animal, I MAY cancel the reservation NOT because of the animal, it is because the guest didn’t disclose. World of difference.

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