Sneaking dogs in

Avid Airbnb traveler, host since March, and lurker on this community since.

My guests last night attempted to sneak in two 80-100lb pit bulls.

When I confronted them, they said it was a misunderstanding, the space was listed as pet friendly, and they did not read the listing “deep enough” to see there was a pet fee.

The house rules (which you must agree to before booking!) state small dogs are welcome, please let us know in advance, and a pet fee will be added to your stay.

The guests are being apologetic at this point, but that doesn’t change the fact there are two massive dogs in my tiny suite that were not approved.

I feel there is no way this was a misunderstanding. How to mention this in the review?

"I can’t recommend this couple to other hosts. They tried to bring two huge dogs into my listing. Though my listing is pet friendly it’s only with advance notice, for small dogs and with payment of fee. Disregard for these important house rules that they agree to when booking makes them a bad match for any host who cares about these sorts of things. "

Get them to pay the fee. Send the request via the resolution center. They are lucky you didn’t cancel their stay on the spot.


I agree with @KKC @Becka I would have asked Airbnb to cancel the booking when they arrived with two large dogs contrary to your house rules.


I feel they are very lucky I didn’t cancel their stay on the spot! I may have, honestly, if they tried to check in like this. One part of the couple showed up earlier and the other with the dogs must have showed up after we went to bed.

This morning, I met the dogs coming out of my backyard for a walk! Honestly, very sweet dogs, but that is beside the point.

It honestly baffles me to think that they thought they were going to be able to sneak two humongous dogs in and out for two days. What is wrong with people?


I suppose you’re lucky the guests didn’t try to pass the dogs off as emotional support animals.


People are self-centered. It really didn’t matter what your rules were and they figured better to ask forgiveness than permission. And that strategy worked for them so they will keep doing it.


The fact that they tried to pass it off as a misunderstanding was the worst.

My partner doesn’t even want me to mention it in the review, but I would want to know if I was about to host a guest with this disregard.

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What’s your partners reasons for not wanting to mention your guests broke your house rules? @Becka?

She believes that it was truly a misunderstanding since they have agreed to pay the fee.

If it is me, no review until I get the $. Then something like, “Thank you for sending the fee for the surprise large dogs. In the future, please do read the pet rules in the listings more carefully to ensure a great experience for all as most hosts will not bend the rules and we will be unable to do so in the future. Safe travels!”


Did you send them a request for the pet fee?

I did. Their response was

“Hey Becka, I’m so sorry for the confusion. When we initially booked the AirBnB we searched for places that were pet friendly but I didn’t read deep enough in to see that there was a pet fee so that is totally my mistake. We will get the extra fee taken care of.“

What if their reason for not mentioning them was that the size and type of dogs means you would have said no rather than trying to avoid paying the fee? Maybe in the past they have been turned down when asked what breed they are. Sad if they are still your fur babies despite a bad rap. If my watching of “A Dog’s Way Home” (excellent movie if you love dogs, not so much otherwise) tells me anything about US dog regulations is that it only takes two animal control officers to decide if a dog is a pitbull or “other dangerous breed”. They get a bad rap. There are no bad breeds only bad owners but certain breeds attract bad owners who create bad dogs.


Totally agree, and this is why I am a little loathe to leave the bad review. I wouldn’t want my review to stand in the way of them having a chance to book with their babies, pit bulls or no.

The issue is not, for me, with the dog breed. I have 3 rescue chihuahua who can be aggressive with large dogs — they are far worse culprits than the average pit bull.

The issue is with safety of my dogs, if they should start a fight! Can you imagine if I had let them into our fenced backyard where the suite is and had not known there was the potential of large dogs?

Not informing me, as the host, quickly became a safety issue.


Without being there and talking to the couple and judging the whole situation it’s hard for any of us to say if it’s a misunderstanding or a deliberate attempt to get around your rules. If I truly thought it was a misunderstanding I would tend to mention it in the review but still recommend them. Still there is no getting around the fact that they didn’t read the listing or rules and that bothers all hosts to some degree.


They BROUGHT two…


The person walking the dogs avoided me this morning, didn’t make eye contact, etc. Gut feeling this was an attempt to get around our rules.
Some of the severity of my review will of course depend on the state of my suite tomorrow morning.
I agree that I will mention it in the review, regardless and @KKC thank you for the help with wording.


Yes, quite right. I was mentally in the place where I would have said “sorry, this stay is over.”

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Becka, it’s a good idea to tell your partner that this isn’t a case of leaving a BAD review, it’s a case of leaving an HONEST review. It might have been a mistake, it might not, so just write the facts.

Although we have some members here who write brilliant reviews, no one truly knows the situation apart from you.

All you have to do is remember that you are writing the review for the sake of potential hosts. Often new hosts have the idea that they are writing the review for the guests to read - that’s not the case and it’s not the reason Airbnb set up the system - it’s so that hosts can tell potential guests the truth about what it was like to host the guests.


I also think if you are bringing dogs on to the property, as I have, you would be more diligent to reading the rules to see what other animals there are on the property and any restrictions on areas they can go into. Even on IB I find most (all) dog owners tell me they have dog/s and their name and breed and sociability.