There comes a time in every doggo’s life when he needs to put his best paw forward, and one of those times is when his parent is apartment hunting.
While he can’t sniff out a new dog-friendly place for you online (hello, no thumbs, dude), he’s an essential part of settling in, and hey, he might help you make some new friends at the apartment’s doggy park.
But to get there, you may need to craft a doggy resume that sells what a good boy he is, so you land that awesome, new pad. Many owners have begun doing so over the last few years, and it’s generating pawsome results!
So, let’s get down to the bones of this new trend below, and discuss how you can make your furry friend shine.
Making a Dog Resume: Key Points
- A well-crafted dog resume can make it easier to find an apartment that’ll welcome your pooch with open arms.
- Be sure to include a photo in the resume and explain all of the things that make your pupper great!
- Use discretion when discussing anything that may paint your dog in a poor light (such as gross stuff).
What the Squeak is a Dog Resume?
Dog resumes for apartments are a rising trend among those looking to move, as rentals become more dog-friendly, while still being wary of potential problem pooches.
Basically, a dog resume gives the landlord or leasing office an overview of your pup with your rental application.
Along with a brief overview of his description and a photo, a good dog resume can let the property owner know that your four-footer will not be an issue.
Crafting Your Canine Content: What to Include in You Dog’s Resume
Knowing what to include and what not to include in your doggo’s CV is a careful balance.
You never want to lie, of course, but you really want to upsell your dog’s shining qualities and put a positive spin on his less than desirable ones.
Here are some basics you can include for a winning doggy resume:
A Photo of Your Pooch
Hey, it’s hard to say no to a whole lot of handsome. Including your dog’s photo gives a personal touch to the page and puts a face to the name.
This is especially important if you have a dog with a potentially frightening name like Killer or Menace.
Make sure the photo is clear and pleasant, and if you can, get him to smile. You don’t want to send a picture of a snarling pooch.
Recommended Read: How to Take the Perfect Dog Selfie
A Physical Description
Give a brief overview of the basics about your dog, including:
Yes, it can be rude to discuss weight and waistlines, we know, but some apartments have a weight limit.
Including your doggo’s weight may also help avoid confusion. Some people are less educated about dogs than others and may assume your svelte Italian greyhound is the same thing as a full-sized actual greyhound.
An “About Me” Section
Write a short message highlighting positive things about your dog. Is he housebroken? Does he know any cool tricks? Does he run a mile with you every morning or go to doggy daycare?
This is the area you have some wiggle room as far as creativity. You want to let you and your dog’s personalities speak in this section and let the landlord know what a good dog he is.
Awesome Training Achievements
If your dog is a whizz at anything, this is where you want to list it.
Most training achievements you can think of will come in handy, whether he passed the Canine Good Citizen Test or is a champion in the local obedience scene.
Having people that can vouch for your dog’s awesomeness comes in handy.
In addition to people that would know him best like his trainer, groomer, or dog walker, a friend is an acceptable reference.
It’s always a good idea to list your vet here as well, so the landlord can verify your doggo’s shot records if needed. Besides, your vet’s “thumbs up” will probably carry more weight with your soon-to-be-landlord than your mom’s recommendation will.
While it technically isn’t needed on the resume, it’s never a bad idea to include your pooch’s up-to-date vaccination records. Think of it as a cover-your-tail letter that shows you’re a responsible pet owner.
What Not to Include: Things to Leave Off of Your Dog’s Resume
Just like there are things you’ll definitely want to include in Rover’s resume, there are also a few things that are better left out.
Among other things, this includes:
Anything Gnarly or Gross
Some people are victims of the dreaded overshare, where they dish on something that’s a little too gross, like that one time Fido had worms or how slobbery he gets when he sees treats.
Less is more in these cases, and while they may be fine for some to hear, they may be a little much for others.
Guard Dog Talk
You may want to brag about how awesome of a guard dog your pooch is, but his doggy resume isn’t the place. To some, a guard dog equates excessive barking or aggression, two things no landlord wants to deal with.
Behavioral Issues or “Needs Improvement” Behaviors
If your pup has a problem “holding it” sometimes or suffers from separation anxiety, this isn’t where you want to reveal that. This is a topic for another time, once you’ve made a good first impression.
For that matter, you’re hopefully working on addressing pee-pee problems or your dog’s fear of being left alone — you may be able to correct these issues before your landlord even notices.
If You Need to Adress Tough Stuff, Do It in Person
Some things are better discussed in person, like the behavioral issues mentioned above.
A bite history is a serious red flag with landlords, and throwing it on your pup’s resume is a sure-fire way to most likely get pushed aside.
While you don’t want to hide this (it may even be illegal to do so), either. So, instead, address these types of issues directly and in person.
Also, be sure to discuss how you handle the problem (e.g. keeping your pooch muzzled in public.)
Example Dog Resume
Here is a quick sample resume I wrote for my dog, Taj.
As you can see, as good of a boy as Taj is, he doesn’t have any fancy training achievements.
So, I shined a spotlight on some tricks he knows.
I also pointed out that he watches TV when I’m not home to keep him company and listed a few things that show he’s well cared for, like walks and grooming.
I also included a few important references (including his vet, a good friend, and his groomer) to round it out.
Feel free to use Taj’s resume as a template for your pooch, or get our free dog resume template here!
Download the Resume Template: Just open this Google Doc and go to File > Make a Copy to get your own editable version to customize for your pooch!
Tips and Tricks for Finding a Dog-Friendly Apartment
Finding a dog-friendly rental is tricky, for sure, but there are a few ways to sniff out one that will work for you and your pooch.
Try to employ the following tips and tricks during your search:
Ask Around Your Pack
Chances are, you have a friend or two that rent with a pet. Ask them if they know of any available units.
Even if their complex doesn’t have any current availability, they most likely have a list of places they considered before that they can recommend.
Ask Around Your Doggy Circle
The next time you’re at the dog park, vet’s office, or groomer, don’t be afraid to ask others if they know of anywhere renting.
As fellow dog owners, you’re sure to find at least one that knows a thing about pet policies in your area’s rental market.
The internet is a powerful tool: Use it. You can search for dog-friendly apartments in your area and narrow considerably based on your needs.
Searching online is always ideal, as you can scope out amenities such as nearby dog parks or walking trails that make all dog owners’ tails wag. It’s also a great way to weed out places with pesky weight limits.
Local Facebook Groups are also great for finding dog-friendly housing options – look for local groups catering towards dog owners or folks new to town.
Work on Training
It’s never too early to start preparing your pooch for a move. This is especially true with training.
If your dog has a few kinks that make him less than rental-friendly like nuisance barking, you want to start working with him immediately so you can boast about him on his doggy resume.
K9 of Mine Pro Tip: This would be a perfect time to begin our 30 Things to Teach Your Dog in 30 Days training program. Start now, and your dog will be ready to impress your soon-to-be landlord.
Have you ever written a resume for your dog? If you wrote one, what did it say? If you were to write one for fun, what would it say? Post them in the comments below!