My bully camps! Does yours?
Camping with a Pitbull or other breed traditionally considered to be “dangerous” is like renting an apartment, it can be a challenge if you don’t do a little research.
Pull up a chair, grab a drink and watch the video below! Get to know Dozer and learn a little bit about camping with a Pitbull…
So now that you’ve been acquainted with the Big D, let’s talk about BSL and how it relates to camping with a Pitbull.
BSL: What is it?
Breed Specific Legislation, or BSL, is a regulation aimed at a specific breed of dogs. A push in the 80’s to address dogs that had been considered “dangerous” led to a number of US States to enact BSL.
Bully Hysteria: Who started it?
Thanks to the media, which thrives on hysteria, and websites like dogsbite.org, which was created by a lady who got bit by a dog…not an expert….these super awesome friendly dogs get a bad rap.
Did you know? You are more likely to die from choking on a hot dog than die from a real dog? Although, choking on a hot dog wouldn’t sell nearly as many newspapers.
Death by a real dog: 1 in 116,448
Death by a hot dog: 1 in 3,375
Where can I camp?
Thankfully the American public is seeing the light and fighting back and many states are lifting their breed bans. Although, BSL tends to be on the county, city or municipality level so be sure to check where you are going if you are headed to one of those states.
This map is updated regularly to show where BSL still exists. (Click map)
You can also stay up to date by joining the Pit Bull owners and lovers who camp or RV on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/267105683625633/
Generally you can travel through BSL areas, but be sure to check for special rules. For instance, in Aurora , CO you have to have your dog muzzled if you are travelling through. We tend to avoid driving through areas that have active BSL.
There are plenty of campgrounds in the U.S. that don’t discriminate. Your best bets are going to be State Parks, National Parks and Forests, County Parks and Corps of Engineer Parks. Campgrounds like Thousand Trails Preserves and some KOA parks also welcome bully breeds.
In the past, KOA did have breed restrictions, but they recently amended their policy to target aggressive dogs in general and not aggressive breeds. It is still imperative to check with each individual campground though, as some private owners still have restrictions in place.
“KOA PET POLICY
Some visitors enjoy sharing the pleasures of camping with their dogs or cats. To ensure that all guests have a safe and enjoyable experience, KOA has established some guidelines.
BEFORE YOU GO:
Call ahead. Check with the campground about its specific pet policies. Some don’t allow pets in Cabins, for example, or may have limited pet units. Others don’t accept particular breeds that insurance providers have identified as having a history of aggression.
Bring your helper. Service dogs are welcomed at all KOA Kampgrounds. (Leash and aggressive behavior rules apply.)
WHEN YOU ARRIVE:
Good behavior is required. Dogs of any breed that are hostile or aggressive will be asked to leave the campground, along with their owners.
Bring the leash. Dogs must be kept on leashes no longer than 6 feet when outside their owners’ vehicles or rental units. Do not leave a tethered dog unattended.
Remember manners. Constant barking bothers other campers. If your pet is too vocal, you’ll need to find other accommodations.
*Some campgrounds may charge for additional pets.”
** These corporate rules do not apply to ALL KOAs across America. Please check with your individual KOA that you plan on staying at. Corporate has taken the stance that they will not discriminate against breeds, but we have found there are still some like Watkins Glen KOA that still have restrictions in place.
One of the main reasons we chose to go with a Thousand Trails Elite membership is because they don’t discriminate against breeds in their preserves. Our Pitbull loved camping at Parks like Thousand Trails Peace River in Florida. That said, the resort-style Encore parks can have restrictions. If you are interested in learning more about Thousand Trails, give our friends Jim & Brandy Reneau a call at 770-622-4188 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have found that fancy resorts…ones that are expensive and gated tend to have restrictions so we call ahead just to confirm. Not only do they discriminate against bully breeds, but they also have restrictions as to how many pets you have, what size they are, motorhome age restrictions and even human age restrictions! As we mentioned in the video, we have the trifecta! We are under 55, our motorhome is almost 20 years old and we travel with a big fat pittie! Those really aren’t our kind of places though. We’re not fancypants so if it’s got the word “resort” in the name, it’s a pretty good indicator that they have restrictions.
Don’t be afraid to get out there and camp though! We have been camping successfully for years with bully breeds and will continue for many years to come. I use resources like BringFido.com that can point me in the right direction in finding a campground, but I recommend that you ALWAYS call ahead. Some Campgrounds like Candy Hill in Winchester, VA specifically state in their brochure that dogs of ALL breeds are welcome. We LOVE Candy Hill and can’t wait to go back there!
Do you camp with your bully or other breed considered “dangerous” by the masses? Let’s see ‘em! Head over to our Facebook Page and share your pictures.
Oh…and don’t forget to leave Dozer a virtual belly rub! He loves them! We’ll be sure to convert them into real belly rubs for you 🙂