­

When you buy a home, filling out all the paper work is a tedious process. Now imagine if in order to qualify for your home your beloved four-legged friend had to qualify as well!

That's precisely the case in South Florida at a couple of high-end condominium projects. One is located directly across from the Trump Towers in Sunny Isles.

Doggy interviews are mandatory prior to moving in at Porto Bellagio and Aventi complexes. The unique concept comes from the developers and real estate marketing firm.

It's a pro-active process to create blissful harmony for dogs and humans to live together.

"[It's to] make the other tenants without animals and without dogs feel safe and comfortable about living there," says Adriana Gascoigne, public relations manager for the Keyes Company.

If it sounds like the complexes have gone to the dogs, let me tell you the real estate firm takes the interviews very seriously.

"It's sort of like when you go to the airport and they make you take off your shoes -- that sort of thing. It's a comfort level for everybody and safety level for everybody who resides in the development. We haven't had anybody get upset about it," says Gascoigne.

Using a dog trainer or pet head hunter, a checklist that includes dog aggression and obeying command tests, and even an interactive setting where the dogs commingle -- a verdict of pass or fail is rendered.

"The Pet Head Hunter schedules these pooches for an interview that even Trump would appreciate," says Mike Pappas, President of The Keyes Company. "Dogs have to fill out an application, as well as go through a one-on-one interview with an executive recruiter, and interact with another well-behaved dog. It used to be that only dogs under 20 pounds could live in a condo, the interview process enables owners of large dogs to also live in the development."

"We don't want dogs that are insecure with themselves. We don't want them to be skittish. We don't want them to be scared of other animals that are walking around or people," says dog trainer, Pedro Lanza, All About Paws, Inc.

"We've had around 10 [interviews] in each development and they're usually about 20-30 minutes; usually they pass," says Gascoigne.

But one doggy interaction episode didn't go so well.

"There's [one time] when a huge Rotweiller was getting interviewed and a little Yorkie. The Yorkie actually did not pass because he bit the Rotweiller. Part of our test was to see how they interact with each other," says Gascoigne.

"That just shows it doesn't matter what size [the dog is]. If the dog is aggressive, and hasn't been taught how to treat other dogs or be in a social setting, then they might not be good for the development," says Gascoigne.

Lanza said this concept is helping families keep their beloved pets, "I think it helps out a lot because some people have a lot of problems finding homes for their bigger dogs."

No telling if the doggy interviews will catch on at other complexes throughout the nation, but the concept is certainly worth chewing on.

Log in to comment
­