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Dogs or Children

 
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BBGlebe



Joined: 13 Sep 2017
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:28 pm    Post subject: Dogs or Children Reply with quote

New cottages will be ready for next season. Lots of hard work still on going #exhausted. Our big debate is dogs or children. We will have polished concrete floors throughout. We do have dogs of our own so happy to accept them and know what to expect. However, don't have kids and other owners have told us that kids can be more trouble than animals. What do you think will we be missing out on a huge chunk of market if we say no kids under 14?
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Ecosse



Joined: 29 May 2014
Posts: 638
Location: Saint Gervais les Bains, France

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello and welcome to LMH!

While your post read as an either/or, I take it that you don't mean this? I.e. you are considering having both at the same time, too?

I think the answer depends on what size you are and where you are: are you a small(ish) let in a big dog walking area? AIs it a big family destination or are there lots of couples who holiday alone in your area?

If you do decide to go down the no young kids line, I would say there's no point in saying no under 14s as that's basically eliminating the majority of families. You will only get families with, say, a 14 and 17 year old and all those with, e.g. a 14 and 12 year old will be unable to book. It also looks a little unfriendly, as if you're grudgingly allowing children rather than welcoming them.

Also, as a mum of 3, I would say that once children get beyond 6 years old, they're fine. My 7 year old is great and hasn't smeared a sticky hand on anything for a couple of years. My 5 year old is nearly there, but can be a bit dumb when it comes ensuring his plate is directly beneath his mouth when he eats and my 2 year old is a typical toddler. You've just reminded me that one of the low season jobs is to repaint a wall in the gite that he 'personalised' with a felt tip pen!

Perhaps I'm less precious about my kids than others, but I wouldn't be offended in the slightest to see a 'no under 6s' clause on a holiday let.

Good luck with it all!
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Dusty



Joined: 19 Dec 2012
Posts: 242
Location: St Cernin de Labarde

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Ecosse says, it really depends on how you are set up where you are. When we took over our place 4 years ago it had been run as gites but for adults only. The reasoning behind this was that adults would cause fewers problems than kids. We opened our place up and I can honestly say that any damage that has been caused has been caused by adults acting as kids rather than kids themselves. Yes young kids may make the place a bit sticky but parents are normally pretty good at clearing up after them and when they're not its normally pretty easy to clear up.
Dogs on the other hand......(don's hard hat) Laughing
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akwe-xavante



Joined: 01 Jul 2015
Posts: 187
Location: Hornsea

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I accept both dogs and children and I get a lot of dogs but fewer children because the area isn't as interesting for kids I think.

My experience is that after both dogs and children have been in the place together the place is less than satisfactory when they leave. Dirty, untidy and some damages. I think parents concentrate on the kids and the dog runs a mock and gets away with a lot.

If I get one and not the other then my experience is that those that have kids only leave the place marginally cleaner than those that have a dog only. Even though there is signage saying that dogs should not poo in the place and garden they do!

I'm thinking about not allowing kids next year, loss of income would be minor and I can put in a pond Smile

If I was to stop having dogs I would loose about 30% of my yearly income so I'm guessing that that's not a good idea.

Kids and dogs, or one or the other or not at all I think depends on where you are and what your area has to offer for both kids and or a dog.

Made the mistake of allowing two dogs once and that was the very last time i'll do that. What a mistake that was.
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SW31



Joined: 04 Jul 2014
Posts: 41
Location: Haute Garonne, France

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apologies but we don't take either. Neurotic cat put paid to dogs and our landscaping and internal layout is not good for children - we also have a large pond but we chose a rustic fence as we liked how it looked but a young kid could get through. We don't have problems getting bookings but we have to turn a lot away as parents like the idea of a heated pool. We state up front that it's not suitable for children but people don't take any notice.

We do make exceptions - We did have one eight year old who was excellent but her parents did state she was heavily supervised. When I've asked other parents that they must take full responsibility for their child due to the nature of the property they usually back off - I'm not taking liability for others unsupervised children. And yes, I've seen too many parents enjoying their glass of wine with their unsupervised children causing havoc elsewhere at others expense!
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cleanforum



Joined: 04 Jun 2008
Posts: 299

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Children before dogs. We learned that lesson. A sofa spread/bedsheet soiled by a child can be washed, bedsheets/spreads etc covered in dog hair often have to be replaced. We also have a terrace (with clay tiles) that was used as a peeing corner for two dogs for a week. I tried all the remedies and products I could find to clean the tiles..

On calmer warm days I can still smell the residue, three, yes three years later..
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GillianF



Joined: 20 Aug 2012
Posts: 621
Location: Dordogne

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting variety of opinions so I thought I'd add mine.

We have never taken dogs at our own gites. In the early years it didn't occur to us to do so and then we had our own dog to consider. Our dog NEVER toileted in the garden or around the property, never pestered anyone for titbits, never touched a toy that wasn't hers, never touched food unless it was in her bowl, never destroyed/chewed anything she shouldn't, was good with children and never barked at the many comings and goings. We never thought anyone else's dog would live up to her!

We accepted children and when our own were young it was great to see them all happily playing in and around the pool. I was always there to supervise my own and I and other parents would often say "keep an eye on them while I nip to the loo." It worked well and having insitu playmates gave holiday Mums and Dads a break.

As our own children grew up and were around less and less I noticed unsupervised children at the pool or in the garden and found myself worrying about them all the time. I would sometimes have a quiet, polite, gentle word with parents but it rarely made a difference. Some would even go out to the supermarket and leave a teenager (underage) in charge of younger children.

So, we made a 'no under 12s' rule and life was better. We explained why the rule and I'm sure we lost a few bookings but we still had good season.

We've been closed for a couple of years but when we re-open I doubt we will be able to have a 'no under 12s' rule as the market is much tougher now.

We look after another house and although it is very suitable for dogs with an enclosed garden etc. we've never allowed them. If the children that stay there are unsupervised I don't know about it so am not stressed by it.
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20 years in France - no regrets.
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kyreniagirl



Joined: 05 Jan 2010
Posts: 2288

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We take both although try not to accept bookings with them both in - excited kids chasing dogs around equals damage!

If I have a preference it's for dogs - I find dog owners far more conscientious, families are far more likely to leave in a hurry & not clean up.
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Ecosse



Joined: 29 May 2014
Posts: 638
Location: Saint Gervais les Bains, France

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone who lets out a French property... be a wee bit careful, it's illegal in France not to accept children on the grounds of age discrimination.
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