A dog? In an apartment? Er………
It is easy to empathize with what goes on in an apartment owner’s mind when we mention the idea of a dog living with him. Many concerns abound.
For yes, not all dogs are not suited for apartment living. Further, size, of both the apartment and the dog, is a factor that very much comes into play.So is potential mess, which can be very much a reality.
Still, pet lovers yearn to have the company of a little dog. Their concerns would likely revolve around which breeds of dogs would be suitable for apartment life and how to use persuasive powers on landlords if they wish to accommodate a dog.
Why owners hesitate
These are obvious concerns, but I highlight them as a reminder that they have to be gotten around if there is to be a solution for hapless pet owners and their dogs.
And it is quite a shame if such obstacles were to deter apartment dwellers from owning beloved pets.
The size of the dog
The size of dogs might deter people from owning them outright. Some are unquestionably bigger, putting in place the fear that bringing a dog into an apartment would be a disaster.
What counts more than size is the dog’s temperament. Some smaller dogs, such as Jack Russell Terriers, are really active and need loads of space to run. Apartment living, for them, can be a concern.
The opposite may be true of gentler giant breeds, like labrador retrievers, which can be gentle, quiet and adapt well to life in an apartment. As long as exercise requirements are met, many large dogs adapt well to apartment life.
Regardless of size, owners may be concerned about the amount of space available for a dog. The thought can be daunting, especially when a lot of furniture and such has to be factored in.
The solution to that would be to be rid of clutter and unnecessary objects.Create a little corner where the dog can be comfortable and teach him to recognize boundaries. There are other tips that can help apartment owners to accommodate dogs, which I shall share later.
I have to be honest and say that pet ownership comes with its icky side and a not so pleasant one at that. It can be extremely off-putting in small living spaces which one already finds hard to keep clean.
Establishing boundaries, again, can help a dog to get along with owners in small living spaces.
The best dog breeds for apartment living
Merianne Perdomo CC-BY-SA 2.0 via Creative Commons
A greyhound and a cat
Small or large, it is true that not all dogs are suited to life in an apartment, though that is more an issue of individual temperament.
There are, though, certain breeds that are pre-disposed to apartment lifestyles.
1. Yorkshire Terriers
Though more active, these little buddies do not require much space and feel comfortable wherever they are set to live. They bark little and adapt well to new environments.
2. French Bulldog
The practical demeanor of this breed makes them adaptable and ideal for apartment living. Although they bear traits of larger dogs, they are comfortable as long as they have a place in the apartment to call their own.
Small, with a silky coat and no undercoat, the maltese does not shed easily. He also does not take a lot of space and is a quiet fellow who just loves his little space.
4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
A friendly fellow, it can deal well with other dogs or tenants of a rented apartment. It is calm and adaptable.
5. Boston Terriers
This dog is a faithful fellow who will go where his owner does. As long as he can be nearby, apartment life will suit him just fine.
6. Bassett Hounds
I have observed a lady who brings her Bassett to church. As she prays, the slightly bigger than medium sized fellow sits by her side, or quietly sleeps through the proceedings. He has become a regular feature for church goers on Sundays!
Indeed, the quiet fellow is suited for apartment life, only requiring a little attention now and then.
7. English Bulldog
Like its French cousin, the slightly larger fellow is comfortable in small spaces. A couch dog-tato, it prefers TV sessions to a walk in the park.
8. American Stratforshire Terrier
Quite dog friendly, this fellow gets along well with other dogs. It also forms a tight bond with its owner. As long as it is well exercised, It can be a good apartment dog.
9. Great Danes
No doubt, this dog is big. But his temper is even and he is trainable. He will not poop all over if well taught, though it your couch would be fully occupied once he jumps on it. He is friendly and non-aggressive to humans and dogs.
Again, as long as it gets its required exercise, the greyhound is a great companion to have in an apartment.
Tips for living with a dog in an apartment
Ileana n CC-BY-SA 3.0 via Creative Commons
An American Stratfordshire Puppy
Aside from setting boundaries for our dogs, there is a lot an owner can do to accommodate Fido in an apartment.
1. Take it one step at a time.
Assimilate the dog slowly, moving the dog into the apartment for short periods then for longer ones as it get used to the idea. A sudden attempt to spend long periods in its new home would overwhelm any dog.
2. Spend time with Fido.
To improve its sense of security in its new home, spend time with the dog as much as possible. To prevent separation anxiety, go out for shorter, then longer periods of time.
3. Create space
Get rid of whatever is not needed to create space for the dog.
4. Watch the lighting.
Dogs are comfortable in natural light. Keep the environment naturally lit as much as possible
5. Establish a routine
As the dog will not be able to go out unless the owner takes it for a walk, it is critical to establish a walking routine. MIne go out in the evenings after work for the day is completed and it is always kept that way.
6. Hire a dog sitter
If work keeps the owner away from the apartment for long hours, it might be a good alternative to hire a dog walker or sitter. It allows the dog to have its daily stretch.
7. Get a bench
A little bench would help the dog look outside, since they love looking at moving images. Be careful to have windows grilled. I once had flexible Jack Russell who somehow managed to squeeze through a narrow opening in the window and escaped. Fortunately, we live on the ground floor.
8. Invest in a gate.
This prevents escapes whenever the mailman delivers or visitors arrive. It also helps the dog to recognize boundary.
9. Find a good trainer
A good dog trainer will help a dog sort out problems like excessive barking or aggression.
It is perfectly fine to play games in the apartment as long as modifications are made. Fetch, for example can still be played as long as the fall of objects is muffled by rugs and no fragile objects are around.
Life with a dog in an apartment is not difficult, albeit with the right dog and a few adaptations.
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