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Apartment Living with Your Dog


Not all breeds are well-suited to living in small spaces.  Some dogs, such as Siberian Huskies or German Shorthaired Pointers, require room to roam and excessive exercise.  However, circumstances can change, leaving you with the options of rehoming your beloved dog or making a less-than-ideal situation work.  Listed below are tips for keeping the peace with your landlord and neighbors.


Photo by: fidoloves.com

Crate Training
Especially if your dog is prone to destruction when bored, a crate can be your best bet for ensuring your dog is well-behaved while you are away.  A crated dog is also less likely to bark throughout the day, meaning no complaints from your neighbors when you return home.

Extra Exercise
A tired dog is a happy dog, so extra exercise for your pet is necessary if cohabiting with a high-energy breed in an apartment.  Go for an extra long walk in the morning and in the evening, make sure to fill your weekends with fun activities, and try to find a local dog park.

Hire a Dog Walker
If you don’t have time to spare during the day, consider hiring a dog walker to visit with your pet while you are at work.  This extra expense is definitely worth the price if living with an energetic breed. I suggest reading some of these articles on dog walking.

If you can afford it, consider taking your dog to daycare, where he or she will play with other animals all day in a supervised environment.  For most dogs, one or two sessions per week are enough to keep your dog calm, tired, and happy. Here are some good questions to ask for a daycare along with when boarding.

Interactive Toys
Toys that force your dog to think, such as a peanut butter filled KONG, are an apartment dwellers best friend.  Perfect for times when you are away or when you just need some space from your best friend; interactive toys can keep your pet busy for hours. 6 Reasons Your Dog Needs an Interactive Dog Toy!

Citronella Bark Collar
If your dog is prone to barking, a citronella bark collar can help keep the peace.  Whenever your dog barks, he or she will receive a spray of citronella liquid to the face, discouraging that behavior in the future.  While this solution should not be used as a permanent alternative to proper training, it can help keep you from being evicted while you are in the training process.

Play Dates
Another way to tire out your dog is to schedule play dates with other dogs from the apartment complex.  These socialization sessions will help your dog achieve his or her mental stimulation and exercise needs, with little work on your end. These can include group walks.

Obedience Training
If your dog is not already trained in basic obedience, doing so when you move into an apartment complex is a necessity.  Your dog will learn commands such as “quiet,” “leave it, “ “drop it, “ and “come,” all of which are useful when living in close quarters with other people.  As an added bonus, some landlords and insurance companies offer reduced rates if your pet has passed canine good citizen training, which is a class that any dog who has passed basic obedience can take. Our section on positive dog training has a lot of good tips.

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