A Dog As Your New Roommate

Some apartment residents find themselves having reservations surrounding the thought of sharing their rented space with a dog. From neighbors to pet fees and restrictions, the thought of having a four-legged roommate can be intimidating. While certain breeds work better with the unique challenges apartments deliver, bringing a dog home doesn’t have to be ruled out because of an owner’s living arrangement.

  • The first step to take when thinking of bringing a pup home is to check in with your apartment complex’s office staff. More often than not, apartment complexes have restrictions set for specific breeds, as well as weight limitations
  • Prior to moving your newest addition in, make sure your apartment is pet friendly and prepped for welcoming your dog home. Have valuables and items that may offer temptation (shoes, cords, etc) hidden away and out of your pup’s reach. Allow your pet to become slowly accustomed to the new surroundings, and try to leave for shorter periods of time during the adjustment period.
  • Not everyone is an immediate fan of a new pooch. When spending time outside, introduce your neighbors to your dog and explain that he or she is getting acclimated to the new home. Learn who may have some fear associated with a dog in their immediate area, and teach your pup to stay close by as you walk.
  • Create a daily routine for your dog and stick to it. Staying consistent with feeding and outdoor times helps teach your pet when to expect to use the bathroom or get exercise. Apartments usually don’t offer the leisure of a fenced-in yard or doggie-door, so establishing a routine is vital to combating accidents.

Sharing a small space doesn’t have to be difficult. With proper planning and patience, a four-legged roommate can be the most enjoyable of them all!

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Communication Is Key

Similar to humans, tone and delivery are as important as what is being said when speaking to your dog. Commands, praise and behavioral corrections should all be delivered differently and dependent on the desired result.

We’ve gathered a few tips for helping pet owners better communicate with their pups:

  • Commands: To gain your dog’s undivided attention, commands should be preceded by the dog’s name. Speak in a confident, strong and firm tone. Using repetition will allow your pet to understand exactly what is being asked of them. Make sure to always reward your pet for listening.
  • Corrections: When correcting a dog, pet owners can differentiate the pet’s negative behavior from what they’ve asked in the command by using a higher-pitched tone. If your pet does not follow the command initially, follow up with an instructive reprimand. For example, if Spot does not sit after asked to, say “NO, sit”. If Spot is still unresponsive, instruct him into the sitting position.
  • Praise: Always show your excitement when praising your pup. Dogs strive to please their owners, and having an exuberant tone tells your dog that they have achieved just that.

The key to all forms of communication with your dog is consistency. Whether your words or tones, it could be more difficult for the dog to understand the commands being asked if words such as “off” and “down” are interchanged. Lastly, keep chatter positive for your pooch. You two are building a lasting relationship, so make it a positive, fun one.

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