Apartment and Urban Living with Your Dog

Keep the peace with your dog in urban environments by managing your dog's behavior at home and in public. Learn about safety, etiquette, and proper training.
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Urban Dog Etiquette: Living Peacefully in Multi-Unit Residences

Dogs have a way of making life better, no matter where we live. But for those of us who call cities or multi-unit residences (like apartments, condos, or townhomes) home, proximity to our neighbors means taking extra care to keep things peaceful for everyone.

At Home

  • Be sure to check with your apartment manager or landlord for rules and regulations about dogs.
  • Identify and address potential dog safety hazards before you move into your unit or complex.
  • Introduce yourself and your dog to your immediate neighbors as soon as you move in.
  • Expose your dog to various places and situations specific to your building, including elevators, stairwells, and neighbor noise, to help them become comfortable.
  • Ask other passengers for permission for your dog to ride the elevator. Take the stairs if another dog is already inside.
  • Always position yourself between your dog and passersby in hallways and public areas.
  • Take extra care around staircases – neither you nor your dog wants to trip! Train your pup to walk slowly by your side and wait to allow other residents to pass.
  • Keep your dog stimulated and engaged indoors with high-quality, treat-rewarding toys.
  • Avoid leaving your dog unattended or locked on a balcony.
  • Crate train your canine companion. Dogs are most comfortable when they have an enclosed space to call their own. A crate that is large enough for your dog to sit, stand, and turnaround in helps your dog feel safe and secure.
  • Learn to manage barking – a Bark Busters trainer can help

In Public

  • Always keep your dog on leash (but no retractable leashes, which can be dangerous) or under your voice control. Monitor their whereabouts and behavior at all times.
  • Manage your dog around children. Children are three times more likely than adults to be seriously bitten by a dog, with kids under age 15 at the greatest risk.
  • Clean up after your dog in public places. Keep plastic bags with you for doggy cleanups, no matter where they occur.
  • Avoid escalators under any circumstances.
  • Make sure your canine companion is invited by the host to any outdoor gatherings or parties.
  • Dog parks can be unsafe if proper precautions aren’t taken. Follow our tips or consult a Bark Busters trainer to keep your pup safe and happy around other dogs, or explore other options for physical and mental exercise in urban settings, including doggie daycares, dog walkers, and more.
  • Supervise greetings between your dog and new people or pups. Some people and animals aren’t comfortable around dogs; if a stranger wants to pet your pooch, tell them to let your dog approach them, rather than them approaching your dog.

Urban and multi-unit living has its challenges, but proper dog etiquette inside and outside the home takes practice no matter where you live. Get in touch with a Bark Busters trainer today to learn how to reinforce the basics of responsible dog ownership and build stronger bonds with your pup by Learning to Speak Dog the Bark Busters Way!


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