6 doggie etiquette tips for condo owners

Neighbourhood | Written on January 15, 2015

While coming home to a cuddly, happy puppy is enough to make the grumpiest of us smile, adopting a dog is a huge responsibility that should be thoughtfully considered—especially when you live in a condo. We caught up with Shannon Pike from Pup and the City for her recommendations on doggie etiquette in condos.

Check your building codes

Before you even think about getting a dog, make sure your building allows it. It’s also courteous to check in with your landlord to make sure they’re okay with their new potential tenant.

Do your research

By sheer size, it’s easy to presume that bigger dogs are no-nos for condos whereas smaller ones are easier to handle. That’s a big misconception as it all depends on the breed. “Understanding behavioral traits is really important,” Pike said. “Choose a breed that’s right for your lifestyle so you’re both happy. Interviewing a trainer ahead of time is good too for their recommendations.” For example, while Great Danes and Greyhounds are quite large, they’re also low energy and surprising good for a small space. While they’re quiet, friendly and lazy, Jack Russell Terriers are comparatively high energy and not so great for small spaces. “If you have a small space you don’t want to get a dog with super high energy or aggression.” Boxer, English Bulldogs, King Charles, Pomeranians and Chihuahuas (though at times yappy) are also relatively good for small spaces.

Speak to your neighbours ahead of time

Sending a friendly word to your neighbours about your new dog will ease the tension in case your puppy barks for the first couple weeks (which is common). It’s much better to be allies with your neighbour rather than get a note from your Property Manager about the complaints. On that note, your neighbours can be huge resources as they can note which times of day your dog is barking. If they’re barking right when you leave, it could be a sign of separation anxiety, whereas if they’re barking midway through the day it could be an indication that they can’t hold their bladder for that long—in which case, a dog walker is a good option.

Consider a professional

“The best dogs I’ve worked with are the ones who meet the trainer the day they come home,” Pike said. Dog walkers will prevent your dog from having accidents in the house—especially puppies that shouldn’t be expected to hold their bladder for more than four hours a day. A walk with other dogs will provide them with company (they’re pack animals) and provide them with exercise.

Get them used to crate training

If you do crate training from the beginning to prevent accidents when they’re a puppy and you’re out of the house, make sure they’re in a space that’s comfortable and that they feel safe in. “I don’t recommend crating them for life,” said Pike. “Once they’re trained I don’t think a dog should be in there much longer but it’s a great tool for the beginning.”

Be safe

If you have a small dog and a wide gap in your balcony, invest in chicken wire in case the dog gets out for any reason. Also avoid leaving them with certain toys that they could swallow.

Pup and the City offers dog walking, boarding, dog washes and free delivery of pet supplies. http://pupandthecity.com/