Dog Owner Etiquette for Apartment Living

January 19, 2022

If you have ever lived in a pet-friendly apartment, you have likely seen plenty of pooches around. These precious, furry beings can run the gamut in terms of behavior. How do you secure a spot on the “best behaved” side? We’ll break it down for you.

Adjustment Period

If you’ve recently moved into an apartment complex, it is important to acknowledge this transition can be hard for your pets too. This could mean exhibitions of undesirable behaviors (barking, whining, chewing) even if they are typically very well behaved. A good rule of thumb is three months to become totally comfortable in your new digs. It is a nice gesture to give your neighbors your contact info and let them know your pet may be a little barky at first but you are aware of the situation and working to ease them into this transition.

Dog Runs versus Dog Parks

Many buildings provide one (or many) areas of greenery for your adorable pup. Knowing the difference between a dog run and a dog park is important. The typical use of a dog run is a “business-only” kind of potty break. This means that owners will take their pup there for a quick bathroom or exercise break, normally not to exceed 20 minutes. While not a formal rule, it is common for one dog to use this space at a time and respectful of other dog owners to follow suit.

Elevator Manners

This one can pose a challenge if you have a reactive dog or simply a nosey one! If you have a reactive dog, you don’t necessarily need to subjugate yourself to the stairs but it is your responsibility to clearly communicate that your dog is reactive and needs the whole elevator space. An easy way to do this is by purchasing a bandana that says they are either in training or not friendly.

If your dog is friendly but nosey, there are things you can do too. Training your pet to sit and stay is important and can serve as a building block for “place” or “park” in the elevator. If your dog knows the ‘sit’ command, you can lead them with a treat to either side of your body and have them sit – mark this behavior by saying ‘yes!’ and providing lots of praise and a treat – then work to replace this ‘sit’ command with “park” as they start to understand that sitting on one side of your body and staying = “park”. With time and effort, (you can even practice this in the apartment) they will be able to follow this command in an elevator!

Honorable Mentions

If you live in a space like an apartment, you likely live an active and urban lifestyle. As such, there may be lots of new, loud noises for your dog to adjust to. While it is by no means required, a white noise machine can help drown out some of the background chatter that might be putting your pup on edge = and if you put the sound on while you are chilling at home and when you go out, it can also potentially ease their separation anxiety.

From cities to farms and every space in between, our furry friends can easily call anywhere home as long as their family is there.