Charlotte is a growing city, every day there is countless construction happening everywhere, one of the major growths are apartments. South Blvd alone pops up a new building every month (at least it seems this way) and the trend isn’t stopping. Many of these apartments are aimed at the millennial generation that has relocated to Charlotte and are ready to take on this new venture in life, with their furry sidekick of course!
Most Charlotte apartment buildings are very dog friendly with on-sight dog parks, very minimum breed restrictions and easy accessibility to walking trails. Although all of these perks are enticing to dog owners, there are still some challenges that come with living in an apartment with your dog. Without having the freedom to let your dog outside easily and expend some energy physically without your supervision, also having an onslaught of distractions that will surely be a challenge to your training and neighbors who may complain for the slightest thing your dog does. We are here to help you with 5 simple tips for apartment living with your dog.
- Use your hallway: the hallway in apartments are a great area to take your training sessions. By being a narrow space and having little smells, less noise distractions and no moving targets (like people, cars, golf carts, other dogs, a leaf blowing in the wind…) to fixate on – using your hallway to begin training your dog to walk properly on a leash will set them up for success. For bathroom breaks let out to potty on grass, then do your walk in the hallway until they are ready for more distractions.
- Calm indoor behaviors: it is imperative with all dogs to train calm indoor behaviors, but especially necessary for people in apartments. A dog that barks incessantly or scratches at the door, can cause rifts with your neighbors. Properly introduce it to a crate, and practice down/stays quite often in the house. Pick up toys that will cause your dog to expend more energy inside, leave out chews that will reinforce them to settle and be calm.
- Become a trick master: trick training is a great way to mentally fatigue your dog and it doesn’t require much room. You can easily Google or YouTube a variety of tricks, these training sessions should last 5-10 minutes at a time and then your dog will be able to relax easily as they will be mentally exhausted.
- Buy an in-training vest: by living in an apartment you have now placed yourself in the gauntlet of distractions, all which pose a threat to your dog learning bad behaviors quickly. If your dog is reinforced by everyone it pulls to that it gets a pet or a meet and greet with Fido then it will continue these behaviors and pull you all over the place. By having an in-training vest on your dog it will detour most people from approaching you without coming off as stand-offish. This always baffles us when people get upset if we don’t allow them to pet our dogs on a walk. Sometimes we just want to walk…just like we don’t run up to every person on our walk to say hi, neither should your dog have to.
- Set up a play date: dogs are social creatures and I am sure there is another pup in your complex that matches their play style. If you have an on-sight dog park during a non-peak time set up a play date with another pup and let them spread their legs, run around, play…just be dogs (dog parks can cause problems, if you do not know a dog and it looks like play is getting rough don’t be afraid to exit the park). Even better would be if your dog friend would work on some recalls during play with you and/or sit/stays and down/stays. A fun opportunity to socialize and train your dog while you have friend time. Win-win.
Follow these 5 simple steps for apartment living with your dog and you will be setting up a strong foundation for success with their training and comfortability in a smaller unnatural living situation. Apartment living can be fun, especially when you have access to so many dog friendly businesses you can bring your furry sidekick to.
Katrina Kensington, Owner KeenDog
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