Top 5 Behavioral Tips for Urban Living With Dogs
Dog etiquette is important no matter what type of home you live in, but ensuring your pup has proper manners when living in an apartment or condo is even more critical as public space is tight and shared with many pet parents and dogs. With a little creativity and consistency in their training routine, your urban dog will learn the dos and don’ts of canine city life. Check out these five tips to help you both live your best life at your apartment and all public areas like the elevator, lobby and sidewalks:
Tip 1: Be a Good Neighbor
Incessant dog barking is not only annoying to you but to your neighbor as well. A dog can be triggered when they hear something they can’t see like someone walking in a hallway or by your patio. Incorporate the three Rs to curb your dog’s barking:
Reward: Praise your dog when they hear noises and are quiet
Redirect: Instead of reprimanding and getting them excited, redirect their focus
Routine: Dogs thrive off of routine as it makes them feel safe. Keep your dog’s schedule consistent, especially when it comes to exercise. Tired dogs are happy and well-behaved which means they’re less concerned with what is going on around them.
Tip 2: Elevator Etiquette
The unknown space and movement of an elevator can be an overwhelming and frightening experience for a dog of any size. Instead of forcing your dog to take a ride, work with your pup to desensitize their fear.
Start by standing three feet away from the elevator and having your pup sit. As the door opens, give them treats. This occupies the dog as they cannot sit and pull into the elevator at the same time. Once the dog is inside the elevator, make sure they sit as they need to know this is a common area and not like a dog park where they can jump and play. When the doors close, you want them to be comfortable in the tight space especially with other dogs. Be on the lookout for stress signs like a yawn, lip lick or if they look away. If your pup exhibits any of these signs, it’s time to rework the training by taking the stairs and slowly incorporating short elevator rides.
Tip 3: Lobby Manners
A building lobby is a highly trafficked area with lots of noise and smells which can incite excitement or stress. It’s important to respect others using the space by keeping your dog near you, calm and well behaved.
Whether you’re standing or walking through the lobby, your dog should always be on a short leash, the expandable ones are unsafe and can lead to wandering. If you find yourself preoccupied, such as getting the mail or reading a notice on the door, step on the leash a few feet from the collar to prevent your pup from suddenly pulling away.
You will frequently encounter other dogs that live in your complex. Your pup will get excited and want to make a new friend. Don’t assume other pet parents will be okay with your dog coming up to theirs. Be sure to ask them for permission and follow the ABCs:
A = Ask: Find out if it’s okay for your dog to greet theirs
B = Brief: Keep the interactions short and positive
C = Chat: Keep chatting when your dogs first meet. It can make your dog nervous if you suddenly get quiet
Tip 4: Exercise and Socialization
Properly exercised dogs are happy, well-behaved dogs. In an urban environment, dog daycare is the best way to provide your pup with socialization and playtime in a safe environment.
Dog parks, while seen as a fun and convenient option, are riddled with safety and socialization concerns. No vaccinations are required which means you could be exposing your pup to things like canine cough, parainfluenza and more. And, while it seems like it’s all fun and games, often times dogs are not properly socialized and playtime can quickly escalate into serious encounters resulting in injuries.
Often seen as a viable option, dog walking services can be unreliable and expose your home and dog to a stranger who is not properly trained in canine behavior. Plus, outside plans are often cancelled with bad weather.
At Dogtopia, we’re more than a dog daycare, we’re a safe place for your pup to grow and learn with exercise, socialization and education. Our certified Canine Coaches make it a priority to understand your dog’s history so they can provide personalized, loving care to each pup. We’re committed to your dog’s health by staying on top of all canine health trends by partnering with companies like Merck, requiring Bordetella, DHPP/Parvo, and Rabies vaccinations, and utilizing a pet-safe cleaning program to clean and sanitize the playrooms. To ensure a safe play environment, all dogs are separated by size, temperament, and play style. At the end of the day, you’ll pick up a tired, well-behaved, and happy pup which means less problem behaviors at home and more smiles.
Tip 5: Downtown Life
It’s common for urban dwellers to take their pups on the go with them for things like running errands or dinner on the patio at their favorite restaurant. Follow these recommendations to ensure your dog is comfortable with life in the big city.
Have your pup crowned with the title “Best Dog On The Block” by making sure your dog is a pro with all basic commands – sit, stay, down, etc. The more consistent you are with training and positive reinforcement, the more likely your dog will be well behaved in social situations.
Always be prepared with a leash, water and blanket. Using a blanket in public, will provide your dog a safe place to lay down, stay out of the way and clean in public spaces. Introduce the blanket at home, lead the dog there and say “place” and toss a treat on it.
Give your dog something to do while you socialize with friends and family in a public space. Remember to bring their favorite treat or toy to keep them engaged and out of mischief.
Monitor for dangers on the ground. Don’t let them eat unhealthy scraps or foreign objects that could cause healthy issues. And, be cognizant of the temperature and their paws, not letting them overheat in the summer or freeze in the winter.
Take note of your dog’s behavior when you’re out and about. If you find them anxious or exhibiting stress signals, don’t force them to go out. Not all pups are social butterflies. Dog daycare is a great option for them to play and burn off energy. Find a Dogtopia near you.
As with all training, remember that progress, not perfection, is the main goal. Maintain patience with your dog as you teach them how to be a respectful city dweller.