Why an Apartment May be the BETTER Home for a Dog - McCann Professional Dog Trainers

Why an Apartment May be the BETTER Home for a Dog

Myth – Dogs Shouldn’t Live in Apartments

There is a long standing myth that dogs shouldn’t live in apartments, space being the obvious concern. This would lead us to believe that dogs should only live in homes with big yards.

We cry foul and would like to point out some of the possible holes in this theory.

Which is the Better Home for a Dog in Your Opinion?

Dog A comes home to the lap of luxury – he lives in sprawling suburbia with a large house that has its own 100 x 120 ft fully fenced back yard. Every day, he is turned out in the yard. When he first came to live there, he was novel – taken for walks and romps outside of the home daily and fawned over, as a cute puppy, by everyone he meets. As he grows, he becomes harder to manage outside of the home, so he gets walked less often. Because of the convenience of the yard for him to toilet and play, it becomes the mainstay of his life. The rare time he is taken for walks he is overexcited, wild and unruly so he is retired to the yard once again. When he is in the house, he is bored and looks for ways to entertain himself – sometimes, this includes being destructive with furniture and shoes. He is retired to the yard when he gets caught doing damage inside the home. This quickly becomes his way of life. He remains in the big yard, in the fresh air and rests until he is let inside for the night. On the rare occasion he leaves the house now for things like vet visits, he is overwhelmed by the big world and the strangers in it. He needs to be muzzled at the vets for the safety of the staff.

woman dog walk

Dog B lives in a tiny apartment building. He gets out on the balcony occasionally for fresh air or to allow space while his owner is cleaning the apartment, but there is nowhere there for him to toilet and play. That means he goes for walks – a minimum of 2 per day, but usually more. Because there is no option for him to toilet and play in a yard, he continues to walk multiple times a day to do his business and get some exercise. He is exposed to all sorts of traffic, noise and people, and interacts with plenty of children and adults. He gets to see squirrels running, leaves blowing and garbage cans on the curb. He gets lots of daily socialization. As he grows, he becomes hard to handle, so he is enrolled in obedience classes to build some skills and manners. He learns to be a good citizen, to walk nicely at his owners side, to greet people politely and to come when he is called while romping off leash. He is now a joy to walk and spend time with outside of the home, so he gets to accompany his family on most of their outings. Because he is well adjusted and well socialize, he is a joy to everyone he meets.

How do these scenarios fare to you? Which life would you wish for a dog? Which is the better home for a dog?

The right owner is the person who is prepared for the work a dog entails and is committed to giving a dog good socialization, stimulation and care for their lifetime. A big yard is a nice bonus, but it does not make for a good life! We would like to suggest that a house is just a house. A dwelling with a big yard may make a good house for a dog, but it’s truly the owner that makes that house a good home.

Hi! I'm Shannon Viljasoo and I joined the McCann team in 1999 while training Quincey, my wonderful and spirited Rottweiler, to have good listening skills. I'm the Director of Online Training and Content for McCann Professional Dog Trainers and I enjoy writing about dogs and dog training for the McCann blog. I currently share my life with 2 Tollers (Reggie & Ned) and I love helping people develop the best possible relationship with their 4-legged family members.

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