Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pooches: How Much Space is Enough Space?

I'm always surprised how many people think they can't own bigger dogs because they live in a smaller space. One of the reasons we do write this blog is to show how people can live with big dogs in the city, even with a smaller space and no backyard.
We've realized that having this smaller space really has created a better connection with our pooches. When I was growing up we had a whole house, and I remember days where I would never interact with--let alone be able to locate--some of my pets. Living in a 2-bedroom condo with our 2 pups allows us to have a greater connection. Our lack of a backyard forces us to go on daily walks where they are exposed to all types of people, other dogs, and loud noises. Our time outside allows them to broaden their world where they can become more confident, and we can work on extra training where they become more well-mannered. I know this extra time together, socialization, and stimulation is more important than our physical space. Plus, I think our pooches do enjoy being in tight quarters:
We've realized it isn't about the physical space the pooches use, but more about storing their stuff in the home. We have learned how to save space by blending our pooches' beds into our decor,  though it has
been a bit cumbersome having more than 1 large crate in our home when we have our fosters.
What does everyone else think: how much space do dog truly need?

Also:
How our friends at Yellow Brick Home live fashionably in under 700 square feet with a large dog and 2 cats

When The City is your backyard.

13 comments:

SherBear said...

500 sq ft is the perfect amount of living space for Nala and I, especially since she spends most of her time at home on either the couch or my bed. Occasionally she runs around like a crazed maniac, but she has her route down the hall back and around the living room mapped out (just don't move anytime in her way or else she will probably run into it). I think the close quarters helps grow out connection and also keeps me extra vigilant about training. I truly believe Nala loves being a city dog - people everywhere who will pet me!! MEN!! and never feel guilty about her not having her own yard or tons of space to roam around - knowing her she'd stay velcro glued to my side anyways :-)

adventuresofadogmom said...

I love this post!

Currently my hubby and I have 2 large labs and live in a house with 1500 sq. feet and a large backyard. It's a lot to take care of and I really want to downsize but have worried about space for the dogs.

So I'm looking forward to reading what others say about their space!

thegirlandherdog.com said...

This is great! I love how they're so content together. I have a little chihuahua mix so she doesn't need much space to begin with, but our 900 sq ft. 1 bedroom apartment is perfect for her. I'd even say it's big enough to add a second pup, but the bf isn't too convinced yet!

Rebelwerewolf said...

We live in a 2-bedroom apartment with no fenced yard, and sometimes it feels a bit small for our pups. They're young and energetic and like to chase each other around the apartment. We do spend a lot of time with the dogs, though, especially compared with the amount of time I spent with my family's dog growing up. I'd say dog size is not as important as dog energy level. A pair of older dogs might be better suited for apartment living than two dogs barely out of puppyhood.

onedoglife.com said...

LOVE this post! It's my favorite yet :) I think too many rescue groups focus on the "fenced in back yard" question. In my experience, dog owners without a yard or a fence end up being more concientious about their dogs, because they're 'forced' to spend time with them on leash walks. Even something as simple as changes in stool consistency are noticed a lot faster when you're right there picking it up! I started fostering in a third floor walk-up with 850 sq ft, and I did just fine. It is definitely more about the person than the space. Kudos on an awesome topic!

My Two Pitties said...

I agree, size doesn't matter! Living in a studio apartment with 3 pit bulls and 2 cats really wasn't that hard. The pups got enough daily exercise that they were lazy at home and mostly just took up space on the couch and the bed. Now that I'm back to 2 dogs, it really doesn't feel any different space-wise.

When we've spent time in my parents big house, it's not like they hang out any further away from me anyways!

Lisa Menchenton said...

Honestly, you really don't need space. A small apartment is perfectly fine! As long as you take your dog (s) on at least an hour walk (preferably in the morning before you leave for work) and a small walk when you get home, and before bed then a small space is great! Right now, until I find a studio to rent, I'm renting a room with a large dog. When I leave for work she has to stay in my bedroom, and she's perfectly fine!! Really I find it's all about the walking. If you are able to give your dog a sufficient amount of exercise then space doesn't mean anything!

Two Kitties One Pittie said...

I love this post! I couldn't agree more. I grew up in the suburbs in a large home with a big yard. As a result, we almost never walked the dog. We thought she would be fine with the backyard to run around in. And while that was a nice perk, it was no substitute for walks. She did not get anything like the socialization that Zoe gets or the exposure to new things -- and a result, she was a very fearful dog. As you know, we live in a less than 800 sq foot apartment with 2 cats and a dog, and we do just fine. I think that my books clutter up the apartment WAY more than our animals do! And the daily walks have become such a part of Zoe and my routine that I feel out of sorts without them. Great post!

Tucker The Crestie said...

I think it's really a matter of finding the right dog for your situation (size is only part of the equation), and then being willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that regardless of the size of your living space, the dogs still get the exercise and mental stimulation that they need. No question that Miss M and Mr B are in good hands, there, so no wonder they are so content.

Emily said...

I know that no matter how much space we have, our pups will always choose to be right by our side 80% of the time unless they're doing exploring in the backyard.
Not everyone can devote the extra outdoor time you are able to, so I think you are amazing exceptions to a rule. But it might be differences in locations too. I guess I hear all the time how people in NY have little apartments and big dogs, but here in Phoenix, apartment or condo almsot always means little dog--if nothing else than do to breed and weight restrictions.

Sue Hawks said...

I just found your blog through a dog sweater site on facebook today. This is great. From one marathoning pit bull loving Chicagoan to two others, thank you for portraying these wonderful dogs the way they deserve. My dog Bart is an 8 almost 9 year old AmStaff, and not only does he get plenty of exercise at the beach, but we also have some wonderful wooded trails not too far from us that we take him to every week. In many ways I think city living can be terrific for dogs. So many sights, sounds and smells. Anyway great work.

April Mullen said...

We have a two bedroom tiny home with an even tinier yard. Our dogs couldn't be happier.

Tanaya said...

Size totally doesn't matter. We are 3 adults, 1 infant, 1 85lb pittie and 1 12lb cat in roughly 900sq feet. Everyone gets lots of fresh air, except for the kittie, (she's the only one who daydreams of living a mansion).

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