Thursday, September 19, 2013

City Dogs: How All Dogs can be 'Apartment-Sized' Dogs

Before I was looking to adopt our pups, I really believed that since we all lived in mini-spaces we could only own mini-sized dogs.
Though we all know how that turned out.
We really believe it's not the size of your space, but any pup has the potential to be an 'apartment-sized' pooch. While we use our blog to show how we've been able to live with our big dogs in the city, we were recently asked our thoughts on the top ways work with dogs in a smaller space.

Develop Walking and Bathroom Routines:
Since none of us have backyards, we know a lot of people think smaller dogs can use pee pads and balconies in an emergency. We have never had any issues because we created routines to help the pups get on a bathroom routine. We wrote more about it here.
We've also realized, the benefit of going on so many walks together has allowed us to work on daily training. We can practice our communication, which also works in our home.

Physical Exercise Outside and Mental Exercise Inside
Just because a dog is a large dog, it doesn't mean they need to spend every minute of their life running. We go on a few daily walks each day, and we even wrote here how to fully exercise our pups with shorter walks. 
We are always conscious of the noise-levels with shared wall neighbors, so when we're inside we work on games and mental exercises that which can be just as exhausting for the pups.
We wrote more about it here.

Eliminate Dog Stuff By Using Human Products
I think the biggest issue is that many people think that they don't have room in a smaller space to store all the dogs' stuff. We've learned the art of disguising human products for the pups: they lounge on floor pillows and rugs as dog beds, create dog-friendly rugs, and disguise their crates.

These are just our experiences, though we would love to hear how others are working with larger pups.

Also:
How we save money by using human products for our pups!
Why we don't need backyards. Though we do have this instead!

19 comments:

Kristen Mui said...

We totally relate! We live in a 1 BR 800 square foot apartnemnt and we actually worry that one day when we get a larger house Layla will not know what to do since she likes be able to see both of us at any point in time. (However we do think hide and go seek in a bigger house would be more fun). We utilize the back of our closet door for organizing most of Layla's stuff-- using command hooks and hanging baskets. It's quite amazing how much stuff we can hide there!

Another perk we've found to apartment living is that Layla gets to work on her social skills everyday-- from crowded elevators, to loud dumpsters, to crying babies, and lots of people and dogs-- we think she's definitely getting more daily interactions with all sorts of things than she might if we lived in a single family home. This has certainly made it easier when we take her to hotels with us since she's already used to that type of environment :)

adventuresofadogmom said...

We don't live in an apartment but we did just move to a smaller house with a smaller backyard and it's taken some adjusting. We've been going on more walks and taking more time for playing when we can.

I don't know if I've asked this before but I love your round coffee table. Where did you find it?

Rebecca said...

I seem to recall that you purchased your massive floor pillows from Ikea, but have not been able to find them. Is that in fact where you found them ? Any other sources you would recommend ? Thanks! R + E

Rebecca said...

I seem to recall that you purchased your massive floor pillows from Ikea, but have not been able to find them. Is that in fact where you found them ? Any other sources you would recommend ? Thanks! R + E

Amanda said...

I love the picture of Miss M on the outtoman!! Too Cute

Pocket Pittie in the City said...

We found that if we had been on the first floor of an apartment building, we would have been totally fine. Since we were on the second floor and our pups were truly puppies in the apartment, they wanted to play and be noisy, much to the dismay of our neighbors. Besides that though, honestly, we did just fine in our small 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment!

ohmelvin.com said...

You home is AMAZING!!! Love staring at it!

Rachel @ My Two Pitties said...

I agree! I don't see why so many apartments only allow small dogs. To me the advantage of having a yard has never been exercise purposes but for the dogs to have a place to sunbathe and get fresh air and have a morning pee when I am too groggy to take them out! I have minimized our "dog stuff" a lot even now that we're in a house and it helps a lot:)

Shaye Walsh said...

Cute photos! I'd love to share a fun dog photo campaign with you. When you get a chance, can you send me a quick email?

Two French Bulldogs said...

We always loved the fact you use people's stuff for your pups. Nice!
Benny & Lily

Kelly Glew said...

I have one large dog and I've been fostering a second large dog recently and the only thing that feels different with the second large dog in my tiny 2 bedroom ranch house is the quality of my sleep! Having 2 large dogs in bed ir rough, hahaha! I find it helpful to have a toy basket that fits into and Ikea shelving unit to hide all of the toys and I have hooks by the fron door for leashes, coats, and sweaters. I only have one dog bed and when it's time for a new one I plan to sew on myself so it blends with the decor. Even though I have a large yard for the pups to run in I still make it a point to go for one long daily walk so tire them out and get some exercise. For me, living in a smaller home actually makes it easier to get up and go for a walk!

Kelly Glew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
caitlin said...

Chick is so nosy! When she hears others walking by, she has to stop and stare. It's so embarrassing!

Saltylibrarian said...

a friend just sent me a link to this blog. love it! I have a pittie in the city (did have 2 but lost our senior). I agree with the sit-stays and other training in the house. We walk our pit, Comet on a schedule as well. Walks tend to stimulate and excite him and it's fun time. Its the training in the house that completely exhausts his little blockhead. I'm going to try some hide and seek soon!

Jacquelin Cangro said...

Great point about making indoor spaces quiet time and outdoor spaces exercise time. I try to reinforce that with Reggie so he stays calm in the apartment, keeping any noise to a minimum so as not to bother my neighbors. All loud play happens outside.

Two Pitties in the City said...

@adventuresofadogmom: Our coffee table is an older table from Haywood Wakefield that we bought on ebay (they come up every so often). I also saw a similar round one at CB2 (on sale!)

Two Pitties in the City said...

@Rebecca: We get a lot of our floor pillows from Ikea. They have a 20x20 insert and our black and white ones, flowered ones, and gray velvet are all from Ikea. I think they change it up seasonally. The one with the square pattern in our main room was from West Elm and super-old. I'm always on the lookout for any 20x20 pillow which seems a good size for them to curl up like tiny dogs. For the Ikea pillows we like the feather-based insert which is more stable and offers more support. Ikea and target often have inexpensive pillow covers. We like the Molly Mutt duvets too.

Kolchak Puggle said...

We just moved into an apartment and we're REALLY trying to get used to it. The hardest part is that we are used to making AS MUCH noise as we want. Jumping off furniture, playing fetch and tug in the hallways, and using barks to communicate they want to go out etc. It's been a huge transition, but we appreciate all the wisdom you have shared here. It's a great help.

YourSpecialDog said...

Oh we actually did a post for perfect breeds for apartment life and of course we think that small to medium sized dogs are perfect for this

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