Monday, January 25, 2010

Chicagoing: Big Dogs in Little Spaces

A lot of people believe they can't have a big dog unless they have a big place or a yard. We don't think this is true. I really think having a smaller space forces us to have a greater connection with the dogs. When I was growing up and we had a house and a yard, we could just mindlessly open the door to let the dogs out, and we didn't really have to interact with them at all. Now we're forced to walk the dogs and spend time training and interacting with them. We have successfully been able to have our 2 pooches in our 2-bedroom condo.
The pooches have more than enough places to sleep. Although they love sharing a crate, they have tons of floor pillows, rugs, and places to just flop on the floor.
We go on long daily walks twice a day. These walks are good for all: the dogs get exercise so they're calm at home, it gets us out of the house, and we get to explore our neighborhood and meet our neighbors. Plus, they're not too time consuming. During the schoolyear, I walk the pooches in the morning, and E walks them at night. Plus we have a dogwalker for all the times we can't make it home.If the dogs still have too much energy at home, we take them to the "secret dog park". We don't go to the typical dog parks, these parks are overcrowded and often accidents waiting to happen. The park we go to is typically empty. We go on off hours and play fetch. During the winter the pooches go to daycare. We also give them kongs, which are like mental stimulation puzzles as they try to get the food out from the inside. Apparently thinking is quite exhausting for the pooches.


Kate said...

I completely agree with you! We actually lived in about 700 square feet with our 3 dogs for awhile. It was certainly small, but doable. I don't think the dogs even cared when we got a bigger place. As long as they get their daily walks in they're happy!

Dexter said...

Yuh, our house is totally small, but it is plenty big for the Mango. I don't like big spaces and I don't move around as much as some of those little doggies. Of course momma does mindlessly open the back door to let me go out, but it is OK. I have a really nice yard.


pibble said...

When I first got Lucy and Trouper, people always said to me "you have and Aussie AND a Border Collie? Are you crazy?" Well the answer is yes, I am crazy, but when they were younger, we had two acres of land which adjoined a 1000-acre nature preserve. The dogs hiked and mountain biked with us all the time, so we were all tired out by the end of the day.

So, sometimes it's not just the size of the space that gets us moving, it's having the pooches in the first place!

Kari in Alaska said...

i feel like I get to see the city more with big dogs since we need to take long walks to make up for no yard

laura said...

First of all, I love Miss M's smile, she's such a pretty girl. When I moved to the Big City I told Hans I was done with office work and so I set out to find a physical job. Dog walking was my first choice but I ended up house cleaning instead. That's ok since most of our clients have pets and I love all of them (well most of them, there's one cat that scares the heck out of me).
Your pooches are very lucky and once again I'm wishing I'd tried harder to find a dog walking job!

Shauna (Fido and Wino) said...

We thought our second dog, Kayloo, was going to be 25lbs. We figured that would be fine since we don't have a huge house & she would be sharing with her 20lb brother. She's a rescue and she has surprises us all by growing up to be about 55lbs... & it is absolutely no problem at all! I look forward to having a big yard for them to roam around in, but until then we'll go on heaps of walks :)

kissa-bull said...

yes less room means we must save room by cuddling ON mommish
wiggles and pibble smooches
the houston pittie pack

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