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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Renting an Apartment: Four Myths of Having Dogs in Apartments


The following information is from my book,

"Renting with Rex: How You, Your Dog, Your Landlord and 

Your Neighbors Can All Thrive in Rental Housing."


Jackie Phillips
www.thesocialpet.com
www.rentingwithrex.com
jackie@thesocialpet.com
Feel free to contact me anytime at the above email address.

All text is copyrighted and protected. Any unauthorized use is prohibited.



Here are some topics that are covered:


1. Myth One: Dogs need a lot of space with a big house and a yard
2. Myth Two: Only certain breeds can live in an apartment
3. Myth Three: Dogs can’t be happy in an apartment
4. Myth Four: One might be OK, but more than one is just too many


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Renting an Apartment and Having a Dog

Four Myths of Having a Dog in an Apartment

This section is one of my favorites because I have been hearing these myths for many, many years. I think these myths originate from a person’s individual perspective. One of the reasons I am writing this book is to expand a person’s perspective on what can be done and to give a dog and owner the chance to experience a whole new perspective, and to say, “Yes! These things can be done.”

Myth One: Dogs need a lot of space with a big house and a yard
Actually, having a large yard to keep a dog prevents the owner from spending quality time with the dog. If left outside, dogs will find their own entertainment which commonly comes in the form of digging, chewing, barking and fence jumping.

If you provide adequate outside, one-on-one exercise with a dog, the dog will come home and rest or sleep anyway.

Many owners use a large yard as an excuse to not spend time with their dogs since they feel that the dog is getting adequate exercise in the yard.

Myth Two: Only certain breeds can live in an apartment
Some people believe that some dogs cannot live in apartments due to their size, coat, breed or mix and other factors. However, that is not necessarily so. Rather, it is better to say that some breeds will certainly require more work and attention on the owner’s part in order to live in an apartment. Some dogs such as those from the herding, terrier, working, and sporting breed groups, will require more exercise than others. Examples of these breeds would be Border Collies, Jack Russell Terriers, Golden and Labrador Retrievers and Beagles. Some dogs will require more grooming to control shedding. This would include any of the Nordic breeds like Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies and American Eskimo breeds, as well as German Shepherd Dogs and many other double-coated breeds. Some dogs will require more socialization due to inherent shyness or aloofness like Border Collies and Sighthounds like Afghans and Greyhounds. Another group of dogs that would need more socialization would be dogs with a previous lack of proper socialization around dogs, people and urban noises like buses and traffic.

All dogs can be properly kept in an apartment
Some dogs will need more of a time commitment from the owner with more exercise and mind stimulation and grooming. If the owner understands this ahead of time, then any size dog can be kept inside an apartment.

The reason why some apartments only allow small dogs is because they falsely believe that small dogs cause less trouble. Since all dogs can bite, no matter the size, a poorly behaved small dog can cause a lot of problems. Some property managers allow only small dogs because small dogs leave smaller messes behind. If the management enforced that all owners clean up after their dogs, than the size of the dog makes no difference. Many apartment managers also seem to agree that only small dogs can be kept in apartments because they believe that medium and large dogs need an abundant amount of exercise. However, many small dogs, like terriers and beagles, need a lot of exercise.

Myth Three: Dogs can’t be happy in an apartment
Many people believe that a dog is only happy when they are running loose on acres and acres of open land. This misunderstanding may come from a past lifestyle in which somebody lived on acres of land and the family dogs were allowed to run loose. That is what they knew. Certainly, that is an acceptable way of life for many people and their dogs. There is nothing wrong with that. And I believe that if those particular dogs were suddenly transported from their country home to an urban apartment, the dogs, as well as the people, would go into culture shock and many changes would have to occur. However, the changes could be made. The people would adjust and the dog would adjust with the proper guidance. The change certainly could take place if somebody followed the steps describe in this book.

Myth Four: One might be OK, but more than one is just too many
This myth comes from property owners who use this as an excuse to prevent renting to a possible tenant if they have more than one pet. Many property owners also believe that children can’t be happy in an apartment, but they can’t say that to a parent because it is illegal to discriminate against children in rentals. However, most laws don’t prevent a property owner from discriminating against a dog owner, unless you are elderly or disabled or living in assisted housing.Greyhounds. Another group of dogs that would need more socialization would be dogs with a previous lack of proper socialization around dogs, people and urban noises like buses and traffic.

Along the same lines are the restrictions that governments put on owners stating that only a certain number of animals can be allowed in a household. That restriction is illegal to make for children; however, it is not illegal to say about animals. Therefore, these restrictions are made because there is nothing stopping property owners from making them. The number of animals in a household has absolutely nothing to do with an individual’s ability to properly care for an animal. One person may not be able to care for a single dog on ten acres, but another responsible person can take care of five animals in a studio apartment.

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