Harmonious urban living with you dog and fellow neighbors
By Nicole Simone
Living in the city with a dog has its challenges. From the lack of green space, condo board politics, to fickle neighbors, having a dog in an urban area can be difficult. These canine condo etiquette tips will have you and your dog enjoying the city life.
1. Off Leash Dogs
The building may be your home, but it’s others too. Even if your pup is the most well-behaved dog in the world, other residents could have an issue. Maybe a friendly Frenchie ate their favorite doll when they were young or perhaps they just have an aversion to love and affection. Either way, you have no way of knowing someone’s back story and you can’t assume everyone will love your pooch as much as you do. Keep your dog on a leash while in common areas.
Your dog loves you and the “pack” you’ve created for him. Because of this, he’s going to want to warn you about intruders, especially if that intruder sounds and smells like another dog coming to steal your love away. Your dog may bark a lot and it may not bother you but it bothers other residents. It also encourages other dogs to bark. If you’ve received a noise complaint, taking appropriate measures to assure your dog isn’t barking is important. Crating or doggie daycare might be necessary.
3. Elevator Rules
Watching people fail at elevator-dog-safety-etiquette is funny on YouTube but when it happens to you, you’ll wish you had some better sense in the moment. Always make your dog wait, keep your dog on a short leash, and exit the elevator first. Why? Your dog might startle residents or worse, scare a waiting dog and cause a fight.
4. It’s Not Your Backyard
Dogs poop, you scoop! If you live in the city, you will lament that there is little green space for your dog to do its business. Chances are the dogs in your building all frequent the same spot. Burying it in snow and leaves doesn’t count. Leaving it around gives property managers a reason to ban dogs.
5. Reactive Dogs
We’re all advocates for adopting but with rescues especially, you need to keep a close eye on their potential to react to different situations in unforeseen ways. Your neighbor Jerry might look like the friendliest spitting image of Santa Clause but maybe your dog has had a bad experience with a bearded, heavyset man in the past. You just never know. If your dog is not socialized with people and other dogs, seek professional help for the safety of everyone. Being in close quarters with other animals and people means trouble for a reactive dog.
6. Dealing With Bad Dog Owners
If you encounter a dog owner letting their dog off leash or being unruly in some of the above ways: do not approach the owners. This is one instance when tattling is the right thing to do. The only thing worse than a badly behaved dog is living in the same building as the owner. Talk to management rather than creating animosity between you and a bad neighbor.