If you have ever lived in an apartment, or currently do, you know the frustrations that can come with dogs and other pets. The frustration may not stem from the dog itself, but the environment or guidelines that apply to your situation can hinder your search for a dog or keep you from moving into certain places.
Is there a right and wrong choice for apartment dogs? Is there a “best dog” for apartments? We will discuss a few common obstacles and things to consider.
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Something most of us can relate to is having a landlord. While a majority of homeowners may have less interaction with their “landlord” (the bank), people that live in apartments are more prone to dealing with the rules and regulations set out by the owner of their building. One of the rules and regulations most commonly brought up is the “pet policy”.
If you’re apartment hunting, or ever have, you’ll notice that every apartment listed will have a pet policy. Some apartments don’t allow pets of any kind, some allow cats and small dogs, and some have other stipulations depending on the property and property owner. Landlords will list different reasons as to why they do not allow pets, whether it be a building policy, allergy concerns, or liability concerns (if the dog were to accidentally harm another tenant on the property). Long story short, most landlords are concerned with the variability that can come with dogs and they aren’t ready to risk ruining their property or being sued over it. In their mind, they’ll just find someone else who doesn’t have a pet.
If the apartment you are interested in seems to have a no pets policy, don’t lose hope just yet. If you’re confident that your dog is well-behaved and will cause no issues to anyone else, try bringing it up to the landlord. Many times, if the building owner meets your dog and it all goes well, they may decide to bend their rules a little case by case.
Size & Demeanor
As you experience different pet policies set out by landlords, size is almost always mentioned. The buildings that do allow dogs will often specify that they only allow small dogs. As mentioned previously, these guidelines, including the definition of a “small dog”, is relative to the landlord. But for the sake of putting yourself in a more favorable position, are there any smaller breed dogs that could be great for apartments?
Smaller breeds will also reign supreme when it comes to passing the “pet policy test”. Just on visuals alone, the building owner is more likely to be open to allowing a dog if they look down and see a little Dachshund or Yorkie looking back at them, rather than a full-grown German Shepherd or Mastiff. Not only are smaller breeds dogs, well…smaller, in the landlord’s eyes they present less of a liability risk. They also may see these smaller dogs as less destructive, if they’re concerned about the interior of the apartment being compromised.
What to Avoid (if necessary)
If you find yourself in a situation that is difficult to navigate as far as the apartment’s pet policy, you may have to take precautions when choosing a dog (if you don’t already have one). If the building you currently live in or are interested in has a “small dogs” pet policy, or a pet policy that can be defined as vague or ambiguous, you want to do everything possible to help your chances at approval.
That brings us to what to avoid. As we briefly touched on, size and demeanor will play a big role in the landlord’s decision. So, if you’re concerned about being turned away, do not go out and purchase a dog who is not meant for apartments or small spaces. Meaning, don’t purchase a large breed, highly active dog. In many cases, the landlord will look at that dog and say, “no way”. Not only do these dogs limit your housing opportunities (for apartments), more importantly, your large, active dog is not going to be happy if they are cooped up in a small apartment all the time. Some dogs are meant for big yards they can run around in. Try not to put one of these dogs in that situation, especially if it’s only for your own benefit.
Barking is another big topic that will affect your landlord’s decision. Every dog is different, yes, but certain breeds are more likely to bark (and loudly). Breeds that will fall into this category may be hound/hunting dogs (beagles, bloodhounds, etc.). Although some hunting dogs are small in stature, they equip a “bay”. For anyone unfamiliar, a bay is how these hound dogs bark and alert when their nose picks up on something. Once you hear it, you won’t forget it! Other dogs that may bark uncontrollably may be small “yippy” dogs. While I’m sure we’ve all met one of these harmless creatures, the constant piercing (annoying) bark may cause your landlord and other tenants to complain.
The “best dogs for apartments” is a largely subjective topic. Each landlord and property will be different, with varying pet policies. However, with these general tips and pointers, hopefully you are well equipped to make the right decision for you!