Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Greyhound living in a City Apartment Part I

Owning a greyhound; in a city apartment; versus a house.

I live in a traditional house at least I have for over a year now.  Traditional meaning one house two families, two people in one half, two people in the other, but separate from one another and the house comes with a fenced-in back yard.  However, for years before “the house” I lived in a apartment.  “The apartment” was specifically one house,12 apartments, each containing 4 people, no back yard, and though it is not attached to the houses next door you can read what the person is typing on their computer through the window.  In my apartment I had access to one bedroom (it held one twin sized bed and potentially one greyhound sized dog crate with no floor space, and no other furniture).  It had a living room containing one futon and  TV (on a stand), it had almost no floor space and one sat only a foot away from the TV when sitting on said futon.  I lived there with three other (awesome) women, in what you might correctly imagine very cramped space.

I’ve been meaning to post about living with a greyhound in a my apartment versus living in my house.  There are some differences, but it is hard to say which is better or worse for me or Beckett. It was very different. I’ll break it into a few posts since I tend to ramble on about the subject.

In general the biggest difference is that living responsibility in an apartment means nothing can be put the wayside. Everything has to be dealt with and it needs to be dealt with fast if not prevented.  For me that meant a lot of prevention.  If you live in an apartment you can’t really risk having a loud barking dog, which means going through the process of treating separation issues before they occur.  Living with four people means you can’t wait to find out if your dog resource guards you have to be training him or her from day one. Being in a small space means crate training can be a huge benefit, with so many people coming in and out can you trust everyone to keep chocolate off the table or keep your dog from running out? – it is something that needs to be taught and taught as soon as possible.  What you can procrastinate on while living in a house cannot wait until later when your living in a busy apartment. 

Some of the more distinct differences for me:


THE YARD (or specifically the lack thereof)

My apartment meant four walks a day everyday. Now my dog(s) only get two.  The advantages to a yard are pretty obvious, but there are some advantages to having no yard that I'm going to share.

Routine. When your walking your dog four times a day you need a schedule. After all it is only logical; any attempt to combine all your walks into one long walk means you’d like a present to come home to. So, four walks a day every day, spaced evenly apart, which pretty much means your keeping a pretty strict routine.  Additionally, there are lots of benefits to this. Many dogs (and as my Mom assures me children) really thrive on routine and or knowing what to expect. And although the walk itself can be filled with new experiences the simplicity of routine can be very cathartic for many dogs.

Potty. Teaching potty when you don’t have a back yard is a piece of cake (so much so I gave it it’s own paragraph). You go out, you say potty, you give your dog two minutes to walk sniff do what he or she will and if he doesn’t go, you go back in your house and repeat 15 minutes later.  When the dog does his or her business you give him or her a party with praise treats and whatever else makes them happy.   Living in a house it is just as convenient to simply let my dog back out rather then teaching him potty, but since Beckett already knows the command it makes things so much easier when I’m rushed, or someplace new, or out and about.  In an apartment going outside for multiple potty breaks is just annoying if not guaranteed to make you late for anything potentially important.
Socialization. When your walking 4 times a day in the middle of the city, socialization isn’t just a priority it is an everyday event (whether you want it or not).   Every street, every corner, every place has people, dogs, cats, and if your me more then the occasional drunk.

Stimulation. Well I mentioned it before but without a yard means you never avoid a walk cause your sick, it is raining, snowing, and or actually any reason. So every day your dog gets to sniff something new, see new things, and in general get some mental stimulation.

Exercise. Even four short walks means you and your dog are getting some physical activity every day, no expensive gym membership needed.

By the way, the picture is of my roommate Charlene with Beckett during one of our long walks.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you're writing this up! The potty thing is a great point. I keep meaning to teach Maisy, but it is SO much easier to open the back door.