For those of us who live in apartment complexes, we know that the etiquette for having dogs in a “vertical” community is a lot more complicated than living in a single family home. Complicated, however, does not mean that you get a pass on you or your dog being an asshole. So here are a few tips I’ve come up with after years of living in apartments with dogs (plus a silly thing called common sense):
1.Dogs bark. That’s cool. Some dogs bark more than others. That’s…still cool. But letting your dog bark all day? Not cool. Whether your dog is barking because of separation anxiety, because he sees moving shit outside of the window, or just likes to hear his own high pitch voice, please at least make an attempt to do something about it. We get that remedying some of these things takes time and patience, but that doesn’t mean you should give up and just let your dog “bark it out” when you share 4 walls…and a floor…and a ceiling…and a courtyard…with your neighbors. There are actual training protocols (gasp…shit you can do to make it better?) and techniques that will help. Getting to the bottom of why your dog is barking is the first step in finding a solution. And while you are working on quieting your dog, give your neighbors a friendly little warning so they know you aren’t just some obtuse asshole who doesn’t care that Puppy barks from dawn to sunset. You might even ply your neighbors with wine and cheese (I prefer a nice Gouda) so they are less annoyed when Fluffy flings himself at your door each time you walk by in the hallway.
2. If your dog piss and shit in the hallway, clean it up. It’s not something to leave for the management to deal with in the morning.
3. Related, while I get that dogs often are about to explode as you run them outside for a walk or potty break, don’t be that asshole who lets your dog do his business right at the threshold of the apartment complex. No one, not even other dog owners, wants to take a flying leap over a puddle of piss to get outside. Repeat after me: Your building’s entrance is not a fire hydrant…
4. If your building has an elevator, respect boundaries. Letting your dog go barging into the elevator before anyone has even gotten out is just not terribly rude, but it’s a dog fight waiting to happen. At the very least, I’m apt to throat punch you for invading my bubble.
5. Another handy-dandy elevator tip-not everyone wants your dog’s nose up their skirt, in the crotch of their pants, or shoved into your grocery bag. Keep a short leash on your dog when sharing tight quarters.
6. Short leashes are your friend when inside the complex. Don’t be that twatwaffle who lets your dog round a corner on his flexi-leash and blindside a neighbor precariously balancing her recycling on her way to the garbage room leading her to land face first in a pile of crushed cans (Not that I know this from experience…. )
7. Not everyone in your building loves dogs and not every dog in your building loves other dogs. It’s pretty simple. Keep your dogs on leash in the common areas at all times.
8. Finally, know thy dog. Not all dogs love sharing the tight space of apartment living, but for many people it’s not realistic to move into a single family home. Therefore, make the best of your situation and set your dog up for success. Knowing what upsets your dog, what is likely to get them over-excited, and managing it from the front end is a whole helluva lot less work than dealing with pissed off neighbors after the fact.
**What do you think? What is the worst experience you’ve had living in apartments with dogs? Are you glad you don’t have to? Share below**