I had never really figured out why landlords would disqualify tenants who owned pets. That was until I got Snowy. His first days he was really loud and he created messes everywhere. Nevertheless, I never gave up on him. I did my research, read thousands of blogs, watched just as many YouTube videos, and followed so many Facebook groups related to dog training.
This paid off and I finally got my wife, neighbours, and neighbourhood kids to accept and love Snowy. He is calm, well-behaved, yet still adorably playful when in the right environment.
Some dogs will whine and yelp for prolonged hours when introduced to a new environment. This is especially true for dogs that were born in puppy mills, or those that were separated from their mum and litter early, or that were mistreated at that early infant stage. This will upset most of your family members, neighbours, landlords and land agents, the city council, the police, and NEMA. Believe me, you don’t want any trouble from any of these. I will tackle the specific training for barking and yelping in a later post. But one thing that applies to all dogs no matter their background, if you want a quiet dog you need to adequately exercise him.
Mental and physical stimulation is the best cure for noise. For puppies, you cannot just take them for a walk and leave it at that. You need to play with them. Snowy’s favourite games are tug-of-war, chase, football, fetch, and Frisbees. On your walks, give the dog time to smell the flowers and chase insects. Socialise him with people, other dogs, and even other pets like when Snowy met Denver our cockerel.
To enjoy your clean home environment, you need to toilet-train your dog. Personally, I prefer if my dog did his business outdoors but there are great ways to keep your home clean while the dog does his business indoors. In my post about Snowy being Master Pee and a Party Pooper, I will address some of the methods I used. In this post, I will advise on how to be a good neighbour and tenant with these simple rules.
- Never let your dog out without a leash. This is the most important rule. The dog should be leashed and under the direct supervision of a responsible adult or older kid.
- Always carry small paper bags to carry poop and a litter bag. You may also include a small mop for the pee. These will come in handy when he has an accident on your neighbour’s doorstep or on the stairs.
- Never wait for your neighbour or the security guards to come tell you to clean up. Be there to maintain cleanliness.
Play and Training
Snowy is very playful, and when he came to us he was biting everyone coz he didn’t know any better. That made his play times very tricky because all the neighbourhood kids wanted to get close to him. I had to take lots of time to train him to be social and never to bite or nip.
I did not know anything about dog training, so my initial attempts were made out in the parking lot. In full view of neighbours and with all the kids joining in. Later I knew I couldn’t expect any progress with all the distractions, so I scheduled training for 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. before I left for the office. I tried to make all training fun for the dog. He became a happier pup and more disciplined, adorable, and quiet. Best of all, he soon stopped biting and nipping.
When I started training and playing with Snowy, other neighbours who had dogs got brave enough or interested enough to join me. Soon, my pup had canine playmates and was even happier. We were organising trips and hikes and involving each other in training. For a neighbourhood where no one knows their neighbours, it was great getting to finally interact and network.
What to Do
To live in peace with your neighbours when living in an apartment, there are some things you have to take care of.
- Make sure your lease allows for pets or your landlord agrees to you keeping a pet
- Whether you are renting or you own the apartment, maintain high hygiene standards. Toilet train for outdoors if you can. If indoors, keep all the drainage free of poop and pee. Do not let waste stay on the floors and carpets too long.
- Always clean the stairs and other common spaces immediately the dog does his business. Never wait to be called upon. Even if it’s a serviced apartment, never wait for the cleaning crew to take care of your dog’s mess.
- Have all your dog licenses in order and all your vaccinations up to date. This will not only save you from the City Council and from NEMA, but it is the responsible thing to do and might just save your dog’s life.
- Be wary of traffic. Choose play and training spots that are removed from vehicle traffic. If not, then choose spaces where you can spot a car from far off, and the driver can spot you just as fast.
So what’s your personal experience with your fur baby? Have you had issues with neighbors or the authorities? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. We’d really love to hear from you.