My childhood dream was to own a beautiful German Shepherd that would roam freely in a massive backyard. Sadly, I never left the city life but always wanted that furry friend to keep me company. When I’ve made the decision to adopt a German Shepherd puppy, friends and family assured me that I was making a colossal mistake. They said she was going to turn aggressive and needed a big home to get that needed exercise. They claimed that big breeds had no place in apartment buildings and would only result in constant headaches. After two years of living with a 100 pound German Shepherd and two additional family members inside of an apartment, I can firmly say that those rumors were incorrect. Can large breed dogs live happily inside of small homes? Yes, but there is a catch.
Dogs are among the most adaptable of species, and that’s likely one of the reasons why they’ve been our coworkers and companions for so many generations. Big or small, dogs have shown an astonishing ability to be happy in every kind of human environment, from massive ranches to tiny urban apartments. Dogs never Google what it would be like to live in a big mansion. Furthermore, many homeless dogs seem to cope just fine with their homeless owners. Almost any dog, regardless of size, can be happy anywhere if the owner is willing to satisfy the animal’s need for exercise. Living in a big home would be nice but you won’t lose 40 pounds just because you have two additional hallways.
According to a Rent.com survey, 83 percent of renters have had difficulty finding a pet-friendly apartment. Some may allow small dogs because they have difficulty understanding dog behavior. For some odd reason they believe that the big dogs will tare the building down. Big-dog-friendly apartments do exist, so don’t give up! If you’re having trouble, consider creating a pet resume. It may sound silly, but this can really work. People were quite terrified of my dog until they saw how trained and friendly she really was.
Landlords are not necessarily skeptical of people with dogs or cats. Responsible pet owners are usually responsible tenants, and landlords who permit pets know they have a larger pool of prospective tenants to draw from. Real estate owners fully understand the pros and cons of allowing pets into their properties. Most but not all will seek additional income from increased rent or pet fees. Personally, our landlord loves dogs and allowed us to adopt with no additional charges.
We all know that training dogs is essential to living a stress free life. If you choose to live in an apartment with a big dog, training is extremely important. Keep in mind that loud barking, excessive damage, and aggression towards other tenants can and will evict you. Some folks are terrified of dogs no matter how cute they are. Pit bulls for example just look scary and people want no business with them. Having an extremely friendly dog that listens and acts on command will ensure your trust. You MUST! exercise the dog multiple times per day to keep their focus on resting. We take our dog 4 times per day to walk/play. When we get home, all she does is lay on the floor and wait for the next trip.
I know what you’re thinking; he never lived in a large home to see the difference. Lucky, my uncle was headed to Austria to see his father and needed someone to look after his dog and house. This 3 story mansion with giant back yard made me think twice about my theory. There was so much room for activities and Sasha, my German Shepherd, seemed to be in love after just 5 minutes. We played fetch and the convenience of having cool water just seconds away made the large home a no brainier.
While enjoying the convenience of having a large yard, my uncle’s dog was not on the same page. How can he not be as excited as me and Sasha? I quickly discovered that Monty, the other dog, was flabbergasted every time I went near his collar and leash. He was eager to go for a long walk in the big park just blocks away. This shocked me because Sasha was starting to get fed up with the yard as well. She could not run as fast or as far like she could in the open field. Both dogs were bored with the same environment and I found myself taking both to the same places I would when living in the apartment.
While it’s perfectly acceptable to own large breeds of dogs in any size home, one must understand how to properly do it. The more you understand how dogs think and what is required to raise them, you’ll quickly realize that the idea of a big home is for lazy humans. Large breed dogs that were designed to work in the fields all day must be trained and exercised properly. People tend to think that the back yard is big enough for their pooch to roam around in, right? No more trips to the dog park or hiking trips, right? The size of your home has nothing to do with your dog’s exercise program because let’s be honest, all they do is follow you around anyway. The catch is simple; you must be that much more responsible because you’ve got less room for error. The dog does not care if you live in a cardboard box or the biggest mansion in town. They just want to be around a leader that provides them with plenty of love and fun.
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