Training your dog will cause less stress for you, your pooch and your neighbours.
Many Winnipeg rentals are now pet friendly apartments (including all of Paragon Living’s suites), making it convenient for residents to live with their furry friends. While there’s no avoiding the extra work it takes to own a dog in an apartment, planning ahead makes the transition and training process much easier.
It’s the owner’s sole responsibility to teach their dog the correct behaviour and help them adjust to their new environment. Use the tips below to help your dog become the perfect renting companion.
Pay Attention To Your Dog
Before, during and after you move into an apartment, take note of what makes your dog anxious. Are there certain noises that set them off or a time of day they’re most on edge? These may change as they get used to a new space.
Once you notice what sets your dog off, address behaviours like barking by redirecting their attention or help follow up on potty accidents by taking your pup outside right away, so they know the spot they are supposed to go! At Paragon Living we do ask that you take your pet off the property as dog urine will kill the grass, but once your pooch picks a spot, they are likely to continue using that same general outdoor area going forward. When your dog starts responding to your corrections, reward it like it’s the greatest thing since puffed marshmallows!
Use Brain Games
There are things other than physical activity that can hold your dog’s attention and expend some energy. This is especially important for larger breeds that typically need more exercise.
Buy toys that hide treats or freeze toys with treats inside them to keep your dog busy for a few hours. Toys like KONGs are especially good for this. Hide treats in easily accessible spots around your home to send your dog on a treasure hunt. Purchase a slow feeder bowl to extend meal time and stretch their brain.
Unfamiliar sights, sounds and interactions can be overwhelming for a dog, so create short training sessions to get them used to new situations. Play various noises on Youtube or different kinds of music to get your dog used to external noise and reduce barking. Eventually sounds coming from the TV or radio will become comforting to them and these can be left on to sooth your furry friend when you’re not home. Also, introduce them to other dogs in the building in a neutral environment like a dog park. Make these sessions short and remove your dog if they start to show signs of discomfort or aggression.
Kennel training is also a great way to introduce your dog to his/her own private space. Crates or kennels are meant to be comfy, and just large enough for the dog to stand up and turn around in. This mimics a den, and helps them feel safe while you are away. Fun fact - kennel trained dogs rarely bark while their owners are away, because they are snuggled in their own safe space.
Shorter, More Frequent Walks
Taking your dog on one longer walk and several short walks each day allows them to get some exercise and go to the bathroom when they need to. Older dogs can typically hold their bladders longer than puppies, who will need more frequent outdoor bathroom breaks.
Stay away from indoor elimination products like turf because the dog will begin or continue to potty inside (not permitted in a rental) and get confused about where it’s ok to “go”. They will quickly draw similarities to other items like bedding and rugs, which will promptly get for their “business”.
Go To The Nearest Dog Park
Since most apartments don’t have a shared, fenced-in green space, find a dog park where your pooch can stretch their legs and even make a few friends. There are many on- and off-leash dog parks within city limits, often near to our buildings.
In Winnipeg, Bonnycastle Park is a 1,200 square-metre off-leash park that serves all downtown dogs and their owners. Maple Grove Dog Park, Brenda Leipsic Dog Park and King’s Park are other options for dogs to spend time exploring and socializing. And, of course, any city park is suitable for walking your dog as long as you keep them on their leash.
Find Alternate Care
If you’re not home during the day, consider hiring a dog walker. They can give your dog exercise and a chance to go to the bathroom once or twice while you’re gone. You could also sign them up for doggy daycare where they’ll get walks, food and play time with other dogs.
Training your dog to live in an apartment will take work, but with time and patience the transition will become easier. One of the most important things is to start a routine and stick to it so your dog will know what to expect day-to-day.
All of Paragon Living’s Winnipeg suites are pet-friendly, so residents can bring their furry friends along to their new place. To view our available suites, visit our Rentals page.