|Barked: Fri Dec 15, '06 6:59am PST |
|Cities can actually be really wonderful places for dogs. There are so many opportunities for socialization, and training becomes so much less optional, and there tend to be so many services for dogs (depending on city of course) that city dogs tend to be quite happy.
If you're going to be living in an apartment, however, there are a lot of things you have to keep in mind. Most apartments have weight and breed restrictions. The weight restrictions really throw a wrench into things because a lot of the larger breeds actually make great apartment dogs because they are low energy. If you are willing to take walks and are going to live near an area that has a safely fenced off-leash park, then the size of your apartment doesn't matter for the size of the dog. Some small dogs are extremely high energy and ping off the walls 24/7 (jack russell terriers), and some large dogs are complete and utter couch potatoes (greyhounds, english mastiffs, great danes).
The other thing you have to worry about is barking. I live in a duplex and when we got a new dog (our older dog is nearly silent) I spent several months trying to get him into a situation in which he wouldn't bark while home alone. He's not naturally a kind of dog that barks at everything or just barks to bark, but he will bark if he's frustrated and it took a lot of tweeking to find a way for him to be home alone and not feel frustrated. If you have a dog who barks a lot and you live in an apartment, there's a high probability that you will either get evicted or animal control will threaten to remove the dog. Cranky neighbors with a lot of time on their hands can raise a pretty huge stink when they're not happy. Unless you have it on good authority that the individual dog is not a barker, I'd avoid the terrier and scenthound breeds.
Also, don't get a puppy. Get a dog that's past adolescence and is comfortably settled into adulthood. Puppies need way more attention than most working people can give them and when you get a puppy it's always a bit of a crapshoot what they're going to grow up and turn in to. A puppy who never barks for the first 6 months of it's life may become a nuisance barker over night as it matures.
Try to adopt an adult dog who has been fostered in a home, so you can get a good report on how they behave when left alone, and whether or not they're a barker.
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