Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Difficulties of Apartment Dog Living

I consider myself incredibly lucky to be in the apartment I'm currently in. We have a fantastic land lord who lived in the space previously with his two weimerainers. We have a yard which is pretty rare in Halifax rentals, and we live in a fantastic dog friendly neighborhood.

Now all that being said there are difficulties that come from being in an apartment no matter what.

Having a reactive dog, little things like sounds are a big barking trigger for Kobi. We are fortunate to be on the top floor flat of the building, but that being said, when new tenates move in or out, he gets very stressed, we can also sometimes hear the people downstairs moving things around or walking around (not sure how that works). The sounds of doors slamming is also another thing that bothers Kobi.

We consider ourselves to be relatively private renters, we like to do our own thing on our own time and don't force ourselves into getting to know our neighbours, however, when you have a dog, things don't always seem to work out that way. There is usually a lot of explaining of our dogs behaviours, such as him freaking out if we try to walk out our front door at the same time as the down stairs neighbour, or if they try to wave and say hi on the street.

Having a shared backyard also makes things interesting. The previous tenants downstairs rarely if ever used the yard space meaning we felt safe letting Kobi and Scout out at pretty well any time of day. Our new tenants on the other hand have a dog of their own (which is great for when they want to play because they get along great),  but isn't so great when Kobi needs to go out to the bathroom. There is nothing worse then your poor dog trying to find a spot to pee only top be rushed at by the other dog wanting to play.

Finally, with our shared backyard, is the entrance to the basement unit of the building, meaning to get in and out of their unit they must come through the backyard. For most of the year we have had little to no interaction with this tenant, but when we do, it's not very pleasant. I will be letting Kobi out for his morning pee (on a long line incase situations like this happen) when the downstairs tenant will burst out the door which freaks Kobi out. He hates nothing more then having people just appear in  "his" backyard. Kobi will usually charge at the "intruder" barking like crazy, and if he assess he's not too scared, jump on them.
Now I know this is by no means good behaviour from Kobi, but what bothers me is how disdained this tenant gets when it happens. This tenant rented the unit knowing full well it was a dog friendly apartment, knowing they had to enter and exit through the dog area. I've tried talking to this tenant before to explain that Kobi gets freaked out, but they refuse to acknowledge me and will even lower their head and ignore me if I pass them on the street (with or without the dogs). I understand that they are fully entitled to their privacy, but if living in a three unit dog friendly building with yard entrance seems to be such an annoyance, why not live in a low rise or high rise where you can be truely annonymous. Lastly of my pet peeves with this particular renter, there are so many people in Halifax desperately seeking dog friendly rentals, and this one is being wasted on someone who clearly is not a fan of them (they don't even like Scout and all Scout does is stand there).

Despite my frustration with certain aspects of apartment living, I love where we live, I love our unit, we have awesome landlords and it's great that  Kobi has a doggy friend to play with. Dog friendly apartments are hard to come by and compared to our last rental, this place is a palace.


  1. Looks like when he sleeps in the middle of the hallway you have to sneak around him too! :)

  2. Yes! Grrrr on that person taking up dog-friendly space. Grrrr. We have less than a month left to find a house ourselves and I am starting to freak out a little. This is actually one of the reasons I am reluctant to share yard space - though that is probably going to have to happen. I worry I'll be out with my dog and then the other tenant will burst in with their buddies and ruin everything. Hopefully this basement guy moves out soon. For both of your sakes.