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Old 31.01.2015, 22:36
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Dogs for Apartments

Hello all,

We are looking to add a new member to the family, and looking at the breeds of dogs which we most like, website upon website are not showing them as being the most ideally suited to living in an apartment.

We have quite a spacious apartment with 2 balconies, however we are on the 3rd floor.

Growing up the family had Huskies, which I admit would be a bit too energetic, noisy and potentially destructive for apartment life.

However, can anyone recommend any medium sized dogs which are also well suited (with the right amount of effort and training) to apartment life? I would also be interested to hear the breeds of dogs of others living in an apartment here in Switzerland?

One of us would be home most days so the dog would rarely be left alone,

Thanks!
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Old 31.01.2015, 22:56
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Re: Dogs for Apartments

I was curious too and found this - http://www.pawnation.com/2013/01/28/...ent-dwellers/1 . Particularly love French bulldogs, they're hilarious
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Old 01.02.2015, 09:51
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Re: Dogs for Apartments

We've got a gorgeous red lab, and he's a great apartment dog on our ninth floor no balcony apartment. However, he does go on a lot of long walks, and often times when we're not there, he goes to doggy daycare and tires himself out there. So while he's great for apartment life, I can't say how much of that is due to the significant amounts of exercise that he gets.

Good luck!

Oh, and lest you don't know: there are posts on the forum about Swiss requirements (which include mandatory training both BEFORE and after adopting the dog) that you should probably be aware of; search SKN if you don't know what I'm talking about.
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Old 01.02.2015, 10:07
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Re: Dogs for Apartments

I have a midsized mutt, she's a beautiful girl - some husky, shiba inu, who knows what? About 22 kg but her legs are short. She's a great apartment dog, more so as she ages.....we always leave a door to the terrace open so she can go outside and have a sniff. The first few years we had her, she was crate trained.

She's a bit rough on parkett but our current place has laminate and area rugs. She follows me around the house when I'm home and sleeps. Whatever dog you have, lots of training helps. Also, an older dog might be even better. We adopted ours when she was 13 months, moved here when she was 3 and she's now 10.

We have had to work with her (we had to learn a lot), but it's so worth it.







I've also heard that greyhounds make great apartment dogs.
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Old 01.02.2015, 11:18
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Re: Dogs for Apartments

Actually, you are asking the wrong question. Rather than asking which kinds of dogs can live in apartments, you should be asking:

What kind of life can I provide for my dog, and what are the things that I cannot provide, given my current and expected future lifestyle and family situation?

And given what I can, and cannot, provide, what are the characteristics I should look for to find a dog who would be happy living with me and my family, here in our flat in Switzerland and anywhere else we might end up?

The ‘house vs. flat’ argument really does not hold true here in Switzerland, at least not in the same way as it might in our own countries where owning a single family home with a large garden but less owner involvement is the norm. In Switzerland most people have no choice but to live their entire lives in rental flats - so one learns that accommodation isn’t limiting in the same way here. Dog ownership included.

Primary to the decision is a bit of soul searching as to your own lifestyle. How much time can you realistically devote to your dog each day? Are you up for daily 4 hour hikes? Or is a one hour gentle meander more your thing? Are you willing to get involved in dog activities or sports on a regular basis? Are you interested in mental training games? Do you want a dog who requires less exercise, who is happy to snooze at your feet, hang out with you whatever you are doing? How much time will the dog be left alone each day? Do you have dog care help, or will you be doing everything yourself?

A dedicated owner, one who is aware of what his dog needs and has the time, creativity, and commitment to provide it can do so in many kinds of housing situations. Sure, a single family home with a large private fenced in garden is the ‘easy’ option, in the sense that it requires less involvement on the part of the owner to make the dog happy. But that is not an option for most people in Switzerland. Most people have to live in small flats - yet an owner who lives in a flat but is able to go on that long daily hike, who takes the dog to Agility or Triebball, who engages in brain training games throughout the day, can also provide a happy, healthy ‘appropriate’ life for an energetic dog. It all comes down to what you are willing and able to provide for your dog.

In my 20+ years of rescue work I’ve seen countless dogs dumped in shelters because 'we can't give the dog what he needs' - but the root cause is not that the dog is going crazy living in a flat, rather because an owner lacks the required commitment to the dog’s well being given the housing situation. Inappropriate accommodation is often just an excuse - owner responsibility is the real issue.

Breed characteristics are a good starting point in determining whether what you can provide is a good fit with what a dog needs. But be aware that it is indeed only a starting point - individuals vary widely, and many a dog’s character is quite different from what his breed standard might suggest. Start with breed characteristics but then focus more on the individual.

Toward that end, think also of age. Is a puppy appropriate for you? House training is certainly do-able in a flat, but it will mean more work for you. If getting up at 2am isn’t something you are willing to do, then perhaps think of an older dog.

There are Switzerland-specific issues to consider. Noise is a sticking point here, more so than in most countries. You must be able to keep your dog as quiet as your neighbors demand - but what that means will vary. In some neighborhoods that means absolute silence. In others the occasional woof is tolerated. Some breeds are bred to be more vocal than others ( my Shelties Bellties for instance), but again - much comes down to the individual and the work you put in to training the dog to live in harmony with your neighbors.

Along the lines of neighborhood tolerance, do be aware that some breeds carry some (quite unfair) negative perceptions - is your skin thick enough to stand up to neighborhood mobbing to protect your dog? If not, these dogs - lovely as they are - are likely not for you. Also be aware that half the cantons are BSL cantons, meaning that certain breeds or mixes are either banned or restricted. Make sure you understand the dog control law in your canton. For ZH, a summary of the cantonal law can be found on the Tier Im Recht website:
http://www.tierimrecht.org/de/tiersc...ht/zuerich.php

Do be aware that ZH has additional training requirements for dogs whose adult size is expected to be over 45cm or 15kg. Consider this as you look at different breeds and mixes.

Some landlords limit the size of a dog allowed - make sure you understand what is in your lease. (And of course, make sure you have permission in your lease.) Make sure you have appropriate insurance against any damage a dog might cause. (Again with cantonal law - most cantons require liability insurance as well.)

So as you make this decision:

First: A look at your own lifestyle and expectations.

Second - take the SKN Theory class if you are a first time owner in Switzerland. This must be done before you acquire your dog. The SKN Theory class help you understand what you need to do in order to be a responsible dog owner here.

(If you are not a first time owner in Switzerland you are excused, if you have owned a dog in another country contact the cantonal Veterinäramt for a ruling on whether your proof of previous ownership is sufficient to excuse you from the Theory class.)

Once you have your dog you will have 12 months to do the SKN Practical course. FYI, If you are considering a List 1 dog in canton ZH (over 45cm/15kg) the SKN Practical course requirement will be fulfilled within the ZH Welpenforderung, Junghund, and Adult courses you must take.

Third: Puppy or older dog?

Fourth: Breed or mix whose characters are generally appropriate to your lifestyle.

Fifth: Start contacting breeders or rescue shelters. There are several threads about how to go about establishing a relationship with a breeder or with a shelter here in Switzerland. For instance:

Adopting a pet from a Rescue Centre
How to spot a reputable breeder

Sixth: Having done all your research - listen to your heart. Every dog is an individual, quirks and all.



Good luck!

Last edited by meloncollie; 01.02.2015 at 14:46.
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Old 01.02.2015, 11:29
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Re: Dogs for Apartments

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.

We have quite a spacious apartment with 2 balconies, however we are on the 3rd floor.
You made no mention of a lift so I assume there isn't one.

Neither my dogs nor I could live in an apartment other than ground level without a lift.
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Old 01.02.2015, 14:39
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Re: Dogs for Apartments

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You made no mention of a lift so I assume there isn't one.

Neither my dogs nor I could live in an apartment other than ground level without a lift.
Mrs D makes a very good point. Think not only of your situation now, but also try to look 15 years ahead.

For instance, 10 years ago I could carry my 30kg elderly wobbly collie up the stairs.

10 years from now I wonder if I'll be able to manage stairs myself, let alone carrying a 30kg dog.

One of the 'what ifs' I had to think about when I adopted Heffalump.
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Old 01.02.2015, 15:27
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Re: Dogs for Apartments

Meloncollie, thank you very much for taking the time to answer so thoroughly! You have given me a lot of food for thought
I will try to digest everything as much as possible before taking any next steps.

Mrs. Doolittle, thanks also. We have a lift thankfully

It's interesting that size doesn't have to come into it when living in an apartment. I guess I still had my UK brain in where it would maybe be more frowned upon to own a larger dog in an apartment, however I fully understand that it really is the amount of effort I would put into training, exercising etc....
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Old 01.02.2015, 16:41
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Re: Dogs for Apartments

I live in an apartment with a Maltese, a breed I would never have naturally orientated to but one whose characteristics matched the things I could offer a dog.

My commitment to him is that he is never left alone, being a lap dog means he is happiest when we are together. His commitment to me is that he is very happy with 2 hours walking a day split over the day and night and social walks and training twice a week, without going stir crazy. That said, one of those walks is of 45 minutes to one hour long so even as a "little dog" the involvement in providing for him is high.

I did my SKN practical with a couple who had a toy poodle. That poor thing was left alone all day and walked for 15 mins twice a day. It was do-lally jumping around with unburned off energy all of the session. She mentioned she was thinking of getting another dog for company and my trainer said, without missing a beat, "why, so you can make two dogs unhappy?"… Unfortunately even though that was a small dog, one that would easily fit into an apartment, he owners could not give him what he needed to be happy and relaxed.

Good luck with your search.
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Old 01.02.2015, 16:57
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Re: Dogs for Apartments

I'd recommend the Cubic Poodle, or "Cudle", specially bred for apartment living by the infamous punk geneticist Gregory John Mental.



Its right angles allow the owner to stow it neatly in the corner when not required for cuddles and tricks, while its special antistatic fur prevents problems with one's nylon carpets. It also has the unique ability to levitate, handy when vacuuming.

The Cudle can be picky with its food, but so long as you can procure a regular supply of oysters and stout you should be fine.

Available at an anarchist petshop near you!
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Old 01.02.2015, 20:21
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Re: Dogs for Apartments

We had a dog when we moved here from the US (a black lab)...she went from 5 acres to an apartment, but loved it because:
1) my SO was working from home so around all day (whereas before she had been alone while we were at work).
2) We took her on long walks daily & she got to travel with us all over this beautiful country (which lets you bring your dog nearly everywhere).

Unfortunately she passed away (old age)...but now we have 2 dogs and are still living in an apartment We have a standard schnauzer (got as a puppy and now 4) and a jack russell (we adopted from friends when she was 3, she and the schnauzer had played together since they were puppies and we knew it was a good fit). Neither of these is a good dog for an apartment or a house unless you are home most of the day. They cannot be left alone for long periods (they will bark) and MUST have 1-3 hours of strenuous exercise per day (meaning fast walking outside, not throwing the toy around inside)...or they get hyper.

Also, in every apt ( we moved 3 times) we have lived in we made sure it had a nearby grassy area for that last pee before bed (I am usually in my PJ's then ).

I see you are in Horgen and there are lots of great places there for the dogs to walk near the lake or up in the forest.

I suggest considering the following when selecting a dog:

1 - amount of exercise....some breeds don't need much, but we are very active and love to have dogs that run & fetch and want to keep up.

2 - shedding...schnauzer is the best dog we have ever had in this category, but the Jack Russell sheds her weight 4 times a year! (But she is sooooo cute!). The lab mix also shed a lot as do German Shep., retrievers, etc....

3 - barking - both the jack russell and schnauzer breeds have a tendency to be noisy, but we are home all the time and have trained them to be quiet....but if they are alone more than a few hours especially without a good long walk before ....then it could happen that they bark. We gave our handy numbers to all neighbors so they can SMS us if it happens (rarely)....and we try to avoid leaving them alone.

4- what will you do with the dog when you are traveling? You need a good kennel and possibly a dog walker.

5- training, if this is your first dog...or if you are inexperienced - get some help. All dogs need good obedience & to know the basic commands.
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Old 02.02.2015, 08:02
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Re: Dogs for Apartments

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he goes to doggy daycare and tires himself out there
Just out of curiosity; which one?
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Old 02.02.2015, 08:41
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Re: Dogs for Apartments

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Just out of curiosity; which one?
www.vidogs.ch - we're very happy with the people (Susanne speaks English, if your German isn't up to snuff) and they do pickup and delivery for an extra charge in the Zug area. Rusty gets incredibly excited when the doorbell rings at 7:30 in the morning, because he knows he gets to go with them... which I take as a very good sign that things are going right.
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