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Opinions on having a dog in a flat with a garden

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Liam Clewley, Sep 11, 2018.


  1. Liam Clewley

    Liam Clewley PetForums Newbie

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    So I'm a full time dad with two children under 5 and work 2 days a week for no longer than 12 hours a week, I've been thinking of getting a dog for me and the kids to enjoy walks with, play with and to be a family companion, we live in a good sized first floor two bed flat (a semi detached house converted to two flats) and have a garden that's approximately 30ft by 15ft. We are also surrounded by woodland and parks so plenty of places to let a dog round around and play. A few people I've spoken to don't think it's not the best idea to have a dog in a flat so was looking for opinions from people who may live in a flat with a dog or just people's opinions on the idea in general

    Thanks for reading
     
  2. BlueJay

    BlueJay Pee on it and walk away

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    Gardens and large houses are not the biggest qualifying factors in getting a dog. Some rescues etc may have stricter rules for it, it may make things a little more difficult/cumbersome, and breed/size and your capabilities and willingness need to be taken into consideration, but it is definitely not a dealbreaker for owning dogs in general.

    Provide plenty of exercise, stimulation and toilet breaks otherwise and you're golden.
     
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  3. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Honestly?

    Irrespective of being in a flat, which could make toilet training/exercising tricky because you can’t leave the kids alone in the house, I think having young kids, a job and household would be enough for me tbh

    Even as a stay at home mum with a husband my son’s needs was enough to be getting on with.

    Activities, clubs, school commitments, play dates and holiday restrictions (dogs can’t go in lots of kids’ attractions) don’t necessarily fit easily round a dog (especially a pup) even when they are “easy” let alone when things go awry.

    Why make life more complicated? ;)
     
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  4. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    Maybe visit some of your local rescues & have a chat with them. I lived in a flat when I got my first dog & the rescue were fine. We had a chat about how I would manage toilet breaks, etc & they were happy that I had thought about how I would manage things.

    Don't be put off if some rescues don't rehome to people who live in flats though, just try another ... good luck!
     
    O2.0 likes this.
  5. Liam Clewley

    Liam Clewley PetForums Newbie

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    I was only looking into getting a smaller type of breed, similar size to a miniature schnauzer, French bulldog.

    I know rehoming a rescue wouldn't be straight forward so was swaying towards a puppy or even an older dog someone is looking to re home, I believe i can give any dog a good loving home with plenty of exercise and love and care as at home an awful lot and always on walks myself with the kids, was just concerned about not having enough space or not being appropriate for the dogs needs ie. Only being a flat, garden isnt directly attached to flat as it's first floor
     
  6. Liam Clewley

    Liam Clewley PetForums Newbie

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    That's always good to know, I'm home an awful lot so going out for toilet breaks and walks is not an issue and giving the dog the time it would need is no issue, just worried about a flat not being suitable for a dog when I just want to give a dog a good home where it would be loved cared for and treated like one of the family
     
  7. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    This...in fact it's been said before those with big gardens sometimes think that's enough exercise for dogs. I know a few!

    Not everyone likes a dog to have the run of the house which is fair enough. My lurcher rarely goes upstairs, more her choice which makes it ideal really as that's where my toy breeds keep their toys and can play fight.

    So I really don't understand why people would say it would be unfair.

    It's about dedication to the dog. Can you and your children happily trot out for walks with the dogs in all weathers the majority of the time? I did with my two. Looking back we made some memories from our walks from their imaginative play.
     
  8. Lexiedhb

    Lexiedhb Team Ginger!

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    Do you have direct access to the garden?
    Cant say i'd be chuffed with taking a dog out on a lead in all weathers with 2 small kids if not.
     
  9. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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    I don't think the flat is the problem re space (i have lived with my first dog in flats and no problem) BUT you are going to have major problems if that dog starts barking and howling when you are out at work. Some dogs don't make a peep of course and that's the way it should be - but in a flat with noise from stairwells, neighbours' doors banging, voices outside - it's a lot to ask a new dog to stay quiet through.

    I agree 100% with @Lurcherlad - having a dog is a full time job in itself. I don't know if you could foster dogs when you live in flats - is that possible?

    Dogs trust have a campaign in my area looking urgently for fosters of dogs that belong to women that have had to go into safe houses. I'm sure they're likely in urgent need uk wide.
     
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  10. Liam Clewley

    Liam Clewley PetForums Newbie

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    It's not directly attached but is a 15 second walk along side neighbours garden, I have considered that the kids may not want to go out in all weather's to play so to. Counter act this I'm looking at getting a summer house for kids to be out of the weather whilst the dog is able to roam round in our secure garden and I play with too
     
  11. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    I prefer an easy life ;)

    Getting Jack once my son was older was a breeze :)
     
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  12. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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    Couldn't agree more @Lurcherlad - i have 5 kids but waited til the youngest started primary one before getting a pup.

    And - without word of a lie - having a newborn baby is so much easier than having a pup. (Mind you i did have plenty practice with babies!)
     
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  13. Rott lover

    Rott lover once you go black and tan you never come back

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    We had a rott in a 960 sq ft flat as you call it with about the same size garden. We didn't have direct access either. we also worked full time and he was alone for 6 to 8 hours a day. Its about the time you spend with them and what you do with it. We played with him and ran him around the house and yard all the time while we were home. He would play until he didn't want to any more and if he was up and ready again in a half hour so were we.
     
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  14. Sarah1983

    Sarah1983 PetForums VIP

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    I've had 3 different dogs (2 high energy ones) in 2 different flats without gardens. I really don't see why living in a flat should stop anyone getting a dog personally. With or without a garden. You have no choice but to take a dog out if you can't just open a door into a garden.

    I'd actually have more concerns about the 2 kids under 5. I have one 3 year old and have found it a struggle to get an older, mature, already fairly well trained dog out for walks as much as he really should get out. Dealing with socialising and training a puppy as well as looking after 2 small kids on a walk...I'd be rocking in a corner to be perfectly honest. And a garden really isn't enough imo, dogs need to be taken out for walks. In pretty much all weathers. Even small ones. Which means dragging kids out in the pouring rain on a regular basis if you're in the UK. Or paying a dog walker to take the dog out for you.

    Don't get me wrong, it can work out great to have a dog and kids. But I find a lot of people have this idealistic view of lovely walks in the park in nice sunny weather with a calm and obedient dog. The reality is often VERY different. You can't chase down a dog who's blown off recall when you've got 2 small children with you. It's almost impossible to focus enough on the dog to train it while out if you're also having to keep an eye on a small child or two. If you go for a puppy you've got to think about the fact puppies jump and bite and that small children often screech and flap around which the pup usually takes as play and jumps and bites more. So many kids end up terrified of the puppy because of it and so many pups end up rehomed after a few weeks because of it. If I were to get a dog with a small child I'd be looking at reputable rescues who thoroughly assess dogs in foster homes rather than getting a puppy to be perfectly honest.

    Really not meaning to be negative about and I know plenty of people do manage. Just go into it with eyes wide open, aware of the downsides as well as the pleasant bits. I wouldn't be without my dog but it really has been hard work and still is.
     
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  15. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums Senior

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    Lots of people in US seem to live in apartments with dogs, and manage ok.
    I think it's more about if you're willing to take on the extra effort it will involve.
     
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  16. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    I think a flat is ok as long as the pup gets regular exercise you can't leave them in a garden unsupervised anyway really regardless even if you have a house as I learned when my dog dug halfway to china !
     
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  17. rona

    rona Still missing my boys

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    What do your downstairs neighbours think of it, and do you have carpeted or solid floors?

    I still can't see you taking the kids out in the middle of the night when dog has upset tum
     
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  18. Rott lover

    Rott lover once you go black and tan you never come back

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    probably wouldn't have to as the kids would be sleeping.
     
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  19. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums Senior

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    If you are determined to make it work, you will find a way. However, without prior dog experience it's hard to know just what to expect and how to find a way to make it work.
    We brought twins home to a household with 4 dogs. Later had a puppy and an adolescent at the same time when the kids were still very young. We made it work, but it was not easy and involved a lot of planning, scheduling, structuring, and exhaustion :)

    Personally I would probably go with an older rescue to at least avoid the potty training woes. Smaller dogs can be trained to use raised sod beds as indoor bathrooms (or out on a balcony) for emergencies. There are ways to work around things, it just depends on how determined you are and how many adjustments you can reasonably and willingly make to your life.
     
  20. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    I raised my first puppy in a 2nd floor flat and it was absolutely fine. However, I think @Sarah1983 has raised some very valid points regarding young children and dogs and that would be my concern with the situation, not the flat.
     
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