Having a dog in a flat with no garden?(21 Posts)
I wanted some advice and thoughts really from those of you with (rescue) doggy know-how.
My DP and I would like to rehome a rescue dog at some point. I am a very 'doggy' person (!) and 'brought up' both our family dogs from when they were puppies to when I left home - all the walks, training, etc - so I know what dog ownership's all about (they're now very geriatric dogs still living in the countryside with my parents).
Currently we live in a rented flat with no outside space. I've always thought that this wouldn't be very workable and that rescues wouldn't consider us. Do you think we should wait til we're somewhere with a garden? Or might there be some dogs who'd be better off in a good home with no garden than waiting in a rescue?
We both work from home most of the time and are up for all the walking and training, so aside from this garden issue I think we'd be good owners!
Just to clarify, we're not thinking of doing anything immediately, but it'd be nice to have some expert opinions to consider.
Although gardens are nice for dogs to have, they are not essential if the dog is walke dproperly and regularly, which it should be regardless of whether the owner has a garden. My dogs have full access to the garden most of the time in the summer, as we leave the door open, and although the puppy likes laying in the sun sometimes and the middle girl prefers being outside, in general they prefer to be in and are currently laying by my feet, despite the back door being open. The only time no garden may be more of an issue is toilet training a pup, as it would be much, much harder, though not impossible, without a garden.
I am not sure how many rescues would rehome to someone with no garden, but they all have different policies and I am sure there are some rescues that would consider you if sall else suited.
Certainly to me, someone being with the dog most of the time is preferable to someone who works all day but has acres of garden.
It really depends (as well) on the flat and the landlord. I had a dog in a big shared flat and it was great (landlord was fine about it too as we'd been burgled quite a lot and the dog barked loudly). It did require at least 5 walks a day (which was fine as there were a lot of places to go walking and lots of people to do the walking) and so wasn't for the uncommitted. I don't know how I'd feel about it if the flat was cramped though.
You could try rehoming a greyhound - I know of someone who has one in a flat with no garden.
Thanks for swift responses! A greyhound would be very high on my list to rehome actually - but poss quite a big dog in our 1 bed flat.
I don't think our current place is ideal - I suppose I'm more thinking about whether a garden is an absolute necessity next time we move (not easy in London).
I had a boxer x staff from a pup in a pokey 2 bed flat.
I was on the ground floor, so I did use to chuck her out the window late at night when DS was sleeping (single parent), but other than that we coped fine with 2-3 walks a day that included a run on the field opposite.
As long as you are dedicated then it can work but I think a greyhound maybe a bit big for a 1 bed!
I would be loathe to recommend it myself I'm afraid, and I don't know of any rescues which would be happy with it - not reliable ones which homecheck, at any rate (and I certainly don't recommend that you deal with those which don't, as they are not acting in the best interest of you or the dogs in their care).
Sorry to be so negative, but although I have lived in a flat for 6 months myself (pregnant with DD1), I just don't think it's the best of arrangements. Going out to walk a dog desperate for a wee at 3am is not amusing and you really do yearn for a garden then!
I'm wondering about the practicalities wrt toileting the dog. When I get up in the morning my dog needs to go now. We have no garden, but we do have a very large yard, which he uses. He also loves to lay in the sun, though with him being white, I don't much like or encourage this, and he loves chasing birds which land on our walls.
On the continent many people live in apartments and keep dogs, it's the norm there. A lot of them probably get more attention an exersize than dogs that have a garden.
I don't think it would be a problem as long as the dog was taken out for several walks a day and ideally the dog would have a good recall so he could be allowed off the lead for a good run around in the park etc. to replace the running in his own garden. (most gardens aren't the size of a park anyway!)
Another vote for greyhounds, they are so lazy they make good apartment pets!
I've got a greyhound lurcher and have always lived in flats haven't ever lived somewhere with a garden, and it's been fine. The hardest bit is finding landlords who'll take dogs.
My lurcher has been brilliant and I'd love a rescue greyhound. They are actually very good flat dogs as they are so mellow and don't rush about madly. They also curl up quite small (but stretch out quite big!).
We are moving soon to somewhere with a big garden which I think he'll love but if it had been a samll garden then I would still be walking him elsewhere as I wouldn't really want him doing his business in the garden where the DCs play.
I know someone who has a rescue lurcher from Battersea, and she lives in a flat with no garden, but very close to a large London park.
She was really worried that Battersea would turn her down, and she knows many people that have been turned down by them because of no garden. However, they were obviously impressed with her, and she is a great owner. However, she does not have children, and many Battersea dogs do state not to be rehomed with children.
I volunteer with a greyhound rescue and do a lot of their homechecks etc, I'm sorry to say that I would never ok a flat with no garden, I have rehomed dogs to flats but thay have all had access to a safe secure garden, which I view during homechecks.
Out of interest, MrsHarkness, what are your reasons for a blanket policy of not rehoming to a house/flat with no garden?
I ask as the worst dog owners I know are the ones who can shut their dog out in the garden all day and ignore it. IMO, much more incentive to walk a dog if it is under your feet in a flat or is going to crap all over your carpet if you don't take it out.
I'm not saying it is ideal not to have a garden, but having spent a year in a house with only a yard that my bitches would not with any amount of persuasion go to toilet in and barely spent any time in, I think it is certainly do-able without the dog suffering in any way and whilst so many dogs are being PTS I often can't help thinking that maybe if rescues were a little more flexible in their rehoming policies, more dogs would be able to have homes.
It is the policy of the three rescues that I have been involved with (all greyhound rescues I can't speak for any other breed rescue), the reasoning behind it is that it will allow the dogs to have a bit of a run around or at least some freedom off lead, as we don't advocate allowing the dog to be off lead in public places.
Greyhounds are sighthounds therefore they can see up to a mile in the distance very very clearly, they are also trained to chase. So the owner may be in an area that they think is safe to let the dog run free as they cant see any wildlife or other pets around, but the dog can see a rabbit or a cat in the distance, once a greyhound sees that there is very little chance of stopping it as it can run at around 40mph and when they are in chase mode they become deaf to all around. Basically when a greyhound gets into chase mode it will chase, catch and kill whatever small furry it has its eyes on, therefore we recommend that you do not allow the dogs free run in public areas. Even some of our keener dogs are advised to be muzzled even when on lead.
I must state that not all greyhounds will automatically chase, I have two greyhounds that live perfectly in harmony with my two cats, but they are in the minority, therefore we prefer our greyhounds to go to a home that has a secure garden.
Thankyou for answering.
Greyhounds are a breed I do not know much about, but given your reasoning, I can see why a home without a garden would not be suitable, I do think it is important for all dogs to be able to have some off lead exercise.
Greyhounds can also have good re-call but people I know that have adopted them put muzzles on them before letting them run off-lead, which removes the risk of them catching anything if for some reason their recall doesn't work!
Im not saying that all greyhounds would chase and not return but the rescues that I have volunteered with don't advocate allowing the dogs off lead, as they know that when a dog gets in *full chase mode* it will become deaf in the process. If someone adopts a greyhound and they go on to let the dog off lead then that is up to them, they deal with the consequences, all we can do is advice them to begin with!
Thanks for all the advice people, really appreciated. Lots to think about. Obviously my main concern is not having a dog in a situation it would be unhappy.
I do think I'd find it hard having a dog you couldn't let off the lead. My old dog is a lurcher with a very greyhound disposition and and she has a very high chase drive, but we managed to get a workable recall and have always been able to let her off in places we thought were safe ie with no roads / livestock. But I do appreciate the problem.
Actually MrsHarkness, you are wrong.
I have a retired greyhound, he lives perfectly fine in our 2 bedroom flat in seaford, England, we have no garden and we live on second floor.
He has been with us for 3 months now and he has had no accidents since his first week, he learnt the stairs perfectly and now walks up and down them like he's known how to all his life.
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