How to find an apartment with your reactive dog: A somewhat practical guide

Folks I am back. Likely more regularly or I will face the wrath of Jersey’s stink eye

Sitting on a sidewalk trying to look urban cool

Sitting on a sidewalk trying to look urban cool

For any of you who have the pleasure of living in a densely populated urban area you likely understand the “joys” of finding a place to live. In the city I live in with the paycheque I bring home my choices are pretty much apartment buildings or basement. My choices might expand if I were willing to have roomates but I am a crabby hermit so not a sacrifice I am willing to make. Living in the basement of someone’s home has some advantages; you can cultivate a more personal relationship with the landlord especially if they  are living there and you have less triggers than in a place crammed with other dogs and people. I tried this route but I got tired of mold,  floods, mice and suffered from the lack of sunlight. .  When I decided that I couldn’t handle basements anymore I started looking for a new place. Ideally I want to live in a place that is dog friendly but where they are on leash and preferably not on my floor. Really I just want somewhere only dog friendly to me but where people aren’t constantly hating on me for having a dog.

1. Check out the building perimeter: I went to a few places where they gushed how dog friendly they were. The lawn was FULL of offleash dogs. Everywhere. I had nightmares for weeks of being rushed by dogs every time I entered and exited the building

2.  Location of unit: I live at the end off he hall over the laundry room so there is no one below me to complain about dogs running around and there are few people passing by my door. Less neighbors also=less opportunity for neighbors with dogs

3. Proximity of neighbor dogs: I cross my fingers every moving day that none of my neighbors move out/get a dog/someone moves in with a dog. Ask if the neighbors have dogs and decide what you can handle. Further down the hall would be fine but having a dog super close next door was rough

4. Entering and exiting the building: Jersey is terrified of elevators and the idea of being crammed in a elevator with other dogs is a problem that even whip cream and chocolate can’t solve. You don’t necessarily need to take the elevator but make sure their is a set of stairs you can access. PLUS you will get super toned legs if you choose to live on a high floor

5. The hood: Take a walk around the block. Are the majority of dogs off leash or on? Any alleyways you can take a turn down to avoid sticky situations? Any convenience stores to buy chocolate, whipped cream or ice cream? Any liquor stores nearby?

6. Give up and live in a cardboard box in the middle of an island

Toronto urban oasis

Toronto urban oasis

Happy apartment hunting fellow ninjas!


2 thoughts on “How to find an apartment with your reactive dog: A somewhat practical guide

  1. Really great post, of course. I was so happy to see the email in my inbox!

    Apartment life is immeasurably tough with a reactive dog and you have given some great tips. Our dog is actually even more wary of strange humans than strange dogs which makes it a challenge. Right now we live in a house but there are separate basement and loft suites. You better believe this sharing of ceilings and floors with other people does not make our puppy happy. Good thing there is a liquor store mere blocks away.

    I can’t even imagine the stress of an elevator! Right now, an island sounds just about perfect.

    • Thanks 🙂 Sorry to hear about your pup. Apartment living sucks; I would like to move sometimes but the fact that none of my neighbors have dogs makes me stay put. I walk a dog who lives in a condo and is reactive and barks at people and other dogs; it can be tough in the elevator and I really have to keep her focused. The people in this building are unusually respectful and always give dogs space, don’t stand right where you exit etc which makes a big difference

      Dreaming of an island too

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