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The yard myth.... true or not?

September 27th, 2004, 12:51 PM
Hi all!
recently I found this link in the forum
it's about hi-energetic dogs and idea of having a big yard as a must.
some people believe that labs, collies and other energetic dogs MUST have a fenced yard to live happy, otherwhise "it's not fair to the dog".
Last months we've done some research on adoption and discovered that many rescues do not adopt out dogs if you live in an apartment (Ontario Lab rescue for example). We even had a very unpleasant conversation with staff of one shelter in suburbs of Toronto, he told us that people in apartment should be allowed to get cats only (if any pet at all) as all dogs like outside and are not happy in the city in apartment building environment.
Maybe I'm not that profficient in dog's well-being, but I had a Sr.Bernard in a two-bedroom, we rescued him and he spent 8 years with us looking quite happy. I know some people who live in apartment and have dogs (even big ones) and they tell it's OK for dogs and for them, as long as there is enough of love and care.
And even if you have a yard why is it better to leave your dog alone in there? I don't believe people in houses spent much more time walking their pets...

So, is "fenced yard is a must" a myth or reality?

We almost gave up the idea to adopt a dog now, as we don't have a house yet...

September 27th, 2004, 01:01 PM
I have two very happy, very healthy dogs and they don't have a fenced yard. They do love to go to Grandma's on occassion though. She has a fenced double lot and 4 dogs of her own. Chase usually snags a rawhide and lays in the sun while everyone else runs around.

September 27th, 2004, 01:06 PM
Depends on the dog and on the family - the website I think is more stressing the bogus reasons they are giving up - like listed on their site, and depends on how much activity the people are willing to do, enrolling in dog sports etc:

" I really can't be bothered to spend time doing something constructive with the dog, so I don't want to have to look at him anymore because it makes me feel both guilty and inadequate."
" I didn't bother training my dog, so he's wild and excitable whenever I try to take him anywhere. Rather than deal with the problem I'd like to give him to a home where he can be as wild and excitable as he likes, preferably far away from me. Preferably at your house."
" My dog has some unpleasant habits that I nurtured inadvertently by leaving him in the backyard for hours on end, like fence running, digging holes and going on neighbourhood walkabouts. Because I don't care enough about the dog to engage with him, I have decided to believe that this stuff is actually fun for him, and I'd like to see him go to a home where he can keep doing those things --as long as it's your fence, your garden and the dog catcher is getting on your case instead of mine."

September 27th, 2004, 01:07 PM
Sorry, my fave excuse for getting rid of the dog still has to be "We bought new furniture and the dog doesn't match it."

September 27th, 2004, 01:08 PM
That is so not true I live in a loft and my guy is happy as can be. He probably gets more exercise then most of the dogs that live in houses. He gets at least 2 walks a day an hour in the am and at least 1.5 hours after work. If I go to the store he comes with me. We go to the park so he can play with his pals. A lot of people in houses thinks a backyard replaces exercise and socialization with other dogs. I agree that some breeds are better in a home with a backyard but most are fine without it. If my guy had a backyard he would do the samething that he does inside, lie around.

September 27th, 2004, 01:11 PM
Sorry my favorite excuse is we are having a baby so we have to get rid of the dog.

Lucky Rescue
September 27th, 2004, 01:24 PM
A dog in a apartment who has an owner committed to properly exercising it is better off than a dog left alone in a yard 24/7, which often does happen.

I knew someone who lived with 2 Goldens in a apt. and her dogs were perfectly happy because she was dedicated to making sure the dogs got what they needed.

Personally, I live on a half acre, but it's not fenced so I must supervise my dog when she is outside.

However adopting dogs to people in apartments can be risky. If the dog barks or the neighbours complain, the dog could end up homeless once again.

One of my fave excuses for dumping dogs is "He's too hyper." Translates into: "I didn't realize I was too lazy to train and exercise a dog and expected him to be perfect, so he's outta here."

September 27th, 2004, 02:36 PM
I have a friend who owns two Pitbulls and they live in an apartment. They are moving into a house this October, but those dogs have grown up and lived in an apartment for 3 years. You should see them! They are the most amazing dogs! They are so well behaved and receive so much love and care. They are walked three times daily and everyday includes a trip to the nearby park. No one ever complains in the apartment about them because they have taken the time to train them.

I have another friend who lives in an apartment with a dog but it is a Chihuahua, which is pretty much like having a cat - so that is probably different. Although they are known for being a pretty yappy breed. This dog is the most incredible dog I have ever met - he is so quiet, well behaved and loving.

With that said, I think if you are willing to put the time and effort into a dog and give them a loving forever home - It does not matter if it is a house or an apartment.

September 27th, 2004, 03:39 PM
My fave,is one we saw resently"My dog has outgrown the apartment!!"

September 27th, 2004, 05:30 PM
i believe it takes an EXTREMELY dedicated dog owner to make an apartment dog successful. i have friends wiht an apartment rottie and he is always being excersised, rain hail or snow my friend is dedicated enough to do it, but having said that he is overweight and suffers various stresses, eg when he comes here we have a huge backyard, he is terrified to be left alone out there, he wont even eat out there and it breaks my heart to see him like that(he is a city dog), but that may be just him, but i do have my doubts (what breaks my heart the most, they have no court yard or grass in the immeadiate vicinity of the house, he has nothing to chew or pee on when hanging out, to pee he has to be walked).

i have a huge backyard for my girl and always have, i have sacrificed so much in order to ensure she has her own space and grass to play with. she is not 'dumped' out the back, she comes and goes as she pleases and she is very happy. i believe if it can be avoided a yard is far better than anything else period. it also means when i go out she is not trapped in the house, she can hang out the back and do her thing, if i go away for a whole day i know she is very happy. if a person in an apartment goes away for say 12hrs what do they do??

i like my girl to have a normal dogs life, that is being outside and in and hanging out like a dog should, i know that some dogs such as LR's have top lives, well excersised, socialised and all that and they are happy loved dogs. but i still think space and freedom are the best solution (but not always available).

if you have an apartment dog excersise, excersise, excersise is a very important key to happiness. so get a dog that matches your energy levels, eg.cattle dogs have heaps of energy, if you cant match it dont get that breed. (i dont think cattle dogs or any other high energy working dog should be in apartment) there are plenty of dogs out there that dont have such high energy and are jsut as lovely.

and here in NSW it is near impossible to get an apartment with a dog, it is hard enough to get a house but you would never get an apartment out of the city, only if you had cats. and i have been told queensland is the worst, if you have a dog it is almost impossible to rent. you really have to search for a place with pets over here anyway so apartments not an option, it is just not the done thing here(unless you dont tell them, but you will be evicted soon enough :D ).

September 27th, 2004, 08:20 PM
Melanie, it's so sad you live in area where animals are considered to be a trouble and people can not find apartment if they have pets...
We live in Toronto now, I think there are some apts here where landlords do not welcome pets, but as far as I know in accordance with law they CAN NOT forbid you to have pet, it's illegal!
In our building complex (3x30 floors) there is a lot of dogs, I don't think this place is the only one in Toronto where you can have a dog. It's quite a city area (Yonge & Eglinton) but still you can have dog, walk it in the park nearby or just on the lawn around.
Maybe dogs from country houses wouldn't be as happy here after all the room they had in the country, but city dogs are used to this and do not imagine another life.
People who want to dump their dogs because of "we are moving, landlord doesn't let us to have pet" reason just did not try hard enough to find another option (another apt or house) and use this excuse to get rid off their responsibilities.

I'm from the big city where almost nobody lives in houses, 99,99% of people live in apartment buildings, I just can't believe all dogs there are unhappy!

September 27th, 2004, 08:30 PM
You're absolutely right Lucky - and even here in Toronto - the same applies. Dogs ARE allowed in apartments and condos BUT if you have what is deemed a "nuisaance barker" with many complaints by neighbours you WILL be evicted.

If you are a bad owner who does not pick up poop you WILL be evicted.

If your dog is aggressive and scares people in common areas (lobby, elevator etc) and they complain enough - you WILL be evicted.

So a rescue is bad if they won't place a dog they know will do this in an apartment??? How so?

However adopting dogs to people in apartments can be risky. If the dog barks or the neighbours complain, the dog could end up homeless once again.

September 27th, 2004, 09:04 PM
oh it is just terrible, and disgusting, like i have said to many landlords, my dog has more manners than most ppl so should be able to live where i deem suitable, but no. i even have all her training certificates and references from previous landlords for her, and it is still hard. i have to give these references all the time, and some landlords make you pay a deposit for the dog, and they can keep it at the end of the tenancy if they think your dog did something..i have references going back to her puppyhood, jsut in case, but it never helps my cause. and i also have the references in case anyone ever accuses her of being a bad dog, not that it will help but it makes me feel good to know i have proof of her manners, if a dog does something that goes to court here, good luck if your dog survives out the week, it is just not that sort of place. but in the city it may be different, shelby would know better than me about that one..

but i know that no one will ever rent me an apartment while i have a dog, it is not like that here, in my world ppl dont treat dogs like they do on this board, the amount of times i have had ppl show disgust that my dog lives in side, i get sick of hearing 'if you lie down with dogs you wake up with fleas' yeah like i told the last man to say this, 'as you wife very well knows' :D

quote'People who want to dump their dogs because of "we are moving, landlord doesn't let us to have pet'

ha, i have been evicted from 2 houses because of my dog, we just couldnt find a home that allowed dogs at one stage and had to lie and take anything we could get, well in both cases the neighbors dobbed us in, not that my dog ever caused a problem for anyone, they were just mongrel neighbors. and in both cases i have lost my bond and here in oz we have a system were if you stuff up on a rental once, you are redlisted and you will have a hell of a time convincing anyone to rent to you, yes im now on that list because my dog did not do anythng but exist, great, i could not apply with hubby for this house he had to do it on his own.

but luckily our current landlord is a big dog lover and loves charlie to pieces so we are really lucky to have him and will stay as long as we can. but rentals are getting scarcer and it is getting to the point where you have to buy a house to have a dog around here. it is a shame as they are so necessary in our lives, and by doing this it really limits the amount of ppl that can be touched by these special spirits.

September 27th, 2004, 09:36 PM
I have a Weimaraner and a GSP, and we only have a small yard for them, not much bigger than a courtyard. We are lucky enough to live opposite a golf course, so my puppies get walked twice a day and have plenty of off lead excercise. To be honest, they probably wouldn't care if we didn't have a backyard at all, because they are both perfectly happy to stay inside all day when we are at home, and I spend most mornings chasing Izzy around the house trying to get her outside!!
So, I agree with the others, an apartment dog will work, just as long as you are committed to giving them PLENTY of excercise!

September 27th, 2004, 10:28 PM
Melanie, you are scaring me! Is it really a nonsens that in our building we don't have any of attitude problems you described?
Pls tell me where you live so I will know where not to move...

Wow, I did not realize how lucky we are then... :o

There are really many dogs here in our building, and I saw some owners who don't pick up and there are some dogs that bark noisy, and some even peed in elevator (I would never know about that, just read once a note from administration on the wall where they told about such accidents), but nobody has been evicted because of that... our landlords just put notes in elevators and ask people to be more responsible owners.

September 27th, 2004, 10:57 PM
i live in a rural area of New South Wales, it is a state of australia. yeah it would have been nice to get a note, not an eviction notice but that is the way it is here in good old NSW. i can understand why too, i have seen dogs chew through walls ect in the past, but i have proof that will not happen in our case, but for most it is too much of a risk.

if i was renting a property i would want probably to meet the dog and owners or at least get references for the animal as i can see the risks of renting an expensive possiession to other ppl and with some crazy dog owners out there, i too would be a bit cautious..

dam bad ppl, ruin it all for the rest of us.

September 28th, 2004, 12:32 AM
When I set out to buy a house I spent 2 years looking for a house with a large fenced yard it was an absolute must. The deal maker/breaker. At the time I had my german shephard with me and he loved to be outside & to run. I now have a large yard and 2 large dogs. Problem being that after 10 minutes outside my Neo paws at the door and my Saint barks..they want IN ! :confused: