Little Dog in the Big City

29 September 2008

Raising a dog in the city (like this one here, which is not one of my pups, but looks very much like my boy, Barkley) is a big commitment – often a much bigger one than raising a pooch in the suburbs.

You’ll have to deal with elevators, flights of stairs, loud noises, dirty streets – and that’s just when tackling potty training! Of course you’ll want your pup to be well-socialized, so you’ll need to get them out and about at an early age, you’ll need to teach them commands and know they’ll obey, and – quite likely – you’ll have to do all this while juggling many other responsibilities. so here are a few recommendations for every city dog – and their parents:

1.Puppy (or training) classes. I swear by socialization and training classes.  Of course, they’re more to train YOU, the parent, than your pooch, but you learn important commands and the right way to teach them to your puppy. A lot of the commands  taught in these classes I wouldn’t have thought of, or if I had, I wouldn’t have known the right way to go about getting that behavior. Your dog will also get to socialize with other pooches which – especially as a puppy – is priceless.
2.Exposure to transit. Most people in NYC don’t have a car, which is why it’s crucial to expose your dog to different modes on transportation. Try to get them used to the bus, trains, taxis, etc – but be sure to pay attention to the different rules of each transit agency. If all else fails there are several dog taxi services that serve the city and surrounding boroughs.

3.Exercise, exercise, exercise!! Different types of dogs require different levels of exercise but I can tell you one thing – you reap what you sow! Sometimes I just need a couple hours to myself at home, so I take the “kids” to the park for 30 minutes or so and when we get home they sack out long enough for me to get some stuff done. That 30 minute investment is priceless!

Of course there are many other things you can – and should – do with your pooch, especially when they’re a puppy! But getting these few important things on your list will definitely help your dog adjust to – or make the most of – life in the big city!

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Posted by Alexis at 12:22 AM

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