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Old 09-22-2009, 12:37 PM
 
6 posts, read 30,499 times
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My husband and I are planning on getting a toy dog (maltese/yorkie mix; they're adooorable), and we're also going to move to NY around spring of next year. We're social creatures, too; we love going out and can't wait to see/eat/drink all that make NY NY.

Question: What's it like to raise a dog in the city? We'd love the companionship of a dog, but we'll both be employed full-time by then, and will probably completely infatuated with all there is to the city. Can the dog still be happy, and are there arrangements we can make so the dog isn't so lonely? Is it possible to lead an active social life while being a full-timer and taking care of a happy dog?
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:45 PM
 
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I've had dogs growing up in NYC and have two small dogs now, in the middle of Manhattan.

My younger dog (my older dog is a rescue whom I got when she was about 7 or 8) went to daycare for two years and LOVED it. He came from a show breeder in New Jersey and had never been in the city when I brougth him home at 14 weeks. It took a little bit of adjustment, but he's adjusted well. We go to Central Park on weekend mornings (you can let your dog off-leash before 9AM) and have a great time there.

I leave for work in the mornings and the dog-walker comes around 11:30 and takes the dogs for a spin, and they're good until I get home in the afternoon. I wouldn't ever think of NOT having a dog. Both my dogs have added so much to life.

And, remember, you won't be going out every night. Unless your bank account is overflowing with money and you have unlimited energy, that's not going to happen!
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Now in Houston!
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For a well-trained, well-socialized dog, NYC is pure heaven!

Many suburban dogs spend a lot of time alone in a big backyard, while city dogs who have no backyard are going out for walks 4, 5 even 6 times a day, getting exercise and experiencing new things.

A well-trained dog should have no problems staying home for 9-10 hours while you are at work, but if you like, you can hire a dog walker to come by in the middle of the day or use "doggie day care". Of course both of these options cost money.

As for your social life, a dog can actually enhance it because you will be out in the neighborhood a lot, meeting all of the other dog owners and your other neighbors. The city also has a number of very good dog runs - one in almost every city park in Manhattan. The dog runs give both the dogs and their owners a chance to get out and make friends.

Obviously the dog can't be left alone more than 10 hours or so, but assuming you are living and working in Manhattan, it's not too difficult to get home to take care of the dog.

The downside to dog ownership in the city is that it is a lot of work. Without a backyard, you can't just let the dog out the back door. You have to put on your shoes and jacket and take the dog for a walk at least 3-4 times a day, first thing in the morning, before bed, rain or shine, 7 days a week.

The best thing you can do to have a happy city dog is to make sure that that he is well-trained and especially well-socialized, so that he is comfortable and calm around people and other dogs. You don't want him to be overly territorial either, which can cause a lot of barking in your apartment and greatly annoy your neighbors. Take the dog to training classes while he is a puppy and these behaviors will be taught.
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:05 PM
 
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Dogs can't be left for 10 hours!!! Don't YOU need to use the bathroom more frequently than every 10 hours? YIKES! That's ASKING for trouble.
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:08 PM
 
Location: New York City
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The best is if you live near a dog run (Dog Runs : New York City Department of Parks & Recreation). You can let the dog run off-leash and play with other dogs.

Speaking of living, a lot of buildings don't allow dogs. Having a dog will limit your housing options. And don't think just because you buy something you can have a dog. Many co-ops don't allow them. It's tough in New York. That being said, there are dogs everywhere. Walking a dog is also a good way to meet people.
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:55 PM
 
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Thanks for all the feedback. There really was no way we would not get our little Mosby (yeah, we named him), but it's nice to know what it really will be like to have him in the city. Thanks!
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Now in Houston!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viralmd View Post
Dogs can't be left for 10 hours!!! Don't YOU need to use the bathroom more frequently than every 10 hours? YIKES! That's ASKING for trouble.
I've had dogs all 43 years my life and never had a problem (4 separate dogs).
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Old 12-11-2009, 07:51 PM
 
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We are getting an 8 week old puppy next week. I'm confused how to take her out to use the restroom outside in NYC --- I'm concerned about Parvo. How do you take the puppies outside to use the bathroom when they aren't supposed to be where other dogs have been until they are fully vaccinated? How does this work?
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Old 12-12-2009, 04:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tribecaella View Post
We are getting an 8 week old puppy next week. I'm confused how to take her out to use the restroom outside in NYC --- I'm concerned about Parvo. How do you take the puppies outside to use the bathroom when they aren't supposed to be where other dogs have been until they are fully vaccinated? How does this work?
YOU DO NOT TAKE THEM OUT!!! You get pads and get an exercise pen and keep them inside until they're fully vaccinated. Parvo is nothing to sneeze at. It kills.

You sound like you've never had a dog before. Check the 'Dogs' forum and my housetraining post! And an 8 week old puppy is WAY to young to even start housetraining. Like a human infant he's got NO control over his bladder or bowel yet - they're operating on reflex at that point. And get him a coat!
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Old 12-12-2009, 06:06 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
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We're new dog owners - we've had Louie the English bulldog for nearly a year now. He's nominally our son's dog but our son is living at home (saving money for an apartment) so he's everybody's dog. I worry a LOT about what will happen when our son eventually moves out because he works long hours. In fact, I'm hoping we can work out a joint custody arrangement where Louie stays with us during the week. I can't even imagine how depressed he would be if he were alone 10 hours a day.

I had read up a bit about English bulldogs and I thought they would be good city dogs because they don't require a great deal of exercise, but they DO require a great deal of attention and human interaction. I assume most dogs are similar in this regard. As a cat person, I wasn't used to that sort of dependence. Louie is alone 7-8 hours per day 4 days per week max, less when (as now) my daughter is home from college. He has adjusted well to this. We don't have a dog walker, but I'm thinking about it. Have also considered doggy daycare, but there aren't any places convenient to our house.

I can't remember how old Louie was when he became housetrained, but he can "hold it" all day (i.e., 7-8 hours). We do have accidents - mostly poop, when it's raining (he hates going all the way down into the yard when it's raining). I'm home alone with him 1 day per week and I take him in and out, in and out all day, whenever he wants. I love those days, but the cats hate it!

We are lucky to have a backyard so we don't walk him in the morning, we just let him out in the yard to do his business. Whoever gets home first - usually me at 4 p.m. - lets him out in the yard again. Then I take him out for a quick walk around the block, which is what he likes to do with me. My husband takes him out for a longer walk a couple of hours later. He's found some dog-friendly bars in our Brooklyn neighborhood and they usually end up in one of those! Louie knows the routine - he flops down on the floor while my hubby has a pint.

Despite the fact that English bulldogs are not the most active breeds, Louie definitely needs his walks. As the saying goes, a tired dog is a good dog. On the weekends, my son and his girlfriend usually take Louie to a dog park.

tpk-nyc is right about dogs limiting your housing options - especially big dogs. Many apartments don't allow dogs at all or have weight limit, so a smaller dog would be a better option for an apartment. Re-reading OP's post, doggy daycare would probably be a good idea if you go out at night a lot. My husband and I are "old" and long past that phase, so there's always somebody home at night to keep Louie company. Just last night I heard a dog barking and barking at around 3 a.m. I felt bad for it. Having a dog is a lot like having a baby - you have to readjust your lifestyle.

Last edited by stillife; 12-12-2009 at 06:17 AM..
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