IS THE SAMOYED A GOOD APARTMENT DOG?
The debate rages on. Are dogs really meant to live in apartments? And if so, should apartment living be reserved for small dogs only? Or is it okay to do with large or medium-sized dogs too? What about the Samoyed dog breed? Find out below.
Can I Live in an Apartment with a Samoyed?
This question continues to haunt many future dog owners. Some people are reluctant to take the plunge for fear of making the wrong decision. Is adopting a dog to be avoided if you live in an apartment in the city? What about a medium-sized dog like the Samoyed? The answer is not as clear-cut as it may seem. The truth is that most dog breeds are capable of adapting to apartment or city life. Contrary to popular belief, big dogs can live in apartments just as happily as smaller dogs, so long as their owners can satisfy their needs. Under the right circumstances, even very energetic breeds like the Australian Shepherd or the Belgian Malinois can live in apartments.
Whether you plan to adopt a companion dog, a working dog, or a hunting dog, understanding the specific needs of your four-legged friend is key. It’s not necessarily the available space that influences a dog’s happiness, but the presence of its master and the time they have available to devote to their dog. A dog who languishes alone at the end of a garden all day, for example, would have lots of space but be very lonely and sad. Whereas a dog who lives in a smaller space like an apartment, but gets to go out every day for long walks with its owner, would be much happier and more fulfilled. The Samoyed is no exception to this rule. Be sure to do your research and learn about the breed you plan to adopt, looking for specific traits like the Samoyed’s temperament.
How Do I Adapt a Samoyed to Apartment Living?
Living in an apartment with a dog is something that needs to be carefully planned for and considered. It will inevitably require you to make some adjustments and compromises. For example, the Samoyed needs to run regularly to exert energy and enjoys playing outdoors as often as possible so as not to feel cramped. It is therefore imperative to ask yourself the right questions before adopting a Samoyed:
Do you have to be away from home regularly?
Do you work out of the house?
If so, can you go home on your lunch break to take your dog out?
Do you have enough time available to devote to your Samoyed (several hours per day)?
Are you happy to take your dog to participate in various canine activities for exercise?
It’s important to be honest with yourself when answering these questions. The Samoyed needs a present owner who can take it out for multiple hours each day. If you're regularly away from home for more than eight hours at a time, we don’t recommend you adopt a Samoyed - or any dog, for that matter. If you can’t come home for lunch, why not ask a friend or neighbour to pop in on your dog, or use a pet sitting service like Holidog. If you leave your dog alone for too long, it will likely develop problematic behaviours, such as destroying your property or unwanted barking, no matter how well trained it is. Repetitive barking can very quickly become unbearable for your neighbours if you live in an apartment, and even cause conflict. It should also be noted that the Samoyed is known for barking sometimes.
To keep your dog happy living with you in an apartment, devote several hours a day to fun activities and cuddles. Before leaving for work in the morning, take your Samoyed out for a bit of exercise before you leave. Once you get home, take your Sammie out again for a long walk to stretch their paws. If you have a dog park near you, don't hesitate to take your Samoyed to meet other doggies, so long as it has been well socialised. On weekends or days off, take advantage of your free time and take your pooch for a walk in the countryside or by the beach.
Finally, purchase some toys and puzzles to keep your Samoyed occupied in your absence. This is an intelligent dog breed that needs mental stimulation. Invest in brain games like puzzles to keep your pooch busy for longer. Just be sure to choose sturdy toys that don’t break easily!
Basic Steps to Teach Your Samoyed to Live in an Apartment
In addition to taking your dog out for regular exercise and spending quality time together each day, you also need to teach your Samoyed two basic steps to make cohabitation go more smoothly: being alone and potty training.
Learning to be alone should be taught to all dogs, whether they live in an apartment or a house and regardless of their size. It helps your dog learn to endure your absences without developing separation anxiety. As with all dog training, this lesson should start early, as soon as you welcome your puppy home. Begin with short absences of five minutes at a time: leaving the room, for example. Gradually increase the duration of your absences, until your Sammie can be left alone for a few hours at a time. Try not to congratulate your dog when you get home; you leaving and coming back should constitute a non-event. Be sure to buy enough toys to keep your pooch busy while you’re out. If you’re planning to be gone for a while, why not take your dog for a run before you leave? This way, your pooch will be tired and probably take a nap while waiting for you!
The other priority is potty training. If you live in an apartment, housebreaking your Samoyed will take a little longer than if you live in a house. However, anything is possible with a little patience. Take your puppy out after meals, naps, playtime, and when they wake up in the morning. Praise your dog whenever they go to the toilet outside. There will, of course, always be accidents, but try not to get angry with your Samoyed if they poop in the house, especially if the accident happened while you were gone. Eventually, your furball will figure out what you want. If you’re worried about not succeeding, call a professional dog trainer.
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