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What You Should Know Before Bringing Your New Dog Home

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John Griffin is the director of shelter services at the Women’s Humane Society in Bensalem, PA. They are committed to the humane and compassionate treatment of animals and are distinguished as America’s First Animal Shelter.

What you should know before bringing your new dog home:

You want to look at what exercise and enrichment you can provide in either your apartment or condo or if you are city living versus something a little bit bigger, If you don’t have a yard, where am I going to walk this dog? What does the traffic look like? What does the car traffic look like? Is this dog you know, is this shelter reporting this animal is scared of strangers?

What kind of collar am I going to put on my dog? What kind of, if I’m going to use a harness, what kind of a harness will I use? Should I get it before or after I adopt? You want to think about those things if you don’t want to get that dog, get that temporary at leash the shelter gives you and go home and say now what? Right?

Am I going to put the dog in a crate? What size crate do I need? All of those things are important things to check off. It might be a little bit different when we are talking about an animal that could be 30 pounds to 130 pounds, you know and what that looks like. If I have a fence: is four feet tall enough, do I need a six-foot fence or is this dog, even though its big, it can’t really jump. You want to look at all those things and just make sure that you are ready to take on the responsibility of if X goes wrong Y is the outcome.


What dogs are best for apartment living?

Our friends are ForRent.com posted a great article about the different breeds for apartment living. It is so important to take this into consideration before adopting a dog from the shelter.

Small Dogs

Shih Tzu: Its size is small, weighing just 9 to 16 pounds, and its temperament is playful, sassy and affectionate. A Shih Tzu is a lap dog that prefers to be pampered. Because of its low energy, it doesn’t need many trips outside, but it does need companionship. Chinese royals had them as house pets, and the little Buddha dogs were companions for thousands of years. Warning: Its long hair requires grooming.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: Another dog breed of small-statured canines, this dog weighs just 10 to 18 pounds. Its temperament is friendly and eager to please, and it gets along well with children and other dogs. The breed dates back to British royalty and King Charles II’s preference for little dogs. These spaniels respond well to training, but be forewarned that their long-hair coat requires good nutrition and care.

Pug: Its weight is 14 to 18 pounds, and its temperament is comical and playful. But compared to other small dogs, pugs are a relatively quiet breed, which is an important consideration when living in pet-friendly apartments. Pugs can be stubborn at times, but their general friendliness makes them good city dogs.

Medium-Sized Dogs

Basset Hound: A medium-sized dog, the basset hound typically weighs between 20 and 65 pounds. Its temperament is easygoing and good-natured, and the breed is recognizable by its long, floppy ears. The dogs spend most of the day sleeping and are great with kids. This cuddly breed is a natural pack animal, but be forewarned that it can be vocal.

Bulldog: With a typical weight between 40 and 55 pounds, this medium-sized dog has a temperament that is easygoing, mellow and friendly. Some say that bulldogs look like a larger pug. Typically, they are more interested in the couch than the dog park, making them a low-maintenance breed and a classic example of a city dog. Warning: It drools and snores.

Large Dogs

Greyhound: Even though a greyhound may weigh between 60 and 70 pounds, its temperament is what makes it well-suited for apartment living. This breed is typically quiet, well-mannered and eager to please. Greyhounds are surprisingly lazy and happy to spend the day on your couch. Despite being able to run at speeds up to 45 mph, it can be shy and prefers a calm household. Warning: It has a strong chasing instinct.

Mastiff: This calm and good-natured breed can weigh anywhere between 120 and 230 pounds. A gentle giant, the mastiff is instinctively protective of its family. It needs regular exercise like moderate walks and visits to the park, so make sure these big guys adjust to taking the elevator in your apartment building. Warning: It slobbers and can be stubborn.