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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-27-2012, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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Apartment life?

Hey, I'm new to this. Looking for some advice on dobies living in apartments. We are looking for a puppy in the spring time, making sure we are well prepared for a pup and stuff. We've been doing our research and are just crazy about getting a doberman. We are prepared for exercising daily, lots of play, and our apartments definitely allow dobermans.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-27-2012, 02:45 PM
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A concern I do see with your set up is the question of whether or not your lifestyle/career might force you to move (different job, across country, etc.) sometime in the next several years. Having a place that allows dobes is a great first step, but do give some thought to your future plans, 'cause having to move and being unable to find a new place that will accept your dog can make for some heart-wrenching decisions.

We got our first dobe way back in the old days--we both worked and we lived in an apartment, so perhaps conditions weren't ideal. But we made adjustments to our schedules, and devoted all our time to our dobe "child" (no human kids). Exercise was the big thing--he needed about an hour off-leash walking each day to be happy. And even more on the weekends, to make up for his lack during the working week. When we moved, we had to rent a house, because we couldn't find an apartment that would take him.

Last edited by melbrod; 12-27-2012 at 02:48 PM.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-27-2012, 02:48 PM
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Apartment living...I've had many fosters(dobes, GSDs, huskies) in apartments and my male has lived in a 3rd floor apartment and a 1 bedroom 600 sq foot apartment with 3 other dogs with me. No problem...you just have to get off your butt which it sounds like you are prepared for Provide interactive and puzzle games/food dispenser toys for the pup. The main thing I would caution about is whining/barking. Puppies tend to love to scream during crate training so if yours isn't already crate trained when it comes home, you might really upset your neighbors and they might complain.

I have never had a problem with dogs in apartments(except when my husky was a puppy and going through crate training) because I made sure there was no unnecessary barking, separation anxiety, and the dogs were socialized and able to be around strangers and other dogs without freaking out and causing a scene.

Some photos of apartment living over the years for inspiration. You will notice that the dogs are mostly sleeping and lounging in these photos because I killed my social life by devoting most of my time and energy to making sure the dogs were taken care of mentically first.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-27-2012, 02:59 PM
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eta...at one point with a roommate, we had 2 male Dobermans(mine was intact), 1 Siberian Husky, 1 German Shepherd puppy, 1 Giant Schnauzer(intact female show dog), and 1 mini poodle puppy(intact male show dog) in a 2 bedroom apartment. This apartment was on the grounds of a kennel where we both worked so before anyone raises eyebrows...yes we were allowed to have our dogs and fosters in the apt because they knew we were responsible, the dogs were well behaved and all crate/house trained, and dogs were our social life ;p

The video is here for proof..the poo was in the bedroom at the time:
Stella, 5 month old GSD foster pup inside with the pack - YouTube

So yeah.....if I can do it with that many dogs, surely you can handle one dobe

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-27-2012, 03:10 PM
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I've raised Dobes and other breeds in apartments (try an Afghan Hound) without any real difficulty.

It certainly be done--it does put you in the position of having to figure out a way of getting sufficient exercise for the dog (my best deal was the one I made with the owner of some property in Marina Del Rey, California which eventually became a big multi-unit apartment complex. I arranged to get the keys to the fenced area from the owner in exchange for him being allowed to come and play with my Dobes if they were running in his lot. No one broke into the lot or vandelized the fencing and we thought that most of th3e people thought the Dobes policed the lot all the time.)

But I've use tennis courts, soft ball fields, dog parks (for the Aussie--NOT for the Dobes unless I took them very early in the morning when no one else was there--the Afghan Hound also got along with other dogs in parks). My step kids biked the adult dogs on quiet streets and in big parking lots.

Good for you for checking it out first with people who have done it and good luck
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-27-2012, 03:19 PM
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I know it can be done, but I personally wouldn't want to do it. If you are able to make the commitment to exercise I don't think the actual space of an apartment is an issue - Dobes want to be right where you are all the time, so they don't really need a ton of space. The biggest concern I would have is if you have to move. We hear all the time on here how difficult it is to find rentals with a Doberman, and some areas of the country are particularly bad.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-27-2012, 03:21 PM
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I'm currently living in a 2 bedroom apartment with my doberman Baron without any problems. Baron goes outside to do his business without bothering any neighbors, just gotta make sure he grows up to be social and disciplined
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-27-2012, 04:12 PM
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It definitely can be done. My concern like another poster is if/when you might move. In my area you cannot rent houses or apartments with Dobes. I have lived in a 900 sq ft duplex in the country with 4 dogs. The thing that about apartments is always getting dressed to go outside and potty train And always putting leashes on

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-27-2012, 04:19 PM
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Finding apartments that allow dogs is relatively easy if you can prove your dog is not destructive or if you don't mind swallowing nonrefundable fees. Finding apartments that allow dobermans or any other "dangerous" breed is significantly harder. If you are planning to remain in an apartment for a while you must consider the fact that it may be much harder than you think to convince a future landlord to like or accept your dog.

I'm currently in an apartment with a recently rescued doberman and my neighbors on all sides love him and love dogs. There are other dogs in the complex so any noise he makes is of little consequence because there is already dog noise regardless. I made sure before I did anything to first make sure my landlord understood I wasn't just getting a dog, I was getting a doberman, and I made sure my neighbors understood that too. Because of a combination of his past and my willingness to be honest about the situation, my neighbors have accepted when Skoll is over his limit of new people for the day and reacts badly to them (abuse case, still barks at people sometimes), and they are even willing to help me catch up on socializing him when he is not going nuts at their presense.

I thought the world was going to end when one of them, who'd fawned over Skoll before and was as excited as I was that I was getting him, knocked on my door and told me that while I was out Skoll barked from his crate at noise coming from HIS door. I started to apologize but he cut me off and said that he liked the fact that we have an alarm system on this side of the complex now- the person who was making noise at his door was not an "invited guest" and took off when he heard Skoll bark.

Getting everyone on board with the idea will go a long way to having a peaceful community living space when you're in a rental. It helps that there's already dogs ("dangerous" dogs at that, 3 pitties and I spotted a GSD the other day) here but even still the fact that I was considerate enough to go the extra mile is what enabled this arrangement to work. Make no mistake, I don't have a small apartment (it's technically a rowhome) with 3 floors, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and plenty of large rooms inbetween so space was much less of an issue than making sure the neighbors were okay with it. It also helps that my roommates and I are generally quiet and we ask regularly to make sure our noise level is not too loud (and if they say yes we fix it unlike some college kids), we keep stuff clean and our efforts to get rid of bugs in /our/ apartment have not gone unnoticed as those directly connected to me have benefitted from it too. Being a good tenant is the first step in convincing everyone that you're not harboring some crazy demon and keeps your neighbors from reporting you, in other words.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-27-2012, 04:34 PM
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It can be done and I wouldn't change a thing! It really gets you motivated to go out more. Both the dog and I spend more time out and about than actually inside the apartment. I do have back up 'homes' (three to be exact) if I ever needed a long term place to stay if I were to move.

Just remember:

This is a working breed with energy to boot. So remember that mental activity is just as important as physical. Think about joining agility, obedience, or nosework classes to challenge both of you.
This breed has many health problems, so prepare for expensive annual testing or emergency surgeries that might pop up.

Good luck!

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-27-2012, 05:20 PM
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I went from a large home on 5.5 acres to a two bedroom apt. It can be done but it's more work. I'm lucky to have a very large field next to the complex where I can take my two guys to have R&R throughout the day. I have one dobe and a lhasa. But the only reason they allowed Bacchus (dobes on dangerous list) was because he is a service dog. It would have been hell trying to find a place if he wasn't one. There is no barking allowed and both guys are housebroken to the max. I also specified I wanted a ground floor. It's doable but just because the apartment you are going to rent allows a dobe now that's no guaranty that that won't change or you move to an area that won't rent to you because of his breed. You must check into renters insurance that will allow a dobe. Good luck.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-27-2012, 07:07 PM
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another thing to bear in mind is how long you plan to leave this dog alone every day - and whether you are going to confine it to a crate for hours on end... please just think about how you'd feel if you were locked in a closet or bathroom (well, not a bathroom, because you'd not have access to relieve yourself) for 8 - 10 hours a day, all alone... if you can get home for lunch breaks, to feed, water and walk and play with a puppy, it could work, but imo, it's not especially kind. are there people who can spend time with it while you're at work or school or whatever? will you have the time to do the requisite puppy classes, obedience classes, plenty of socialization and training, play and bonding, etc? we do see a lot of cases of dogs given back to breeders, sent to rescues or shelters, etc., after they become destructive, anxious, unmanageable due to too little time and energy devoted to them. they are sensitive, and require lots of your time. (and yes, they can thrive in an apartment perfectly well - depending on all the other circumstances).

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-27-2012, 07:17 PM
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I have a two bedroom, two story ~1200 sq. ft apartment with a tiny little yard (where I don't let my dog use the bathroom unless it's an ABSOLUTE emergency, so even then, she will only go if it really is emergent) and my parents have a house with a large, fenced yard. It is definitely doable, but, holy cow is it easier to deal with my girl when we are visiting my parents. I love my apartment, it is in the most amazing location, but as soon as I have the means to do so, I am moving outside of the city and to a house with a yard. That said, you will be FORCED to walk your dog multiple times a day, which I think is really good for bonding. You should still walk your dog if you do have a yard, but it is easier to rely on letting them out most times and only walk them once a day. So that's one positive. Even at my parents large house, Roz pretty much just wants to be right beside me when she is inside, so I don't really think the lack of space inside is that big of a deal. Thin walls would be a problem, luckily mine are pretty thick, but crate-training would have been miserable if I was worried about my neighbors.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-28-2012, 04:42 AM
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To Zelda: love the video. Your apt. is bigger then mine.
To OP: I live in a VERY small duplex. I invested in fence (not before we had a run in with the neighbor). Kiss goes to doggie day care for several hours a day, week, etc. I look at it as part of her training expense. She gets handled by people other then me; she sees tons of people all ages, sizes coming and going; she also gets to see workers and construction, etc. going on.
That being said, the issue with a possible move does limit where I can move to. But I decided before I got Kiss that if I had to get a camper shell and move into my truck that I would not plan on moving. However my landlord is old and who knows what may happen if he dies. The moving issue would be a concern. I am not in a position to buy a home so I'm not 100% sure of what I would do. Getting rid of Kiss has never been a thought or option to me. Now that I've said that I pray NOTHING happens to make me eat my words or that my life changes where she isn't protected.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-28-2012, 04:45 AM
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-28-2012, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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so freaking awesome :D

Thank you all so very much! I am so excited and definitely take all the advice into consideration. I live in a very open apartment in the woods, so lots of nature all around us and we have walking/hiking/biking trails that go on for miles through the woods right near us. My boyfriend, his brother, and I will all be owners taking equal part in responsibility for our pup, each dedicating time. I live so close from work to go home during the day for potty breaks. We dont plan on moving until we get a house, but if it becomes our only choice we have available places with family and/or friends that would allow our dobie! I really appreciate the feedback and love the video. this gives me confidence in our choice, will definitely be showing pics when we find a pup.
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-28-2012, 12:35 PM
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Wow all those dogs in an apartment! i have to say i waited 10 YEARS till we moved out of our 2 bed apartment into a house to get a Dobermann. Maybe i shouldnt have....lol
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