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Living with a dog – a short guide on four-legged roommates

By 21.2.2024No Comments

Canis familiaris. Doge. Pup, doggie or pupper.

Man’s best friend goes by many names, and no wonder – dogs are the most popular pets in the world. Based on a recent estimate, there are up to 800,000 dogs living in Finland alone. That means about one wagging tail for every seven Finns.

Four-legged companions are very welcome to all TYS apartments, excluding the Tavastia housing location and the shared apartments. However, there are certain rules and guidelines about living with a dog, which all current and future dog owners as well as neighbours of homes with dogs should be aware of.

Diagnosis: puppy fever

Are you dreaming of having a four-legged roommate? Getting a dog is a big decision that should not be rushed into. When puppy fever is rising, you should at least consider how well your housing situation and daily rhythm suits having a dog.

Would the dog have to be alone for long periods of time? Would you be able to offer the dog enough activities? Is your home even big enough for a dog? While considering these questions, you should also take a closer look at your surroundings to find out where the nearest walking paths and dog parks are.

There are also major differences between different dog breeds, which is why you should consider the choice of a breed carefully. When choosing a dog breed, you should think about factors like the size of the breed, their characteristic nature, tendency to bark and activity level. The breed test by Kennelliitto (in Finnish) could help you find out which dog breeds would suit you the best.

Barking dogs don’t bite – but may annoy your neighbour

Occasional barking is considered as a regular sound of normal life that needs to be tolerated when living in an apartment building or terraced house. However, long-lasting and reoccurring barking or howling is a different matter altogether, as it may be a sign that the dog gets anxious about being alone.

So, if you hear your neighbour’s dog barking or howling for long lengths of time, try dropping a note through their letterbox or putting up a note on the bulletin board of your building. Your neighbour may not even be aware that their dog is causing a disturbance, if it happens while they are out and about.

When dogs are frustrated or anxious, they may also make their feelings known by chewing on furniture or door frames. Dog-owners should be aware that any damage caused by pets are the tenant’s liability.

The ABC of dog-walking

There are plenty of great walking routes near most of TYS housing locations. However, taking the scenic route may not always be an option in the middle of a busy day, and dog-owners often end up walking their dogs a bit closer to home. In urban areas, dogs must always be kept on a leash and owners must pick up after their dogs. This is not only about having good manners – it’s also stipulated by the Public Order Act.

You should also consider other people when choosing a pee spot for your dog: places like residential yards, fence posts, doorways and playgrounds are not good places for raising a leg. Furthermore, one quick and seemingly innocent tinkle may entice other dogs to mark the same spot as well.

During walks, it’s also a good idea to respect the personal space of other people. Even if you know that your dog only wants to take a sniff and make a new friend, the uninvited approach of a strange dog may frighten others. So don’t allow your dog to get up close to others unless you are certain that the desire to make a new friend is mutual.

This also applies to other dogs you may meet on your walks. When approaching a strange dog, you should first ask the owner’s permission and keep an eye on the dogs’ moods before allowing them to get within a sniffing distance of each other. This helps ensure that the encounter between the furry friends is an enjoyable experience for all parties.