Today I would like to describe a bit our lifestyle.
Even though we have a herding dog, we live in the city. Amsterdam, as many know, is a compact city with a high density. Flats are here the norm, and we live on a 2nd floor.
Living in an apartment made us doubt about having a dog. So many people would say "poor dog, you are crazy". And although they are not completely wrong, I have to give my own personal experience. Back in Mexico I had Daschunds in a big garden. They lived outside, since the weather was perfect and my mom hated animals inside the house. I loved my dogs but never took them out to walks, and thorough high school I did not spend much time with them. I am being honest here, because in the journey to get a pup I have realized how I grew up in an "old school" way of treating dogs: Dog are animals, full stop.
Having a dog in an apartment is intensive. But I think it also creates a close bond and you really have to go all-in for your pet. For example, you have to go outside to the street for potty training, and think about traveling a bit to get to the park or forest.
So this is how we have to adapt to city life with a dog.
- Since our home is not that big, Tjido has his own area and we make sure he knows that it is his. Closing it off and walking away is impossible (barking & whining to the max..), but at least there is a sense of boundaries.
- The balcony serves for some birdwatching and a good breeze.
- Our stairs are a bit steep, so we currently cary Tjido outside.
- There is a very nice 'island' close to ours house where the dog can be off-leash, since there is only one bridge to get off it. Here we trained recall off leash for the first time.
- To go to puppy classes, we have to bike there. Tjido has a front seat ;) we put a towel and with a short leash hold his harness loose enough for him to stand and spin but not jump off.
- To go to the forest we also bike there. Hoping that later we can bike-run there!
- We are lucky to live in a city where dogs are welcome almost anywhere, and although Tjido cannot be still for long, he has been able to relax when we have a drink or lunch at a terrace (even with pigeons flying by!!!) but this is something we will be working on.
- Public transport: our first try in the metro was a disaster... we haven't tried it again, but maybe we will start with trams - less fuss.