Sharon Nelson is the head trainer at Manners for Paws. She has been studying dog behaviour and obedience for over five years, and now provides home consultation services for dogs in the Docklands. 

Sharon understands that moving into an apartment can be a big adjustment for your pet, especially if it is used to running around in a big backyard. But through her experience, she has discovered plenty of ways to make the transition easier for your four-legged friend, so it will be wagging its tail and enjoying apartment life in no time. 

Here are her top tips for keeping your dog stimulated and thriving in its brand-new environment

Mental Stimulation

When moving an animal from a backyard to an apartment, mental stimulation is even more important than physical exercise. Simple things such as food puzzles, hidden food games and food dispensing toys will keep your dog entertained while helping them expend some energy at the same time.

Physical Exercise

Every dog needs daily physical exercise. It burns pent up energy, gets their joints moving and releases endorphins which will result in a happier and healthier pup. When living in an apartment, it’s even more important to take your dog outside at least twice a day so they don’t become destructive at home. Thankfully, Victoria Harbour is full of beautiful walking paths where your dog can get outdoors and explore the scents and sounds in their new surroundings.

Independence training

If you’re at work all day, it’s extremely important for your dog to feel comfortable at home. Not just for their sake, but for your peace of mind too. A dog that suffers from separation anxiety will become stressed which has a number of negative implications on their mental health and wellbeing. Independence training, provided by Manners for Paws, can help your dog feel more comfortable when they are alone which could also help promote their confidence and reduce their risk of crying or barking during the day.

Light and sound

Remember, your dog has extremely sensitive hearing, and can hear a lot more than you can. Leaving a light and TV on while you are out of the apartment can help drown out the noise from your neighbours and surroundings. There is music designed for dogs such as ‘Through a Dog’s Ear’ that can help you provide a calmer environment for your dog. Adaptil sprays and collars can also help some dogs that are suffering from anxiety related behaviours by releasing an odourless, synthetic version of Dog Appeasing Pheromone (DAP) that can make your canine feel more relaxed.

Bored dogs

Need a way to ensure your dog doesn’t get bored during the day? Then perhaps you should consider group dog walks or doggy day care. This will provide a break in your dog’s day and you’ll feel better knowing your dog is getting some love and attention while you are at work.

About Manners for Paws

Manners for Paws offer in home consultations for dogs with behavioural problems or owners wanting some manners training for their dogs. You can contact 0417 400 260 or email sharon@mannersforpaws.com.au to find out more about Manners for Paws’ service offering.