City Dwelling Dogs | Urbanpaws

City Dwelling Dogs

Urban living has become the first choice for lots of people in South Africa. What’s not to love? Living in the city is both interesting and exciting. But what about city living with a dog? These days it’s becoming clear that you shouldn’t be restricted from having a furry best friend just because you live in a city. In Europe and North America, people have been living well with their dogs for decades and now that we see our population moving in that same direction it’s time to learn a little. How can we make city living easier with our dogs?

When living in an apartment or townhouse, it's important first of all to know the bylaws that your building has instituted and what the allowance is for pets. South African law states you may have up to 2 dogs and/or 2 cats in an apartment however the rules of your building’s body corporate will have to be adhered to first.

When you have your pooch living with you in an apartment there are two main things you need to be aware of. Firstly preventing your dog from barking and causing a noise disturbance. Secondly is maintaining hygiene - keeping your flat and your buildings’ outside area clean from poop etc.


The training is for both your dog and yourself! Your dog can be trained from a young age to pee and poop when taken out for walks and to do so at specific times of the day - early mornings and late afternoons are the most popular. You’d be amazed just how much dogs love routine! This will only be successful however if you train yourself – you need to be regimented in your walking and outdoor times with your dog so that he becomes as regular as possible. You’ll be inspired to go for walks when you see just how much your pooch appreciates his walk times.

Training also pertains to the dog’s behavior. A dog who doesn’t bark or jump up will be great in apartments where there can be different types of noises and people coming and going at all times. Start with obedience training as young as possible, not only will your dog be able to show off his cool tricks at the park but you’ll also have a dog that has learned not to bark inside – something your neighbours will surely appreciate!

See our earlier blog posts for more tips on training your puppy or dog.


Keep your pooch busy – toys and mind stimulating games with you will keep your dog from getting bored and starting to bark at shadows. Dogs are smart and they need to be kept busy. Time spent with you is key – games and challenges will keep him happy plus use lots of verbal cues to talk to him and let him know what is going on. When you are out or at work have some good quality toys for him to play with and throw around. Be inventive!

A good idea to keep things interesting is to drop your dog off at Doggy Day Care once or twice in the week if you are able. This will change up his environment and allow him ample opportunity to be social and play with other dogs. This socialization has loads of benefits to his behavior and well being.


If you want your dog to be accepted by and get along with your neighbours, then so should you. Make the effort to meet your neighbours and get to know them. More than likely if they feel personally connected to you, they’ll feel warm and welcoming towards your dog too. And never forget that your neighbours could really be a big help for you if you’re in a pickle and you need a favour!


Teach your dog about both traffic and apartment safety. If you regularly walk your dog across roads to a park then be clear in your instructions when he must ‘Wait’ or ‘Sit’ at robots for example. The city streets are busy with cars and the more obedient your dog is to your voice commands the safer he will be. The same goes for security in your building. Your dog should be positively praised for sniffing out and being friendly to trusted friends and neighbours, and also rewarded for being alert to or barking at strangers.

Lastly, we highly recommend decking your pooch out in fabulous Urbanpaws harnesses, collars and apparel. You want him to be the best looking at the dog park right? The city is a cool place and your dog shouldn’t be anything less than fabulous at all times! 

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