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How to Unlock an Apartment Dog’s True Potential?

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Do you want to turn a lap dog into a workout buddy? The common definition of an apartment dog is one that sleeps most of the day, doesn’t need exercise or mental stimulation, and will sit in your lap. But I believe you are preventing your dog from reaching its full potential.

Even the most pampered apartment puppies can love training and exercise. It is up to you, the dog owner, to find the right motivation.

Today, we will talk about how you can motivate dogs like Shih Tzu to train. We all know working dogs like German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, Border Collie, Australian Shepherd, and similar will work all day long.

But what about your Maltese, Bichon Frise, Havanese, and so on?

Understanding Apartment Dog Breeds

If you ask pet parents that own a French Bulldog, most of them will tell you these dogs do not need much exercise. But I know that is not true. When Milo was a young puppy, one of his best buddies was a liver-colored Frenchie.

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They loved playing with each other. They wrestled, run, chased each other, and everything in between. The surprising part is, the Frenchie could go as much as Milo.

Now, there are some health risks of over-exercising brachycephalic breeds like French Bulldogs or Pugs. But what I will talk about today is not exercise. I want to talk about training and working.

Most pet parents do not understand that training and working go hand in hand. If you motivate your dog to work and build a good relationship, training will be easy.

Before we start, let’s talk mention some of the most famous apartment dog breeds like Pugs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Maltese, Havanese, Bichon Frise, Shih Tzu, English Bulldog, and more.

Here is a dirty little secret. While they do not need much exercise, sleeping all day will cause joint problems. So, go out, train, work, and exercise.

How to motivate an apartment puppy?

If you own a Shih Tzu, you have probably been on the other end of that look. The look your puppy gives you, saying, “leave me alone, I CBA to train”. Well, it might have to do something with you.

Finding your dog’s passion is an underrated skill. And not every dog owner finds it. That is what makes the difference between a good and bad owner. Or in most cases, an experienced one and one without experience. To find your dog’s passion, you have to experiment with different activities.

I will help you out a bit. Sincere and active interest are the biggest motivation for your puppy to train. Even a cuddly puppy like Pug loves praise, interaction, and communication. He loves to hear “good boy” and “good job”.

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Treats and toys are fine, and these puppies might love them too, but the real pleasure lap dogs and apartment dogs is human interaction. When these puppies feel the bond between them and their owner, they will do anything. At that point, you will unlock his true potential.

A focused dog will pay attention to you without being distracted by crowd or noise. You are the best motivation for your puppy. Train your dog to be focused on you, and you can avoid incidents and unwanted situations outside.

Why Do Lap Dogs Need Training?

Every dog needs training. Every dog needs proper manners. Even one that spends most of the day at home. If for nothing else, for the cute and adorable Instagram and TikTok videos. Do you think dogs naturally stay calm and poised when you film them? No, you have to work on that ability.

And even apartment dogs need a daily walk around the block. Do you want your puppy to be sociable? How many Maltese have you seen that bark outside? They are afraid and lack socialization. But that is where training helps.

Or imagine your Shih Tzu running across the street. Or your Pug chasing after something. There are thousands of situations where proper training will prevent an accident.

Ideas for Indoor and Outdoor Exercise

Pets love to play games with their dog owner. Even if they are just small toy dogs. The game itself is the best prize and motivation. With that in mind, here are some indoor and outdoor ideas for playing with your puppy:

  • Creative games like hide and seek or indoor fetch with a soft toy
  • Sniff games at home with snuffle mats or boxes
  • DIY agility course by using blankets, pillows, and other household items
  • Safe and engaging walks in urban environments by avoiding hot pavement
  • Interacting with your puppy during walks

Do you have time to be a pet owner?

This is a question that I always ask new and prospective dog owners. Do not answer it instantly. Think about it for a minute or two. Proper caring for a dog takes time and devotion.

Even if you get a lap dog that sleeps all day long, you have to invest some time and money. That includes keeping vaccination up to date. Scheduling play dates with other dogs to provide socialization. Feeding your dog. Playing games inside to work on your bond.

If your idea for an apartment dog is one that you bring in your home and let him sleep on the couch all day long, I advise you to think again. Do not get a dog!

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