I recently interviewed my friend who owns Chopper my reasoning behind this was to give you a first hand idea of what it’s like having a fur baby in an apartment.
HOW CUTE IS CHOPPER??
1. Living in an apartment, what made you decide on getting a dog?
The kids had pestered me for a long time and I had told them when we bought a place of our own we would get a dog.
2. How did you decide on the Pug Breed?
I had researched small lazy apartment dogs to find out what was the best. I have always liked pugs. Then narrowed it down to Bulldog or French Bulldog. Then we saw a Bulldog at the park and it was massive so I changed my mind about that and a Pug it was.
3. Where did you look once you decided on the Pug Breed?
I researched breeders with the Canine Council (think that’s what they’re called) and also spoke to a few breeders that had puppies for sale. I also spoke with breeders that had sold all the puppies but were happy to share information with me, regarding the breed.
4. What factors helped you decide on where/who you purchased Chopper from?
I spoke to the one breeder in Winmalee that didn’t have puppies at the time I called her, so after that we forgot about it for a while. She then called me at Christmas and said if I was still interested in a puppy she had a 7 month old one that she was going to show and breed but one of his testicles hadn’t dropped so he couldn’t breed or show, so were we still interested? The sound of Chopper at 7 Months was good as he was toilet trained and a bit older and over the puppy stage.
5. When you saw Chopper what was his reaction to you?
When we went to see him he came over to us straight away, he sat next to Gary’s foot and started to nod off to sleep. I wasn’t totally interested as I had told the kids we were not buying at that point, we were just looking. I think I expected him to look more puppy like but he was 7 months old at this time.
6. Who chose Chopper’s name and why?
After we had been to see him he was already named but had been with a large breeder who had about 13 other dogs, so we didn’t think he really knew his name so in the car on the way home we just all called out names until all 4 of us agreed on one and said when we get him we will change it.
7. How did Chopper adjust to apartment living?
Chopper was a bit scared of everything at first as he had been with the breeder in the mountains, so moving to the City with the plane noise and general noise of traffic and people, all the time, was very different for him. We just had to reassure him when there was noise and he got scared, that everything was okay.
8. Where does Chopper sleep?
ON MY BED!!!
9. What procedures are in place for Chopper’s toilet time, how did you train him to apartment peeing/pooing?
We have a piece of astro turf on the balcony with puppy pads underneath. We think he associates the grass feeling with toileting and is quite good with this. If we see him wee or poo on this as soon as he comes in we give him a treat and I say, ‘Wee wee good boy’.
10. How does Chopper deal with it when no-one is home?
Pugs sleep for about 14 hours a day. We try to walk him before we leave and then he is toileted and puffed out. We leave his toy box tipped out on the floor and his cosy blanket on the lounge with the kids foxtel channel on.
11. How has your life changed since Chopper became part of your family?
He is like our little 3rd child. I can’t imagine my life without him now, especially after being sick he was by my side every day, he is very loyal and loving.
12. How involved are the kids with Chopper? Who walks him and how was he socialised? Does he go in the car with you guys etc?
The kids have different relationships with him. If he wants to be walked or rough play he will go to Thomas. If he wants to be picked up and wrapped in a blanket like a baby he will go to Chloe and jump at her legs.
Socialising was a bit different at first as he had only been with other Pugs his whole life so when he looked at another dog he was probably thinking, ‘oh who are you?’
He goes in the car with us but we worked out that if he is sitting up higher and can see out of the window, this is better for him and then he doesn’t get sick so we bought one of those doggy car seats.
13. Did you have to ask permission off the Strata/Building Management before you could get Chopper? Did you have to go through procedures, and if so, what were they?
Yes, with our building there is just a form to fill out with breed size etc and then it goes to the committee for an answer. My building is quite good though as most people have pets. The main rule in the building is that they are to be on a lead when on common ground.
14. Do other residents have pets in your building?
Yes, there are quite a few and a dog sitter downstairs so always different ones coming and going there.
15. What is Chopper’s personality like? Does he have any funny habits or annoying ones but you love him anyway? Do you believe he is spoilt? lol
This dog is spoiled alright. He has a blanket, bottle, dummy and toy box, sleeps on my bed and eats like a king!!!
I think he is spoilt, he does have a soft caring nature and is very loyal. He follows me everywhere, even to the toilet. If I am home he really only bothers with me, the others complain and say, ‘oh how come he doesn’t come to me like he does to you?’ I think this is because I am with him almost 24/7, he is alone on Monday’s and Thursday’s from 10am-2pm and sometimes he goes to doggy day care on this day if I think he needs a day out or to keep him socialised.
16. What is Chopper like when family/friends etc come over for a visit?
We have a lot of people and visitors over so he is used to being around a lot of people.
17. Where does Chopper go when the family goes on holidays?
This is heartbreaking for me !!!! lol We have a great brother-in-law who is happy to house/dog sit for us and Chopper loves him, so that is a great load off my mind when we go away. Otherwise Chopper now knows the dog sitter lady downstairs and I am confident to leave him with her.
18. Who grooms Chopper?
We wash him in the bath, he loves it! Doggy day care clip his nails for us though.
19. Do you feel there are a lot of dog facilities around your area that accommodate dog owners?
Our area is very much geared up for dog lovers. On the main street all the shops have water dishes outside, we have on leash and off leash areas and a dog park. There are also doggy hotels and doggy day care places.
20. Is there anything else you would like to share with others who are thinking of purchasing a Pug?
THEY SHED HAIR. They also do this thing called reverse sneezing. Choppa did one the other day and I thought he was having a heart attack and couldn’t breathe. Apparently it is very common in Pugs.
He also has to have an operation to remove fat from around his eyes as his eyelashes are rubbing on his eyes which causes discharge, this operation will cost around $4,000.
21. What advice would you give to apartment owners who are thinking of purchasing a dog?
Just to get the toileting under control from the start, whether the balcony or outside in his area, once he knows you will have no problem. I probably wouldn’t pick a Pug again for an apartment I would go for a smaller breed that doesn’t shed hair, we have to vacuum every day!!!!!
I hope this helps with anyone deciding on whether or not to get an apartment fur baby.
Thanks to Donna and Chopper for their time as well, I hope they have a long and prosperous life together.
PS MOST DOGS SHED HAIR…lol
J & B