Unborn puppy is a pig in a strata poke

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How do you apply to have a pet in your apartment when the animal doesn’t even exist yet?  You can’t prove how big it will be, let alone how angelic its behavior, when it hasn’t even set foot on the planet.

I’m referring to as-yet unborn puppies that strata residents want to bring into their block but need the permission of the committee before they can do so.

While an increasing number of schemes have by-laws that say the committee can’t ‘unreasonably’ refuse a pet, the fact that no one, including the owner, knows how it’s going to behave could be a valid reason for saying no. In short, the brand-new pup is too much of a pig in a poke.

Also, you don’t want to pay good money for a dog from a breeder only to find the committee was never likely to approve it anyway.

The question was raised by a Flatchatter who wants to buy an as-yet unborn pedigree Labrador puppy but needs her committee’s approval before she brings it home.


Here are some online lists of apartment-friendly dog breeds

The answer is that, rather than trying to convince the committee of something she can’t possibly know herself –  that the dog will fit right in and cause no problems – she should be selling her bona fides as a good and responsible pet owner who has thought things through.

The choice of dog is important and there are stacks of websites that will tell you the best breeds for apartments. It’s not just size – some of the worst pets for units are small, nervous, territorial, yappy dogs.

But it’s the behaviour of the owners that counts most.  If you won’t be leaving them alone all day when you are at work, say so. If you have identified a puppy training school and a dog walker for the times you can’t be there, put that in.

You might even add that you have a plan B should the dog prove unsuited to apartment living.  It makes it easier for committees to say yes if they know they won’t be forcing you to make a truly heartbreaking decision sometime in the future.

And if you don’t have a plan B, you should get one. Approval isn’t set in stone. Strata laws cover pets that have been approved but turn out to be a nuisance.

Comment on this, and find links to lists of best dogs for apartments on flat-chat.com.au.

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