Londoners are some of the most enthusiastic urban dog-lovers you’ll meet. You’re always sure to spot a pup in the pub, a terrier on the tube, and parks and canals heaving with canines breeds as mixed as a bag of all-sorts.
Renowned London-based trainer and behaviourist Oli Juste shares his tips for owning a dog in England’s capital city.
Pick a breed with the personality to suit city living
French Bulldogs are pretty cool, do well in apartments and suit London living. Cavalier Kings Charles Spaniels, Pugs, Mini Pinschers, Dachshunds, and even Labs and Retrievers also have the right temperament to cope nicely in populated areas.
NB: It’s important that all breeds get plenty of exercise, particularly if you live in a small apartment or house with little or no backyard. Make the most of London’s green parks and spaces (see point 5.)
Work on achieving an obedient well-mannered dog
Learn to communicate with your canine. Don’t assume anything. Have exquisite timing. Employ a trainer (me) to help.
Know who’s boss
We’re all equal. However, as we know, some animals are more equal than others.
Treat your dog like you would your friends (the ones you like)
Hone in on the best spots to walk
There are lots of great spots to walk your dog in London, but my top three are: Primrose Hill for the view; Brockwell Park for the hills and the 19th century clock tower; and South Bank for the best sniff walk.
Go places where your dog’s always welcome
Dogs are generally welcome in most public places around London, but these are definitely my favourite:
- Wimbledon common followed by lunch at the Telegraph Pub.
- Richmond Park followed by lunch at the Crown in St Margarets.
- Pick up coffee from Monmouth in Borough Market and walk along South Bank.
Make sure you’ve got the right gear
Before you bring a dog home, make sure you invest in all the essential accessories – leads, collars, bedding and so on. I have two go-to online stores: Fetch for the essentials; and Mungo and Maud for luxury items.
If you’re keen to hear more from Oli, read this Q+A about him and his passion for animals.
Tell us in the comments below your best tips for inner-city dog ownership. Be sure to tag @khoollect in pictures of your pets.
Photo by Khoollect photographer Lara Messer
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