I'm new to this forum and am currently a prospective BC owner. I've always loved BCs and have wanted to own one, but previous working/living conditions haven't made it feasible. Recently my situation has changed a bit, but I'd still like to get some feedback from you guys on whether or not my current situation would make for a happy BC.
1. Living environment: high-rise apartment, approximately 1400 square feet, in a tropical country (winter lowest temp approx. 10 degrees Celsius [50F], summer high approx. 38 degrees Celsius [100F], relatively humid)
2. Currently in-between jobs and making a career transition, so will have more time to spend with the puppy during his/her first few months for frequent potty breaks, training, etc.
3. Even after starting my next job, I expect to be able to take the dog out morning & evening for exercise (ranging from 30 min to 90 minutes each time), and also come back during noon for 30-45 minutes. My goal is to at least minimize the "continuous duration of time" that I am not at home (where the dog is alone) to no more than 4-5 hours maximum. Hiring a dog walker during the day is also a possibility.
Is this enough physical exercise & socialization time?
4. In the evening in addition to exercise I should be able to spend at least 1 hour or more on mental exercise/tricks/training/etc., and of course, whatever else I'm doing will be in the dog's company as well.
Is this enough mental exercise time?
5. I should be able to set up a crate/xpen in one of the spare rooms of my apartment. The apartment has a wooden floor but I'll probably put some plastic/foam-based material on top of the wood in that particular room to avoid scratches. I prefer to start with just the crate to get the dog more quickly adjusted to going to the bathroom outside of the house, but the reason I'm considering the xpen is because if I'm at work, the xpen will give the dog more space to move around. (though I am a bit concerned that BCs are too smart and will find a way to escape or jump out) If I set up a pen I'll probably also find some heavy weights to secure it in place.
6. This will be my first dog - I've done research about the breed, watched many mental training videos/guides, etc. But at the end of the day, what are the key things that a first-time BC owner should pay attention to most?
7. Many of the videos I've watched teach how to use positive reinforcement and breaking down desired actions into small steps with clicking/rewarding, etc. But as a puppy, there will surely be times when they do something that you don't like, and want them to stop. Before you are able to properly teach them the cue for stopping (or letting go/leaving it), what's the best & recommended way to stop a puppy from doing what he/she is currently doing?
8. (slightly off topic) I've seen some videos of BCs being able to use the toilet (and flush it). Is this possible for both male and female dogs?
Thanks for reading and look forward to your advice!