How To Make Your Dog Pass A Co-op Board Interview

New York City Dog Walkers in Manhattan. Four young girls with the dogs pass a pedestrian crossing.

(New York, NY) — So, you are in the process of buying shares in a co-op. But first you have to pass the dreaded co-op board interview, which will feel like stripping down to your undies for security clearance at some airports, leaving you nearly naked and helpless. Everything you have ever did, every aversion you have ever made, like not paying that outstanding dental bill ten years ago, will be scrutinized. More important is the question of your finances, which will be subject to intense scrutiny. And you have to give 3 or 4 letters from respected colleagues that will attest to your good character. You are a freelance writer who works from home and all anyone will hear from you are the soft typing of your keyboard. Or you grew up in a very respected suburb just outside the city, like Short Hills or Bedford, or you graduated from an elite liberal arts college such as Williams and Bowdoin. You get the picture.


This is real, and passing the co-op board interview has become much more difficult, and that’s because, if you own a dog, he or she will also be interrogated. Many dog owners take to this with dread. However, the interview is not punitive. It’s a simple and effective attempt to weed out dogs that are disturbances and which may affect neighbors in your building down the line, like dogs that bark all day or frighten others, such as the six-year old boy who lives down the hall in 10C.

We know, a dog interview to pass the co-op board sounds like a funny subplot in a rollicking novel that’s currently on the Amazon bestseller list. Fiction—that’s what it seems like.

Unfortunately, it’s all real, so the next thing you have to do, the next thing that’s imperative for you to do if you want to live in, say, 740 Park, is prep Fido for the interview.


According to the New York Times, the first thing you should do is read any board notes that restrict your dog because of breed or weight, and to see if there are any leash laws. Then, like the all-important headshot that actors use, take many photos of your dog in their best or cutest poses to include in your application portfolio. To show that your dog is well-trained, teach it a new trick, like being able to shake hands, play dead, spin on hind legs or walk through coals on fire with its tail wagging to show the board that the trick is not painful.

Pop quiz: Which trick should you not teach your dog?


Many owners get their dogs certified, especially those who can’t be taught a trick or who are not obedient. The most popular way is to enroll your pooch in the esteemed American Kennel Club, which works regularly with dogs whose owners need certificates that attest to their good behavior.
At the kennel, some of the skills your dog will learn to be a “Canine Good Citizen,” include walking calmly through a crowd, behaving politely around other dogs and sitting when asked. If your dog passes, you can ask AKC to write letters of recommendation.


Some dog owners go to even more drastic measures to make sure that Fido is composed during the interview. These include DNA testing to prove a dog’s pedigree and even giving the dog Xanax to keep it sedated and drowsy so that it will offend no one. If you think the last point is entirely inappropriate and made up too, it is, in fact, true. This brings us to wonder if a 2mg Ativan or a whole bottle of Robitussin DM that you’ve forced down your dog’s throat using a funnel—as if the dog is pledging at Kappa Delta Theta and is being subjected to the same kind of hazing but with beer–can be substituted.

A more practical and more humane way is to just take your dog for a long walk, or run with it in Central Park for, say, an hour or two, before the interview starts so that it will be tired and well behaved.

If none of this works, knock Rover unconscious with an inappropriate amount of valium. If this sounds like animal cruelty, then why do some mothers still give their babies The Macallan Rare Cask to put it to sleep? So there.


See Original Story on NYT

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