We live in Tai Po in the New Territories. Many of my friends with children who live here send them to the Australian school nearby...in Kowloon Tong, maybe 15 minutes on the train with many other children. It's very safe and clean. Tai Po has quite a few expats, and the number is growing. It's greener, with less concrete, than in the city. Many people around here have dogs because they live in houses with a front and back yard/garden. There's space to walk them. It's also easy and safe to go into Hong Kong or Kowloon if you wish to, but we find it pleasant to get out at the end of the day. There's advantages and disadvantages of living in different places. I certainly know of apartments in Hong Kong that allow dogs and there's even plenty of green spaces in Hong Kong where they can be walked, but we have a 3000sq.ft house for the same rental as a small apartment in HK. If you live out here, you DO need a car, but used cars are reasonably priced.