Technically, Australian Shepherds can live in an apartment, but it isn’t always a great fit for them. Learn about how much space this breed needs and what you can do make sure they are as comfortable as possible in an apartment. Let’s begin.
Are Australian Shepherds Well-Suited to Apartments?
There are Australian Shepherds who live in apartments and have managed to adapt quite well to the situation. Nevertheless, there are a few things that you should be aware of before you get this breed.
The first thing you should know is that every Australian Shepherd is different. They have different preferences and energy levels. Some dogs may long for large spaces through which they can roam all day. If your pup falls into this category, they will not be too happy with confined spaces.
On average, Australian Shepherds are quite energetic, and some more than others. If your dog seems to have a limitless amount of energy and needs to work it out often, they may feel unfulfilled in an apartment.
Finally, you should be aware that Australian Shepherds bark a lot. They tend to do so even more when they are left alone. As you can imagine, if your pooch likes to vocalize, the neighbors you share a wall with may not be too happy. Not to mention, your apartment building may have rules about pets and noise.
How Much Space Does an Australian Shepherd Need?
There aren’t any specific guidelines for how much room an Australian Shepherd needs. Nevertheless, bigger apartments are always better than smaller ones.
Remember, as an adult, this breed is considered a medium to large-sized dog. Therefore, you do need an apartment that will accommodate a bigger dog. Not to mention, you will also need a lot of things for your Australian Shepherd to be comfortable, including bed, toys, etc.
When you think about your Australian Shepherd in your apartment, along with your furniture, the space shouldn’t look or feel cramped. There should be enough space for your pooch to move about safely so that they feel more comfortable.
Australian Shepherd Puppies in Apartments
What about Australian Shepherd puppies? Surely they are small enough to keep inside an apartment?
In this case, it isn’t size that you have to worry about. Rather, it is about bladder control. Puppies will need to relieve themselves every couple or few hours at a time. As you can imagine, this can be rather tricky to accommodate when you are living in an apartment.
Due to this, you will have to set a schedule for yourself and take out the puppies on a regular basis so that they can get used to urinating outside. Otherwise, you will be stuck cleaning up after their accidents.
Will Australian Shepherds Fight for Space?
So, what if you have more than one dog or even more than one breed? Will your pup fight for their own space?
Australian Shepherds tend to get along with other dogs, even other breeds pretty well. This is especially true if you socialize your dog at a young age and get them used to other dogs.
Still, it is a good idea to make sure that there are enough beds or sleeping spaces as well as toys and other amenities for each of your pups. If there aren’t enough resources or room in your apartment, then you may find them fighting over what is there.
How to Manage Apartment Living with an Australian Shepherd
Here are the top tips to ensure that your Australian Shepherd is healthy and happy in an apartment:
Give Them Plenty of Varied Exercise
The one thing you will constantly hear is that Australian Shepherds need lots of exercise. On average, your pup is going to need around one to two hours of exercise a day.
If you live in an apartment, it becomes even more important to ensure that your dog gets enough exercise on a daily basis. This means that you can’t afford to miss a single day.
You should also be aware that going for a walk will not be enough. Your pooch needs strenuous exercise, especially if they will be in a smaller area for most of the day. This is why it is a good idea to find a dog park near where you live.
Whenever possible, switch up how you play with your Australian shepherd. Try fetch, Frisbee, agility course kits, and more. If your dog is able to expend all their energy, they will not mind living in an apartment as much.
Make Sure Someone is At Home
Another thing that Australian Shepherds are desperate for is attention. These dogs love being around their humans and typically can’t be away from them for more than 4 to 6 hours before they become anxious or begin to act up.
In an apartment, with less space to move around, you may find that this window shortens even further. Due to this, it is a good idea to have someone else at home who can be there throughout the day.
If you do have to be away for many hours at a stretch, it’s worth it to hire a dog walker or pet sitter to help you out.
Break Up the Workouts
With having to stick to the confines of an apartment, your Australian Shepherd may benefit from several shorter workouts than a single long one. If someone is at home for most of the day, this is something that you should certainly try out.
Or, take your Australian Shepherd for some exercise in the morning or evening and have a pet sitter or dog walker take them out later on. With these frequent breaks, your dog is less likely to be stressed out with the lack of space.
If this isn’t something you can arrange, then work out your Australian Shepherd in the morning. This should sufficiently tire them out so that they become more docile throughout the day. You may want to take them out or another short walk or run in the evening as well too.
Keep Them Mentally Stimulated
You may also have heard that Australian Shepherds are incredibly smart. Well, this means that they have to be mentally stimulated throughout the day as well.
The good news is that this is easier for you to manage inside an apartment. Here, puzzles and mentally stimulating toys can help to keep your dog busy and occupied. You should switch these out on a regular basis so that your dog will not get bored with them.
Create a Space for Them
Even the most devoted Australian Shepherd is going to need their own space. This may become even more important when you are entertaining or there are a lot of people in your apartment. To ensure that your pooch is happy, give them their own space.
On the other hand, some dogs find it comforting to have their own space when you are away. They can retreat to this place surrounded by their favorite things until you return.
It doesn’t have to be a lot of room – pick a corner to set up a bed and some toys. If you have a puppy, you may want to set up a sizable pen. This will allow your dog to move around without getting into trouble.
Maximize the Room
With just a big dog, you can’t afford to have a crowded important. Due to this, you should consider paring down the space. Keep the furniture and décor to a minimum. Your pooch does need room to move around and so do you.
Make a habit of clearing things away before they clutter up a space. You can place shelves or boxes to store things so that they don’t take up any room. This may seem like an odd suggestion, but you will realize just how significant minimalism is once you see a room with limited amount of things.
You should bear in mind that as an energetic breed, your dog may occasionally run through the house. The fewer things that they can knock over or break, the better. Thus, you should work on keeping as little items in your home as possible. This is especially true for communal spaces where your dog may hang out.
There is no denying that an apartment isn’t the most ideal home for an Australian Shepherd due to all the reasons given above. Nevertheless, your pooch can adapt if you help them along. There are many different things you can do to make apartment living as easy and as practical as possible.
For the most part, ensuring that your dog has enough room and gets plenty of exercise can go a long way towards making them feel more comfortable. So, these are the details you should focus on the most when you have an Australian Shepherd in an apartment.
With the proper schedule, you should be able to guarantee that your Australian Shepherd continues to be healthy, happy, and safe within an apartment.