Maybe you are moving from a rural area to a more of a city atmosphere or already live in an apartment. There are many considerations that you need to make with choosing a dog or puppy to bring into that atmosphere.
So can you have an Australian Shepherd in an apartment?
Yes you can have an Australian Shepherd in an apartment without much issue. It really boils down to getting their physical and mental activities in during the day at some point. Aussies should have around 30-60 minutes of daily exercise that should include some form of mental challenges.
The other issue you may run into on top of getting their daily exercise in for the day is Aussies can be very vocal. So if barking is going to be a problem you may want to look for another breed or search alternatives. We have lived in apartments a couple of times with our Aussies both long term and short term while we were looking for a house.
So what we ended up doing is getting the citronella bark collars which are all natural and more humane then the electric ones. I am not saying don’t use the electric shock bark collars as Aussies are very smart so it may only take a couple of shocks then you may not even need to have it on while it is on them.
Another alternative of course is obedience training to get them to only bark for certain noises that are above normal. If you have dogs in your apartment complex that can definitely create an issue.
We love our Aussies and think they did well in our Apartment living situations overall but don’t take our word for it. We have gone out and gathered information from other owners in the same situation of actually living in apartments with an Aussie or multiple Aussies as well to get their take on it.
We curated this information from a few different sites, sub reddits, and dog forums. Only grammar and spelling has been corrected where need be and the rest of the answers remain the same.
Australian Shepherd Apartment Living
Real Owner Opinions
1. Cpersall “I live with two Aussies in apartment with no problems” – I live in an 850sq ft condo, previously a 500sq ft apartment
with two Aussies ages 5 and 12 yrs. I really don’t think that in most cases type of home or size of home really matters. What really matters is
that you can provide the physical and mental, emphasis on the mental exercise. Make sure the breed is a good fit otherwise. They do best
with a more experienced owner who is interested in some type of more advanced training.
One issue that you may face in an condo/apartment situation is barking. Aussies are a vocal breed and big alert barkers. Mine have learned
that barking at “normal” noises is a no go, but sometimes that can really be a problem especially while you’re not home. Mine will attempt to
bark if they hear another dog in the building barking or out of the ordinary noises.
2. Ezba189 “No yard creates issue” – I have an Aussie in a small house with essentially no yard (and no fence). He’s a great dog except
that he doesn’t have a good yard to run around in and expend energy safely. Now he’s only 9 months old, but it does make training a lot
harder when his only outside time has to be on leash or at the dog park. Not having a yard has been the single most frustrating part of being a
new Aussie owner.
3. Schleppenhiemer “Definitely harder in an apartment situation” – I have had an aussie in an apartment, and an aussie in a
smaller house with a small yard, and an aussie in a big house with a big yard. I can tell you that it’s harder FOR YOU to do this — meaning,
the responsibility falls on YOU to get this energetic dog outside. If you naturally go running a lot, like being outside a lot, etc. … then you’ll be
fine. I am not that type, and so it was an adjustment for me. As a puppy, it will be HARD, unless you can take your dog for walks or hiking
every day. BUT, around the age of 2 or 3, things will calm down significantly, and you can train your aussie to learn when to relax and when
to be energetic. Also, both of my aussies were large (one was 65 lbs., current one is 90 lbs.) and if I had it to do all over again, in an
apartment, I would really shoot for a smaller aussie and then you would be in a great situation.
4. Haynesdaddy “Take them for lots of walks” – I was living in a smaller townhouse(1000 sq ft) when I first got my Aussie. As long as
you take them for a walk, and give them something to do inside (chew on a bone, play with toys, etc) you’ll be fine with an Aussie in an
5. Cfonat3 “Aussie seems happy in our apartment” – I Live in a small 2 bed apartment and my Aussie seems happy. I did specifically
get a cat a few months after I got her to keep her occupied haha. But I think it all depends on the dogs personality
6. Cpersall “Apartments aren’t the issue” – The apartment isnt really the issue. My aussies have only ever lived in apartments and
condos and do just fine. The issue is going to be how much you can exercise the dog, how much mental stimulation you can provide, if the
breed is really a good fit for you, and if the dog will be taken out to potty in a reasonable amount of time. A puppy is going to be very hard
with those hours unless you’re able to find someone that can help you take him out every couple hours. Its not impossible but it isnt going to
be easy. An adult (and probably not a special needs dog unless you already have experience with the breed) may work for you with the help of
a dog walker and making sure you allow time for exercising him before you go to work.
7. Txladyvoter “Apartments can be noisy” – The thing about apartments is that there are extraneous noises around all the time and any
dogs tend to bark. If they are puppies, they are scared by the random noises with no visible source if you will.
Are Aussies Good Apartment Dogs?
Aussies are good as most all dogs that live in apartments as they are smart. So they can learn and adapt quickly to their owners and environment.
They are just going to need to have a lot of attention when you are home and get a lot of exercise in which can be healthy for both the Aussie and the owner.
Aussie Apartment Environment
Its not as much about the apartment as it is about what their day to day activities are going to be. So if you are looking for an apartment look at what they have close by like a park or dog park. At least a walking area that has a trail or something where the Aussie can get their run on and you can do some training as well.
Things to look for:
- Dog Park – does the apartment complex have a dog park or maybe other dog friendly amenities like a trail. The biggest pro about having a dog park is the ability to take them off the leash and do off leash training which they love.
- Park – is there at least a park close by you can take your dogs too maybe even let them off the leash. But at least somewhere to get a trail run in.
- Vet – is there a local vet maybe within walking distance. It is nice to visit the local vet when you don’t have something wrong with your dog or outside of their annual shots and checkup. Plus they can sometimes visit the vet pets that most vets have their all the time.
- Campground – maybe their there is a close by campground you can take your Aussie to and camp out at times.
- Pet Sitter – there may be a local pet sitter that can watch your dog as well. Whether you are leaving out of town or want to take them there during the days when at work. You would be surprised at how cheap these can be. We had a local pet sitter that was like 10 bucks a day and also did grooming as well which Aussies definitely need some up keep there.
- Potty Areas – if you are on something like a 3rd row apartment and need to travel a long way to get to where your dog can go to the bathroom this might not be the best scenario. You may want to look for ground floor living close to an area they can relieve themselves.
- Agility Training – you might get lucky and have a place close by where dog training takes place and maybe even shows. Doing a quick search on google should find everything around the area you are looking.
Mini or Toy Australian Shepherd
If you are just madly in love with the Australian Shepherd breed but think they may be a little too big for your apartment living then you can always look at getting a Mini or Toy Aussie.
We have a couple Toy Aussies and they have most all the same traits as the regular sized Aussie including that herding mentality. They are great to transport around and take where you want to go that they are allowed to anyway.
They aren’t cheap that is for sure and it can be tough to find a breeder but they have gotten more popular over the years.
Can Australian Shepherds Be Left Alone?
Yes Aussies can be left home alone for extended periods of time like when you are at work it just takes them some time to get used to it. So workout a schedule that you steadily increase the rate at which you are gone for.
With technology advancements you can now tell with cameras what your dogs are doing at home or even talk to them through the camera. We have a Canary Camera system that is relatively cheap and it does just that and you can have up to 5 cameras on what system at no extra charge. The reason we like them is they also have battery cameras that connect to your wifi that you can move anywhere and last months on one charge inside or outside.
Try it out and see how it goes. We eventually got another Aussie to keep the other one company and that worked well. I would definitely suggest you get one of the opposite sex and not the same if possible as there can be conflicts eventually and you want to be there for those.
Do Australian Shepherds Get Attached To One Person?
Aussies are great dogs and great with most any other animal or person to a certain extent. But overall yes they will attach themselves to one or two people which are the main owners. Since they have that herding mentality and are very smart they will be attached to the one who challenges them the most both physically and mentally. Along with who rewards them the most as well.
Can You Raise An Aussie In An Apartment?
Yes you can raise an Aussie in an apartment. It will be a tough start when they are puppy, but you can get through it and the payoff is definitely worth it.
They are such an amazing smart dog that it is very rewarding having an Australian Shepherd or two of them. Just make sure you get their training in daily. If you miss a day make up for it the next with some extra one on one time and they will love you for it.
Best case is usually if you have two people living in the apartment that you both work different shifts so they aren’t alone all day. Or maybe you will need a second Aussie or another breed of dog that gets along with Aussies. They will be fine on their own they just will be much more fulfilled with more attention throughout the day.