Are Australian Shepherds good apartment dogs?

Last updated on September 23, 2022

The Australian Shepherd originated as a herding dog. It was a common sight on ranches and farms all across America. However, thanks to its intelligence and affectionate persona, the Aussie became a family pet.
Today, the Australian Shepherd is the 12th most popular breed in the United States. With its popularity constantly rising, more and more people want to adopt an Aussie. Yet, many of these people live in apartments.

Therefore, the concern of having such an active dog in a closed space is ever-present. I spoke to some Australian Shepherd owners, canine behaviorists, and vets about this issue. Read on to find out are Australian Shepherds good apartment dogs.

Are Australian Shepherds good apartment dogs?

Yes, the Australian Shepherd can be a good apartment dog. Even though they are an active breed, the Aussies are also highly adaptable. They love humans. Therefore, the Aussie would do anything to please the owner, including living in a confined space. So, if you’re thinking about having an Aussie inside your apartment, do not hesitate. First, however, read on to find out about the upcoming challenges.

These dogs possess some heavy energy packs. Hence, they need to be active for at least two to three hours daily. So, if you’re planning to have your Aussie live in an apartment, remember they need to exercise daily. 

Are Australian Shepherd good apartment dogs?

When having an Aussie live in an apartment, you must take it out regularly. Whether it’s a walk, a run, or a visit to the dog park, you mustn’t let your pup becomes bored. Australian Shepherds get destructive when bored. If so, you may face some chewing and barking. Keep your dog occupied even when you’re inside the home. Aussies love puzzle toys, playing hide and seek, or learning new tricks.

With its 18 to 20 inches in height, the Aussie is a medium-sized dog. They’re typical Velcro dogs that would spend as much time as possible with their owners. However, the Aussie needs its personal space. Make sure you provide your pup with such. A crate would be an excellent choice for your dog to sleep, relax, and keep its belonging.

Can Australian Shepherds be left alone in an apartment?

As I already mentioned, Australian Shepherds are typical Velcro dogs. As such, they want to be around their humans at all times. So, even though Australian Shepherds are good apartment dogs, it doesn’t mean you can leave them alone for an entire day. These dogs get anxious and bored when unattended. Anxiety leads to boredom and stress, which then leads to destructive behaviour.

Let’s face it; nobody can be by their dog’s side for 24 hours a day. Therefore, you will have to train your Aussie to stay alone in the apartment. Start with shorter periods and give the dog time to adapt. However, do not leave the apartment, but the room only. Gradually increase the time of your dog being alone.
Ensure the dog has plenty of toys or something else to occupy its brilliant mind. Once properly trained, it would be safe to leave your dog for 5 hours max. This time does not sound like much, but it is the best you can get from the Aussie Shepherd.

Investing in a crate will help a lot. A crate sized 42 inches will be perfect for the regular Aussie. A Miniature Aussie Shepherd will generally require a smaller container. Enhance the chest with a mattress and fill it with treats and toys. Your dog needs to feel the box as its own personal, safe place. Also, make sure your dog has a constant supply of fresh drinking water and access to the bathroom. For more tips on crate training, please read our complete guide.

Are Australian Shepherds good family dogs?

Australian Shepherds are exceptional family dogs. They are loving, affectionate, loyal and playful. Aussies get along with people and other animals. They also possess a protective personality inherited from their herding nature. All in all, the Aussie will fit perfectly into your household.

However, the Aussie is a high maintenance dog. Having an Australian Shepherd pet can be pretty time-consuming. These dogs have to be adequately exercised daily, ue to their high energy levels.

Are Australian Shepherd good apartment dogs?

Also, the average Aussie is brilliant. They’re easy to be trained and educated. These pups can learn a plethora of new tricks and obey commands. However, they can try and outsmart an unsuspecting owner. Therefore, Aussies are not the best choice for novice pet parents.

The Australian Shepherd has one favourite person. This dog will love everybody in the family, but only one member will be the dog’s valid owner. If you’re lucky to be this person, expect your Aussie to follow you everywhere you go. Your second shadow will do anything possible to please you.

Australian Shepherds also get along with children. However, they see the kids as their flock. Hence, the Aussie will eventually try and herd your children. As a result, there might be some pushing or nipping. Address this issue as early as possible with proper training.

Aussies need to be socialized at an early age to learn how to behave with other animals. Take your dog to the park and introduce it to as many other animals and people as possible. Socialization will decrease their innate standoffishness.

To sum it up, if treated properly, the Australian Shepherd will be your family’s ideal companion. Also, the Australian Shepherd is a good apartment dog. Alert and watchful, fun and easygoing, the Aussie is the perfect pet for the modern, active family.

Final words

As you see, the Australian Shepherd is a good apartment dog. And even though it comes with terms, it is worth it. The love you will receive from your dog will be rewarding enough for all your efforts.

However, treat it properly if you want to see the Aussie in its natural light. This dog might be adaptable, but it is not a typical apartment pet. Regular exercises will make both your lives easier.

Lastly, if you live in a small apartment but still want to have an Aussie pet, I suggest getting its smaller cousin, the Miniature Australian Shepherd. This dog possesses all the traits of the Aussie but comes in a smaller, more compact size. Therefore, it might be a more suitable choice for an apartment dog.

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