Many dog parents live with their German Shepherds in apartments. They look for the best way for their furry friends to be comfortable, healthy, and happy.
They wonder whether living with dogs in an apartment is ideal for their dogs or not.
So, can German Shepherds live in apartments?
Yes, German Shepherds can live in apartments but they need to get physical and mental exercise, socialization, and training so they can stay healthy, have proper manners, and get along with other people and dogs.
What are a German Shepherd’s basic needs to live happily in an apartment?
A German Shepherd can live in an apartment provided that they get all the physical exercise, mental stimulation, training, and socialization that they need.
This depends on the dog parent’s commitment when caring for a German Shepherd. Dog parents must be 100 percent committed to taking care of their German Shepherd.
When you get your German Shepherd while they are puppies, you can easily train them.
Puppies need attention when you train them so you have to give them your time and keep an eye on them all the time.
While training your adult German Shepherd may be a bit difficult because they have developed habits that you didn’t teach them.
However, they still need your attention but not as much as that of puppies.
There are many aspects that you have to train your German Shepherd in so they can easily live in an apartment.
You have to teach your dog how to stay in a crate so you can when you leave them for a time, they don’t go chewing on furniture out of boredom.
You have to gradually start crate training your dog by first starting to leave your dog for a small amount of time and then increasing the time as they get used to it.
By using positive reinforcement, your German Shepherd dog will definitely get used to staying in the crate.
To make it a positive and welcoming experience, lure your dog into the crate using treats so they can associate the crate as a good place for them to be in.
Another usage of crate training is for your German Shepherd to be potty trained so they don’t eliminate in the apartment.
Naturally, dogs don’t want to soil the place where they sleep. The idea comes from the fact that dogs, in general, don’t like to soil the place where they sleep.
Thus for effective crate training, you have to get a crate that isn’t too big or too small.
It has to be comfortable enough so that your German Shepherd can sit, lay, and turn around easily but not too big that they can actually eliminate in the extra space in the crate.
Potty training your German Shepherd is a really important step. Always set and follow a schedule for your German Shepherd to go potty outside.
Look out for signs that your dog needs to potty outside such as whimpering so you can know when exactly when they need to go potty.
Always take your dog outside after 20 minutes after they eat so they can go eliminate.
Teach them to not bark
It’s important to teach your German Shepherd to not bark through providing them with training.
Apartment walls are thin so their barking will be heard by neighbors easily and can annoy them.
Proper training will make your German Shepherd less likely to bark out loud excessively.
German Shepherds are really active dogs and need daily exercise.
Did you know the average German Shepherd needs about 2 hours of daily exercise per day?
You can check How Much Exercise does your German Shepherd Need? to know what kinds of exercise they could do along with the duration.
A German Shepherd needs physical exercise so they can stay fit and healthy. They aren’t the type of breed that is suited to be sitting in the apartment all day.
They need to get out even if they are living in an apartment. For example, if you live near a park, you can take them out for a walk or a run.
However, they must get exercise every day so they release the energy that they have and stay fit.
Thus, German Shepherds need dog parents who are committed to their dogs and will exercise them daily.
Your German Shepherd is very intelligent that they need mental stimulation daily.
If your dog doesn’t get the mental stimulation that they need, they will get bored leading to behavioral problems such as destructive behaviors where they will chew and destroy furniture.
You can provide mental stimulation for your dog using treats and various mental exercises. Also, you can give your dog puzzle toys that can be helpful while you are away.
Your German Shepherd needs to socialize with others so they can interact with other dogs and humans without fear.
Start as soon as possible so that your German Shepherd doesn’t see dogs and people as threats.
If your dog isn’t trained early on, they can hurt and injure other dogs because they are afraid.
5 Tips and tricks for German Shepherds living in small apartments
The first thing that you have to consider is the size of the apartment. Apartments come in different sizes whether big or small.
It is best to get a big apartment so that your dog can move freely. However, if you live in a smaller sized apartment, you will need to follow these tricks and tips:
1.) Get dog supplies from a pet store
Get the necessary supplies that your dog will need so they can live comfortably in an apartment.
The list of supplies that your dog needs include:
- Dog food
- Water bowel
- A dog bed
- A leash
- Identification tags
- Grooming supplies such as nail clippers and brushes
- Chew toys, puzzle toys, balls
- A collar or a harness
All these supplies are necessary so your dog stays safe and healthy.
2.) Create a comfy space for your German Shepherd
Create a welcoming space for your dog to stay in so they don’t feel uncomfortable; this is a place where your dog can rest, eat, play with dog toys, and drink water.
You have to make them a comfy bed with pillows and blankets so they can relax and sleep easily. You also have to provide them food and water so they can stay healthy and hydrated.
You can put dog toys in their space so they don’t get bored and frustrated.
3.) Maximize your apartment’s space through rearranging
The benefit of rearranging your apartment is that it allows for more space for your German Shepherd to move easily.
An example would be rearranging your furniture to allow more floor area or putting some furniture in storage so you have room for your dog’s bed and supplies.
4.) Exercise their mind and body
It’s important to give your dog exercise whether mental or physical so they stay healthy, fit, and happy.
German Shepherds need to get at least 2 hours of exercise per day because they are very active dogs.
You can do activities such as taking them for a hike, jog, or park enjoying their exercise with you. You can also exercise their mind by giving them puzzle toys to play with.
5.) Give your dog lots of attention
The advantage of your dog living in an apartment is that they stay very close to you. German Shepherds love their dog parents so much; they are very loyal and would do anything to be with them.
So, you can spend your time while in the apartment bonding with them through activities such as petting them, playing tug of war and cuddling with them on the couch.
By doing so, your German Shepherd dog will feel loved.
What are the benefits of letting your German Shepherd live in an apartment?
1.) German Shepherds act as guard dogs
This breed is known to be excellent in being guard dogs. They can protect your apartment from robbers or any danger that may happen.
Mainly through always staying alert and observant, a German Shepherd will alarm you if there is any danger or protect you by heading straight into the danger.
2.) German Shepherds are territorial by nature
They know the space that is theirs and won’t allow any intruder to enter. If they find that an intruder, they will start to bark loudly and make a fuss so that they can alert their dog parents.
They are really protective and it shows in stories where they saved their family and friends’ lives.
1.) How long can a German Shepherd be left alone?
A German Shepherd maximum time to be left alone is 8 hours. Any time more than this can make your dog develop behavioral problems such as barking and chewing due to boredom.
They need to have time for socialization, exercise, and bonding with you so they don’t develop any problems.
2.) Are German Shepherds great at being family dogs?
German Shepherds are fierce and loyal to their families. They are loving and caring yet strong and menacing when there are threats appearing that can harm their families.
The other side of a German Shepherd is that they are very tolerant and patient so they deal and play calmly with children.
German Shepherds can live in apartments but they need to get exercise, training, mental stimulation, and socialization so they don’t have any destructive behaviors and stay healthy.
Living in an apartment with you lets a German Shepherd bond with you and become closer to you.
It is a huge commitment to providing your German Shepherd dog with all that they need so they can be happy.
To know more about how many miles a German Shepherd should walk, check How Many Miles Should a German shepherd Walk A Day?
Share your opinion. Do you think that a German Shepherd should live in an apartment or a large house with a yard?