Are German Shepherds good apartment dogs?
No they’re generally not. In fact, German Shepherds are far from being good apartment dogs. Their physical features, nature, and needs generally make them incompatible with apartment living.
However, that’s not to say that they can’t live in apartments and can’t be good apartment dogs as they can be quite adaptable considering their needs are met. And so, if you’re willing to provide the time and effort to provide for all those needs, you’ll have a perfectly fine apartment pet.
So what do you need to do?
Well in this article we’ll find out as we further discuss German Shepherds and apartment living.
Why Are German Shepherds Unideal Apartment Dogs?
There are several qualities that make a dog ideal for apartment living. These qualities include the following:
- Hypoallergenic or low-shedding
- Small in size
- Low energy levels
- Easily trainable and adaptable
- Quiet and not prone to barking
And simply put, German Shepherds don’t have most of those qualities.
German Shepherds Aren’t Hypoallergenic
As a double-coated breed, German Shepherds shed a lot. They shed throughout the year and blow their coats twice as the seasons change. So don’t be surprised if your apartment ends up being full of fur.
Fortunately though, with a proper grooming and cleaning routine, the shedding is quite manageable. But still, it certainly isn’t ideal to have and clean up fur all around the apartment.
German Shepherds Are Big Dogs
Small dogs are generally preferred for apartment living given the space constraints. If your apartment’s small, you may face issues when it comes to accommodating your German Shepherds needs. Having a big dog in a small space will just make it harder for both you and your dog to move around.
German Shepherds Are High In Energy
German Shepherds are energetic and highly active dogs. They need a lot of exercise and love to run and move around. Again, a quality that won’t work well, especially with small apartments. Just imagine, a German Shepherd running and jumping around in a small space with all your furniture. It probably won’t be pretty.
German Shepherds Are Vocal
Vocal dogs don’t do well with apartments, as a noisy dog will most definitely net you some complaints. And just so you know, German Shepherds are quite noisy. They tend to bark a lot and even vocalize in different ways, such as howling, whining, and moaning.
Can German Shepherds Become Good Apartment Dogs?
It will take some effort, but German Shepherds can learn to become good apartment dogs.
While there’s no changing the fact that they don’t have 4 of the 5 traits that make for good apartment dogs, being smart and trainable goes a long way. Given some work, you will be able to teach your German Shepherd the proper way to behave in apartments.
Turning A German Shepherd Fit For Apartment Living
The Importance Of Socialization
Introducing your German Shepherd to sights, sounds, smells, and situations will help it formulate a better understanding of how the world works. With that your dog will learn how to interact with its environment in a way that it doesn’t get nervous or scared.
When it comes to apartment living, socialization is important because it will allow your German Shepherd to act appropriately towards other people and pets. Through it, your German Shepherd will not grow to be anxious or aggressive as it encounters different interactions within the apartment complex.
Train Your German Shepherd
Training your German Shepherd is a great way to keep it controlled and composed.
No one wants to be a disturbance to the neighbors, so you can pretty much see why it’s essential to have the ability to control your dog. But not only will training prevent your German Shepherd from being a nuisance, it will also make it easier to take care of your dog overall.
Take potty training, for example, if you successfully teach your German Shepherd where to do its business, then you wouldn’t have to worry about your German Shepherd’s mess in unwanted areas.
Crate training on the other hand, is a great option as it will allow you to housebreak your German Shepherd more easily while also providing you peace of mind whenever you have to leave.
Obedience training will also benefit both you and your dog. Through it, you will be able to control your German Shepherd better, and it will prevent your dog from developing bad habits. You could even teach your German Shepherd to bark and be quiet on command, effectively preventing any issues related to noisiness.
Overall, training your German Shepherd will provide for a better apartment experience. And fortunately, German Shepherds are one of the most intelligent and highly trainable breeds. So, training it won’t be that much of a hassle, at least relatively.
Provide For Your German Shepherd’s Physical And Mental Needs
German Shepherds require constant physical and mental stimulation or they may start exhibiting unfavorable behavior such as excessive chewing, scratching, and barking.
You won’t want that, as not only will that endanger your home, but it may also cause disturbance to your neighbors.
So, the key would be to provide your German Shepherd with enough exercise and play. If you live an active lifestyle, then this would be no problem as you can take your German Shepherd on walks, and play with them outdoors.
If you don’t have an active lifestyle, however, it might be more complicated. You can still provide for your German Shepherds needs, but you would probably have to rely on external sources such as dog walkers or dog daycare centers.
But no matter what method you choose, the basic idea would be to tire your German Shepherd out. Not only will that prevent destructive behavior, but it will also allow you to keep your German Shepherd mellow when it’s in the apartment. If your dog is tired, it will be less likely to run around and would choose to rest instead.
Keep A Regular Grooming Schedule
German Shepherds are heavy shedders, and that’s just how it is. But with a regular grooming schedule and a vacuum at the ready, you will be able to manage the shedding.
If you brush your German Shepherd regularly, you can remove loose fur before they fall out and prevent them from getting into your furniture and other unwanted places.
And if the fur does somehow get into these places, take out your vacuum for an easier clean.
Are German Shepherds Good Apartment Dogs?
To summarize. German Shepherds aren’t inherently good apartment dogs. They’re large, active, noisy, heavy-shedding dogs that are quite unsuitable for small spaces.
Fortunately, with a little bit of work and some workarounds, your German Shepherd can learn to become a good apartment dog. All you need to do is put in the effort to socialize, train, and most importantly, provide for your German Shepherd’s needs.