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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Adapting An Aussie To Living In An Apartment

by Delia
(Nesconset, NY)

Concerned... I have a 2 1/2 month Aussie puppy. We live in the suburbs, but in an apartment with no backyard. Is this breed adaptable to this type of environment? She is being crate trained. Worried she won't be happy. Advice please.

Comments for Adapting An Aussie To Living In An Apartment

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by: Anonymous

well I have 2 Aussies and they lived with me in the house with the yard and in the apartment. To be honest they really want to be where we are. When I let them out form the house to do their business they come back as soon as possible. If Im not there they don't want to be there-thats how Aussies are. So I don't think if that matters. I don't crate my dogs and I will feel bad for crating my..dont know why. I let them go and sleep wherever that want but I know that people do that.
The most IMPORTANT is : they need exercise!!!!!! At least 1h walk a day, they need to play outside and they need a mental stimulation. They are waiting for that walk. Apartment is not the issue here- the exercise is.

by: Anonymous

Aussie are very active, needs a yard to run, very active,they need to be supervised a lot, they do not like to be left along with out the family. The are very protective with the family, The do not get along with other dogs unless you start early intermingle. These dogs are not for everyone, you have to show love and discipline at all times.

Aussie in a Apt..
by: Gary & Cody

I had my Cody for 12ys, He did live in a house and back yard for half that time, then we had to live in apartments this was no problem at all. Cody was my life we did everything together, a lot of hiking in the woods, long walks on the beach, the dog park, long walks in the neighborhood before & after work. When he had to be alone he was just fine, I never had to house train him he trained himself! Cody was happiest when he was with me wherever that was, house or apartment or tent! Aussie's are very adaptable!

by: Anonymous

Who said that they don't get along with other dogs... really I have not heard that before! You have to socialize any dog.

Thank you
by: Delia

Thank you all for your feedback. I am so concerned with the well being of my pup and your feedback has been helpful. Between work and not having a good place for her to run, it's weighed heavily on my mind.

It can be done
by: Anonymous

I have a two year old Aussie and we live in a 1000 sq ft apartment. For the first year we took him to a dog park, or a lake to swim every weekend. That would usually tired him out for a day or two. Plus walks, hiking at local parks, and fetch.

We do have a bit of space to play outside, but he has to be leashed. So I got a 25 ft retractable leash and we play catch, and fetch, and I chase him around while he plays keep away with his toy. I felt really bad making him play with the leash sometimes in his way, but I started it early on so he is used to it and he is just so happy to play he doesn't seem to mind. And of course we would walk everyday.

Unfortunately, I got sick about a year ago and I can't do as much with him as he needs. I adapted our play to games that are low effort for me, and high effort for him. I review his tricks and try to teach him new ones. We actually have little games we play when I'm laying in bed and not feeling well. So I always keep his mind active.

I try to get him to the dog park as often as I can. When we play inside I get him to jump and run up and down the halls as much as I can. When we walk I take a toy, so while I'm going at a slow pace he is zooming around chasing the ball or jumping up trying to tug the frisbee out of my hand. The long leash gives up a lot of options.

I know he needs more, but he is really happy. He never gets anxious, he doesn't really get into things. Every now and then he will grab a sock or hat and show it to me. It's like his threat, that if I don't play with him he will eat my things. And maybe once a month or so he will spend more time looking out the window and looking back at me, so I know he needs some longer outside time.

So super long story short. It's not optimal for the Aussie. But it can be done. You might have to be innovative.

Aussies in Apartments
by: Andrea

Hey there! I have a 6 year old red tri Female that I have raised in apartments in Austin Tx from 9 weeks old. She does great! the first few years she had a lot of destructive tendancies but those fall under puppyisms and the fact that she was an only pup in the house. Crate training is a MUST to learn boundaries for this headstrong and curious breed. TWO BIG THINGS I LEARNED: the first is somewhat obvious but they def need lots of exercise! If you dont have a yard, taking long walks or go to an off leash, fenced park to enjoy some fetch or frisbee. What is more important about this point was leash training. I had the toughest time with her because she just wanted to run non-stop and hated the leash to the point of biting it constantly. I learned to give her lots of time to burn off energy in the morning before leash training- it helped keep her focused, and I fed her breakfast after morning play and training. Luckily, most apartments in this city have a fenced dog park on site. The second thing I learned is that she would substitute lots of attention (snuggles, pets) for exercise. As she got older and we learned eachother more, she completely stopped all chewing of non pupper objects and now simply presents me with toys or begs for pets when we're inside. I work from home a lot and she loves to pile into my lap and even stretch across my laptop like a cat, haha. It is totally Doable to have an aussie in an apartment as long as you are patient with training, provide LOADS of attention when inside, and walks and free play in a safe off leash area, and offer mentally stimulating treats (PB Kong, Kong Wobbler feeder, etc) for quiet time. Congrats!

Apartment Aussies!
by: Nicole

I live in a small 2 bedroom apartment with no backyard with my Aussie and it’s been no problem at all! We try to take her on at least one or two good long walks a day, usually to a nearby dog park so she can swim and run crazy with other dogs or play fetch/frisbee with us. We also have a ton of toys for her and I take breaks every hour or so (I work from home) to play with her for at least ten minutes or so. We also take her to doggie daycare maybe once a week or once every other week. I was super concerned she’d be unhappy in our apartment but does so well.

Aussies are not good with other dogs?
by: Anonymous

Aussies are not good with other dogs? Never heard that before, and I've done a lot of reading and research before we settled for our little blue merle girl. She loves everyone and everything she meets. She wants to say hi to everything, living or not. We also live in an apartment, and i work full time. I take breaks to go home and let her out, and play with her before coming back to work. And my two daughters help keep her company after school before I get home from work. I was also worried about apartment living with her, but she's doing fine, and loves to be inside more than outside. She also loves her brother (our first non aussie dog) very much. She adores him. Good luck, i came on here looking for advice too. She's only 10 weeks old. we've had her since she was 6 weeks old, and she loves to keep an look out on her human pack.

Two Aussies in an Apartment
by: Anonymous

I have siblings, a month apart in an apartment. We go out 3-5 times a day to go potty and twice a week to a dog park/field. If they didn’t have each other to be entertained I’d be more worried. With one Aussie I would get a lot of toys and a lot of space in the apartment so you can play fetch and they can run around and wrestle with you. They don’t need to be outside a lot they love to do anything you want them to do. Train, play, cuddle, wrestle, feed, walk and your Aussie will be very happy.

Aussie mix puppy
by: Anonymous

I live in a pet friendly apartment. I just was going to adopt a Aussie mixpuppy. The person who I was going to get it from will not allow me to adopt it. I mentioned to her that puppies will do well and will grow accustomed to an apartment. She told me these Aussies are big dogs and I said that they're medium sized dogs and as long as you take them outside a lot over the period of one day, the Aussies will do well. I also mentioned they like to be where you are. I need an Aussie because my hearing is going and for protection when I go out for walks. I am not safe to walk by myself due to a bad relationship. My ex hates dogs and if I ever walk into him I have my favourite pet with me and the ex will turn around and walk away.

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