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Are German Shepherds Good Apartment Dogs? 

Are German Shepherds Good Apartment Dogs? 

No home is complete for any furry friend lover without a friendly fuzzy canine. But can all dogs, say, German Shepherd, make good apartment dogs?

The simple answer here is a big YES! German Shepherd dogs (GSDs) can easily live, more like thrive in apartments. The one condition here is the active involvement of the owner; one who does not fail to take care of the dogs’ basics. These include the dogs’ workout routine, exciting them mentally, compliance and obedience, and training them to socialize.

The following article will take care of all the concerns you have about keeping dogs, particularly German Shepherds, in an indoor apartment.

Are German Shepherds Good Apartment Dogs?

Owing to their nature, German Shepherds have it in them to work around during the day. Because of this excess energy in them, they need to physically exert themselves, with or without an owner’s involvement, to get healthily rid of this. A minimum of 2 hours a day are needed by them in an open space (outdoors).

Neglecting this basic need will leave the canine to get bored out of their mind. This boredom leads to the accumulation of frustration and ultimately causes them to present aggression over time. GSDs when left in an empty apartment tend to destroy furniture and the interior of the apartment in this process.

When going out with your GSD, some activities that you both can take part in include:

·        Playing hide and seek

·        Jogging, especially in the morning

·        Playing Frisbee

·        Looking for a “missing” item

·        Swimming

·        Hiking 

These simple activities are a great way to bond with your dog and will of course make it easy for the GSD to happily settle in your apartment. 

Psychological and Intellectual Stimulation

Analysis has shown that German Shepherds are some of the most intelligent in terms of dog breeds. This means a GSDs’ mind needs constant stimulation to make use of this great ability. The best way to do this is by occupying them in obedience training or solving puzzles. 

It is in the GSDs’ nature to work. What this means is the dog needs a job to do. Whether it is to learn new tricks in obedience, or simply solve a difficult situation they are in, their minds will be active and hence healthy.

Some of the most popular puzzles for canines include:

·        Outward Treat Puzzle: A simple game of getting treats upon opening correct plastic flaps.

·        Wooly Snuffle Mat:  A complex fabric mat where treats can be sprinkled. This allows them to use their ability to detect scents to find hidden treats.

·        Interactive Dog Toys: Simple rubber balls where treats can be hidden inside. Upon chewing, treats are released for them to enjoy.

The thing about puzzles is that it takes a lesser amount of time and effort than outdoor activities, yet proves to be equally vital for their personal development. 

Dog Crates

Dog crates might seem like a harsh thing for a dog, these turn out to be rather useful and even beneficial for them. Not only do these help train dogs to relieve themselves easily, but they also allow dogs the chance to adapt to confined spaces. 

If done right, this crate training will help the dogs find a safe space when needed, which ought to ideally be someplace calm and far removed. This helps in reducing the possible development of anxiety.

Along these lines, there truly isn’t the point at which you should stop “crating” your canine. You ought to continuously make the box accessible with the goal that your canine has someplace to go assuming they need to move away briefly. This likewise furnishes them with a protected spot to rest. Many canines will think about the box as their room, utilizing it to rest and partake in some alone time.

You can as a rule quit crating when they are around two years old. Before then, they are normally bound to cause problems. It isn’t until they mature completely that they can act appropriately when not regulated. This is particularly valid for bigger canines, who will generally develop later.

Detailed Obedience Preparation

As mentioned, obedience training is crucial for the GSDs living in a closed apartment space. Another major reason for this training is it teaches the dogs manners. Living in such a close space means your GSDs can hear other dogs around them. 

If one dog considers the other a threat, a chain reaction can set off leading to all the dogs in the building barking non-stop. To avoid this, it is important to teach your GSDs to recognize surrounding sounds and distinguish between those that are “safe” and those that are threats.

The most effective way of keeping away from a “bark-off” is through submission preparation. Holding them in line by educating them “calm” is great! Continuously utilize encouraging feedback with your German Shepherd. If you would be able, to make an effort not to holler at them.

Assuming they begin yelping, you ought to overlook them. The second they stop, give them high acclaim and even prize them with a treat. It takes a great deal of persistence, yet it’s certainly worth the work over the long haul.

Social Interaction

German Shepherds tend to not socialize much since they are big dogs. However, allowing them to get in frequent contact with other dogs. This will reduce the possibility of them attacking nearby dogs, making it easy for them to get to know the neighboring canines and play with them.

Socialization can come in many structures. While they’re still little, create each open door for canine playdates. If you don’t have companions with canines, no issue! You can carry them to canine parks at the end of the week to play with different canines. In this context, daycares can be a great way to socialize during working hours when you are away from the apartment.

Other requirements

·        Age and weight limits: Some apartments don’t allow dogs above a certain weight limit and age gap. It is important to keep this factor in mind to avoid feuds with the administration and with other dogs.

·        Spraying or Neutering: This comes under the basic grooming of dogs. Some owners might find issues with this for personal and ethical reasons. It’s best to know if these steps are required. 

·        Breeds: Due to some personal biases, some apartment owners might straight-up ban the administration of some breeds, such as Rottweilers, Dobermanns, and Pit Bulls. The main reason is their protective nature and their aggression.

When selecting an apartment to house your German Shepherd, or when picking a dog to keep in your apartment, some factors other than the ones mentioned need to be taken care of as well. 

The importance of being honest

While frequently overlooked, being honest to yourself and your landlord is one of the most important things when knowing if German Shepherds are good apartment dogs. When a breed-specific ban exists, some owners might claim their German Shepherd to be a Labrador or a Husky. This might get you by for a while, you can’t hide your dog for long. 

Over time, your landlord and your neighbors will be able to tell the dog’s true breed once it reached its full maturity. Not to mention the illegal aspect of such lies. To avoid any such complications and embarrassment, the best thing to do is be honest from the first day.

Possible issues that can arise

Neglecting the basic needs of the German Shepherd will lead to physically destructive behavior. This is because not receiving their elementary requirements will incline them to fend for themselves. Some examples of these can be torn papers, destroyed shoes, general disturbances in furniture, and unnecessary barking. The best way to avoid this problem is to remove the cause of their existence altogether.

German “Shedders”

Even if trained well and being taken care of, a problem that exists for German Shepherd owners is the seasonal shedding these dogs do. When the season changes from winter to summer, the shedding of their fur is necessary to fight the heat for these dogs. 

A rule of thumb is no matter how hard and frequently you vacuum, some fur will always be left in the apartment. The best thing to do is keep a room out of bounds for the German Shepard, wherein no fur is present at all. 

Additionally, showers can assist with releasing the fur and make it more manageable. You don’t have to wash a German Shepherd consistently, as washing it over and over again can bother and dehydrate its skin. However, it’s important to keep a check here and notice if the shedding lessens or increases instead. Showering once a month is ideal unless it’s needed because of dirt deposition.


According to some reviewers, German Shepherds are one of the best apartment dogs out there. With this, it is important to keep in mind that not all dogs have the same personalities and some may take more time to adapt and learn than others. Simple care and affection are all you need to get the work done here. So the next time someone asks if German Shepherds are good apartment dogs, you will know what to say!