Its totally possible to live in an apartment complex with an Australian Shepherd. It may take a bit more work on your end to train and work with your furry friend to keep the noise down and the complaints to a minimum, but its absolutely worth it.
Why Get An Aussie When You Live In An Apartment?
Despite the challenges of keeping the noise down and avoiding neighbor complaints, someone who lives in an apartment complex might still consider getting an Australian Shepherd for several reasons:
Loyalty and Affection:
Australian Shepherds are known for their strong bond with their owners and affectionate nature, providing comfort and companionship.
Intelligence and Trainability:
With proper training and socialization, Australian Shepherds can be well-behaved and obedient, reducing the risk of noise complaints and making them a good fit for apartment living.
Australian Shepherds have high energy levels and need plenty of physical activity, which can be met through regular walks and trips to dog parks.
For some people, the companionship of a pet is an important aspect of their daily life, and they may be willing to put in the effort to make it work in an apartment complex.
Some people take pride in their ability to provide a good home for their pets, even if it requires extra effort to keep the noise down and avoid complaints from neighbors.
Challenges You May Experience Living In An Apartment Complex With An Australian Shepherd
There are a number of challenges you may experience while living in an apartment complex with an Australian Shepherd.
- Noise Complaints – Barking, jumping, running around, playing in your apartment
- Potty Training – damaging apartment property if you are not careful
- Increased Monthly Costs + Deposits – many apartment complexes charge additional deposits and monthly fees when living with a dog.
- Separation Anxiety – Your furry Aussie may experience separation anxiety when you leave your apartment, causing your Aussie to act out in a number of ways, including barking, scratching at the door or carpet, or even whining/howling.
How to Actually Live In An Apartment With An Australian Shepherd
Consider Your Australian Shepherd’s Needs First
Think through how an Australian Shepherd typically acts. They are high-energy, can be vocal, and are extremely compassionate with their owners. These attributes of an Australian Shepherd can cause noise complaints from your neighbors if you are not keeping a close eye on them.
Consider Required Space Requirements
Australian Shepherds do require some space. Some loose space requirements could be
- Living Area: A minimum of a one-bedroom apartment or a larger living area with sufficient space for the dog to move around comfortably.
- Exercise Area: Access to a nearby dog park or a designated area for daily exercise and playtime. This can help meet their physical and mental stimulation needs.
- Outdoor Space: Access to a balcony or a nearby park for short walks and potty breaks.
- Training Area: A designated space for training and obedience exercises to help the dog adjust to apartment living.
Consider Your Neighbors
Spend some time considering your neighbors and their expectations. If your neighbors are noise-sensitive, consider putting extra emphasis on training your Aussie “indoor voice” or similar.
Understanding Your Aussie’s Space and Exercise Requirements
Australian Shepherds need plenty of exercise and physical activity, which can be challenging to provide in a smaller living space. Regular walks, trips to dog parks, and other outdoor activities are important for their well-being.
Although they are highly active, Australian Shepherds also need indoor space to rest and relax. A comfortable and spacious living area is ideal for them to stretch out and nap.
Training is important for Australian Shepherds, as it helps them learn proper behavior and reduces the risk of noise complaints from neighbors. An apartment complex with an open indoor space or nearby outdoor areas is ideal for training and socialization.
Australian Shepherds are intelligent and require mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. Interactive toys, puzzle feeders, and other brain games can help keep them engaged and entertained.
Common Dog & Apartment Issues
There are several common problems that one might experience if they get an Australian Shepherd while living in an apartment complex, including:
Australian Shepherds are a high-energy breed and can bark frequently, causing noise complaints from neighbors. This can be a major issue in apartment complexes where noise levels are closely monitored.
Australian Shepherds have high energy levels and require plenty of physical activity, which can be challenging to provide in a smaller living space. This can lead to boredom, destructive behavior, and other issues.
Training is essential for Australian Shepherds, but it can be difficult to find open indoor or outdoor spaces in an apartment complex to practice obedience and other behaviors.
Some Australian Shepherds may experience separation anxiety when left alone in an apartment, causing destructive behavior or barking.
Potty training can be challenging in an apartment complex, particularly for young puppies. Accidents can result in unpleasant odors or damage to the living space.
Owning a pet can be expensive, and Australian Shepherds require regular grooming and veterinary care, which can add to the costs associated with apartment living.
Two Expert Tips
Openly communicate with your neighbors
Whether you’re exploring picking up a puppy or an older Australian Shepherd, consider speaking with your neighbors beforehand. Let them know what you plan to do, and if you have a budget, consider leaving a note and a gift card to your favorite coffee shop in advance.
Is An ESA Letter Relevant to You?
An ESA (Emotional Support Animal) letter is a document that certifies that an individual has a disability and requires the support of an emotional support animal. If you live in an apartment complex with an emotional support animal, having an ESA letter can bring several benefits, including
- No Pet Fees: Many apartment complexes charge pet fees or deposits, but emotional support animals are exempt from these fees as they are not considered pets under the Fair Housing Act.
- Access to No-Pet Buildings: An ESA letter can give you the right to live in a “no-pet” building, even if they have a policy against pets.
- Priority Housing: If you have an ESA letter, landlords are required to make reasonable accommodations for you and your emotional support animal, which may include priority housing.
- Protection from Discrimination: The Fair Housing Act prohibits landlords from discriminating against individuals with disabilities and their emotional support animals, providing protection against eviction or other forms of discrimination.
- Improved Mental Health: An emotional support animal can provide comfort and support to individuals with mental health conditions, reducing stress and anxiety, and improving overall well-being.