Australian Shepherd is the Dream Dog for me, but I live in an APARTMENT! Help?

I have done lots of research, and the dog that fits my lifestyle, but also wants, wishes, hopes, desires, etc. is an Australian Shepherd.

Except for the obvious fact, that I live in an apartment.
Technically, even with apartment, I would still be able to provide at least 2-3 hours of exercise a day, if not more.

But again, everywhere I have read, says Australian Shepherds are not suited for apartments.

Hopefully in years to come, eventually I will own a house and can own my dream dog, but until then I really don't want to live dogless either.
Does anybody have a suggestion for a breed with similar personality, temperament, and intelligence of an Aussie, but capable of living in an apartment?

Asked by Member 649916 on Jul 5th 2008 Tagged australianshepherddogdogsbreedbreedsapartment in Breeds
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Where would you provide the exercise? Just city streets are not ideal, but a large park nearby might be. Are there agility classes in your area?

Are you willing to take a young adult animal? House training a puppy in an apartment sounds difficult. Where will your dog eliminate on a quick basis - not during a walk?

Is your apartment large enough for playing fetch indoors? An Aussie is not an impossibility, but you need a strong committment to meeting the dog's need for physical and mental exercise. These are not 'sit in the corner dogs'. I have had a Sib/wolf, an Esky/coyote, an Aussie/Heeler & a Basenji/Greyhound in a situation where they must be leashed at all times. It is amazing how much exercise a dog can get on a 26 ft Flexilead. 2 of them ran beside a bike, too. Mental exercises with a clicker don't need much space.

Go to Petfinder and see if a shelter within driving distance has a young Aussie. They are beautiful, fun dogs if you have the time for one.

Lily answered on 7/5/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


You might want to check out a Miniature Aussie. They have all the same traits, looks, temperament and intelligence of the Aussie only smaller. If you can indeed give him/her 2-3 hours of exercise a day there shouldn't be a problem. Loomis is suppose to be a Mini but we think he is a mini crossed with a Border Collie and he would not do well in an apartment but we had another Mini named Joey and he would have been fine in an apartment.

Loomis answered on 7/5/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Shayne CGC, RL2

You know what other dogs are not suited for apartments...border collies... do you know what i currently have living in an apartment...a border collie!

She gets TONS of exercise (mental and physical) and is happy as a clam in the APT (she moved from a house INTO the apt).

I would suggest getting an aussie on the smaller side if your apt is small (just so he has room to move).

It is not easy but totally possible to give a high energy dog a GREAT life even in an apartment. We live right acorss the street from a park where shayne gets to run and run and run everyday. There is a small grassy area outside of my building so there are quick potty trips.

Inside we do A LOT of mental work--training and puppy problem solving and some tug games.

I too would suggest a young adult pup since house training might be a tad difficult.

If you really commit to exercise you can totally have an aussie in an apartment!

Shayne CGC, RL2 answered on 7/6/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


We have a friend that has a mini aussie~she's awesome. She lived in an apt. and has since moved to a house. She was crate trained, but got a walk before our friend went to work mornings, and was babygated in her kitchen. Lucy was let out at lunch by her "grandmother" for a short walk. Our friend exercised her a couple of hr.s minimum, daily. It's quite a commitment, but doable. Boredom can cause depression and destruction, so you would have to be vigialant and make your pup the priority!

♥MOLLY & GRACIE♥ answered on 7/6/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


clear a room and let him live in it easy.

Member 618635 answered on 7/14/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


We have had our aussie for nearly a year now... lived in two different apartments....if your as active as you say, it won't be an issue. We go hiking, play frisbee, catch, run around fields with him.... play at the dog park with other dogs every other day... he is as happy as a clam.... we even thinking about getting another to keep him busy when there is down time. I wouldn't worry about it. Look for the "lazy" one in a litter, or the more shy one... We did, our aussie is a shadow...never leaves when we go to parks or just fields or over friends...he is offleash and loves it. No wories. ENJOY!

Josh answered on 5/7/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I've had my Aussie for a month now and we live in an apartment with my other dog. He does just fine, although he is still a puppy he gets out and runs around and we walk everyday. One concern you need to think about is the barking of the aussie. my aussie is VERY vocal and loves to hear his own voice. In my aprtmnt it doesnt matter because there is just a shop below but your neighbors might not enjoy that.

Jackson answered on 9/23/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Great Question!! It is very possible! I am an Alaskan Malamute, which are also supposed to be very bad for apartments. I wrote several articles on this blog below to address this very question of living in an apartment as a difficult breed of dog because I've had a lot of success living in an apartment. Maybe they will help answer some of your questions :) The links look the same but they are too 4 different topics on the same host location. Starting out right; exercise; crate training; Apartment Lifestyle. Hope this helps and Good Luck!

Zoe answered on 8/29/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Try an mini australian shepherd! My dream breed as well is a aussie but i too live in an apartment. I bought a mini because they look and act the same but do much better in an apartment. Mine is a true joy and I'm getting another one in a month. there are great dogs i HIGHLY recommend :)

Member 1068411 answered on 11/4/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I have a 4 year old full size Aussie who went from living on 40 acres to living in a 720sqft apartment. If you can provide that much time for exercise then there shouldn't be a problem with you getting one. I've noticed that she's a little more aggressive with meeting new dogs, but she's never had the opportunity to meet dogs like this so that just may be how she is. I would also watch how often you take her out to the bathroom, she got a bladder infection when we first moved because I never realized how much she needed to go.

If you really want one I say go ahead and get one because they're really good and smart dogs :) and if you do get one, be prepared to buy a lot of tennis balls and frisbees!!

Member 1108613 answered on 5/1/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I think that if you are capable of providing the metal stimulation, excersise, and attention that an Australian Shepherd needs, and you are knowledgeable about the breed, it would be fine.


There is the question of how much space there is outside (near) your apartment. Are there fields and parks near by, where your dog can go off-leash, etc? Aussies do not thrive on a leash.

I hope you get the dog that is perfect for you!

Lily answered on 1/22/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer