Are Australian Shepherds Good Apartment Dogs? (Solved!)

Australian Shepherds, also known as Aussies, have been widely appreciated for their high energy and active demeanor that makes the life of every house.

But now that you own an Aussie, shifting to an apartment isn’t that easy anymore.

This new addition to your family has its own needs and nature that you must consider before even thinking about living in an apartment.

So, are Australian Shepherds good apartment dogs?

Here’s a complete guide to answering just that.

So please sit back, relax because it’s going to be a long ride ahead!


Are Australian Shepherds Good Apartment Dogs?

Australian shepherds with 1 havanese by carterse (CC BY-SA 2.0)

As a general rule of thumb, Australian Shepherds are highly intelligent and understanding dog breeds.

This means depending on the environment, they are likely to adjust their behavior and compromise.

However, they are also known for their incredible energy that requires hours of exercise and training to remain in control.

So everything boils down to whether or not they become good apartment dogs?

In simple words, yes, Australian Shepherds can become good apartment dogs.

But only when you give them a separate space for exercise otherwise they can be destructive or bark excessively.

As they prefer to work on their agility regularly, you surely need to frequently take them to dog parks or regular exercises to keep them on their best behavior.

How To Prepare For A Puppy In An Apartment?

Australian Shepherd Puppy by Ted Van Pelt (CC BY 2.0)

Australian Shepherds stand out from the crowd for their obedience and loyalty, making it easier for them to adjust to the new environment.

However, this doesn’t mean you don’t need to make any effort to prepare your apartment for your puppy.

As we all know, Australian Shepherds aren’t quite fond of confined spaces, especially if they grew up in a spacious house.

Therefore, it’s best to opt for a slightly bigger apartment with parks and other open spaces nearby.

This way, you won’t procrastinate taking your dog for a regular walk and exercise to ensure their frustration doesn’t build up and lead to something more destructive.

Another thing you must do is to remain the leader of the pack.

You need to stay consistent with your commands and teach them discipline from the beginning to make sure they never underestimate you and challenge you to see things they can get away with.

Luckily, they learn quickly so it’s easy to teach them new commands to keep them low disciplined in an apartment (spoiler alert: I’ll be talking about that in a minute).

However, depending on your Aussie, arm yourself with his [amazon link=”B076M7548D” title=”favorite treats” link_icon=”amazon” /] that can act as an incentive to keep them calm and motivated to become better every day.

How Do You Potty Train A Puppy In An Apartment?   

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One of the biggest concerns of having a dog in an apartment is its potty training.

Luckily, Aussies are easy-to-train dogs. They are brilliant dogs who, with patience, will get their superpowers when it comes to any training.

The problem with the apartment is that your dog won’t always have a garden to potty.

When it comes to an apartment, you need to change the routine and train them to potty outside the apartment.

However, bear in mind to start all these training sessions before you move into an apartment, as the initial days can be a total nightmare for not just you but your neighbors as well.

Now, how can you do that?

If your Aussie is a puppy, they usually go to the bathroom every hour or two.

Meaning in the first few weeks, you need to take them to the designated area to potty and let them find their way back to the home.

This is not just important for bathroom purposes but can help them in other emergencies as well.

It’s best that you first set a schedule and let them follow that for most of their lives. This includes taking them out for a potty immediately after they wake up.

After that, you should pay attention to their body language for the first week and determine how they can indicate they need to go to the potty and set a schedule based on that.

Once you get them to go through their regular schedule, you can let them be on there and let them figure their way out to do potty.

Other than that, here’s a step by step guide to let you potty train your dog for a new apartment:

Set Location

Bathroom spots should always be outside. Therefore, set a specific location for them to potty in a distant place.

Always take them on a leash to that spot and use a specific command to indicate that it’s the right time for them to poo.

This will help build the concept that they always need to potty every time you say that command.

Later, it is never a bad idea to take them for a walk to get back home in a happy mood.

Set a Schedule

Depending on the age of your fur buddy, they will need to be fed three to four times a day. This means they will also eliminate these many times as well.

Therefore, make a habit of letting them potty right after they wake up, before sleeping, after a nap, or in the middle of the day, depending on his preference, to make it easier for both of you.


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Reward your pup right after they finish. However, there is still some grey area here.

Owners need to be highly careful when it comes to rewarding their dogs. While it can be one of the major motivating factors, it can also spoil them.

Always remember to reward them outdoors to ensure they have understood that you are praising them for not only pooing at the right time but at the right place too.

Another thing to bear in mind is to reward them after they have finished.

Dogs tend to get distracted if you praise them too soon and might not even finish it until you return home.

It’s Okay To Forgive Mistakes

It is normal in housetraining to expect a few potty mistakes at times.

Here are some of the things you should do if you catch them during the act:

Interrupt your puppy during their potty to make them realize that it’s wrong.

Command them to go outside or immediately take them to the bathroom to let them know the correct location to do their act.

After that, feel free to give them a treat if they finish it there.

If you failed to catch them during the act, and they have already pooed in your favorite mattress, it’s too late to punish.

Scolding them or any other punishment will only make them afraid of you or potty in your presence.

You can clean it up this time and make sure to be thorough with the rest of your potty training.

All in all, never allow your Australian shepherd to poop frequently in the house; this will make them confused and can make this potty housetraining a never-ending process.

How To Train Your Aussie To Live In An Apartment?

Austrlain Shepherd with cat by carterse (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Now that you are armed with the fundamentals, it’s time you get down to the actual training to make living in an apartment, an easy process for you both.

Here are some of the best techniques you can use to train your dog to live in an apartment.

Provide Plenty of Physical Activity

Get this straight, if you don’t give them what they need, prepare yourself to receive what you dislike.

Australian shepherds are generally hyperactive pets, making them ideal for energetic families to have a blast with their little paw member.

When you shift to an apartment, it is essential to keep them active through exercises in order to stay physically and mentally healthy.

In general, it is ideal to go for two hours of exercise sessions each day to ensure they sleep like a baby every night.

You can spend these 2 hours through:

Daily Walks

Daily walks are essential for your dog.

Not only it’s a great way to invest their energy into something they love, but it can provide physical activity to release their energy as well.

However, many owners fail to understand that gentle walks around the blocks are not enough for your Australian Shepherd to come back tired and ready to jump to their bed.

They need frequent high energy throughout the day, so adding a dog backpack for extra resistance can make it easier for them to release that energy.

Dog Parks

If you don’t have a backyard (which you won’t have in the case of apartments), dog parks can be a great alternative.

Aussies love to play around and fetch to keep their energy high and stay in a good mood. You can either take a frisbee or a ball with you to keep them entertained.

Allow Your Dog to Explore the Environment

When you take your dog outside to play, potty, or walk, this can be a perfect opportunity for them to get some extra mental stimulation and explore the environment for a while.

Sometimes, simply observing nature can also be quite refreshing for them to come back tired and sleep immediately.

Provide Dog Puzzle Toys

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Australian Shepherds use their intelligence to solve problems and mental challenges.

Try to incorporate [amazon link=”B071ZFJ2H1″ title=”dog puzzles” link_icon=”amazon” /] to keep them engaged and focused inside the apartment.

It will help them stay distracted at all times. Dog puzzle toys are a great way to keep an Australian Shepherd focused and engaged indoors, especially in an apartment.

Teach Your Dog to Control His Barking

A dog’s bark cannot be limited as a general rule of thumb, but it can be controlled.

Even if your dog doesn’t bark much, it can be a nuisance for an apartment.

Here are some of the ways you can teach your dog not to bark:

  1. First, do something to make your dog start barking.
  2. When he is barking, encourage it more and say “Speak” in a firm and calm voice. When he successfully does that, give him the treat to reward this behavior.
  3. Repeat this process until he has mastered the “Speak” part of the whole training process.
  4. This will help your dog to speak as you command him to.
  5. Now that your dog will start barking say “Quiet” to command him to stop. Make sure your voice is firm and calm at this time.
  6. Repeat both the commands “Speak” and “Quiet” at the right time to see them follow you. If they have mastered this step, gradually increase the time between these two commands and see how they act.
  7. You can randomly say these commands when you take him for a walk for additional practice. Remember always to reward him every time he gets it right.

How Long Can You Leave Your Australian Shepherd Alone?

Australian Shepherds are generally very active dogs. If they have nothing to do, they tend to get bored fairly easily.

Therefore, they usually prefer attachment with their family and always need something to keep them entertained.

When Australian Shepherds are left home for long periods of time, they don’t handle it well and find ways through destruction to release their frustration and high energy.

This can be their way of entertaining themselves and aid severe cases of separation anxiety.


There are different opinions regarding whether Australian Shepherds make up good apartment dogs. In a nutshell, this decision depends on your ability to handle them.

Considering how they are mainly herding dogs; they naturally tend to have higher energy than the rest.

Find a healthy way to use up that energy, and you are all set.

Now that you will be responsible for keeping the peace of the house, you need to go the extra mile to fulfill your furry friend’s requirements and ensure they only step into the new agreement with proper training.

As long as you are equipped with that, everything will go as smoothly as you want.

Authored By

Madeline Wright

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