Are Shelties Good Apartment Dogs? [Veterinary Advice]

Are Shelties good apartment dogs

Many sheltie lovers consider adopting them as apartment dogs due to their appropriate size. So, I thought of writing an article about Are Shelties good apartment dogs?

Are Shelties good apartment dogs? Shelties can live in apartments, but they aren’t good apartment dogs. Although their size is appropriate for that, their high energy level & highly vocal behavior act as hindrances. Proper training and adequate exercises can make them adjustable for apartments. 

Although Shelties are not ideal for apartment living, there are some ways that can make it happen. So, keep reading to understand how you can make it happen!

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Shelties and apartments. Can you make it happen?

Shelties are not good apartment dogs. But you can make it happen. You will have to put extra time and effort into this job. So, now let us focus on what are the challenges that you have to face if you are gonna bring a sheltie to your apartment life.

  1. No back yard or play area.
  2. Less space.
  3. Lots of foot traffic.
  4. Excessive shedding.

1. No backyard or play area.

Shelties are energetic, acrobatic, and athletic dog breeds that need a high amount of exercise daily. They need more than 2 hours of exercise per day. It should be vigorous exercises other than something like a walk.

As there is no backyard, you will face difficulties finding a place to engage your sheltie in exercises. Also, you will have to find solutions to his potty problem.

2. Less space.

They can get easily bored due to less space. Boredom can lead to anxiety-based conditions, which later result in aggressive behavior.

3. Lots of foot traffic.

Shelties are known to bark a lot, which your neighbors would not be a fan of! This is mainly due to their natural herding instinct. They bark to protect their owners.

In general, shelties do not like strangers, so they bark when someone approaches the house. Especially when you are living in an apartment, your neighbors will walk by your door.

Also, if you live near the elevator or any other common area in your apartment building, you will have to encounter neighbors (strangers to your sheltie!) every day. Your sheltie will tend to bark at them every time.

So, you have to train them to stop barking. For that, the “ How to stop a Doberman from barking? (5 easy steps) ” article would help you a lot as it is a common process for many dogs.

4. Excessive shedding.

Shelties are known for excessive shedding. They have a double coat that needs daily grooming. As they shed a lot, you will have to spend extra time, especially cleaning the areas common for you and the neighbors.

By the way here is the best chew toy for Shelties that will help your dog stay calm in the apartment!

Pros and cons of keeping Shelties in apartments?

Now let us dive in to find out the pros and cons of keeping shelties in apartments.

ProsCons
Appropriate body size for apartment living.High exercise demand.
Easily trainable.Highly vocal behavior.
Alertness.Shelties cannot be left alone for a longer period.
Adapts well to family life- a good companion.Need a lot of mental stimulation.
Active lifestyle for the owner.Excessive shedding.
Help to maintain good mental health for the owner.

Pros

Appropriate body size for apartment living.

Shelties possess a medium-sized body suitable for apartment living.

Height range:14–15in (35–38cm)

Weight range:  14–37lb (6–17kg)

Easily trainable.

Shelties are among the smartest dog breeds in the world. Using positive reinforcement techniques during the training produces excellent results.

Shelties are eager to learn new tricks and commands, So their high intelligence makes them easily trainable. They also possess the ability to identify right from wrong.

Alertness.

They are very sensitive to sounds. They are quick barkers and will alert you that there is a stranger. So, they are excellent watchdogs.

Adapts well to family life- a good companion.

Shelties are very sensitive dogs. They adapt well to family life. They are best known for their loyalty. So, he will be a good companion for the whole family.

Active lifestyle for the owner.

As shelties are energetic, active dogs, as the owner, you will find that you are engaging in more physical exercises than before, which is a positive point if you want to lead a healthy life avoiding the risk of noninfectious diseases.

Help to maintain good mental wellbeing for the owner.

Many researchers emphasize the fact that owning a pet can decrease the severity of conditions such as depression and anxiety. As shelties are intelligent dogs, they are much suitable for this.

Cons

High exercise demand.

Shelties are energetic, acrobatic, and athletic dog breeds that need a high amount of exercise daily. They need more than 2 hours of exercise per day. It should be vigorous exercises other than something like a walk.

So, I would like to emphasize the fact that if you are a person living a sedentary lifestyle never adopts a sheltie. Also, you can participate in events like agility, flying saucer competitions, etc.

Highly vocal behavior.

They are known to bark a lot, which your neighbors would not be a fan of! This is mainly due to their natural herding instinct. They bark to protect their owners. In general, shelties do not like strangers, so they bark when someone approaches the house.

It cannot be left alone for a longer period.

They cannot be left alone for a more extended period. When shelties are left alone for a longer period, they become aggressive. They expect the company all the time and will follow you even to the bathroom!

Need a lot of mental stimulation.

They require a job to do most of the time. They can become aggressive due to boredom. They usually are not aggressive dogs. They tend to become aggressive due to a lack of mental stimulation.

An aggressive dog will never be suitable for apartment living due to much proximity to the neighbors than a normal house.

Excessive shedding.

Shelties are known for excessive shedding. They have a double coat that needs daily grooming. As they shed a lot, you will have to spend extra time, especially cleaning the areas common for you and the neighbors.

How to train a sheltie for apartment life?

Happy sheltie

When training your sheltie for apartment life, you must pay attention, especially to the cons associated with the shelties and apartments.

Now let us dive in to find how you can overcome those cons and make apartment living comfortable for you and your loving sheltie.

  1. Provide adequate amounts of exercises daily.
  2. Training to minimize highly vocal behavior.
  3. Socialization.
    • Take him for walks.
    • Invite neighbors to your apartment.
    • Dog park.
  4. Potty training.
  5. Pay attention to grooming.
  6. Adequate mental stimulation.

1. Provide adequate amounts of exercise daily.

As I mentioned above, Shelties are energetic, acrobatic, and athletic dog breeds that need a high amount of exercise daily. They need more than 2 hours of exercise per day. It should be vigorous exercises other than something like a walk. 

You can take your sheltie to a dog park near your apartment and play with him. You must do with much enthusiasm and should use a proper exercise routine for your sheltie.

Lack of physical exercise can make your sheltie anxious. He will become nervous and tense. Attention seeking and destructive behavior can arise due to anxiety-based conditions. 

2. Training to minimize highly vocal behavior.

Shelties belong to the group of herding dogs. So, alert barking is naturally embedded in their DNA. Also, shelties are known as a vocal breed. But you can never stop him barking completely.

But by giving proper training, you can minimize it to some extent. Especially when you are living in an apartment, your neighbors will walk by your door.

Also, if you live near the elevator or any other common area in your apartment building, you will have to encounter neighbors (strangers to your sheltie!) every day. Your sheltie will tend to bark at them every time, which they will be not a fan of!

To minimize this condition, you can ask one of your friends (a neighbor, of course) to help you in this situation. Train your sheltie to refrain from barking by using a command like ‘Leave it,’ ‘Go away,’ or any other suitable command when your friend walks by your door.

Repeat the process. Reward your sheltie at each time he remains silent. Try this for another 10-15 minutes. Try this method regularly for about 2 weeks until your sheltie gets some progress. Especially have patience with this process.

3. Socialization.

Shelties are good family companions. They care for their family a lot. But they do not go well with strangers. Also, they are very much sensitive to sound.

So, they will bark at strangers when they approach your door. This is a burdensome situation, especially in an apartment. To socialize with your sheltie, you can do the following things,

  • Take him for walks: It will provide your sheltie with new opportunities to meet neighbors and especially their four-legged friends. At the very first encounters, your sheltie will bark at people and other pets. But you should never yell or tug at his leash. You must use positive reinforcement techniques to eliminate it.
  • Invite neighbors to your apartment.: Invite your neighbors to a comfortable area for your sheltie, such as your living room. But advise them not to approach or startle him. Be patient until your dog makes the first move towards the strangers. If he is not interested in knowing your neighbors, ask them to toss a treat from time to time to show that they are interested in him. Choose this to do at a time where your sheltie looks calm and relaxed.
  • Dog park: This is the best place for your doggo to associate with people and other pets. It is better if you can introduce your sheltie gradually to the dog park. When he is acting positively among people, and other pets reward him with treats. Consistency and patience play an important role here.

4. Potty training.

Potty training can be challenging when you are living in an apartment, as there is no backyard. One best option is using pee pads. Place it in a specific area every day, so he knows where to do his job. Keep the pee pads away from where he is eating and sleeping.

5. Pay attention to grooming.

Shelties need daily brushing, and they shed excessively. It will be a problem for your neighbors. Allocate some of your time daily to groom him.

Shelties need daily brushing, and they shed excessively. It will be a problem for your neighbors. Allocate some of your time daily to groom him.

Ms. Pavithra (Veterinary undergraduate)

6.Adequate mental stimulation.

Shelties are smarter dogs who thrive on mental stimulation. Simply they want a job to do. If it is not, there is a higher chance of getting bored, which can lead to uncontrollable behaviors later.

You can engage your sheltie in games such as doggie board games and canine puzzles.

What is the best apartment environment for a sheltie?

Shelties are best suitable for an active family living in a house with a fenced backyard. But if you are an apartment owner looking for a sheltie, there are some things you should consider about your apartment.

  • Whether the landlord/apartment complex allows pets.
  • Apartment on a ground floor with a yard.
  • Choose neighbors who are dog friendly.
  • Apartment with a dog park or nearby a dog park.
  • Try to get an apartment that has the least contact with the common areas of your apartment complex.

Suggested Reading: Are shelties good for first-time dog owners?

Things to be aware of.

Choosing the suitable type of sheltie.

You can choose a sheltie suitable for your apartment living after temperament testing. There are many other things you should consider before buying a dog.

Choosing a suitable dog park.

Choosing a suitable dog park is very essential if your sheltie is still a pup. Some dog parks are filthy. Your sheltie puppy will be at an increased risk for highly contagious diseases like parvo and also for the number of parasites in those poorly maintained parks.

Never use punishments to stop barking.

If you yell or spank to stop his noisy behavior, he will tend to get aggressive.

Take care of your dog’s safety

If you live in an apartment, you need to take care of your dog’s safety. I mean, there is a chance your dog might jump off from the apartment.

So, I highly recommend you to read the “Are dogs aware of heights and how to stop them jumping from heights?” article.

Conclusion

Here, I would like to emphasize the fact that shelties are not good apartment dogs. Many other breeds are much appropriate for apartment living. But it does not imply the fact that shelties cannot live in apartments.

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