Can a German Shepherd Live in an Apartment?

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic

German Shepherds are among the most popular and most adored dog breeds in the world – and with good reason. They are renowned for their intelligence, loyalty, and their loveable and versatile character. However, due to their relatively large size and energetic nature, many people believe that they are unsuitable for living in an apartment. It’s time we tackle this question, as we explore the truth behind this common misconception. Could it be that German Shepherds can thrive in an apartment setting with the right care, attention, and exercise? Or is this breed reserved for people with big backyards and homes in the suburbs? Let’s find out.

Can a German Shepherd Live in an Apartment?

German Shepherds, as their name suggests, were originally bred in Germany with the purpose of herding livestock. They are a highly intelligent breed, they are protective and have a strong work ethic. And, being so smart and energetic, German Shepherds require a lot of mental stimulation, physical exercise, and consistent training to maintain a well-balanced temperament. While they are often associated with police and military work, they can also make wonderful companions in the right environment. But is an apartment, which can often be small, the right space for a breed such as this one?

In a nutshell, yes, German Shepherds can live in an apartment, but the answer is not as simple as yes or no. To make sure your German Shepherd pet won’t be unhappy in an apartment you will have to make sure that they have all the comforts of living that they need. Remember that these are no small doggos – German Shepherds are large, typically weighing between 50 to 90 pounds (23 to 41 kilograms), and are a very active breed, so you will need to make sure you can provide them with adequate living space and lifestyle suited to their nature before adopting one. Here are some things you need to have in mind if you’re an apartment dweller and want to get a German Shepherd:

  • Provide Physical Exercise

German Shepherds are highly active dogs and require regular exercise. Daily walks, playtime, and interactive toys can help fulfill their physical and mental needs. Utilize nearby parks or dog-friendly areas to provide them with ample opportunities to run and explore. They won’t be able to do this in an apartment, so it’s up to you to compensate.

  • Stimulate Their Keen Minds

Engage your German Shepherd's mind with  puzzles, obedience training, and interactive games. Mental stimulation is vital to prevent boredom, which can lead to destructive behavior. And since there’s not a lot to do in an apartment, you will have to work hard to keep boredom at bay. Unique interactive toys such as  this one can greatly help with this. It will keep your pooch motivated with treats and make sure they use their minds – and their nose – to earn that yummy reward.

  • Organize Indoor Activities

Sometimes, you won’t be able to go out and have to make do with staying indoors. But apartments can still offer opportunities for indoor activities suited to a large breed dog. You just have to be imaginative. Teach your German Shepherd new tricks, practice obedience training, or set up an obstacle course indoors to keep them active and entertained. With simple gadgets such as  this one, you can efficiently combine fun and exercise while staying inside. It essentially mimics a tug-of-war game you can play with your pet, but doesn’t require a lot of space or your presence – a win-win situation for busy apartment dwellers.

Consider Rules and Regulations, As Well As the Location Before Adopting

Before bringing a German Shepherd into an apartment, it is essential to consider the specific regulations and restrictions of your building or neighborhood. Think ahead: is your apartment building really far from parks and playgrounds? Are you on the 20th floor? What are your neighbors like, and are there any restrictions? All of this can influence your pet’s life in the apartment. 

Of course, some places may have breed or size restrictions, while others might require additional pet deposits or have specific rules regarding dog ownership. It is crucial to ensure that your living arrangement is suitable and compliant with all necessary guidelines.

Once you know that you have a good basis for living together with your German Shepherd in an apartment, the only thing left to do is to welcome your four-legged best friend into your life and your living space. 

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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