How to Raise a Dog in an Apartment


Raising a dog in an apartment can be challenging, especially if you have a dog who needs lots of space or is particularly active. To keep Fido happy and to avoid damage due to boredom you will need to focus on training and making sure your dog is getting enough exercise.

Indoor Potty Training

If you live in an apartment, chances are you can't step out 10 times a day while you're trying to potty train your dog. Pee pads are a good alternative for indoor training and can be used for your dog to eliminate when you can't step outside for a bathroom break in the middle of the day. You should still walk your dog at least twice a day -- preferably three or four times -- so he has a chance to eliminate and exercise, but the pee pads can provide relief throughout the day.

Exercise Needs and Boredom

Different breeds of dogs have different needs for exercise. Sporting and hunting breeds such as terriers, boxers and Siberian huskies need lots of exercise and probably a yard to be happier. Small dogs, including Shih Tzus and pugs, are well-suited to apartment living. So are giant breeds with low exercise needs, such as the Saint Bernard.

Lack of exercise can result in boredom, causing dogs to become destructive, hyperactive and prone to rough play and biting. Dogs who don't get enough exercise might bark or whine more, behaviors that aren't conductive to apartment living. Dogs who are bored are more likely to get in trouble, raid the garbage can or destroy toys and furniture.

Depending on what breed your dog is -- and even his age and personality -- a couple of walks a day might be enough exercise. Some breeds, however, need more active play, lots of outdoor running and chasing and even extra play inside the apartment. Consider getting a variety of toys as well so Fido can stay busy when he's inside.

Training and Behavior

Raising a quiet, well-mannered apartment dog can be a challenge, especially if you have a dog who is prone to barking every time somebody walks near the apartment door. Stopping barking behavior can be challenging, especially if you're trying to help a dog who was raised in a house to adjust to apartment living.

To start training, use positive reinforcement. Every time your dog barks at a sound outside the apartment, use a "leave it" or "stop" command. Every time he doesn't react to a noise outside, reward him with a treat or a "good boy" petting. The idea that not barking leads to a reward will sink in and your dog will stop barking to get that treat.


  • Try to keep noise from your dog to a minimum when living in an apartment, especially when someone lives below.

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