CAN A ROTTWEILER LIVE IN AN APARTMENT?
Whether or not you can live in an apartment with a dog is always the subject of hot debate. For some, this lifestyle is completely incompatible with having a pet; for others, it seems perfectly possible, provided you make some adjustments. But how about with a Rottweiler? See all our answers below.
Can I Live in an Apartment with a Rottweiler?
The short answer is: yes, so long as certain conditions are met. Almost all dog breeds are perfectly capable of living in an apartment. For most dogs, it is not necessarily the available space that influences their happiness, but the presence of their masters and the time we have available to devote to them. A Rottweiler that lives in an apartment and goes out every day will be much happier than one who languishes alone at the end of the garden, for example.
We tend to think that small to medium-sized dogs will be much more comfortable in a small space, where larger dogs would quickly feel cramped. But this isn’t necessarily true. In fact, some giant breed dogs, like the Great Dane or the Bernese Mountain Dog, would be much happier in an apartment close to their master, than alone in a big garden. The same is true for the Rottweiler. It's all about understanding the breed that appeals to you.
Of course, living in an apartment with a dog of this size will require some adaptations and concessions. Particularly small areas are not advisable: if you live in a studio or apartment less than 40m² in size, wait until you move to a bigger place before adopting a Rottweiler.
How Do You Train a Rottweiler to Live in an Apartment?
A Rottweiler’s happiness living in an apartment also depends on your ability to set up a good dog training routine. Your pooch needs to learn how to handle being alone, without barking all the time. The Rottweiler is a natural watchdog. As such, these doggies tend to watch the door and bark at the slightest suspicious noise. Unfortunately, repeated barking, day or night, can disturb your neighbours and create conflict. Your Rottweiler needs to know how to deal with separation and not develop an over-attachment to you.
Start training your Rottweiler as soon as you welcome your puppy home. Begin with short absences of five minutes at a time, then gradually increase the duration, until your dog can be left alone for up to two hours. Be careful, however, not to leave your pooch alone for too long. Most of all, do not congratulate your Rottweiler when you return home. Your departure should constitute a non-event.
Another important step in training your Rott to live in an apartment is potty training! When you live in a house with a garden, this sort of training is quite easy to do. Living in an apartment, however, provides an additional constraint: you can't simply open a door to let your dog outside to relieve themselves. Despite all this, potty training your Rottweiler in an apartment is quite possible with a few small adaptations. It may take a little longer this way, but Rottweilers are intelligent dogs, who quickly learn to understand what you expect from them.
Take your Rottweiler puppy out at set times each day, usually half an hour after meals, and wait patiently for them to poop. Praise your pup profusely when they go to the toilet outside, showering them with hugs, encouraging words, or even treats - in moderation of course! Your dog will quickly learn to associate your positive reaction with peeing or pooping outside. No matter how careful you are, however, there will always be accidents. Never scold a puppy when they poop in the house, especially if the accident happened while you were out. Your Rottweiler puppy wouldn't understand why you're cross with them.
How to Keep a Rottweiler Busy
Purchase some brain games for your dog to play with while you're gone, to stimulate their mind and keep them occupied. Rottweilers need both physical and intellectual stimulation to be perfectly balanced. Puzzles and reward-based toys like the Kong are ideal.
If you can, try to come home for lunch and take your Rottweiler for a walk to break up their day. If you can't make it home, ask an acquaintance, friend, or neighbour to pop in on your dog; you can even hire a dog sitter. Dogs aren’t made to be alone for too long; they could quickly sink into boredom or depression.
How Much Exercise Do Rottweilers Need?
Your Rottweiler needs at least one long walk a day, in order to stretch their paws and sniff out new smells. This is in addition to the shorter trips you need to take after meals to allow them to relieve themselves. If you don't work from home, try to take your dog out before you leave in the morning. If your Rottweiler is tired from their walk, they’re likely to nap as soon as they get home, which keeps them busy while you’re gone! The Rottweiler’s temperament is very energetic. Muscular and tough, they need to move and exert all their energy each day. On your days off, take your Rottweiler jogging or hiking, for example.
Please note: The Rottweiler is not subject to the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991 in the UK, but in other countries, such as Ireland and France, there are strict rules about keeping your Rott on a strong lead at all times and they are also required to wear a muzzle in public. As such, even if you live in the UK where it’s not required, you may need to train your Rottweiler to wear a muzzle if you travel with them. This is something you should also take into account when deciding whether to live in an apartment with a Rottweiler. It’s important to be aware that your dog will never be able to roam freely outdoors if you don’t have a secure garden space.
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