Owning a Husky/Shepherd Mix in One Bedroom Apartment?

I live in a one-bedroom apartment in New Jersey. However, there are a lot of great parks in the neighborhood, not necessarily dog parks, though. My question is: is it possible for me to own a husky/shepherd mix (love them!) even though I live in an apartment since you need to have lots of room to own this breed? Thanks!


Crispy from Montville, NJ

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November 30, 20070 found this helpful

A breed that size is going to need a lot of exercise. Backyards are useless if the dog won't go run around by itself. If you run daily or walk for long times each day, EVERY day, and take your dog with you, it's just as good as having a backyard. If you twist your ankle, or get sick though, that doesn't mean that the dog will take it very well.

There will be many things chewed on, especially if you get a puppy. You will lose a shoe or two, some underwear, table legs and most likely a few nice dinners since the dog will be able to reach your counters. You'll go through massive amounts of food, hope you live on the ground floor, 50lbs get old going up steps weekly, let me tell you. When your doggy has an accident it will be massive as well. Let's not even talk about the work out your vacuum is going to do with all of that hair, and a husky Shepard mix sheds like mad.


Oh, and don't forget collateral damage from tail wagging. Nothing will ever be safe on your coffee table again.

Really, it's not so much a question of exercise, the dog can get that no matter where you live. Just realize what an 85 pound dog is going to look like in a little space, every time the dog turns around it'll be an event. We have a bull mastiff, and we both can't go down the hall at the same time. If she needs to turn around everyone has to back up.

I would hope you've realized all of that, and it's just a question of if it's fair to the dog to not have a backyard. You're going to be forced to exercise with your dog, he'll never have to go play by himself or get left outside in a storm accidentally. He may not get to go tearing around a field like a mad man, but you can always take him to a dog park every once in a while for that.


Personally, I would never have a dog in someplace I didn't have a yard. That's because I'm lazy though and would hate taking the dogs for a walk every 6 hours and then picking things up, eww. I'm a country girl, those things belong on the ground man.

A dog is a commitment, like a child. He'll probably live to be 12 at least, over a decade of hugeness. That means you can't move to an apartment that doesn't allow dogs, you can't travel abroad, you have to come home every night or hire a dog walker. I can't believe you found an apartment that allows large breed dogs, that's crazy. I had a horrible time finding one that would allow cats in college.

Hope that helps, and wasn't too preachy, I just get so sick of these idiots getting huge dogs to replace little dogs in tiny places, and then not even bothering to train them to walk on a leash. That's how we got the Bull Mastiff. Bull Mastiffs don't replace pugs. Duh. Good luck!

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March 3, 20170 found this helpful

I own a shepherd/husky mix, my one true love, and he's been by my side since he was just 6 weeks old. We started out in an apartment (one bedroom loft, but at least he could run up and down the stairs for exercise). He ripped up the wood-print linoleum flooring downstairs, and kept peeling more of it up every time I went to sleep. When we moved out months later, there was a 5'x4' jagged hole of exposed concrete I had to explain. BAD MAMA! That's what I get for sleeping all day and not giving my baby proper playtime.


This isn't to discourage you from owning such a beautiful, energetic and intelligent dog- it's merely a cautionary tale of what can happen if we don't exercise our babies like we should.
Now, we live in a (very small) hotel room (did I mention the giant hole in the floor I still owe my previous landlord for? Good luck renting EVER AGAIN!!!) But we enjoy several 20+ minute walks each day, and my boy is MUCH better.
Even if he doesn't get as much exercise as he can handle, I've discovered that he's happy as long as he's getting enough human interaction. Even idly "chatting" with him as I'm answering emails will keep him content. Like a furry, four-footed person, he doesn't like to feel alone or ignored. Ensuring he's engaged and feels like "part of the family" keeps his ornery and mischievous behaviors at bay.

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By Ellie (Guest Post)
December 3, 20070 found this helpful

Not sure if you own the apartment or are renting? Sorry if you mentioned that in your message, I'm running late for work and don't have time to go back and re-read.LOL. So if renting, owner permission definitely needed first. Also ground floor apartment or not?


Groudnd floors are much easier if you have a dog. But I really think No, not a large dog like a Husky- not fair to it, you, neighbours.. I live in a rented second floor apartment, I like dogs, but no way could I have one here. I have two (much loved) cats.

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By Danialle (Guest Post)
December 3, 20070 found this helpful

I agree with panktty, 1000 percent. She only left out a couple of things. A dog that size is going to be very bored in a small space even if it is walked on a regular basis. They want out a lot! Also, another consideration is whether or not you work. Would the dog be home alone for extended abouts of time? It's really not fair to the dog.

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By Patty (Guest Post)
December 3, 20070 found this helpful

I own Shepherd's now and have a home with at yard, however, I raised a collie in an apartment for 10 years and she was just fine. I made sure I walked her morning and night with plenty of time to run in a safe area of course.


When I worked 8-5 she stayed in the apartment, but took her everywhere with me so she got a lot of exercise that way. Must give lots of love and attention and you will have a devoted friend.

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By Me (Guest Post)
December 3, 20070 found this helpful

I agree it's a terrible idea to have any med.-large dog in an apartment. What will he do when you're gone all day or for any decent length of time? It's not fair. Dogs get lonely, bored & claustrophobic too. Can you honestly commit to EXTENSIVE exercise with him EVERY day for the next whatever years regardless of how you feel, what's going on in your life, the weather etc. I work too but I have always had at least 2 dogs & when we're home they can come in & out to a large fenced in yard. Plus I don't have high active dogs because we're not that way. Huskies need way more exercise than most even active dogs. If you're home a LOT you shouldn't even get a dog at all. It's not right.

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By crispy (Guest Post)
December 3, 20070 found this helpful

to Ellie: My husband and I own the apartment. We live on the third floor. I remember the previous owner had a big dog, just not sure what breed it was. My downstairs neighbor has two large dogs too (so it's fair enough for my neighbor ;)

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By Julie, Melbourne, Australia (Guest Post)
December 3, 20070 found this helpful

It would be selfish and cruel to have such a large dog in a tiny apartment. Please don't do it.

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December 3, 20070 found this helpful

I own a Pyrenean Sheepdog - and for the first three years of her life we shared a one bedroom apartment. She has loads of energy, but with lots of walks and toys for her to play with in the apartment, she was completely fine.
I made the effort to drive her to parks where she could run free at least three times a week. Other than that, she was fine on her leash.
She's the happiest dog I've ever met. Now that we're in a house, she prefers to stay inside with me - even though she's got a huge yard to run around in. I think you should go for it!
Best descion I ever made.... : )

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By (Guest Post)
December 5, 20070 found this helpful

Personally if you're going to take care of the dog then yes it's fine. Like they said a husky/shepherd is a large dog, and should have a yard, but to be quite frank so long as you give it a proper home it'll adapt. I've always had dogs, mind you they've all been small, minus my shepherd cross I had 6 years back and they managed just fine.

The only problem I've had is with the one I have now and she's a small - medium sized dog, she's a pug and she suffers from separation anxiety so she rips the place apart even if I'm there and just sleeping she feels 'alone'. But she's learning to cope and to be quite honest dogs are much like cats when it comes to alone time, they sleep. I've only ever had 2 dogs that didn't sleep when I wasn't home and that's because they had each other, that and one was a male black pug and the other a jack russel, so there's to balls of energy, but they didn't run around or anything, they just played tug-a-war and if apart they'd just sleep.

But still if you're going to devote everything to your dog and take him/her with you even on the shortest of errands then your situation will work out just fine!
PS I'm getting a Husky/Shepherd myself! :) and my place is small too! but I have a "dog park" near by, so it's all good

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By Sarah (Guest Post)
December 8, 20070 found this helpful

I own a pure bred Husky and my husband and I were in the apartment with him and a half retriever half collie and a few cats. It will work out and the dog will be fine if you spend time with the dog. We took our dogs walking to the park Saturdays and Sundays. And during the week it was just around our complex. They were both fine because they knew we love them and spent time with them in and out of the apartment.

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By alex (Guest Post)
January 1, 20080 found this helpful

I have a husky/shepherd and we live in a big house and that isn't enough for him. We take him for 5 walks a day for a run about the park. I think if you take him for loads of walks then he would be ok! How old is your dog and how long have you been living in the apartment?

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By bypick (Guest Post)
January 15, 20080 found this helpful

We just lost our white-shepherd husky mix about 3 months ago to kidney failure. He was nearly fourteen. He spent his entire life with me on our twenty woodland acres. The breed has almost unlimited energy, as do most larger dogs. In my opinion, to confine them to an apartment with no place to run would be cruel. He'll stand and stare at you until you get him out to run! Please, please, please! Get a smaller dog.

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By Tom Jones (Guest Post)
January 21, 20080 found this helpful

I have a one year old Husky Shepherd and also a 5,000 square foot home on 3 acres and that doesn't seem to be enough space for this high energy dog, she loves to run and jump and swim etc. Even in the house there are dozens and dozens of toys all over and she runs through the house up and down the stairs leaping over furniture. I love her and would not give her up for anything. But please think twice about your living space and the energy these dogs need to burn off daily.

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By Katie (Guest Post)
January 28, 20080 found this helpful

I recently made the move to a one-bedroom apartment from a condo with my medium-size shepard mix. He's four years old, and while had some trouble adjusting at first (urinating in the same spot in the living room), he's come to be just fine. I walk him for 20-30 twice a day, in the mornings and when I get home from work, and more on the weekends. I live in a cold climate, so it has been a bit less in the winter months, but he's seems just fine.

We spend a lot of time during the weekend at my boyfriend's house, where he has more room and another dog to play with. He seems well-adjusted and happy. In fact, he's lying here at my feet! I'd say that there are definitely ways to be able to have a large dog in a small place, you just have to be responsible with the way you go about it.

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By BJ (Guest Post)
July 10, 20080 found this helpful

I have a 6 month old White Shepherd in a very small apt (about 650 ft) I can say that the pup has a very good and happy life. However, my life is completely over. We have a running trail right outside so she does get lots of running time. I argue that she gets more excercise than a dog on a farm. I live with my girlfriend and she has a calm weiner dog which I believe influences my dog's demeanor. She is also never by herself for longer than 4 hours. She is quite happy in the apt, but I am exhausted as I run her near 7 miles a day.

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By HMF (Guest Post)
October 28, 20080 found this helpful

My Family owns 2 German Shepherd/Husky mixes and we do have lots of space for them to run, but it doesn't really help because the nature of a husky is very aloof and they wander. A lot of the time our dogs run outside and get bored within 5 minutes, so we end up running with them for about 5 miles, and even then they still are rowdy. I love my dogs and I wouldn't trade them for the world.

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By laura (Guest Post)
January 28, 20090 found this helpful

I have two German shepherd/Malamute dogs. They have lots of energy.
I wake up at 6 am and I drive them to a park where I let them run for one hour. Sometimes they disappear for few minutes (they run fast in front of me), it's an open space. I put bear bells on them so I can hear them when I can't see them, because it's dark.

I use a whistle to call them back. I also let them to run for one hour in the evening. When is no ice on the streets we walk to the park for 20 min and another 20 min back home. Between the morning and the evening trips to the park they sleep most of the time. They like a cooler place, and they also play with each other. If I meet other dogs at the park I will let them play.

They still need new dogs to play with. They get tired better that way. If you have a small apartment and no backyard, a treadmill will exercise your dog. That and few 30 min walks/day and of course meeting other dogs (for socialization) will bee good for your dog. They need to run at the park or on the treadmill, they need to sniff and meat other dogs. It's vital.

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