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Apartment Living With Labradors: Tips And Tricks
Labradors are one of the most popular breeds in America. They are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and good looks. But because of their size and energy, many pet owners assume they cannot live in an apartment.
However, they make excellent apartment-living companions and can serve as great family pets. But it will require a bit more attention and effort for owners to ensure they get outside often for enough exercise.
Labs also need plenty of socialization time as puppies to learn how to behave properly as adults. It is best to consider how much time and space you have for this type of dog.
6 Tips And Tricks For Living In An Apartment With Labradors
There are many things to consider when deciding whether or not you can keep a Labrador in an apartment. This includes the size of the apartment, your own preferences, and the number of other pets you have.
Labrador owners should be aware of their pet's needs and ensure they take good care of them. This includes providing them with a proper diet and exercise routine and keeping their living space clean at all times.
But with all this under consideration, you can keep a labrador in your apartment. And to do it properly, here are six tips and tricks to improve life for you and your labrador.
1. Check Your Apartment’s Pet Policy
The first step you should take before making any plans to bring a dog like a Labrador into your apartment is to check with your landlord or building manager.
Nearly all apartments will have some type of pet rule, including a fee that allows you to bring a dog into the home. However, some pet policies limit the size of the pet you can own in the apartment.
Because labs can get quite big, up to 90 or 100 pounds, knowing the rules is necessary. A common policy is dogs no bigger than 40 pounds can live in your apartment. But this varies depending on the location.
2. Create A Personal Area For Your Lab
Labradors are not as territorial as some other breeds because they are so friendly and love spending time with their owners. However, privacy and a sense of ownership are essential for their behavior.
Creating a personal area in your apartment for your lab can help them learn to relax more. When they get stressed or worried, this area is a safe haven, and they know they won't be bothered.
When your lab is a puppy, this can start out as a crate so they can get proper crate training. And as they age, this can turn into a more open space.
3. Try To Stick To A Regular Grooming Routine
Labradors are known to shed a lot, so we recommend sticking to a regular grooming routine. And it is more important in an apartment because there is less space, and the fur can build up fast.
The key is to schedule grooming sessions in advance so that you can get your Labrador used to the process of being brushed and trimmed before it gets too messy. This will also help them not get anxious when they see you approach with a brush.
Ideally, you should brush your lab a few times per week but setting aside time once a week should be plenty of care to keep the shedding under control.
4. Take Them On Regular Walks
Exercise is one of the most important things you can prioritize in the daily routine of a lab. Otherwise, you will see how restless they can become, and in a smaller apartment, this is a nightmare.
You should walk around your apartment complex when first moving in or think about bringing a dog to find walking areas. For this reason, larger complexes even include small parks or designated dog parks.
Long walks can be more convenient for most apartment owners depending on what floor you live on. It is a good idea to plan a time daily to do this.
5. Prioritize Training As Early As Possible
Puppies are cute and playful, but they can also be destructive. They get into things, chew on your furniture, and even have accidents in the house.
This can be a big problem when you have a big house or multiple dogs. You need to train your Labrador as early as possible, so they learn potty training and obedience at a young age.
Training your Labrador at a young age is important because it will make them more obedient and less likely to have accidents in the house. It will also help them learn new skills quicker than if you waited until they were older to train them.
6. Get Them Plenty Of Apartment Friendly Toys
Labs require lots of attention and playtime because they have so much energy to burn out each day. You should invest in apartment-friendly toys that can keep them busy.
Because it is an apartment with neighbors nearby, avoid noisy toys with loud squeakers if necessary. This can cause a ruckus for your neighbors and quickly turn you into the unliked neighbor.
Can You Keep A Labrador In An Apartment?
Labs can live in an apartment if they are given the proper care and attention they need. They are gentle, loyal, and easy to train.
However, they get larger than most dogs and tend to have high energy levels. So it is best to check with your apartment complex to make sure the rules do not restrict dog or Labrador ownership.
In regards to behavior, labs are perfectly fine for apartment living. But it could be much more difficult without early training if they don’t learn proper behavior before they become bigger.
It is best to have them well trained with obedience and potty training before they turn one year old. This will ensure they behave well when taken around other people, dogs, and inside the apartment.
How Much Exercise Do Labradors Need?
Exercise for dogs is a hot topic and always will be debated with varying opinions. This is especially true for more active breeds like Labradors, but you should aim to get your dog an hour of exercise per day.
Doing so ensures they will age with grace and remain fit and healthy as they grow into adults. It is recommended that healthy adult labs get 80 minutes of exercise daily, but the dog’s temperament matters too.
Part of the reason why labs need more exercise is their behavior and high energy levels. Exercise can curb their hyperactivity and allows them to act with more control when inside and trying to relax.
60 to 80 minutes of exercise daily in an apartment isn’t as easy. Finding time to take your dog on one long daily walk can do wonders for their behavior and health over time.
Are Labradors Considered Good Apartment Dogs?
Labradors will not rank at the top of the list if you are considering the best apartment dogs. But they have the traits to still be great pets despite living in an apartment.
However, they are prone to separation anxiety which means they need lots of attention from their owners, or they can get destructive if left alone for too long. This wears off after the first year or so.
But they are extremely loyal dogs that only make your life better. They are energetic, friendly, and easy to train, so at a young age, you have the opportunity to mold them into the pet you desire.
Benefits Of Apartment Living With Labradors
Labradors are known for their loyalty and companionship. They are also known for being a handful, but overall there are plenty of benefits worth mentioning that make apartment living easier.
Obedient And Highly Trainable
Labs are extremely obedient and highly trainable, especially at a younger age. This means if you have a new Labrador puppy, you can mold them into the pet you desire so its behavior can properly reflect what is required for apartment living.
They are intelligent as well. Between crate training and basic commands, they are fast learners, and within the first year, you can get your lab to behave well with a strong grasp of obedience training and potty training.
Friendly And Loving Breed
Another great thing about Labradors is their demeanor. They are extremely friendly and loving with all people, including strangers.
This is due to their nature which is genetically inclined towards being both loving and social. This breed's nature can be seen in how they tend to greet people with a wagging tail and a "welcome" bark.
They also exhibit tons of patience in many circumstances. This includes their ability to get along with younger children, which is why they are one of the most popular dogs for families.
Gets Along Well With Other Animals
Labradors have a long history of being used as guide dogs and hunting dogs, but most people today know them for their friendliness and their ability to get along well with other animals.
Another reason they get along well with other animals is that they have a lot of energy and enjoy playing games. When they see other dogs, it is an opportunity to play.
This can be attributed to their patience levels, loving nature, and high intelligence. When they are trained properly, there is no better dog in the world to have around your friends and family.
Drawbacks Of Apartment Living With Labradors
Despite these benefits and how much we love labs, some drawbacks still need to be considered. These disadvantages can make apartment living difficult, so ultimately, it depends on your preference.
Large Dogs When Fully Grown
The average Labrador grows to about 23 inches tall and 70 pounds, but this can range based on the gender of the dog too.
Male labs are known to get even bigger, approaching 80-90 pounds and 24 inches tall. This is considered a big dog for apartments.
If you are short on space, fitting a lab isn't an easy task. This is why many apartment owners quickly dismiss the idea of apartment living with this breed.
Loud And Energetic
Labradors are a popular breed of dog and have many benefits. They are brilliant and loyal but require a lot of attention and exercise.
This high energy and loud behavior is off-putting for some potential dog owners living in apartments. This is why early training is important to mold them into your desired dog.
Lastly, labs are known for their heavy shedding. This is especially true for yellow or black labs because the fur is distinct if you are wearing white or black clothing.
It also tends to stick together and collect in the corners of the home. This is more likely to happen in an apartment with less space.
Regular grooming can control the issue, but it is worth considering if you are unsure about taking a Labrador into an apartment living situation.
About THE AUTHOR
Mark is the founder of Everything Labradors and a husband and father of 3. He enjoys spending time with his family, including his dog Molly, a Labrador/Golden Retriever mix. He’s a big fan of the outdoors and loves to travel to new places.Read more about Mark Brunson