Many of us have probably lived that apartment life at one point in time. It’s an experience that may come complete with high rent, tiny spaces, frustrating maintenance calls, and extra fees.
When you add in a four-legged family member to the apartment scenario, it’s probably going to get a little more complicated.
So let’s look at Rotties specifically. Do Rottweilers do well in apartments?
It depends. When determining whether or not a Rottie could thrive in your apartment, there are a few factors you should consider, including how much time you spend at home, how much time you’re willing to spend with your dog, and opportunities for exercise for your Rott.
Before we dive into those factors, let’s explore a little more about Rottweiler needs and personalities in order to better understand this complex answer.
Rottie Need #1: Exercise
Rottweilers were originally bred as working dogs, designed to herd cattle. That high-energy nature is still evident in Rotties today and most Rottweilers typically need at least an hour of exercise a day.
That exercise can include taking a long walk, jogging a mile or two, heading to the dog park, or even just playing some fun Rottweiler games.
However, even after that first hour, your Rottie will most likely never say no to more exercise! They are very active dogs. Plus, the more energy your dog is able to expel, the fewer behavior problems you’re likely to have.
Rottie Need #2: Mental Stimulation
Rotties are super intelligent dogs. In fact, many of our canine friends are so smart that researchers have put them at about the intelligence level of human two-year-old!
Unfortunately for us, the reputation of the “terrible twos” could apply to doggos as well. That means that mental stimulation and purposeful activity are all the more important to help keep your dog engaged and out of the time-out corner.
There are a number of ways you can provide this mental engagement for your Rottie. If your Rottie has to be left alone, provide them with purposeful toys such as a food puzzle, where your Rottie will have to mentally work to figure out how to get a treat out of a toy.
Chew toys are another great option for when your Rott has to be home alone. However, since Rotties are generally known to be rough on toys, you’ll need to make sure that you get a few tough-to-destroy toys that will keep your Rott busy for long periods of time.
Finally, when you’re able to be with your Rottweiler, always keep them learning! Rotts are very intelligent and can easily learn simple commands. Teach them a new trick or work on old ones.
Rottie Need #3: Affection
Rottweilers are known for their affection and loyalty towards family members. They love their humans and will often show that by following you around, leaning up against you, or constantly seeking out ear scratches or belly rubs.
Since they are so affectionate, Rotties do not like being left alone. Keep in mind that your Rottie needs a dedicated amount of time every day when you can pay some attention solely to them. This can actually be great for apartments since Rotties are well known for following their owners around and in an apartment, they’ll be able to have a good idea of what’s going on all around the home.
So what factors should I consider before bringing a Rottie home to my apartment?
Now that we know a little more about Rottie wants and needs, let’s focus back on that apartment question. There are several factors you should think about before putting a Rottweiler in your apartment.
- How much time do you spend at home? We just talked about how much Rotties love their humans. They’ll be very sad if they have to stay home alone most of the time. Although this goes for any home they could be left in, it could be rougher for the dog in a new place.
- How much time do you have to dedicate to a dog? Rotts are needy! They have exercise needs, emotional needs, and the desire for mental stimulation. Before bringing a Rott home to a small apartment, make sure you’ll be able to dedicate a good amount of time to loving on your Rott.
- How much exercise will your dog be able to get? What are the opportunities for dog exercise like in your apartment complex? Dog parks are always a perk, for both physical and mental wellbeing, but if there’s no fenced-in yard, you’ll need to be able to commit to at least an hour of walking or jogging with your Rott every day.
Tips & Tricks for Helping Your Rottie Adjust to Apartment Life
So you’ve decided to bring a Rott home to your apartment! Let’s talk about a few things you can do to help this adjustment go smoothly for you, your neighbors, and your pup.
- Before you bring your Rottweiler home, make sure your apartment has been dog-proofed. Are their cords laying around that could be chewed? Do you have a trash can with tempting smells sitting out? Is there a part of your apartment that needs a baby gate? Put some of these precautions in place before bringing your Rott into this new home.
- Find a special spot dedicated just to your dog. Where is their bed going to go? Do you have a designated space for their toys? These small touches will help your dog feel more at home in a new place.
Having this designated special spot for your dog may also help reduce bad “board” behaviors like chewing. When your dog understands what they’re allowed to chew on and where they can do that, they’ll be less likely to chew on your favorite pair of shoes or brand new couch.
- Teach your dog how to be a good neighbor. Apartment complexes have lots of new sounds, smells, and sights, so you’ll need to gradually desensitize your dog to this style of living. Additionally, calmly introduce your pup to the neighbors! With a good meeting, hopefully they’ll love him as much as you do. A Rottie that barks all day long does not make a good neighbor!
While you may be tempted to stifle any and all sounds your dog makes in an effort to keep the neighbors happy, remember that not all the sounds your pup makes are bad! Your Rottweiler may make several noises to communicate with you.
A few examples of these “good” sounds could include that deep-throated “rumbling” sound when he is content, a whining sound when he needs to go out, or a bark to alert you to something. All of these sounds are normal and encouraged, even in an apartment.
- Buy some busy toys. For those long periods of time when you can’t be at home with your Rottie, invest in some good food puzzles or chew toys that will keep your Rottie busy and engaged for long periods of time. They will be well worth it!
- Brainstorm a set schedule for your Rottie. Especially in a new apartment, your Rottweiler will thrive on a set schedule. Although change can’t always be helped, especially in our busy world, attempting to keep some sort of schedule will keep your Rottie content and happy.
Try to feed your Rottie at the same times morning and night. Take them out to go to the bathroom at the same time every day. Get into the same routine of taking your Rottie to the dog park every afternoon or on a long walk every evening. When your Rottie knows what to expect every day, they’ll experience less stress, especially when you have to leave them for a while.
What About Rottweiler Puppies?
Rottweiler puppies in an apartment are very different from having an adult Rottie. If you’ve raised your Rott from when he was little, you know that puppies are a lot of work! They require a lot more time and energy, not to mention the significant training every young dog needs.
Having a puppy in an apartment means there are a few extra considerations you’ll need to think about. Here are a few:
- Puppies go to the bathroom way more often. When you’re potty training, puppies need to go outside about every 30 minutes. If you live in a third-floor apartment, or if you have to walk a bit to get to some green space, be prepared to do those stairs or make that walk very frequently.
- Puppies need more exercise. While an adult Rottweiler dog needs at least an hour of solid exercise a day, puppies will need more exercise time in short bursts throughout the day. Quick play sessions or short walks will always be a favorite with your pup.
- Puppies tend to be inquisitive, and they may get into things they shouldn’t. When you bring a puppy to an apartment, everything from your carpeting, to your couches, to your electrical cords may be at risk. In a rented apartment, you could be looking at extra fees for anything your puppy destroys.
In an effort to save your apartment from your puppy’s teeth and claws, make sure you buy them a few tough toys. Invest in some food puzzle toys for mental stimulation, and also take precautions like crate training to help them adjust to learning when and what they’re allowed to chew on.
Puppies can still do very well in apartments, but you should be prepared to carry out these extra precautions and time commitments before bringing them home.
How much space does a Rottweiler need?
Rottweilers are big dogs. They’re going to take up some space. Having designated spots for their bed, toys, etc. is also going to take up space. If you’re in a tiny apartment, make sure you’re willing to give them that space.
However, the good news is, it honestly doesn’t matter how big your apartment is—or isn’t. When they’re inside, Rottweilers tend to calm down and be lazy. They’ll love laying on your couches, sleeping on your feet, or staring out their favorite window for hours at a time.
Rather than the space inside, what’s more important is the time and space they get outside. Some apartment dwellers are lucky enough to have dog parks, which is a great designated outdoor space for your dog to run and play.
Otherwise, be prepared to take your dog on walks and runs every day to get them that outdoor space they need and crave.
Remember, Your Rottie Can’t Help But Be A Good Guard Dog
Rottweilers have been put to work as guard dogs for centuries. They can be very territorial and protective. Those are natural traits for them, so keep that in mind when you bring your Rottie home to your apartment.
Apartment complexes are busy places where your dog will experience lots of interactions, so you’ll need to teach your dog how to distinguish between friends and potential threats. Make sure you have a trustworthy relationship with your dog before you begin this training. They have to be able to trust you when you tell them that man walking by is a friend and not a foe.
Your Rottie should also know the difference between being protective and being just plain aggressive. A purely aggressive dog could be a danger to everyone in the apartment complex.
The good news is, once your Rottie is trained well on when to be on guard, you will be very well protected! Rotts are very brave, and they love your families, so your Rott will do anything to protect you if they think you’re in danger.
Last but not least, make sure you check with your apartment complex managers about their dog regulations. Most apartment complexes will have pet policies about leashes, extra fees, or quiet hours.
Unfortunately, some apartment complexes also have breed restriction rules. Make sure you’re fully informed about all of these rules and regulations before bringing your furry friend home.
Rotties may be big and energetic, but with the proper care, they can thrive in an apartment setting. Provide them with mental stimulation, physical activity, and lots of love, and they’ll flourish in your home.