The Old English Sheepdog, with its distinctive shaggy coat and amiable nature, is a breed that captures the hearts of many. Known for their playful demeanor and herding instincts, these dogs are often a popular choice among families and individuals alike. However, for those living in apartments, the suitability of an Old English Sheepdog for such a living arrangement is a common concern. This article will explore various aspects of raising an Old English Sheepdog in an apartment, including temperament, space requirements, exercise needs, grooming, and overall care.

1. Understanding the Old English Sheepdog’s Temperament

a. Friendly and Sociable Nature

Old English Sheepdogs are known for their friendly and sociable nature. They are affectionate with their families and usually good-natured with strangers, making them great companions. Their sociability also means they crave interaction and do not like being left alone for long periods.

b. Intelligence and Trainability

These dogs are intelligent and generally respond well to training, though they can sometimes be stubborn. Positive reinforcement techniques work best with this breed. Their intelligence also means they require mental stimulation to prevent boredom.

2. Space Requirements for an Old English Sheepdog

a. Large Size Considerations

Old English Sheepdogs are a large breed, which can be challenging in smaller living spaces like apartments. While they are adaptable, potential owners should consider whether they can provide enough space for a dog of this size to live comfortably.

b. Creating a Suitable Living Environment

It’s essential to provide an Old English Sheepdog with a comfortable living space in an apartment. This includes a designated sleeping area, water access, and stimulation toys. Despite their size, they can adapt to apartment living if their needs are met.

3. Exercise and Stimulation Needs

a. Physical Exercise Requirements

Old English Sheepdogs have moderate exercise needs. They require daily walks and playtime to maintain their physical health and mental well-being. Lack of exercise can lead to destructive behavior and obesity.

b. Mental Stimulation

Mental stimulation is as essential as physical exercise for Old English Sheepdogs. Puzzle toys, training exercises, and interactive play can help keep their minds active. This is especially important in an apartment setting where space for physical activity might be limited.

4. Grooming and Health Care

a. Grooming Needs

One of the most notable features of the Old English Sheepdog is their long, shaggy coat, which requires regular grooming. This includes daily brushing to prevent matting and regular baths. Good grooming is essential in an apartment to maintain cleanliness and the health of the coat.

b. Health Considerations

Old English Sheepdogs are generally healthy but can be prone to certain genetic conditions like hip dysplasia and eye problems. Regular veterinary check-ups and a balanced diet are essential for their health. In an apartment, keeping them at a healthy weight is also crucial to avoid joint stress.

5. Training for Apartment Living

a. Obedience Training

Effective obedience training is essential for an Old English Sheepdog living in an apartment. They should learn basic commands and house manners to ensure they are well-behaved indoors. Crate training can also be beneficial for managing their space and routine.

b. Noise Control

Old English Sheepdogs can be vocal, and training them to control their barking is important in an apartment setting. Providing enough mental and physical stimulation can help reduce unnecessary barking.

6. Socialization and Interaction

a. Socialization Needs

Proper socialization is vital for Old English Sheepdogs, especially in an apartment. Exposure to different people, animals, and environments is vital in helping them become well-adjusted adults. This includes meeting different people and other animals.

b. Interaction with Community

Living in an apartment means close interactions with neighbors and other pets. Ensuring your Old English Sheepdog is well-trained, socialized, and respectful of shared spaces is important. Regular socialization can help them adapt to a variety of people and environments.

7. Considerations for Potential Owners in Apartments

a. Space and Exercise

Prospective owners should consider an Old English Sheepdog’s space and exercise requirements. While they can adapt to apartment living, they need sufficient space and regular exercise to stay healthy and happy.

b. Commitment to Grooming

The grooming needs of an Old English Sheepdog are significant and require a commitment from the owner. Regular brushing and grooming are essential to prevent matting and maintain their coat, especially in an apartment setting.


An Old English Sheepdog can live in an apartment, but it requires dedication from the owner. Understanding their need for exercise, mental stimulation, and consistent grooming is key to ensuring a healthy and happy life for the dog and the owner. With the proper care and environment, an Old English Sheepdog can be a joyful and


Frequently Asked Questions An Apartment Owner Might Ask Before Getting An Old English Sheepdog

1. How Much Exercise Does an Old English Sheepdog Need in an Apartment?

Old English Sheepdogs require moderate exercise to maintain their health and happiness. They should have daily walks and playtime in an apartment setting, totaling 45 to 60 minutes daily. Adequate exercise is essential for their physical health, mental stimulation, and preventing boredom-related behaviors.

2. Are Old English Sheepdogs Suitable for Apartment Living?

While Old English Sheepdogs can adapt to apartment living, their size and grooming needs can be challenging. They are large dogs that require sufficient space and regular grooming. Prospective owners should ensure they can provide adequate exercise and care for these needs in an apartment setting.

3. Do Old English Sheepdogs Bark a Lot, and Will They Disturb Neighbors?

Old English Sheepdogs can be vocal, particularly when bored or with insufficient exercise. However, excessive barking can be managed with proper training and adequate exercise. Socialization from a young age can also help them become more adaptable to apartment living.

4. Is It Difficult to Train an Old English Sheepdog in an Apartment?

Training an Old English Sheepdog in an apartment is manageable due to their intelligence and eagerness to please. However, their size and energy level can make training a challenge. Consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are key for successful training.

5. Can Old English Sheepdogs Be Left Alone in an Apartment?

Old English Sheepdogs prefer companionship and may develop separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods. If they must be left alone, it should be for only a few hours, and they should be provided with toys and a comfortable environment to minimize stress.

6. Are Old English Sheepdogs Good with Children and Other Pets?

Old English Sheepdogs are generally good with children and can get along with other pets if properly socialized from a young age. Their gentle and playful nature makes them great family pets. However, due to their size, interactions with small children and pets should be supervised.

7. What Are the Common Health Concerns for Old English Sheepdogs?

Common health concerns for Old English Sheepdogs include hip dysplasia, certain types of cancer, and eye problems. Regular veterinary check-ups and a balanced diet are essential for their health. In an apartment setting, monitoring their exercise and diet to prevent obesity is crucial.

8. How Do I Ensure My Old English Sheepdog Gets Enough Mental Stimulation in an Apartment?

Mental stimulation for an Old English Sheepdog in an apartment can include interactive toys, puzzle feeders, and regular play sessions. Teaching them new tricks and engaging in mentally stimulating activities can help prevent boredom and keep them mentally sharp.

9. What Is the Grooming Requirement for an Old English Sheepdog in an Apartment?

Old English Sheepdogs have a thick, shaggy coat that requires regular grooming. This includes daily brushing to prevent matting, regular bathing, and possibly professional grooming services. Consistent grooming is essential to maintain their coat’s health and manage shedding in an apartment.

10. How Do I Manage an Old English Sheepdog’s Energy in a Limited Space?

Managing an Old English Sheepdog’s energy in a limited space like an apartment involves ensuring sufficient daily exercise. Regular walks, playtime, and mental stimulation activities are essential. Indoor play and training can also help to keep them active and engaged.

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