Labs make amazing pets. They are loving, smart, and playful. However, will they be good pets if you live in an apartment?
Labs are good apartment dogs if their needs are met. To have a Labrador retriever in an apartment, an owner needs to provide outside time for the dog to run around, play, socialize, and exercise. An owner will also need to crate train their lab for living indoors. Labs are medium-large-sized dogs.
You are the best judge for assessing if you can take on a lab in your life. The size of your apartment, how much time you’ll be able to spend with the dog, and whether it needs to be crate-trained or not will all factor into whether they will make good apartment dogs for you.
Facts About Labs
The Labrador retriever is easy to socialize, great with kids, loves families, and is all around a loving and kind dog. Physically, they shed a lot. Out of a shedding scale of 1-5, they are a 4. They have a double coat, and it is pretty short. They need to be taken to the groomers every 4-6 weeks. You should brush through their coat a few times a week with your at-home brush that will keep their fur from getting knotted. (Source)
You should know that labs drool a moderate to medium amount. If that doesn’t bother you, then it will be a great dog for you. If drool does bother you, then having a lab in your apartment where the drool can end up on your bed or couch or floor, then you might not want to get a lab yet.
The personality and intelligence of a lab are perfect for any living environment. Their adaptability level is high, so they can adjust to an apartment or home with ease. Depending on the rules around having dogs in your apartment complex, you might have to crate train, but these dogs are smart and are easy to train, so it won’t be too hard.
Are Labs Best for an Apartment?
Depending on what your schedule is like and how big your apartment is, a lab can be a great dog for your apartment. Labs are big dogs, so if you have a small apartment then adding a big dog into the space may or may not be good for the dog.
Check your apartment’s size and determine if you have enough space to allow for a big dog to live there too. They will need a bed or crate set up, a food and water bowl, and a place to use the restroom inside the apartment while you are away. And you will need to keep their toys and leashes in your apartment as well.
The next thing to consider after apartment size is your schedule. Are you the only person taking care of the lab? Do you have a spouse, friends, or other family living with you that can watch the dog as well? You know your work and social life schedule, so test how those will work with owning a lab.
Will you have to take your dog to a dog daycare? Will you have to re-plan your work schedule or your social life? Whatever the case is, the amount of time you have to spend with your dog is important. Especially because you will need to plan to go outside for walks, go to a dog park to play, and more.
Labs are intelligent, so training them on how to behave in an apartment is not a difficult task. Over time with repetition, they learn new rules and commands. If you do not want them on specific furniture in the apartment, then you can teach them that. If you need to crate train them because of apartment rules, they will learn the new commands and rules quickly.
To make sure your lab is going to behave in an apartment, make sure they are well trained and they are great at socializing. They are great at socializing, but depending on how or where a lab was raised and trained, the dog might have trouble living in a small space or sharing the same outdoor space as other dogs and animals.
Labs are easy to socialize with, but if they haven’t been socialized with other dogs and you come across another dog, prepare yourself because they may become a bit aggressive towards the other dog.
What is the Best Living Environment for a Lab?
The best home situation for a lab would be a house that has a backyard. Labs are big dogs, so having a place for your dog to go outside to get their energy out, use the bathroom, and more is convenient for both you and them. Depending on your apartment, it can be a great place for a lab. But, the ideal situation for any dog would be to have access to a backyard so there is space to play and run with their owner.
Labs have amazing personalities. They are extremely friendly and are great with people and dogs of all ages. When they are tired they like to cuddle, which is always nice. They know when to run, jump, and play, and they know when to be gentler around smaller kids. Their personality makes them amazing indoor dogs, you just need to schedule outside time into their everyday schedule so they get enough exercise.
Overall, a lab is a great dog for an apartment, just check your schedule and your apartment size. You know your life best, so determine if you think having a lab in your apartment is a good idea or not. The best living environment for a lab is one where they get to play with you, go outside, socialize with other dogs, and have all their needs met.
If you want to get a lab but think that right now your situation doesn’t leave enough time for a dog, then wait and plan to get one in the future. Labs thrive when they have room to run and someone to socialize with.