Labrador Retrievers are one of the most sought-after breeds as pet dogs. They are loyal, fun-loving, and full of zeal and vigor. They are great as companions to older parents or those who are especially challenged. Their obedience and receptive nature make it easier to train them. They need enough space to move around and engage in regular physical activities. It helps them to direct their energy in a positive direction.
Are Labs Good Apartment Dogs?
Labradors can happily stay in an apartment as long as they have provisions of performing daily physical exercise and other needs. Most importantly, a Lab needs space for potty and urination breaks. As long as all their basic requirements are fulfilled, they will not create any hassle for living in a closed-space.
Labradors have a playful nature and thus need training from a very early age. They also do not prefer staying alone. Boredom can also lead to unnatural behavior in some of them. They also need regular physical activities to release their excess energy. Pet owners staying in an apartment consider many factors before adopting a Labrador. The various requirements, issues, and their respective solutions are in the below-mentioned points.
Need No. 1: Physical exercise and activities
Labradors are quite energetic and enthusiastic breeds. The main reason for their breeding was as a working dog. Before, they were useful as fishing dogs who would help in retrieving fishing nets and fishes. This sport, known as waterfowling, is common in Newfoundland, Canada.
The background of Labradors projects them as hardworking dogs. Thus, present-day Labradors, even after a lot of changes, still have similar energy. Thus, they prefer to dedicate themselves to specific tasks assigned to them. They must continue regular physical activities that help them in their growth.
Labs in an apartment may not have enough space for physical activities. Apartments with a larger square feet area or which has an open terrace above it will not have any issues. But, those with smaller space are difficult for games like fetching a ball or playing a tug-of-war.
Pet parents residing in an apartment must make sure of some adjustments. They should go with their Labradors for daily walks and other outdoor activities. Daily outdoor games and physical exercises will help them overcome the space problem. It will also solve the issue of releasing excess energy from the body.
Need No. 2: Avoidance of boredom
Labradors are fun-loving and have a pleasant temperament. They do not usually get bored while involving in various activities. They prefer getting engaged with their pet parents and other family members.
Labradors do not exhibit frequent destructive behavior. But may do so, when left alone in an apartment. Since they do not get the chance to engage in a closed space without a backyard or a lawn, they feel lonely. It usually occurs when their pet parents leave them alone for a long time. The unavailability of their human counterparts causes boredom.
Those owners shifting to an apartment must be ready for fresh challenges, especially their pet’s behavioral changes. Yet to mitigate the same, they may introduce dog crates to Labradors.
- Dog crates will make them aware of confined spaces. These will also help in minimizing the damages caused due to destructive behavior. It will also ensure that they stay safe in your absence.
- Labradors also show extensive chewing because of boredom and loneliness. Provide them some chewing toys which will help in soothing teething pain in puppies. It will also cut damages to beds, cushions, etc.
- Dog toys will provide them company against boredom. Puzzles and activity sets will help in brain stimulation. It will also engage them while you are away.
Need No. 3: Defecation and Urination
One of every pet parent’s essential tasks is ensuring that they housetrain. It is necessary that your dog knows the appropriate area to defecate and urinate. This activity requires immediate attention as soon as the pet arrives.
Usually, it takes a certain amount of time. With continuous patience and regularity, house training your Labrador will be easy. Establishing a routine and picking a suitable spot outdoors is the utmost necessity.
Most pets who live in private houses have a dedicated space in their backyard. It becomes more manageable for pet parents to train their Labs. Soon they can respond to their nature’s call all by themselves.
Labradors staying with their human parents in an apartment often face difficulties. Going outdoors every time they need to defecate is not possible. Apartments on the ground floors still have some advantages. But those, which are on the higher floors face the most challenges.
Dogs usually need to release their body waste every two-three hours. Thus, coming downstairs and defecating outdoors becomes tough. Neither can they control their nature’s call until their parents arrive to go with them. Those staying in upper floor apartments also need to supervise their pets. No one should let their pets leave the apartment alone.
Those parents living alone with their Labradors may try using dog diapers. It is one of the useful tips if you often have to leave your pet alone. These are beneficial when you are away and also between the time of their outdoor walks.
Be ready to clean and sanitize the mess in case of sudden mess in the apartment. Early house training will be helpful for both the Lab as well as their parents. Yet, you may ask a family member to go with your Lab in your absence. They may undergo more than one trip outdoors in a day to encourage potty training.
Thus, all the family members must be aware of this natural need. Supporting their pets during the early days of training is necessary. Once your pet complete to bathroom training for urination, you can also lead a stress-free day.
These requirements mentioned above are the major ones that often cause issues. Especially for those who live in an apartment. Yet, Labradors respond faster to training. If compared to most other breeds and thus makes them good apartment dogs.
Some probable solutions will help you reduce the issues. It will enable you to pay more attention to their needs. They can adapt to changing surroundings faster. It will help them to concentrate on their specifically assigned tasks and please their pet parents.
Tips to consider while moving to an apartment with your Labrador
Besides the significant issues that you may face, there are few factors that, as a pet parent, you must consider. If you are planning to shift to an apartment you must collect some information. These tips will also help those who stay in apartments and are thinking of expanding their family with a Labrador’s inclusion.
Most families prefer staying in cities for their convenience to access their workplace. Due to population inflation, people prefer staying in apartments in the modern-day world as there is a scarcity of land.
Individuals’ love for dogs is inevitable and requires them to maintain specific basic needs, helping them indirectly adjust and adapt in an apartment. It will also support their pets to live a happy life.
Labradors are medium to large-sized breeds and can easily adjust in smaller spaces. But they need training from an early age. Other than that, to enable them to behave well in an apartment, you may consider the following tips.
- Ensure that there is a park nearby where you can take your Labrador for evening or morning walks.
- A traffic-free neighborhood will help you accompany your Lab for brisk walks.
- Ensure your society or building has permissions of inhabiting dogs and makes sure the type of breeds they allow. Some apartments have strict rules and policies for pets.
- Analyze if there is a veterinary clinic nearby for emergencies or accidents.
- Make sure that your neighbors are pet-friendly, and you can rely on them for some necessary support towards your pet.
- If there are children nearby your apartment, you also need to train your Lab accordingly so that they do not get anxious about the sudden cry or noise of a child.
- Also, inform your building mates about your Lab’s arrival and gradually introduce them to each other. This activity will ensure your pet can socialize well and does not exhibit any sort of aggression on their visit.
- Invest in a secure, comfortable, and sturdy dog crate for ensuring your pet’s safety in your absence.
Apart from early training, also maintain your regular visit for health check-ups and provide your Lab with a healthy and balanced meal. However, keep a check on their weight as Labradors are prone to obesity.
Thus, with this detailed discussion, you are now aware that Labradors are quite excellent and well-behaved pets even in apartments until you can fulfill their basic and necessary requirements. Have a happy stay in your apartment, along with your beloved Labrador.