Can collies live in apartments? (tips for apartment living)

Collies are not suited for apartment living. They are the smartest dogs in the world, and some of the most energetic. Collies need LOTS of mental and physical stimulation throughout the day to keep them happy and healthy and living in an apartment can make it difficult to meet their needs.

Although living in an apartment is not ideal, if you find yourself in this situation there are some things you can do to help your collie cope with apartment living.

Tips for keeping a collie in your apartment

Although living in an apartment is not ideal for collies, you can definitely make it work so long as you are willing to put in a little extra effort to keep your furry friend happy.

Here are some tips for keeping your collie happy in your apartment:

Daily Exercise

This is the most important thing to keep in mind if you are keeping your collie in an apartment.

Collies need around two hours of outdoor off-leash exercise every day at a minimum, and several short trips outside to go to the toilet.

Collies LOVE being outdoors, and without this vital exercise, your collie would not have a good quality of life, and it would be cruel to keep them cooped up in an apartment.

Don’t leave them too long

Collies are emotionally intelligent and get quite attached to their owners. They are needy and loyal, and can not handle being on their own for extended periods.

If you’re a collie owner, you already know they don’t cope well being left alone.

If possible, check in on them every couple of hours, or drop them off at doggy daycare so they get plenty of mental stimulation.

Leaving a collie at home for long periods breaks their minds, as well as their hearts.

Collies are loyal and loving, Luna likes to sleep at the door so she doesn’t miss you coming home

Train them not to bark

Collies tend to bark more often than other breeds.

If you’re leaving your collie in alone, you should train them not to bark, so they don’t annoy your neighbors which may lead to complaints.

Unless your neighbor spends their entire life in their shed in the back yard, they will hear your dog barking through the day.

The best cure is to keep your collie mentally stimulated by providing cognitive enrichment toys, and by avoiding leaving them home alone for too long.

If your collie barks all the time, it can be considered a compulsive behavior and is sometimes a sign that your collie isn’t getting enough time exercising their minds and bodies.

Get them a long-lasting mental stimulation toy

There are loads of toys for intelligent dog breeds like collies that will keep their minds ticking over and ensure they are contented for a few hours.

There are a few different types of these toys available, the most popular is definitely the Kong Wobbler and similar toys.

For the best results, stuff the Wobbler with something tasty (peanut butter and bananas work well) and freeze it. Your dog will have a great time trying to get at the treats as it thaws.

Luna loves her Kong Wobbler, it keeps her happy when she’s in the house

Collie-Proof your home

When collies are bored, they can become restless and destructive.

If you’re living in an apartment, it’s essential to collie-proof your home, both to keep your collie safe from any potential dangers and to keep your apartment safe from your collie.

You can protect your collie by putting medicines and cleaning products out of reach, tying back any dangling wires or cables, putting down carpets so they don’t hurt themselves on slippery floors etc.

Are Collies good Indoor dogs?

Collies are happy indoors for a short time, but they can’t be left indoors for long periods, especially on their own. Collies are not happy being indoor dogs. They need outdoors exercise and plenty of mental stimulation.

If you’re not at home for long hours during the day, or if you’re not able to spend several hours a day exercising with your dog, a collie isn’t the right dog for you.

Collies are perfectly happy to play indoors and will lie on the couch with you after exercising, but in their hearts they are outdoor dogs. Being outdoors is in their blood.

Collies were bred to herd sheep and as a result need a lot of exercise, both physical and mental to keep them fit and healthy.

Luna at Doggy Daycare
Luna looking mischievous

Are collies comfortable in smaller spaces?

Collies are not comfortable in small spaces for long periods, however after a long day of exercise they will be more than happy to curl up on their bed, or on the sofa with you.

So long as you give them adequate outdoor exercise, your collie can handle staying in a smaller apartment for a few hours during the day.

If you leave your collie in your apartment while you go out to work, you might want to try some of the tips on this page to keep them from going crazy and destroying your apartment while you’re out.

Do you need a yard to own a collie?

A yard isn’t necessary to own a collie, but a large outdoor grassy area nearby is a necessity. Collies need to exercise for at least two hours per day, and collies are fast and agile dogs who need open space to stretch their legs.

If you live near a park, or some empty fields that’s perfect for your collie and you can get by without a yard.

A yard helps with house training your collie, and also lets you get in more brief exercise sessions throughout the day your dog will love, without having to leave the house yourself.

Different types of Collies in apartments:

No type of collie is particularly suited to apartment living, but you can make some changes to your home to make it as comfortable as possible for them.

Border Collies in Apartments

Border Collies are the most energetic and intelligent breed of collies, and need a LOT of outdoor time and mental stimulation.

Living in an apartment isn’t ideal for most collies, but especially not for a border collie. If you want to make it work, you will have to collie proof your home, make sure they get enough exercise, and make sure they get enough mental stimulation.

Rough Collies in apartments

Originally from the hills of Scotland, Rough Collies were bred to be active working dogs. Rough Collies can live in apartments as long as they get regular exercise outdoors and aren’t stuck inside for too long.

Like most collies, Rough Collies are also very intelligent (Lassie was a rough collie!) and need lots of mental stimulation.

Bearded Collies in apartments

Bearded Collies look like big teddy bears, but under their beautiful coat they are lean, mean, sheep herding machines. They are just as active as other collies and can not be left alone for long periods. They need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.

Like Rough Collies, Beardies have a thick coat which means they also need plenty of ventilation as a small apartment can heat up quickly.

Collie Climbing Stairs in Slow Moti... x
Collie Climbing Stairs in Slow Motion

About the author:

About the author:

Hollie and Border Collie

Hollie

Howling and Growling Editor

Hollie

Howling and Growling Editor

Hollie is an experienced collie owner from Scotland and the original founder of Howling and Growling. Wherever Hollie goes, her beloved collie Luna is never far behind!

Learn More about Hollie and Luna's story on the about page!