Can A German Pointer Be Happy In An Apartment?

German Pointers make lovely companions. They are an extremely affectionate breed of dogs who are happiest when their family is nearby. As such, German Pointers are not good at living outdoors away from their owners. But being unhappy when kept outside does not mean that a German Pointer will be happy to be locked in an apartment with no access to the outdoors.

German Pointers are very high-energy dogs who are not ideally suited for apartment living. However, some factors can increase their chances of happily living in an apartment:

  • Owners staying at home
  • Going with when their owner goes out
  • Diligent exercise
  • Active owners
  • Mental stimulation

German Pointers will not typically be happy to live in an apartment. In this article, we discuss why and also the ways in which you can increase the chances of a German Pointer being content to live in an apartment.

Are German Pointers Good Apartment Dogs?

German Pointers are high-energy dogs who need plenty of daily exercise to stay fit, healthy, stimulated, and calm.

Access to an enclosed garden and sufficient dedicated exercise and training times with their humans are the ideal living conditions for German Pointers. As such, German Pointers are not well-suited for apartment life.

Not only is there no access to the outdoors, but apartments have notoriously small square footage, so a German Pointer could not expend their excess energy inside—at least, not without causing some property damage. 

Another issue with keeping a German Pointer in an apartment is the fact that when they are bored or under-stimulated, German Pointers can start to engage in nuisance behaviors like barking.

In an apartment building, your neighbors are so close by and on all sides, so this is not going to make you a popular resident.

How Much Exercise Do German Pointers Need?

As mentioned before, German Pointers are high-energy dogs. But just how much energy do these bird dogs have, and how much exercise do they need?

A quick walk around the block is not going to cut it for a German Pointer. In fact, two or three laps of the block are not really going to make a dent in a German Pointer’s energy levels either.

German Pointers have the energy it takes to be out all day in the hunting field, performing mental and physical tasks. So, at the very least, a German Pointer needs one full hour of high-intensity exercise every day.

Without access to an outdoor area, German Pointers who live in apartments will not be able to run off their excess energy alone. This means that their owners will need to provide more than this hour of exercise each day.

However, something you have to be aware of is conditioning. Just because your German Pointer has the energy for a four-mile run does not mean that they are fit enough for this.

Instead of jumping straight into endurance running, start with some long walks with short spurts of running, and slowly build it up.

The exercise requirements of a German Pointer make them ideal companions for active owners.

Ways To Increase The Chances Of A German Pointer Being Happy In An Apartment

Stay At Home With Your German Pointer

German Pointers will be happier to live in an apartment if their owners spend most of the day with them.

German Pointers are very attached to their human families, so their absence will make the apartment situation less ideal because they will feel the confinement more keenly. Additionally, they may start nuisance barking while you are away, irritating your neighbors.

However, staying at home all day is not always possible, although more people are working from home these days. If you have a full-time job that requires you to go out, then keeping a German Pointer in an apartment is not recommended.

If there are multiple people living in an apartment and someone is always at home, then your German Pointer is not going to be left alone, which it dislikes intensely. There is also always someone to take it for exercise if it needs to expend some energy.

Take Your German Pointer With You When You Go Out

Obviously, you will not be able to take your German Pointer everywhere with you. But if you take them along when you go to visit a friend, they will be much happier than being left alone in the apartment.

Furthermore, you can choose to visit recreational hang-outs that permit dogs.

Be Diligent With Exercising Your German Pointer

As mentioned previously, a German Pointer requires at least one hour of vigorous activity each day.

The following are great ways to exercise your German Pointer when you do not have access to a yard. Remember that your German Pointer needs to be well-trained in order to safely and happily be exercised in public areas.

  1. Visits to the dog park. These make great quick outings or weekend activities. Your German Pointer will also get a chance to interact with other dogs, which is a further stimulation.
  2. Hiking. Take your German Pointer out with you when you hit the trails. They are excellent company and perfectly capable of keeping up.
  3. Cycling. If you are a cyclist, this does not mean that your exercise sessions need to exclude your German Pointer. They can keep up with you by running.
  4. Running. Your German Pointer has the endurance to keep up with you on a four-mile run, maybe even more.
  5. Agility training. If you are interested in canine sports, agility training is ideal for German Pointers, and you can join a great community.

Be An Active Owner

If a German Pointer has an active owner, the chances are higher that their exercise needs will be met because they can go running, cycling, hiking, etc., with their active owner.

Active owners are also more likely to engage in outdoor recreational activities of which their German Pointers can be a part.

Keep Your German Pointer Mentally Stimulated

When you live in an apartment, you do not always have the opportunity to pop outside and give your German Pointer a quick exercise session. To try and alleviate their extra energy at times like these, you can engage them in mentally stimulating tasks.

Practice their obedience training (which is a critical part of owning a German Pointer) or teach them to do fun and clever tricks.

You can even try setting up a mini obstacle course in your house using your furniture and other items. Teach your German Pointer to go through the different points of the obstacle course.

Can German Shorthaired Pointers Live With Cats?

Cats can be excellent apartment companions. But usually, if someone has an apartment cat, this cat is an indoor-only cat. This means that they should be permitted access to the entire apartment. Having to share the apartment with a cat-chasing dog is not a feasible option.

So, can German Shorthaired Pointers live with cats? Most dogs can live with a cat if they have been properly socialized together from a young age.

However, you have to be diligent and vigilant if you are going to keep a cat and a German Shorthaired Pointer in the same apartment.

German Shorthaired Pointers are bred for hunting birds and small game, and they have a high prey drive, so they may find it irresistible to chase your cat, even if they grew up together.

Your German Shorthaired Pointer might not have any intentions of actually inflicting harm, but it is not fair to your cat they get harassed in their own home.


German Pointers are very high-energy dogs. This makes them ill-suited for the style of living that apartments typically provide. However, with the right kind of owner, a German Pointer can be quite happy to live in a smaller home without access to a yard.

To keep a German Pointer happy while living in an apartment, it is best if the owners are present for most of the day and, when possible, take their dogs with them when they go out.

Furthermore, a German Pointer who is diligently provided with sufficient exercise (easier if the owner lives an active life themselves) and is kept mentally stimulated will adapt better to living in an apartment.


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