From their handsome fur coats and enchanting eyes to their arresting smiles and overall friendly demeanor, Golden Retrievers are simply one of the most precious breeds of dogs out there.
But are Golden Retrievers good apartment dogs? Let’s find out!
Golden Retrievers & Apartment-Living
Not only can Golden Retrievers live in apartments, but can also become great big dogs for apartment living.
But before rushing into adopting your new fluffy companion, there are some factors that need to be taken into consideration first. Also, it helps to get to know the dog’s common traits.
Before adopting a Golden Retriever, you must make sure that it’s not too big for your space.
It’s often recommended to stick with small and medium-size breeds for apartment living. This is why you won’t see Golden Retrievers at the forefront of lists of the best dogs for apartment living.
Nevertheless, you can still get a Golden Retriever as long as your apartment has enough space to accommodate it.
Most male Golden Retrievers stand at about 24 inches and weigh in at 65 to 75 pounds, which puts them under the category of large dogs that need considerable space.
Another factor you want to take into consideration is that some apartment buildings have weight limits that govern which dogs are allowed. You need to check with your apartment building to make sure Golden Retrievers are allowed.
Simply put, it all boils down to the space you have.
Golden Retrievers are hunter dogs by nature, so it’s not in their system to just lay around and do nothing. Golden Retrievers often display a ton of energy and playfulness early in their lives.
This can be problematic if you live in an apartment that offers a very small space for playing.It’s also worth noting that it’s necessary for a Golden Retriever to play and release its energy, or it’ll become hyperactive and might get depressed.
If your apartment is small, you must be willing to take your Golden Retriever on plenty of outdoor walks so that it can play and have fun.
Keep in mind that Golden Retrievers are pretty smart and trainable dogs, so with proper training and exercise, they’ll be able to adjust to apartment-living just fine.
Golden Retrievers make great service dogs, and most service dogs do fine with apartment-living if they get enough exercise.
One of the downsides of living in an apartment is that you have to be considerate of your closely spaced neighbors. Put differently, if you get a Golden Retriever that barks a lot, it may drive your neighbors nuts.
Luckily, you can train your dog to bark less with positive reinforcement training.
Generally speaking, Golden Retrievers are moderate barkers, so it wouldn’t be very reasonable to expect your dog to be quiet all the time. However, with ample exercise, positive training, and the use of various sources of entertainment, you can train your dog to minimize its barking.
Another thing we’d like to note is that Golden Retrievers get something called “zoomies.” When they do, they run back and forth all over the place. This can be the cause of a lot of disturbance for your neighbors.
This is especially true if your apartment isn’t soundproofed properly.
Establishing a potty routine for your puppy can be pretty challenging in an apartment, especially if you don’t have access to a grass patch or you have to go down sets of stairs to take your dog outside. Keep in mind that dogs produce 10-20 ml of urine per pound of body weight per day.
What’s the solution? There’s no way around going up and down the stairs 3-5 times a day with your dog if you live in an apartment.
You might not like the sound of that but if you think about it, it’s good for both you and your dog. And it’s considered exercise for your energy-packed dog.
Now, if we’re being real, not everyone is going to be able to keep up with this routine on a daily basis. In that case, a Golden Retriever isn’t for you. If you manage to find an apartment on the first floor with a patio, then you’ll find it easier to get a Golden Retriever and potty train it.
Another alternative that you can resort to is pee pads. These are pads that you can use indoors for your dog to pee and poo on. Although we’re not very fond of this alternative, it’s still practical for use in urban apartments where you don’t have access to any patch of grass.
Using pee pads may be more convenient than taking your dog outside to pee, but what you may not be conscious of is that utilizing pee pads may result in your dog associating the indoors with peeing when it’s supposed to be associated with the outdoors, and you don’t want that.
Another option is getting a grass patch and placing it in your balcony. This can help mimic going potty outdoors. However, you shouldn’t rely on this alternative all the time. You have to take the time to take your dog outside so that it can exercise, get some fresh air, and potty!
Smaller dogs tend to pee and poo quite often, whereas larger dogs like the Golden Retriever will produce more pee and poo than smaller dogs. But will have less potty breaks compared to small dogs, which is good news for people who live in apartments, especially on an upper floor.
As you already know, Golden Retrievers are some of the friendliest and most social breeds of dogs, meaning they require a lot of attention. If given not enough attention or left alone for too long, Retrievers can manifest signs of separation anxiety, including depression and sadness.
It’s actually advised that Golden Retrievers should not be left for more than 7 hours per day. If you’re someone that has a busy schedule and can’t make time for your dog, we advise opting for a breed of dog that doesn’t require that much of your attention like a Boston Terrier.
When it comes to separation anxiety, living in an apartment will be in your favor because there will always be neighbors around, which will let your dog know that it’s not alone. And even if it’s not a packed building, you can hire a pet sitter to keep your dog entertained while you’re gone.
Golden Retrievers are famous for their chewing habits, so you’ll need to buy a few toys so that it doesn’t end up chewing on your shoes when bored. Also, these dogs like to move things around a lot, so if you don’t carefully store your items, it may take you a while to find them.
With a Golden Retriever in your apartment, you need to lock up your shoes, pillows, telephones, clothes, kitchen utensils, games, remote controls, and just about anything that your dog is likely to move around. Also, you want to make sure that your garbage is inaccessible for your dog.
We feel the need to stress that your Golden Retriever should never have access to leftovers, as human food can harm it, which is why you need to keep your garbage in a cabinet or so. To add, you want to hide all electric cables so that your dog doesn’t chew on them and get harmed.
But what about when you’re not in the apartment? In that case, we recommend keeping the dog in the crate for the couple of hours in which you’ve gone, as it’ll help keep it safe as well as keep your belongings safe from its chewing. Just don’t be away for too long so it won’t feel lonely.
Golden Retrievers are known for their shedding problems, as they’re medium shedders. In other words, if you’re in search of a puppy that’s going to keep you company while keeping your place spotless, then you may want to consider adopting a different breed of dogs.
Golden Retrievers shed hair all year long, but they shed considerably more in the spring and fall seasons that they do in the summer and winter. During these times, you have to be on your toes and clean up behind your dog regularly, no matter if you’re in an apartment or a mansion.
Cleaning behind a Golden Retriever is a pretty daunting task that not many people are willing to go through, especially in small spaces such as apartments. If you’re not up to the task, you have to look into adopting a low-shedding dog such as Terriers, Poodles, or Cavapoos.
Caring for Golden Retrievers
If you’re a couch potato, getting a Golden Retriever wouldn’t be a very sound choice since these dogs are built for action and outdoor expeditions. However, if you’re an outdoors enthusiast who likes to jog, hike, or just spend time outdoors, a Retriever would make for a perfect companion.
You want to make you tire your Golden Retriever out with about 20-30 minutes of exercise twice a day. This will help keep your dog happy and mellow when back inside the apartment.
Again, if you’re someone who doesn’t have the time for outdoor excursions, don’t adopt a Retriever.
We’d like to stress once more that slacking on exercise and activity can result in your dog facing some behavior problems and sinking into depression and unhappiness. It’s not easy to maintain an exercise routine when you’re living in an apartment, but that’s just the price you have to pay.
Like we’ve previously mentioned, Golden Retrievers are pretty mouthy in the sense that they’re happiest when they have a toy in their mouths that they can chew on like a ball or so, so you’re going to have to provide your dog with toys or it’ll end up chewing on your belongings.
Another thing we’d like to point out is that Golden Retrievers grow very rapidly between four and seven months. Why are we telling you this? Because these dogs are prone to manifesting bone disorders, so you have to keep them from running on hard surfaces until they’re two years old.
Feeding Golden Retrievers
When it comes to feeding Golden Retrievers, it boils down to the size, age, build, activity level, and metabolism of the dog. Dogs are similar to people in the sense that you can’t just feed them the same amount of food and expect them to be happy and healthy. It just doesn’t make sense.
Let’s take the activity level, for instance. If you’re raising an active dog like the Golden Retriever, you’re going to need to feed it a lot more than you’d feed a dog that doesn’t like to move around too much.
Another thing that you need to consider is the quality of the dog food you’re buying.
In order to keep your Retriever in good shape, you’ll need to measure its food precisely. Golden Retrievers are more than happy to eat whenever you offer them food, meaning that if you leave food out all the time, you run the risk of them becoming overweight and unhealthy.
The recommended daily amount for a Golden Retriever is 2-3 cups of high-quality dry food. You want to distribute this amount into two meals. During the first 4-7 months, maintain a low-calorie diet so that your dog doesn’t grow too fast, which can make it prone to bone disorders.
Do you suspect your dog is overweight? It’s time you give your Retriever the eye and hands-on tests.
Firstly, you want to look at its waist. Now put your hands on the dog’s back with the thumb along its spine and the fingers spread downward. If you can’t feel its ribs, then it’s time for a diet.
Grooming Golden Retrievers
Like we’ve already established, Golden Retrievers have thick, medium-shedding coasts, which means that they require a great deal of grooming. In fact, it’s recommended that you brush your dog on a daily basis in order to prevent tangling, with the bare minimum being once a week.
Golden Retrievers require a bath once a month at the very least. If you want your dog to remain clean with a shiny, untangled coat, we recommend a bath 2-3 times a month. It’s also necessary for you to brush your dog’s teeth 2-3 times a week to remove bacteria and tartar buildup.
If you can manage to brush your Golden Retriever’s teeth every day, that would be much better, as it’ll help prevent bad breath and gum disease. As far as nails, you want to trim them once or twice a month. If you can hear them clicking on the floor, then it’s time to trim them down.
You need to be extremely careful when trimming your dog’s toenails as they have blood vessels in them. If you trim too far, you can actually cut them and cause bleeding. If you’re not an expert when it comes to trimming dog nails, we recommend you ask a vet or a groomer to do it.
Another area you need to pay attention to when grooming a Golden Retriever is the ears. These dogs have fold-over ears that are prone to the growth of bacteria or fungus. You must check the dog’s ears for bad odor or redness or a weekly basis, especially when the dog gets wet.
To ensure your puppy’s ears don’t develop any sort of infections, you want to grab a cotton ball that’s dampened with a pH-balanced ear cleaner for dogs, and just wipe them with it. You want to just clean the outer area of the ear. Avoid inserting anything in the ear canal.
As you’re grooming your dog, you want to check for signs of infections like skin inflammation or tenderness. Also, check for skin diseases such as rashes and sores. You should also pay close attention to the eyes and make sure that there’s no redness or any sort of discharge.
While they’re not the most optimal breed of dog to have at your apartment due to their relatively big size and super active nature, Golden Retrievers still make for excellent apartment dogs.
But you need to be willing to quench their thirst for activity on a daily basis to keep them happy.
- Golden Retriever Dog Breed Information by The American Kennel Club
- The Pros and Cons of Golden Retrievers by My Ollie