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Are Golden Retrievers Good Apartment Dogs?

Are Golden Retrievers Good Apartment Dogs?

For many people living in an apartment complex, the question of whether or not to get a dog can be tricky, especially if you’re thinking of a large dog like a Golden Retriever. There are so many factors to consider, including the dog’s size, their energy level, number of potty breaks they need, and noise (barking to you and me!).

One breed that comes up often is the Golden Retriever, but are they really good apartment dogs? Perhaps surprisingly, yes, they are great for apartments as they don’t need much space!

We’ve compiled a guide on how to have a Golden Retriever in an apartment setting. Read on to learn more about these amazing dogs and find out if they are right for you and your home!


Are Golden Retrievers Good When Left Alone?

Many people are hesitant to get a Golden Retriever because they are known to be “Velcro dogs” that love being with their people.

Golden Retrievers are bred to be companions and do best when they have someone to cuddle with. They can be left alone for short periods, however, without having separation anxiety or acting out.

You will need plenty of things to keep your Golden happy and occupied, such as:

  • Chew toys
  • Bones
  • A comfy place to lie down
  • Interactive toys, such as puzzle toys

It’s important to make sure your Golden Retriever gets enough exercise, as this will help them stay calm when left alone, especially if they live in an apartment.

A brisk walk or run in the dog park is a great way to tire them out before leaving them by themselves for a little. Another option is to get a dog walker to keep your Golden stimulated while you’re not around.

Separation Anxiety In A Golden Retriever

Due to the Golden Retriever being such a social butterfly of a breed, it is susceptible to this disorder. Apartment living is more than good enough for a Golden Retriever, though, if they have the proper training, stimulation, and plenty of love. Just because you live in an apartment doesn’t mean you’ll be leaving them any more than if you lived in a house.

Some Golden Retrievers live most of their lives without experiencing separation anxiety, but develop it when they are older. Cognitive dysfunction syndrome, or canine cognitive dysfunction, affects all breeds and is known as the “dog version” of Alzheimer’s or dementia. This condition can trigger separation anxiety, along with other cognitive symptoms.

Most Retrievers are incredibly perceptive, and your Golden will be able to notice small things that link to you leaving the house, such as picking up your keys or putting your shoes on. Even putting on your coat can be a sign for your dog.

Solutions for this disorder include CBD oils, toys, chewing bones, and even crate training (especially for the Goldens who think they’re Clint Eastwood escaping from Alcatraz).

Speak to your local veterinarian if the problem gets severe.

Here are the common symptoms of this disorder:

  • Crying for hours
  • Barking
  • Destroying items in the home
  • Potty accidents
  • Excessive drooling
  • Excessive licking
  • Moving furniture (yes, dogs will redecorate…)
  • Running away/escaping


Golden Retriever Energy Levels & Apartment Living

These are high-energy dogs that need a lot of exercise. This can be a problem for people who live in apartments or other small spaces, but it doesn’t have to be.

Golden Retrievers need two hours of physical activity per day, including at least an hour of vigorous exercise. If they don’t get enough exercise, they may become destructive or anxious.

If you’re considering getting a Golden Retriever, make sure you have the time and space to provide them with the exercise they need – whether it’s playing with them at home or taking them out for a run. Even if you don’t have a yard for them to run around in, you can still offer them plenty of exercise in public spaces.

If you can’t commit to this, another breed may be a better fit.


How Does Golden Retrievers’ Training Vary For Apartment Dwellers?

Thankfully, Golden Retrievers are one of the most trainable breeds of dogs. Most Goldies are eager to please their owners and are quick learners. They can be trained to perform a variety of tasks, from simple obedience commands to complex tricks.

Potty training for apartment living will mean buying pee pads. These are great for teaching a potty routine indoors, which is crucial for dogs living in apartments.

You will also have to have a potty routine if you want to take them outside your apartment building at set times. Remember to give your Golden Retriever puppy lots of praise and treats while training them.


Golden Retriever Temperament & Small Spaces

Golden Retrievers are known for their friendly, outgoing personalities. They are typically very good with children and other animals, and they make loyal, loving companions. This is why Golden Retrievers are often used as therapy dogs or service dogs.

However, Golden Retrievers can also be high-energy dogs who need a lot of exercise and stimulation. This is because they were bred to be hunting dogs, which makes them a working breed. But are Golden Retrievers good with kids? Yes – one of the best breeds with kids, actually!

So, Golden Retrievers are good with all family members when living in an apartment, even if there’s a small amount of space? As long as they are treated well and taken out regularly, they will be well-behaved with all family members. Make sure to socialize them well as a puppy and they’ll be just fine with anyone and in any living situation.


Will Golden Retrievers Disturb Neighbors With Their Barking?

No, Golden Retrievers bark very little – so your neighbors won’t hate you, thank goodness! In fact, these large dogs are one of the quietest dog breeds.

Golden Retrievers aren’t exactly the guard dog type, so don’t expect them to sound the alarm if a burglar comes knocking. But let’s be real, who needs a watchdog when you live in an apartment?

If your furry friend has a barking habit, don’t fret. It’s possible to train them to stop, but it takes time and effort. How long, you ask? It varies from dog to dog, but typically a few weeks will do the trick for most Golden Retrievers.

The key is consistency. Never reward your pup while they’re barking, even if it’s for something like water. By doing so, you’re only encouraging the behavior. Instead, use command words like “stop” or “quiet” to help them understand what you want. Don’t forget to praise them when they do as you ask!

And when they do stop barking, make sure to reward them with plenty of treats! However, avoid bark collars as they can be harmful to your pet’s physical and mental well-being. As for debarking, it’s a controversial surgery that’s considered inhumane and should be avoided at all costs.


Can Golden Retrievers Get Enough Exercise in an Apartment?

A Golden Retriever is a very energetic dog and needs a lot of exercise. Despite this, a Golden Retriever can make a good apartment dog IF the owner is willing to take it out for a walk or run once a day.

You can also take your dog to the local dog park or let them socialize with other dogs at doggy daycare. They need two hours of exercise every day. These two hours can be spread throughout the day, as two hours in one go will be a bit exhausting for your furry friend (and yourself).

Going outdoors is important, as they need fresh air, and it’s also great for bonding time.

As their name suggests (Retrievers), they will love a good game of fetch! Most Goldens LOVE the water, so a swim at the river or beach is a great idea for these aqua fanatics.

The possibilities are endless – don’t be put off because you don’t have a back yard!


Daycare Or Dog Walker: What’s Best for Apartment-dwelling Goldies?

A dog walker or daycare provider can help make sure your Golden Retriever gets the exercise and socialization it needs.

You could drop your Golden off at daycare and then go to work for eight hours a day, for example. This way, your Golden Retriever will be much happier, and they probably won’t get as much separation anxiety.

Plus, your mind will be at ease knowing they are getting the physical exercise and mental stimulation they need. Playing with other dogs is vital for puppies for several reasons, including learning bite inhibition.

Bite inhibition is when puppies learn to control their bites, and is best learned by playing with other dogs. This developmental process will discourage your dog from biting humans too hard in play and help them know the difference between hard and soft biting.

If you can’t afford doggy daycare, having a pet sitter check on them and take them out for an hour in the middle of the day is a fantastic option, too. As long as your furry friend gets some exercise and socialization with other doggos and people, they’ll be just fine.


Consider the Size of the Dog and the Apartment

You might think smaller dogs are better for smaller homes, and it’s true to an extent. But, this doesn’t mean you can’t have a Goldie in a small-ish apartment.

Just make sure your pup has enough space to have some playtime when they want to and ensure they have a safe space to call their own. This could be a crate or a quiet corner – make sure it’s away from high-traffic parts of the apartment and offers peace from other pets or children who may be living there too.


How to Make Sure Your Goldie is Happy in an Apartment

Alright, so they’re definitely suitable for those in apartments, but how can you make sure your Golden Retriever actually thrives in one? By following these top tips, of course!

  • Make time for daily exercise: You can also find local dog-friendly spots to hang out with your furry friend outside of the house. Dog parks and dog-friendly eateries make great options., and also allow your dog that much-needed socialization time.
  • Feed them a high-quality diet: Of course, all Goldies need this, but it’s especially important if they don’t have as much space to exercise.
  • Don’t leave them alone for too long: Consider doggy daycare if you work long hours away from home.
  • Provide lots of toys and mental stimulation: Goldies are smart dogs and need a lot of mental exercise as well as physical. You don’t want them to get bored and start causing chaos if they’re cooped up in a small space all day, so make sure they have plenty of toys and activities when you’re out of the house.
  • Start toilet training early: You don’t want them to have accidents in the house, but you’ll need to be really dedicated to potty training if there isn’t a door they can let themselves out of (when you leave it open, of course!).
  • Create a safe and comfortable space for your dog: They should have a space where they can escape from the chaos of apartment living. Make sure they have their own bed in a safe and comfortable spot.
  • Follow good pet-keeping practices: Keep your apartment clean and free of hazards, provide your dog with regular meals and access to clean water, and make sure your dog has regular access to the bathroom. Yes, you need to do all of that even when you’re away from home for hours at a time! Also ensure your balcony (if you have one) is safe for your doggo. Like other large dog breeds, these pups can escape over low railings, so make sure your space is well pet-proofed.



Can a Golden Retriever be left alone for eight hours?

Eight hours is definitely too long for adult Golden Retrievers to be left alone. Four hours should be the maximum. Leaving a Golden Retriever puppy alone for too long is also cruel, as they need stimulation.

Are Golden Retrievers okay when left alone?

Golden Retrievers are good when left alone if they have a comfortable place to sleep, food, water, toys, and they are not left alone for too long. As mentioned above, more than four hours is too long.

One suggestion for Golden Retriever owners – consider taking your Golden Retriever to doggy daycare if you need to leave them alone at home for extended periods.

Do Golden Retrievers need a lot of room?

No, Golden Retrievers don’t need a lot of room, but they do need mental stimulation, fresh air, food, water, exercise, and bonding time with their owners.

As long as the dog owner is taking their Golden Retriever for walks or runs, they will be completely fine with living in a small apartment or living space.

Are Golden Retrievers known to be barkers?

No, these big dogs don’t bark a lot, as they lack guard instincts. However, not all Golden Retrievers are the same. If you find your Golden Retriever barking a lot, you should consider taking them to dog training.

Dog owners could also teach their Golden Retriever the command word “quiet” or “stop.”

How long can my Golden Retriever hold its urine?

Some younger Goldens can hold their bladders for ten to twelve hours. However, this does not mean that they should hold their bladders for that long. Three to five times a day is the average number of times that an adult dog may need to relieve itself.

This may also depend on the amount of water that your Golden Retriever consumes throughout the day.

Can I get a Golden Retriever if I work full-time?

Yes, you can, but you will need to drop them off at daycare while you are out, as they are very social dogs. Another option is to leave your dog at home with lots of toys and bones to chew, but this isn’t ideal, and someone will need to check on them at least once during the day.

You will need to make sure that you are able to provide them with the care and attention that they need. This includes regular exercise, a healthy diet, and plenty of socialization.

Should I leave my TV on for my dog?

This depends on if you feel like paying for that extra electricity all day. You could leave the TV on for your dog if you are leaving for a short period. Not all dogs are equally fond of the medium; some may find it stressful or overwhelming.

It’s also important to make sure that you’re not leaving the television on too loud or with programs that could be disturbing for your dog. Using the TV as your dog’s babysitter isn’t a substitute for physical play and the stimulation of being with other dogs or people.



Apartments may not be the most ideal home for a Golden Retriever – any house with more space is always more convenient for dogs. With proper socialization and training, however, they can make great apartment dogs.

If you are willing to provide them with adequate exercise, physical activity, proper training, mental stimulation (playing games) to keep their mind busy, and lots of love, they can make wonderful companions in apartment life.

If you have the time to properly take care of your pup, then this large dog could just be the perfect fit for apartment dwellers. If you are interested in finding out more about your Golden Retriever, then check out our homepage.

One last tip – make sure your lease allows pets! It might seem obvious, but it’s all too easy to forget in the exciting possibility of having a new puppy!