Living in an apartment does not necessarily mean you have to give up on having a dog. But is a Golden Retriever suitable for your lifestyle? Or would you risk them being unhappy living in an apartment?

Can I Live in an Apartment with a Golden Retriever?

The short answer is: yes, so long as certain conditions are met. For some, having a large dog like a Golden Retriever in an apartment is to be avoided due to lack of space, boredom, no garden, etc. There are plenty of reasons not to do it. However, contrary to popular belief, a Golden Retriever can quite easily adapt to apartment and city life, under certain conditions!

Take Your Dog Out Regularly

A garden is far from the most important thing for your Golden Retriever's happiness. At the end of the day, a Golden Retriever who lives in an apartment, but spends lots of time with their master and goes on long walks each day, will be much happier than one who lives in a big house but is left to their own devices in the garden.

Golden Retrievers, like all good hunting dogs, need to exercise and run. Their muscular build makes them very athletic doggies. In addition to the short walks you take each day to allow your pooch to do their business, make sure to schedule in two long walks a day, of at an hour and a half each. Make your dog run as much as possible. If you live near a dog park, allow your pooch to meet and play with other dogs: it's excellent for their socialisation!

On your days off, take your Golden Retriever to participate in canine activities like agility, musical canine freestyle, canicross, treibball... And if you're athletic and fond of jogging or cycling, don't hesitate to take your Golden Retriever with you!

Don't Leave Your Dog Alone Too Long

To prevent your dog from becoming bored, avoid being away from them for more than six hours a day. If you're out at work, try to come home for lunch and take your dog for a walk to break up their day. Purchase some brain games for your dog to play with while you're gone, to stimulate their mind and keep them occupied. If you can't make it home, ask an acquaintance, friend, or neighbour to pop in on your dog; you can even hire a dog sitter. Kongs or puzzles, for example, are a great way to pass the time. Once you get home, make sure to play with your Golden Retriever and take them out for a walk.

Take them out before you go to work, too! If your dog has exerted themselves enough, they'll probably take a little nap in your absence to recover. Feelings of boredom and loneliness contribute to the development of problematic and destructive behaviours. For example, your dog may show discomfort by barking at inopportune times, which can disturb your neighbours and fuel conflicts. This breed is not at all independent; Golden Retrievers often form close relationships with their masters. If you don't have enough time to devote to your furry friend, then the Golden Retriever breed may not be for you, whether you live in an apartment or a house in the country.


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Set Up a Good Dog Training Routine Right from the Start

A Golden Retriever’s ability to be happy living in an apartment also depends on your ability to set up a good dog training routine. Potty training, in particular, should begin as soon as you welcome your puppy home. This will potentially take longer than if you lived in a house, but Golden Retrievers are intelligent, docile, and obedient dogs, who will quickly understand what you expect from them. Training your dog is not optional. However, it's important to ensure the dog training is done gently and positively.

You also need to take the time to teach your dog to handle being alone. This point is essential, seeing as Golden Retrievers are prone to getting overly attached. Start at an early age with short absences of a few minutes at a time, then gradually increase the duration, until your dog can be left alone for a few hours. Be careful, however, not to leave your pooch alone for too long: your Golden Retriever will not be able to stand it.

What are the Ideal Living Conditions for a Golden Retriever?

Golden Retrievers are generally easy-going by nature and can be comfortable almost anywhere. However, they will thrive more naturally in the countryside, where they can roam freely. Having a lot of space available is an undeniable bonus for this energetic, athletic dog. They must be able to exercise every day to be healthy and balanced. The ideal master for the Golden Retriever is present, available, and prepared to spend lots of quality time with their dog.

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