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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-14-2011, 12:52 AM Thread Starter
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Goldens in apartment

Hey everyone. I just wanted to ask if you guys could give me your opinions on if you think it's okay for a Goldens to be living in an apartment?
I have been in love with Goldens for the longest but I am currently living in an apartment and probably always will. Some may say if I don't have a yard then no it's not a good idea, but there is a dog park a few minutes away from here as well as the beach and boardwalk. Those are some options for exercise I guess.

So I just wanted to know what others think based on personal experience with them or just big dogs in general.
I know some people will say it depends on how much exercise you give, well what is enough then?

Thank you in advance for your responses =)
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-14-2011, 01:01 AM
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We live in a 700 square foot apartment in Vancouver, along the water with lots of parks. We have a dog and a cat. It isn't ideal but it is doable.

It's really the lack of a fenced yard that's the issue I think, rather than the amount of space. If we lived in a big house without a yard it would be the same thing.

I find that Cosmo (now 1) is happy when he gets at least 2 hours of leash walking and at least 30 minutes of off-leash romping. The off-leash romping, in my opinion, is the most important. If we do not take him off leash outside he gets very difficult on the leash.

Finding off leash areas is tough, even amongst parks. There isn't really an ideal place to take him off leash, especially as a puppy when his recall isn't great, when people with aggressive dogs are also using the park, etc.

Many days I wish I had not gotten a dog without a yard but like you, I probably will never be able to afford a house with a yard, not while I live in Vancouver, haha.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-14-2011, 01:13 AM
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Well we live in a Town house, 1200 sq feet and my crew is quite happy, yes I wish we had a fenced in yard again, but it worked out for us very well.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-14-2011, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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I've seen some people say things like "Well how would you feel if you were cooped up in a small area for life?" or such when talking about Goldens living in apartments. But most of the exercise is given outdoors so I agree when you say it's not about the size of the apartment/house.
I also find that some people who do have yards tend to be more lazy when it comes to exercising their dog. From my bedroom window I can see the yard of a family who owns a Golden and it's always just plopped out on the floor of the yard. Nobody is out playing with it or anything.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-14-2011, 02:11 AM
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I actually made a thread about this a while back: (dogs in apartments. the misconceptions. My 2 cents.)

I think that goldens can certainly be happy in apartments!

It takes more EFFORT to have a golden in an apartment. That is a fact. Potty training is a lot harder when you are holding a puppy in your arms and waiting for an elevator or running down stairs
and it sure is easier to say "fido. go outside" and open a door to the yard, than it is to get a leash and get walkin

I also agree that off leash play is important. Finding a safe fenced in park (or a backyard someone is willing to let you and your dog play in) is great, because they do need to run and stretch their legs without leashes

As for "being cooped up in tiny spaces".. How many dogs do you know that spend time in crates? or who spend the hours that their owners aren't home asleep on the sofa?

Its not like they are always pacing/running around, chances are.. they just want to be in the room with you

With mental stimulation (training and playing) and physical exercise (walks and off leash play).. I think goldens live happy lives in apartments
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-14-2011, 02:52 AM
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I agree with everyone else... Having a big yard would be nice, but it's not necessary. Heck... having a huge house isn't necessary either...

Yes, potty training would be difficult without direct access to the outdoors, but he/she will eventually learn as they get older (all dogs have accidents, just know that some will not be his/her fault :P)...

As far as exercise, walks (and runs when they're old enough) can all be done outside on the street... Off-leash play is great, and can be accomplished at the dog park (you said you live near to). We live in a Townhouse, and the nearest dog park is 25mins away... Tobey, our Golden doesn't get much off-leash time around out townhouse, as his recall sucks, and he is easily exciteable... Bailey, our Sheltie gets a lot of off leash time around our townhouse because he has a solid recall, and heals like glue (awesome, because he's only 8mo old!).

And... As far as a small apartment goes, don't worry about it... lol...It doesn't matter how big your house is, or how many rooms you have... Your golden will be in the same room as you... probably on the same couch... or lying at your feet under your desk... Doesn't matter if you have 1 room, or 100... they'll be wherever you are...
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-14-2011, 06:28 AM
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I agree with what's been said above, if you're committed to the pup's outdoor exercise time, an apartment will be fine.

Mad and I live in a 1500 sq. foot townhouse with a small fenced back yard. Doesn't matter the size of the house in our case, as Mad is always in whatever room I'm in, and when we're home relaxing most of that time is spent in the 400 sq. foot living room/family room.

The back yard is great for morning pee time, but that's about it. She doesn't hang in the back yard alone, so although we sometimes play tug out there 99% of our outside time is spent on walks, off leash park time, and hanging out in the neighbourhood (Mad favourite hanging out time is having the kids in the neighborhood fuss all over her, mine is the outdoor coffee patio where she still gets plenty of attention).

Mad gets a min. of 2 hours a day outside exercise, including 40 minutes off leash.

Commitment to making sure they get the exercise and stimulation is the most important thing. My neighbours have a 16 month old golden, and are soon going to be moving to a house with a large yard, and I know that he'll soon just be left to amuse himself in the yard, because she won't feel she needs to walk him as much.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-14-2011, 09:52 AM
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I agree with what has been said already - it's not the dwelling that matters. It's the amount of outdoor exercise you're able to give them each day.

We live in an apartment and it works just fine. Our apartment is right around 1200 square feet and is actually bigger than our old house, so Riley has even more room to move around than he did before. (Far less interesting when the zoomies strike. lol.) We have a long entry hall where he loves to play 'hall ball', but honestly, he's pretty mellow when he's indoors. I do believe that when it comes to Goldens, Riley is a little more on the mellow end of the spectrum than others, though.

We take a good, long hike everyday - at least 2 to 3 miles at a good pace. In the evening, he gets another, shorter, walk - probably a mile or so. (I don't let him off-leash because he's dog-reactive and with his hips, I don't want him doing a lot of running, anyway.) As I mentioned, he does play 'hall ball' indoors, and we play tug, 'find the toy/treat' type of games, etc. That seems to be more than enough to keep him happy.

The only concern I would have about a big dog in an apartment would be in relation to the type of building you're in. What floor are you on? Is it a walk-up? What would you do if your dog needed surgery at some point and couldn't do stairs for a certain amount of time? That's something to think about.
Sliding doors with big screens could be a safety issue too, if you're in that style of building, on the ground floor. (Would he crash through the screen the first time he sees a squirrell outside?)
Fortunately, we found a condo-style apartment, ground floor, that has an actual back door - no slider. Otherwise, it would have been something that I'd have needed to think about very carefully before moving in with a big dog.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-14-2011, 10:18 AM
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The truth is, a Golden Retriever would be perfectly happy living in a one room apartment with its person - as long as it was given lots of opportunity for exercise.

I'm sure there are plenty of Goldens who live in big houses with big yards who never get any exercise because they're just let out to do their business.

If you're committed to lots of walks and off-leash runs, a dog can be happy anywhere. That's what I believe.

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-14-2011, 10:29 AM
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I will be having my pup in an apartment this coming year. Although, my time there will be almost equally split with my time at my home with my mom who has a yard. I do foresee some issues, but I think that we will be able to work through whatever comes our way. My next semester's schedule is set up to be ideal for having a puppy!

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