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Hi,
I would just like to have some help from experienced dog or golden retriever owners. I would like to get a golden but just want some help before hand.

My situation will be living in a house with a yard for about 7 months out of the year and then in an apartment 85m2 for the rest of the year as I rent the house during peak holiday seasons. Will a golden adapt well to this change?
The apartment is in the main square of a small touristy town in France so its very easy to go outside when need be although there will be noise in the summer months. I also have a cat.

I run my own business as a photographer so I work from home 90% of the time. Although I photograph weddings, so for about 6 months out of the year he/she will be alone with the cat for the day until I come home. Will he/she be ok for 1 max 2 days like that per week?

I can realistically give he/she 1hr exercise sometimes more per day.

Considering all these things will a golden retriever be a good fit into my lifestyle?

Is there any other breeds that I should consider instead?

Thank you for any advice.
Michael
 

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I don't think the cat or the change in location is the issue, My concern would be the lack of exercise and companionship for when the dog "will be alone with the cat until I come home." Goldens need to be exercised more than once a day. We minimally walk Oscar 4 times a day and two of those walks are long. Goldens also do not do well alone for long periods of time.
 

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Thanks for getting back to me. If I was to break up exercise to 1hr in the morning 1 hr in the evening would that be ok? I am not including the general of going out around town type walk, (shops, coffee sort of thing.)
In regards to being alone, it would be a maximum of 12 hrs I estimate, and if need be I have had my brother in law and a close friend say that I can leave him/her with them for the day but it would be once a week so I know its a lot to ask.
 

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12 hours is far too long for any dog to be alone. When I was working full time and there was no one at home I put off getting a dog. After retiring I had the time necessary to be present for Oscar. Sounds like you may need to wait until your lifestyle aligns better with the needs of a dog.
 

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FWIW I think you could make it work. I don't think the change of households will be a problem, and all my dogs have gotten by on less exercise than you think you can give your dog (although I would make finding a breeder who breeds low key dogs a priority... you are not an ideal candidate for a dog bred to hunt or work).

The main red flag is those 12 hour days, but I think you can find a solution to that too. Do they have doggie daycares in France? Could a pet sitter or friend come in once or twice a day to give them not only a potty break but some exercise and companionship? Might the dog be able to spend the day with another stay-at-home friend? Or maybe a retired person? If the dog has spent most of the day home alone, are you committed to giving him quality time when you get home?

You also will need to think about how you can adjust your life when the dog is a puppy. All my statements above are for an adult dog. A puppy will not be able to go as long without potty breaks and play sessions (the common estimate is no more than 1 hour more than the pup's age in months... so a max of three hours at a stretch for an 8 week old puppy). My pups have all been able to pull a "normal" work day (8-10 hours), as long as they had 2-3 significant breaks from puppy sitters in the course of the day (I try not to have my adults go more than 7 hours without a potty break), but I wouldn't have wanted them to go 12 hours alone, whether they had potty breaks or not.

BTW - The above is all true regardless of the breed you buy. This is mostly about companionship, which is as important for a toy poodle as it is for a Golden.
 

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I'm not sure with France, but I currently live in a one bedroom apartment with a puppy and a cat. When we are not home, he is crated. If either of us are going to be gone for any more than 3-4 hours, we have a puppy sitter come and spend time with him until we're home :)

If our puppy sitter is unavailable, I take him to doggy daycare :) That's not preferred because they won't let him interact with the other dogs because he's intact and he's still in a isolated room, but they walk him twice, give him a kong, and I pay extra for them to give him 2 hours of individual play time broken up throughout the day.

I would say those long hours will definitely be a problem if you can't find a reliable pet sitter, but the cat, apartment, etc, hasn't been hard :)
 

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Honestly, I think you'll be fine. One long day alone per week isn't a problem IMHO. You might need someone to help out while the dog is young and unable to "hold it" for that long, but once he/she has reached adulthood, you should be ok. I know several dogs that are alone at home from 8 in the morning until 5 in the evening, 5 days a week, and they are ok because the owners make the dogs the priority in the evenings and on weekends. The dogs live great lives. Your dog will only be alone for one day and will have you at home the rest of the time. It sounds like a good arrangement to me. We all have to work for a living and our pets learn to live with our schedules. In an ideal world a dog would never be left alone for more than three or four hours at a time, but the world isn't ideal. In your case, your dog will also be living in a country where dogs are widely accepted in public, much more so than is the case in North America, so he/she is lucky in that respect! When I lived in Europe I used to take my dog with me to the restaurant, to the stores, on public transportation - pretty much everywhere.

Best of luck.
 

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Honestly, I think you'll be fine. One long day alone per week isn't a problem IMHO. You might need someone to help out while the dog is young and unable to "hold it" for that long, but once he/she has reached adulthood, you should be ok. I know several dogs that are alone at home from 8 in the morning until 5 in the evening, 5 days a week, and they are ok because the owners make the dogs the priority in the evenings and on weekends. The dogs live great lives. Your dog will only be alone for one day and will have you at home the rest of the time. It sounds like a good arrangement to me. We all have to work for a living and our pets learn to live with our schedules. In an ideal world a dog would never be left alone for more than three or four hours at a time, but the world isn't ideal. In your case, your dog will also be living in a country where dogs are widely accepted in public, much more so than is the case in North America, so he/she is lucky in that respect! When I lived in Europe I used to take my dog with me to the restaurant, to the stores, on public transportation - pretty much everywhere.

Best of luck.
Thanks for the reply.
I have got a couple of people in mind who might be able to help out. I have also found a dog sitter and walker in my town. Considering it would only be 1 day p/w maximum 2 on the odd occurence that I would be gone the whole it might be feasible depending on the cost of the walker and availability. I work from home 90% of the time and yes very true, in France I can take the dog anywhere even certain restaurants, so he/she would come with me most of the time.
 

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Agree with ceegee.
But I will add that:
1) It depends on the dog — my guy is super mellow and loves the low key life, YMMV. We take him everywhere — he rides to and from school in the car with my kids every day; errands out; he’s always in the house with us unless he’s napping on his bed in the garage or out in the backyard playing and exploring. He’s not a big runner and kind of lazy. Haha!
2) When they are puppies they need gobs of attention. I mean Round. The. Clock. You have to crate train, house train, play, keep them from chewing (and they will chew EVERYTHING), leash train, command train and sleep train. They need to pee and poop in the middle of the night — every night — when they’re little and my Odin had pretty bad separation anxiety from night one. He cried all night unless my hand was physically on him. It was a LOT of work. (Especially at 2AM in January). All that training is definitely worth it for the fantastic friend you get when they stop chewing and peeing in the house and can walk on a leash without choking themselves. But it’s WORK.
Just a warning.
 
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