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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I lost out on the pup because I was honest.

My house and yard are too small for a golden. The breeders house was huge and her back yard, though not ranch like was huge too.

I told her I think my whole house fits in her yard. She agreed with me that my home is too small and I was let go off her list.

I don't think I'm destined for a golden.

The rescue I found wants to do a home visit but I'm sure they'll say the same thing. My yard isn't big but we have parks we can go to so that not an issue but the house? I can't do anything about that... I'm in California. I don't have millions for a shoebox let alone a real house. I'm lucky to be where I am because it was cheap when my husband's dad bought it.

How can a golden be a service dog then? Do disabled folks only have huge yards and homes? I'm so lost!! 馃挃馃挃馃挃馃挃馃挃
 

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Hope to encourage you. We鈥檝e raised 3 Goldens. Ginger is our current one and she鈥檒l be 10 just after Christmas. We have a relatively small backyard and haven鈥檛 had any issues. She does dig a bit to get attention when we haven鈥檛 let her inside soon enough. Because she, and both of our other Goldens, want to be where we are we don鈥檛 need a lot of space. Our house is larger but whichever room we鈥檙e in is where she wants to be.
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Don鈥檛 give up, there are reputable breeders who will sell to homes without a yard. Remember though that you鈥檙e competing against folks who have it all - yard, time, etc, especially in California. Goldens can live in apartments quite well with regular training classes and commitment from owners. We raised ours in one and he鈥檚 back to living in one due to life circumstances. We have a big field that is a 3 minute walk away that i can take him to run in.

My suggestion would be to get an idea of how you want to handle exercise and training. Find good classes, maybe a place that has baby sport classes (baby agility, etc), find some open space. You can rent yards out too. And get an idea for how your everyday life will look. Be honest always, but be confident. Unless you live in a tiny studio, your place should be fine.
 

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Keep looking. The size of the house doesn't matter. Our cabin, where we spend spring and fall (and are still there) is just shy of 400 sq. ft. Our sailboat, where we spend summers cruising with the dog, is way less than that. Our winter place isn't very big either and has a tiny fenced in yard. The trick is committing time and energy to get the dog enough exercise and training. Ours gets lots, but sometimes we have to get pretty creative to make that happen when we're travelling.
 

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Do NOT give up!! During Archie鈥檚 1st year, we lived in a tiny CA beach town in a very small beach house with a teeny fenced yard/patio. Our breeder didn鈥檛 have an issue with the house/yard size. Then when Archie was 10 months old, we moved to the East Coast, where apparently they don鈥檛 believe in backyard fences 馃槣馃槣馃槣. I do have to say, that coming from CA, in the winter no less, it was a pain in the neck鈥ot for Archie, but for me and my husby. Because now Archie needed to definitely be walked 2x per day with quick runs to the front tree for potty鈥ut literally everyone is out doing the same thing with their dogs because of the whole 馃毇 fence thing. Fast forward to today鈥e now have a beautifully fenced yard (you can take us out of CA but you can鈥檛 take CA out of us!) AND Archie absolutely, PAWSitively will NOT 馃挬 in the yard (in fact I just posted for help with that) AND he doesn鈥檛 want to be out in the beautifully fenced yard unless one of us is also out there!

Maybe find a breeder outside of CA, where the mindset isn鈥檛 so 鈥渇enced鈥 in!! I mean for goodness sake, people in high rise apartments can be wonderful PAWrents just like people in sprawling ranch style homes with acerage can be awful PAWrents! You just have to be super honest with yourself about your ability to meet ALL of your dogs needs in whatever living situation you鈥檙e in! Also come up with a list of how you will meet those needs in your current living situation. I would suggest that you not lead with how small your house and yard are. Let the breeder bring it up and then dazzle them with all of your solutions. It will show that you have put time and thought into doing the very best for 鈥渢heir鈥 puppy.
Good luck!!
 

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Some breeders actually prefer the new owners not even have a fenced in yard, because there is more incentive for the owner to take the dog out and about into the world for exposure, and can't fall back on just sticking the dog in the yard for an hour so they can "run off some energy".
 

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Instead of focusing on what you DON'T have (yard, big house), focus on what you will do with the puppy. How will you exercise him? What kinds of activities will you do? How will you house train her? If you have given off that you are worried about not having a yard, or that your house is too small, it is sending a message that you have no plan to counter that. Be honest about what you will be able to do on a daily basis with this pup and why this pup will thrive in your home.
 

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I lost out on the pup because I was honest.

My house and yard are too small for a golden. The breeders house was huge and her back yard, though not ranch like was huge too.

I told her I think my whole house fits in her yard. She agreed with me that my home is too small and I was let go off her list.

I don't think I'm destined for a golden.

The rescue I found wants to do a home visit but I'm sure they'll say the same thing. My yard isn't big but we have parks we can go to so that not an issue but the house? I can't do anything about that... I'm in California. I don't have millions for a shoebox let alone a real house. I'm lucky to be where I am because it was cheap when my husband's dad bought it.

How can a golden be a service dog then? Do disabled folks only have huge yards and homes? I'm so lost!! 馃挃馃挃馃挃馃挃馃挃
You can be a volunteer puppy raiser and live in a dorm or apartment. Have you thought of being a volunteer puppy raiser? You could possibly use that experience as a selling point to a breeder.
 

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As much as a breeder would like to have their pups go to an ideal property I don't think it's their business as long as you can provide a good life for the dog. The question has come up before but I think it's invasive to make that a requirement. Not everyone has that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I struggle to believe it was the size of the house or yard that took you off the list. Was there something else that seemed to set the breeder off?
No my house is 1221 sq ft and she said that was too small. I didn't have enough space for the pen she said the pup needed for potty training. She took a while to respond so I think she thought about it for a while and said no.

I'm a retired rvt and knows commands. I told her what I'd teach. She was excited about that. But the house size is what killed it. If I hadn't said the size, I'd have a pup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
As much as a breeder would like to have their pups go to an ideal property I don't think it's their business as long as you can provide a good life for the dog. The question has come up before but I think it's invasive to make that a requirement. Not everyone has that.
Well she's a well known breeder, constantly shows, she's not hurting for buyers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You can be a volunteer puppy raiser and live in a dorm or apartment. Have you thought of being a volunteer puppy raiser? You could possibly use that experience as a selling point to a breeder.
You can? They wanted a home inspection too and now I'm scared. Plus you don't keep the pup so it would be heart breaking to give them up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I told her I'm great at brain games. I will teach sit, down, come, stay, wait, heel, drop it, leave it, fetch, free, break, and side. At least to start... But that will take time of course. We agreed no alteration until 2 years old. Everything was going great! Until the size...
 

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That's just crazy. I think I would have told her with a straight face that I plan on building a guest house for the dog, and would that be ok. Then, I'd look elsewhere. One other possibility if you aren't set on a puppy, would be an older rescue, The rescue organizations are pretty picky, but it's more about the fenced in yard than anything else, and references etc etc. With an older dog, you don't have the first year of puppy craziness that might make you feel like abandoning your home (with the dog in it). Just a thought. Good luck but don't give up.
 

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I know it sounds like a bunch of meaningless words, but really do not give up on finding a breeder. I was 14 when I reached out to Kaizer鈥檚 breeder. My family of 4 was living in a literal hotel room because we had just sold our house in Jersey and moved to a new state only to have our intended house fall through - when I reached out to her, I don鈥檛 think we entirely knew where we were going next yet lol.

She still sold me a puppy. Kaizer lived in that hotel room with us from 8 weeks to 5 months. When we finally moved into a house, we didn鈥檛 even put up a fence until he was 2 years old. We were such a huge gamble for her to take, literally any number of things could have gone wrong, but for whatever reason, she gave me a puppy. He is gone now, but that dog was (is) the absolute love of my life. There鈥檚 no one who can ever say that I did not give that dog the absolute best life he could live regardless of what our circumstances were.

(a picture of my boy for tax, because it鈥檚 impossible to mention him without one)
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You can? They wanted a home inspection too and now I'm scared. Plus you don't keep the pup so it would be heart breaking to give them up.
Their home inspection is looking for basic safety, not a fancy yard. I know one puppy raiser who lives in a high rise in a major downtown city. Recipients of service dogs live in all sorts of environments from farms to the suburbs to downtown hi-rises, so service dog organizations need puppy raisers from a wide range of backgrounds, too.

While it's true that you don't keep the pup, there are lots and lots of support systems in place to ease that process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
That's just crazy. I think I would have told her with a straight face that I plan on building a guest house for the dog, and would that be ok. Then, I'd look elsewhere. One other possibility if you aren't set on a puppy, would be an older rescue, The rescue organizations are pretty picky, but it's more about the fenced in yard than anything else, and references etc etc. With an older dog, you don't have the first year of puppy craziness that might make you feel like abandoning your home (with the dog in it). Just a thought. Good luck but don't give up.
I did reach out to a rescue but my fear is they'll say no because of the house and or yard size
 

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Don鈥檛 give up! Breeders don鈥檛 need to know the square footage of your house. You don鈥檛 need an x-pen in the house to potty train. Based on what you are saying, you are making just as big of a deal about your living situation as the breeders are. You have a house with a yard. If they ask you how big, don鈥檛 lie, but don鈥檛 tell them the actual square footage either. Downplay the size and talk up what you plan to do with your dog. Because what you actually do with them is what matters!

We got our first Golden when we still lived in an apartment (and we were two early career engineers working full time outside the home). We moved to a city house with a TINY backyard that was really only good for potty breaks when Rocket was about 8 months old. He NEVER lacked space, exercise, or enrichment. We worked very hard to give him everything he needed.

Big houses and yards don鈥檛 guarantee a dog a good life. I am SO thankful that our breeder took a chance on us. You just need to find one that is a good match for you as a person.

And even now, we live in a city house with not much of a yard. And the dogs are totally fine. Goldens are super adaptable. They adjust to your lifestyle, wherever you live, wherever you visit, as long as you can also adjust to meet their needs.
 
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