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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,

I'm planning on sharing my life with an amazing canine companion soon. Actually, I am a young professional living and working in NYC. (So, that would be apartment life for me) Post-college, now that life has settled down a little bit for me, I have been thinking of getting a canine companion.

I've researched a lot (mostly online) and have almost concluded that a Golden would be a good fit. The only problem is that I spend 8 - 10 hours at work every day. The dog can have me completely on weekends/holidays and even weekday evenings for a walk/run/play in the park. Looking a little into the future, I want a companion with a calm temperament who is great with kids. My only concern is- are Golden pups ok with apartment life and their owners being out and unreachable for 8-10 hours per day. (I'd hate to leave the pup alone, but unfortunately, my work leaves me no choice)

I was wondering if members here could help me figure out if Goldens can handle that, considering I'll be a novice pet owner.

Thanks,
Aplusp
 

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The question that I would ask is are you willing to take pup to daycare, or get a petsitter in during the day or what other arrangements could be made. I know that uptown at some of the more expensive buildings the doormen will often take care of dogs but I am not sure of where you live in the city.

You would need to make arrangements for the puppy during the day but other than that they would be great with a young professional in an apt. as long as you make sure to get pup out and are active when you are home.... for me the clincher is what kind of arrangments can you make for during the day
 

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There are some members of this Forum who live in NYC and have Goldens. Fairly recently my husband worked in the City and mentioned walking by a storefront everyday that served as a doggy daycare center that had at least one Golden in the window everyday. I love Goldens and lived in Manhattan as a young professional. JMHO, it just isn't fair to have a large sporting breed dog in an apartment in Manhattan especially if the owner has a demanding job. I know people do it but I think another smaller less active breed might be a better choice.
 

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It really all depends on how much work you're willing to put into it. I will tell you that my fiance and I both work 8 hour days and Tucker stays crated for 3-4 hour periods before and after our lunch breaks. We have a house now, but lived in an apartment with the Yorkies. Although they are smaller and definitely don't need as much exercise, we still made a commitment of making sure they were physically and mentally stimulated. We were lucky enough to live in an apartment complex that had a TON of dog lovers. There was a fenced dog park that we took them to in the mornings and evenings to allow them to roam off leash. There was also a group of dog owners that got together every evening to have play dates. When the weather is nice we were at the city dog park every weekend so they could have different social stimulation. Oh, and the walks. Lots and lots of walks.

I can tell you Goldens will vary in their exercise needs, but most of them are very active and need at least an hour of good, physical exercise a day. If you're willing to make the effort to walk the dog two times a day, or run, or hike, or whatever - you can make it work. It's even better if you can find a place for he/she to run around off leash and stretch their legs. Dog daycares are awesome for that!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Shalva, Z's and Diana for your inputs. That was very helpful.

Talking of daycare, I will be able to afford it maybe 2-3 days a week. I live in a walkup without a doorman or a backyard. Unfortunately, I can't take the pup to workplace too! (Sigh! I so wish I was working with Google right now! :banghead: )

Also, I have a very active lifestyle. I workout and run almost daily. So, I can be pretty sure that if the golden joins me in a run around Central park, he'll get his share of exercise. But then there are still those other days when he'll be all alone.

What concerns me more is the psychological effect of being lonely for extended periods of time. Per my research, Goldens appear to be a very social breed. The more they spend time socializing, the better it is for their mental health and temperament. I'm worried, will my golden turn too shy or scared or bored or whiny or aggressive or antisocial if left alone for long hours?

I really don't want to fall short on my commitment towards his nurture and care...
 

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Would you consider adopting an adult Golden? Past the puppy issues, possibly trained, and easier to leave alone. Also, please remember it is recommended that you do not take a dog on a run with you until it is at least 18mths to help prevent joint issues. Our first golden was a retired breeding bitch who was 5 years. It was the best decision I could have made, she walked into my house, potty trained, crate trained, spayed, up to date on shots, had full health clearances, could walk politely on the end of a leash, an obedience title and past the puppy biting/chewing stage.
 

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You would probably do better with an older dog (3+ years) that is already housebroken and trained and has started to mellow out. Puppies need constant attention, and need to go out every 1/2 hour or so at first. You also have to be careful about not overstressing their joints for the first year or two (i.e. no long runs for the first year). If you get a dog from a rescue, they might be able to find a dog that is already used to being alone all day. Is your job close enough to home that you could get home midday to take your dog out and give him some attention?
 

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<i>So, I can be pretty sure that if the golden joins me in a run around Central park, he'll get his share of exercise.
They also need play. Exercise is one thing, having fun another :)
 

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I agree with everyone else that maybe an older (but still young!) rescue Golden might be best for you. I was so looking forward to taking Tucker on my runs until I realized I wouldn't be able until at least 18 months of age. Although honestly my runs would be a trot pace for him anyway ;). As far as leaving them alone - I think as long as you make sure the dog is getting plenty of interaction with people and other dogs (maybe going to the dog park on weekends, or one or two days of daycare a week), you will be fine. Like I said, my dogs are alone from 9-5, with two short 30 minutes lunches at 11 (mine) and 2 (my fiancé's). The little dogs are free to roam but Tucker is crated. Almost everyone works so please don't feel guilty about that. As long as you are spending quality time with your dog in the evenings and on the weekends, all will be okay. My dogs sleep all day anyway! :)
 

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We temporarily lived on a third floor apartment with Brady for 2 and half months. Brady actually loved it! He had so much socialization with both dogs and people. He had plenty of walks and he loved looking out the windows and the balcony just watching everything below him. Before living that scenario, I would have said no, but now that I lived it, I think otherwise. He was actually at his best weight then too.

My MacKenzie, I am not sure how she would have done. She is a more active and probably from the field lines, so she thrives on lots of running and chasing anything and everything.

I would look for a puppy that comes from the more from the conformation lines than the field lines, and have the breeder look for one of the calmer puppies.
 

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Kristen; Buddy's Human
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Looking at Petfinder:

Petfinder Adoptable Dog | Golden Retriever | Larchmont, NY | Yvonne
Petfinder Adoptable Dog | Golden Retriever | New City, NY | Alfie (Collie mix but he's adorable!)
Petfinder Adoptable Dog | Golden Retriever | Aberdeen, NJ | Diva (Another Collie mix)
Petfinder Adoptable Dog | Golden Retriever | Oakland, NJ | Drake
Petfinder Adoptable Dog | Golden Retriever | Randolph, NJ | Leo

Hope these are a good starting point for you. I don't know if you're open to a rescue vs. a breeder, but these guys are all gorgeous young adult-adult dogs that could fit your lifestyle.
 
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Loki's Mum
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Personally, I would definitely say no to a puppy, but an older rescue or retired from breeding dog, might do fine in your situation. Puppies need a lot of human interaction, a lot of socialisation, a lot of training. It would simply, in my opinion, be unfair to leave a pup on its own for eight to ten hours five days a week. My six month old boy is only left on his own for a four hour stretch two days a week, & it is in the afternoon, so he has been active for hours beforehand. Your pup will have gone through a long night of no activity, & then will have to go through a long day of no activity. My pup is rearing to go after just four hours & requires a good play of fetch in the garden, plus a three block walk before dinner ....& he has already had a three/four block walk not long before he goes into his exercise pen for his four hour stint, & that is just two afternoons a week. Golden puppies require quite a bit of exercise, or they will be very restless during the evening. Golden puppies, as beautiful as they are, can also be a real handful ....& apparently can be even more difficult as teenagers. You may end up with a puppy who barks half he night, as he has not had enough physical/mental activity. Also, puppies need taking out at least every hour for pee/poop training .....& once or twice during the night. I was off work for three months due to a back injury when we first got our puppy, & even not working, I felt exhausted with the lack of sleep. Our puppy was actually very good through the night, after the initial first few nights, but still woke up at round 5.30am for some weeks .......with last toileting outdoors at 11.30pm, so a short night for many weeks. At six months, he now toilets at 11.15pm & wakes us up between 7-7.30am, but it has taken months to get to enjoying an adequate night of sleep. We never crated our pup during the day. If we were out, he went into a large exercise pen, where he had room to move around in. In my opinion, it would be cruel to crate a pup all night & then all day, though I know people do it. At least having your pup in a larger ex pen would be a better option for your baby. Also, a young puppy requires feeding four times daily, going down to three times daily as they grow older, so you will need to keep that in mind too. I really think an older dog would be the best way to go.
 

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An older would be easier but if your dead set on a puppy they are probably the best big breed for apartments, but you will have to take out a lot as a puppy, I would also get a female as generally they are abit more independent since you are out so often


Sent from my iPhone using Petguide.com Free App
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you all for the feedback.

I'm very open to adopting an adult pet. And given your experiences and inputs, that makes more sense. But, then that opens another Pandora's box of questions. :bowl: If I get a pet (pup or adult), I'll be a first timer.

Is it advisable for novices to go for adult dogs?
Is it easy for novice owners to read or understand their subtle ways of communication?
Which health clearances should I look out for?
How comfortable are they in adjusting their lifestyles to the owners'? In general, how easy or tough would the transition be? (I guess the answer to this question depends on each dog)

I, however, do agree that if the pet has basic, elementary training, that would go a long way in helping me.
 

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Honestly, novices are sometimes better off with adult dogs. Those dogs have already gotten through the land shark puppy stage, adolescence when they don't have a brain at all, and generally have at least some fundamental skills. It's always a great idea to go to a few training classes with a new dog, even an adult. It helps you bond with the dog, and if you're a total novice, the classes will train you how to train your dog. With rescues or rehomed dogs, you most often won't have clearances and only sometimes will you have background info, including veterinary records. That's okay, as long as you get the dog vet checked very soon after adopting (like in a day or two). I think apartment living is fine as long as you get a walker midday while you're working. Good luck in your search!
 

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Our first was a retired breeding bitch. She had all of her clearances from breeding, I had access to all her vet records and best of all her breeder, that had known and cared for the dog since she was born. I chose this route, because I had a young child(2) and travelled for work, and wanted to have a dog whose history I knew. I knew she was safe around young children, had never been mistreated and would not mind being with my nanny while I was at work. Maybe someone on the forum could possibly point you to a reputable breeder who may have a retiring dog that is available or too to be retired.
 
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