Are Golden Retrievers Good Apartment Dogs?

By John Martin - November 14, 2023

Golden Retriever on couch in an apartment
It’s simply impossible to walk past a fluffy Golden Retriever without wanting one of your own. These charmers with their handsome fur coat, heart-capturing smiles and gorgeous eyes have earned a reputation of being the ultimate house dog.

And, if you always wanted to get a Golden Retriever but haven’t yet worked up the courage to bring one home because you live in an apartment, then it may be time to think again. While you may shy away from the thought of bringing home a Golden Retriever because you think that your apartment may be too small to accommodate the powerful and energetic personality of the pooch, then it’s time to let go of all your doubts.

In this article, we will discuss all there is to know about Golden Retrievers and how they can be great apartment dogs. Golden Retrievers are very popular dogs because of their intelligence, charming and friendly personality. They are highly energetic dogs and their excellent temperament makes them among the most beloved dogs in the world. Apart from having a great attitude, Golden Retrievers are very easy to train and are great family dogs.

However, before you decide to bring a Golden Retriever home, you must ask the question, are these dogs good for apartments? There are many factors to consider before you decide to bring home a Golden Retriever; we’ll take a look at the most important ones below.


Golden Retrievers are medium-sized dogs and are usually 23-24 inches high and weigh around 65-75 lb. Usually, females have a slightly smaller stature compared to male Golden Retrievers and if you live in an apartment, the size of the dog can be an issue. Golden Retrievers need their own space and if you are a large family living in a 2-bedroom apartment, then you may find that space is a problem.

However, if you live alone or live with your partner in an apartment, there is no reason why you can’t get a Golden Retriever. Also, if you have a large apartment, then you could consider getting one. With plenty of space, a Golden Retriever can be a great addition to your family. But, the most important thing is that your pet should be comfortable in your home and have a safe space.


A Golden Retriever is a working and hunting dog and exercise is the top priority. Your pet needs at least 20-30 minutes of vigorous exercise daily in order to maintain his weight and keep his body and mind stimulated and healthy. However, exercising your pet may be a major problem when you live in an apartment.

Your pooch can get very bored without exercise and this could result in him becoming hyperactive, leading to destructive behavior. However, in an apartment scenario without a lot of space and an open yard, how is it possible to exercise the dog?

Well, this can be quite simple. If you don’t have sufficient space inside your home, there is always plenty of space outside. Walking your pet around the neighborhood can provide plenty of exercise. If you have a dog park or even a regular park in your area, you can take your dog for a run. Generally, Golden Retrievers are friendly dogs and are not aggressive, which works well when they meet other dogs and people.

So, you can safely take your pet to any public place without any issues. You can let them run around the park and because they are natural retrievers, they love to play fetch. However, make sure that you have a leash so that you can keep an eye on your Golden Retriever and if he is behaving in an unruly fashion, you can just tug on the leash and say ‘no’.


Golden Retrievers have a dense fur coat, which means that they shed a lot compared to other breeds. In summer and winter months, they shed hair; however, the shedding is a lot more in the spring and fall seasons. During these times, you need to be on your toes, irrespective of whether you’re in a large house or an apartment.


Golden Retrievers have a lush and dense double coat, which means you have to groom your pet regularly. Golden Retrievers shed a lot and this is bound to be more noticeable in an apartment. Get a good bristle brush and an undercoat rake to brush your Golden Retriever. If done regularly, this can help to reduce the amount of shedding. Grooming also includes regular bathing of your pooch. Use a gentle, pet-friendly shampoo that will clean and condition your pet’s gorgeous coat.

You will also have to trim your Golden Retriever’s nails regularly. Not only are overgrown nails uncomfortable for your pet, but they are painful and can cause problems in your pet’s gait if not attended to. Finally, it is important that you maintain your pet’s teeth and gums by brushing his teeth daily and giving him dental chews. This can help to reduce tartar and plaque build up.


An apartment has very little space and does not give your pet complete freedom to run about and do whatever he wants. So, it is best that you get your Golden Retriever as a pup and train him about what he can or can’t do.

Pups are more receptive to training compared to adult dogs. You can train them to follow basic commands, create boundaries around your home and train your pet to follow them. For instance, you can train them not to lie or sit on the couch or bed, etc. It is also a good idea to get them potty trained.


You must make sure that you feed your Golden Retriever carefully because they have a tendency to become obese and face obesity-related issues. It is a good idea to feed them with healthy and low-calorie foods and make sure that they don’t eat any leftover food from the dustbin. Make sure that you follow a strict eating schedule.

Separation Anxiety

Golden Retrievers are social dogs and love being around people. They are likely to suffer from separation anxiety and can become sad and depressed when left alone for long periods. If you live alone with your pet in the apartment, make sure that you don’t leave him around all by himself for a long time.

While Golden Retrievers can be trained to be independent, leaving him with a pet sitter is a good idea. Get someone who can walk your Golden Retriever so that he gets his daily exercise and he can have some company for some time. This can help to reduce your pet’s anxiety if you leave him at home alone for a few days.

Appointments with the Vet

When living in an apartment complex, your pet will constantly be interacting with other animals and people, which can lead to them contracting diseases easily. Ensure that you take your pet to the vet regularly and have him checked out. Getting his scheduled vaccines can prevent serious diseases and help to keep your pooch fit and healthy.

Tips to Train Your Golden Retriever Puppy

Potty Training

Whether you live in a large house or an apartment, like any other pup, you will have to pay extra attention while potty training your Golden Retriever. Typically, a puppy can hold its bladder for an hour per month of its age. For instance, your 8-week-old puppy may be able to hold its bladder for around 2 hours. However, the time increases after 6 months by 1 hour for every 1 month of its age. However, it’s not a very good idea to leave your pet for more than 8 hours without a bathroom break.

Creating Your Pup’s Safe Space

Using a crate is a great idea that can help during the training of your Golden Retriever puppy. Buy a crate that is not too large and is just right for your pup to stand, lie down and turn around. This will provide your pup a comfortable safe space.

Morning Schedule

Make sure that you provide your puppy with lots of exercise in the morning so that he can burn off some steam. Then feed him and make him go to the bathroom before you leave to go to work.

Noon Break

If you’re unable to get home during lunch, then you could get a friend or family member to feed your puppy and then let him out for a run and go to the bathroom.

Keep Your Pup Entertained

To prevent your Golden Retriever puppy from getting lonely and bored, when he’s in the crate, give him some chew toys that are safe for him to chew and keep busy.

In conclusion, it does not mean that because you live in an apartment, you cannot bring home a Golden Retriever. So, are Golden Retrievers good for apartments? Well, the answer to that is both yes and no.

Golden Retrievers can adapt to any type of environment. You just need to understand what your pet needs. A healthy diet, regular exercise, grooming and some training can make living in an apartment a breeze for your Golden Retriever.