Are Golden Retrievers Good Apartment Dogs?

Golden retriever in an apartment with owner

So, you have decided to become a proud Golden Retriever owner. But wait! You live in an apartment, right? Can Golden Retriever adapt to apartment living? Read this guide.

Golden retriever in an apartment with owner

Golden Retrievers are affectionate and fun-loving pals. They are a popular choice among families. As per AKC’s latest list for “Most Popular Dog Breeds,” Golden Retriever ranks number three.

Golden Retrievers are very playful and great family companions, but do they adapt to apartment living?

The chances are you might be delaying your decision to get a Golden Retriever because you live in an apartment. Should it prevent you from getting a Goldie? So, are Golden Retrievers good apartment dogs?

Golden Retrievers aren’t the best apartment dogs out there, but they can adapt to apartment living. As long as they get enough physical exercise, mental stimulation, proper training, regular grooming, and socialization, living in an apartment with a Golden Retriever shouldn’t create an issue.

Now you know Golden Retrievers make good apartment dogs, and you are ready to care for your canine’s all needs (from training to grooming).

But do all apartments allow dogs?

And, if your apartment complex allows, what can you do to live with your pup without causing trouble to other residents? Let’s talk about it in detail.

Are Golden Retrievers Allowed in Apartments?

There’s no right answer to this question because rules vary from one apartment complex to another.

Some apartments are pet-friendly, while some aren’t. To ensure the safety of other apartment residents, pet-friendly apartments have some pet rules.

So, once you find a pet-friendly apartment, don’t forget to go through the rules. Normally, you will find restrictions based on dog age, size, weight, breed type, and the number of pets a tenant can have.

  • Breeds: Apartments often don’t allow aggressive dog breeds like Pit Bull, German Shepherd, Rottweiler, etc. Such dogs can be dangerous to other residents in the complex.
  • Age: Many apartments require the dog to be at least one year old. By one-year age, dogs are trained. This rule ensures your pup won’t ruin the apartment.
  • Weight: Many apartment complexes don’t allow dogs over 30 pounds.
  • No. of pets: Apartments won’t allow having as many pets as you want. Depending on the apartment, it may have a limit of one or two pets per tenant.

Questions to ask your landlord when renting with a Golden Retriever

After finding a pet-friendly apartment, it’s important to have a clear idea about the apartment’s pet policies.

To make sure your Golden Retriever is allowed, ask your landlord these questions:

  • Are there any rules for dog weight and size?
  • What’s the minimum age requirement?
  • Is there a pet fee? If yes, how much?
  • Are there any pet-free zones?
  • Can guests bring pets when they visit?
  • What are the rules for the number of pets a tenant can have? (in case you own other pets as well)

Apartment Living & Golden Retrievers

Living in an apartment with a large-sized, energetic dog like Golden Retriever can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. As long as the Golden’s exercising, grooming, and other needs are met, there shouldn’t be a problem.

First, you must develop a routine of providing regular exercise outdoors. The apartment’s small space won’t be enough to fulfil your Golden’s physical needs.

Another thing is, you have to get used to shedding because Goldens shed throughout the year. And, twice a year, they shed so much that you will notice your Golden’s fur everywhere in the house. However, it’s manageable with regular brushing and grooming.

Now, what about their barking behavior? Are they too loud and aggressive?

Are Golden Retrievers too loud for apartment living?

Golden Retrievers are moderate barkers. Compared to other breeds, they bark a lot less. Instead of barking, they spend most of their time wagging tails!

However, no other breed can beat Golden Retriever in terms of loudness. It is the loudest dog breed in the world.

Even though Goldies don’t bark much, their bark is loud enough to draw attention.

They are prone to excess barking when they don’t get enough physical and mental stimulation.

As you might know, Golden Retrievers are very energetic. Energy buildup due to lack of exercise can result in destructive behavior like excess barking, chewing, etc.

Regular exercise is the best way to tire them out and calm them.

Tips For Living In An Apartment With A Golden Retriever

Now that you have found a pet-friendly apartment and are ready to move, these are the things you need to take care of to live in an apartment with your Golden pup happily:

Golden retriever dog sitting on the bed

Physical activities

Golden Retrievers are very energetic and active. They need at least two hours of high-intensity exercise per day.

They are happy when they are provided with plenty of space to burn off their excess energy.

One of the reasons why many owners don’t get Golden Retrievers when living in an apartment is their high energy levels.

In a house with a backyard, Golden can exercise on its own and burn excess energy. However, when living in a small apartment, there’s limited space.

As a result, you will spend so much time outdoors fulfilling your canine’s exercise needs.

If you can take responsibility for providing tons of exercise daily, then you should get a Golden Retriever dog. Some best ways to exercise your Goldie dog are:

  • Running
  • Walking
  • Hiking
  • Fetch play
  • Tug of war
  • Swimming
  • Dock diving
  • Treadmill (exercise without going out)

Mental stimulation

Like regular physical exercise, mental stimulation is also important. Physical exercise maintains the dog’s overall health and prevents problems like obesity; on the other hand, mental exercise prevents mental illnesses like boredom and anxiety.

Regular mental stimulation is essential to prevent behavioral issues like excessive chewing and barking. It keeps the dog happy by preventing boredom and depression.

It’s good to provide mental stimulation from a young age. This way, your Golden Retriever will grow up as a happy doggo with good habits.

Some best mental exercises are:

  • Puzzle toy
  • Obedience training
  • Play nose work games
  • Have your canine work for treats
  • Hide and seek

The good thing is you don’t need a large space to provide mental stimulation to your Golden Retriever. About 20-30 minutes of brain workout daily is enough to keep a Golden Retriever mentally happy.


Early socialization is important in any dog’s life, and Golden Retriever is no exception. Socialization training gives the dog exposure to different people, places, and other animals.

Golden Retriever is the favorite breed for families because of their fun-loving and friendly temperaments.

Due to the extroverted nature, you won’t have a hard time socializing a Golden Retriever with different types of people and other animals.

Socialization training becomes more important when living in an apartment because your canine is more likely to bark at other people and animals without it. This can be problematic for you as a tenant.

Golden Retriever with happy owner

Teach basic commands

Besides socialization training, obedience training is also very important, whether living in an apartment or a big house.

Teach at least basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” “come here,” “heel,” and “down” to your Golden Retriever before moving to the apartment.

We all know that Golden Retrievers are so active and playful. When untrained, handling their excitement can be difficult.

But, when they are taught different training commands, it becomes easy to communicate with them. Using commands, you can tell your canine when you want him/her to sit, stay, come back, and so on.

The good thing is Golden Retrievers are so smart and easy to train. Your Goldie will learn your commands faster and also obey them.

Crate training

As your Golden Retriever will spend so much time indoors, crate training is important. The purpose of crate training is to provide a comfortable space where the dog can calm.

It is also about associating the crate positively and not something that makes the dog feel like a prison.

Crate training also helps to potty train. It will teach your Golden Retriever that creating a mess indoors is a big NO!

Get a durable, large crate for your Golden Retriever.

Note that never leave your Golden pup alone for too long. It can lead to boredom and separation anxiety.


As Golden retrievers shed throughout the year, raising them in an apartment can be challenging. They shed moderately all year round and excessively two times a year, i.e., in spring and fall.

You don’t want your canine to spread the hair around the house, right? That’s why regular grooming is really important.

The best way to control excessive shedding is by brushing regularly.

On normal days, brush at least two to four times a week, and during shedding seasons, you should be brushing daily.

You should also be providing regular baths to your dog. Also, regularly visit a professional dog groomer to keep your canine in good condition.

Regular grooming will not only reduce shedding but will also help to prevent various health conditions.

Ensure safety

Last but not least, always keep an eye on your pup. If your apartment balcony or any window is within reach, be concerned about it. Leaving unattended can be dangerous for your pooch.

I know you cannot be with your dog all the time but limit your dog’s access to fewer places when you are away. For better safety, you can even install a balcony safety net.

Related Questions

What dog breeds are best for apartment living?

For apartment living, small breed dogs are the best. Some apartment-friendly dogs are:

  • Bichon Frise
  • French Bulldog
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Pug
  • Shi Tzu
  • Havanese
  • Boston Terrier
  • Maltese

Are Golden Retrievers good for first-time owners?

Because of their obedient, affectionate, and easygoing nature, Golden Retrievers are great for first-time owners. They get along well with everyone and are also good with children.

However, they are highly energetic, so their exercise needs are high. Another problem is their excessive shedding, so regular brushing is a must. If you can provide regular exercise and grooming, you can get a Golden Retriever dog.

Do Golden Retrievers need lots of space?

Golden Retrievers are large dogs, so they need plenty of space to move around and play. You will also need a space in your room to put your dog’s crate.

By “plenty of space,” I am not saying you need a big yard (though having one is great!).

It’s about giving enough space where the dog can move freely, and you can keep all the items. So, raising a Golden Retriever in a small space can be a bit difficult.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to apartment living, small dog breeds (like Bichon Frise, Havanese, Pug, Maltese, etc.) are usually preferred. But since you are a Golden Retriever lover (like me), you want to get a Golden Retriever.

Raising this large breed dog in an apartment complex isn’t impossible; it is doable. You just need to make sure your canine gets daily exercise, mental stimulation, grooming, and proper training.


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Brandon Dickinson

Brandon Dickinson

I love playing and spending time with pups. On RetrieverPaws, I share tips, guides, and my experiences with retriever dogs (Labrador and Golden Retrievers mainly).

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