Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Can Golden Retrievers Live in Apartments? What You Need to Know!

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Golden retriever dogs lying on floor_

Golden retrievers are one of America’s most popular dog breeds. These lovely animals make for wonderful family pets and are one of the most beloved dogs across the world. They are versatile, skillful hunters, and can excel in just about any activity that you introduce to them.

Golden retrievers are also commonly used by dog service organizations, guide dogs, and therapy dogs due to their intelligence and easy trainability. But are golden retrievers good dogs to have in an apartment building? Let’s discuss.

divider 9

Golden Retrievers and Apartments

Golden retrievers can live in apartment buildings, just like they can in single or two-story homes. However, if you do plan to get a golden retriever to live with you and your apartment it’s best to understand their needs. Retrievers are considered a very active dog breed, so this means that they all need daily activity in order to stay happy and healthy. On average, veterinarians recommend that this breed has at least 45 minutes of daily exercise.

golden retriever dog lying on couch with tv remote
Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

More on Golden Retriever Activity Needs

Various forms of activity and play might be difficult to achieve in your apartment, where space may be limited, and noise can be a burden to your neighbors. So, it is likely best to take your dog on a daily walk at a nearby park, around the block, or any other area near your apartment building.

Retrievers, one of the more gentle, friendly breeds, are generally great at dog parks. Don’t be surprised if your dog tends to lead you on a leash and is quick to socialize with other dogs and people in the park. However, training can help to minimize this and make your dog more obedient, so you aren’t dragged along during your activities.

It’s also best to train your golden retriever as a puppy so that it can learn to temper its hyperactive nature when appropriate, such as when riding in elevators, going to the vet, or going to the park without a leash on (of course within an enclosed area). Golden Retrievers were bred to hunt in fields and marshes for long periods of time. They require about an hour of exercise every day, but it really depends on the dog’s specific needs and their current age and state of health.

For example, adult Goldens younger than 10 years old may need to exercise for more than an hour while older adults might only need an hour. Retrievers that don’t exercise enough may be more likely to chew their paws excessively or have the “dog zoomies”. The Golden Retriever is the ideal dog for athletes such as cyclists and distance runners. These energetic and powerful dogs need exercise every single day. So if you live in an apartment and in a colder region, you may want to plan for this.

Divider 3

Golden Retriever History

In 1908, the Golden was first recognized at a British dog show. The breed’s intelligence and utility were appreciated by sport hunters, while show enthusiasts were drawn to their beauty and fun demeanor. All were also impressed by Golden’s gentle, sweet temperament.

In the 1920s, goldens arrived in North America and they were instantly popular and had a positive impact on their numbers. However, World War II caused a decline in their numbers.

The breed gained popularity again after the war. Although the Golden Retriever was loved from its inception in America, the breed gained popularity in the 1970s when President Gerald Ford introduced the US to his family dog, a gorgeous Golden Retriever named Liberty.

Golden Retriever Personality

Golden Retrievers can be playful and intelligent, as well as easily trained. They are also a great pet for families because of their calm and relaxed temperament. Although they love to be active and enjoy going for walks, they can also be surprised, and gentle–especially with small children.

The Golden Retriever breed is slow to mature and retains its silly puppy-like personality long after they are grown. They aren’t known for aggression and have lower guard-like instincts than other breeds–so don’t expect them to be good guard dogs. However, they can be good watchdogs and alert you to intruders.

Happy family stroking Golden Retriever
Image Credit: wavebreakmedia, Shutterstock

Divider 2

How Much Grooming Do Golden Retrievers Need?

In addition to daily physical activity, you also want to ensure that you groom your retriever often enough and thoroughly enough. The thick, water-repellent double coat that retrievers shed is quite heavy and can quickly cause your house to look like a bit of a mess. A good brushing with a slicker brush, once or twice per week will usually remove most of the hair.

These brushing sessions can become a daily routine during times of excessive shedding. Baths can help loosen dead or loosened hairs but always make sure that the dog is completely dry before brushing its coat.

Retrievers don’t need to be bathed as often as other breeds, and every four to six weeks should suffice. You also want to ensure that you use moisturizing shampoos to help keep the dog’s skin hydrated and prevent flaking– which can lead to a dry coat and even more shedding.

What to Feed a Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers love high protein, moderate carbohydrate meals that come in kibble or wet food form. The age of your retriever will also play a role in its daily nutritional needs, as growing adolescent dogs will have higher nutritional needs than pups and or mature dogs. Note that retrievers can get overweight pretty easily as they begin to age. So be aware of your dog’s calorie intake and weight and avoid giving your retriever table scraps and high-fat foods.

Golden Retriever eating
Image By: Chendongshan, Shutterstock

Divider 7

Wrapping Things Up

So, to sum things up, yes, Golden Retrievers can be great dogs to have even if you live in an apartment building. However, due to their hyperactive nature, you’ll want to ensure that your retriever gets the daily amount of activity and needs, which is generally about 45 minutes to an hour for most dogs.

Featured Image Credit: Tatyana Vyc, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database