There’s something special about having a dog waiting for you at home. No matter what mood they may have been in before, they’re always excited to see you when you return. Yet those who live in apartments often feel as though they’re barred from owning a bigger dog due to the smaller square foot shortage in which they reside. This article will explain whether a bigger breed like Goldendoodles makes for a good choice of an apartment dog.
Are Goldendoodles good apartment dogs? Yes. Like all larger dog breeds, Goldendoodles can be excellent apartment dogs provided that they are given plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. It’s less about how much room is available in the apartment for them, and more about how well you take care of their active and mental needs.
While Goldendoodles can be excellent choices of an apartment dog, despite their size, there are a few things that you can do to encourage their acclimation to apartment living.
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Goldendoodle Apartment-Living Success
Because the Goldendoodle is a mixture of the Golden Retriever and the Poodle, you have two main traits to consider of your dog–friendliness and intelligence. Their friendliness makes them extremely social dogs. Because they’re social, they don’t always like to be alone for long hours. Let’s face it…you’re awesome and they miss you! They also feed off of being social as a means of mental stimulation. When they don’t have it, they become bored and destructive. However, because they’re also intelligent, they’re easily trainable.
Many dog owners worry that the small size of their apartment is going to make their dog unhappy. That isn’t necessarily the case. While larger spaces do allow a dog to move around a bit more, they can just as easily do that outside. In fact, many prefer to walk around outside than inside, anyway.
Because square footage doesn’t technically matter all that much, many larger breeds of dog can live a happy life as an apartment dog. You just need to know how to train them for good behavior.
We’ve explained that living with a Goldendoodle is indeed very possible. But now we want to take some time and talk about some specific things you should consider, that you might not have thought of.
Commitment to Exercise
Goldendoodles have a lot of energy. Because of that, it’s less about whether your apartment is suitable for them and instead is about if you, as an owner, are suitable. Do you have the energy level that’s needed to keep a Goldendoodle happy? You have to get outside and you have to play with them. Take your dog for a walk around the area to help burn off some of the energy. You can pause at a park or an open space and try a game of fetch or just some roughhousing.
At the very least, Goldendoodles need 30 minutes of exercise or play a day. They’ll likely shadow you wherever you go, so if you’re outside planting a garden at your apartment, then they’ll likely be right there with you, ready to play.
Understandably, it’s a little more difficult to get your dog ready for potty time at an apartment than it is at a traditional home. You should think about the layout of your apartment. Are there a lot of stairs? Do you need to take an elevator to get to the patch of grass available for your dog? Is there a designated area for your dog to go potty? These are all questions that you need to consider. The stairs and elevator can make the path to the potty area even longer. Your dog may have a difficult time holding it if they’ve needed to wait for you to come home.
To ensure that your dog’s potty time is successful, you should plot out the course that you need to take. If the elevator is broken, what will you do? If there are people on the stairs, how will your dog react? At the actual potty area, do you need to bring your own waste bag or are they provided? Know what’s in your area, so your dog can go to the bathroom as soon as you get home.
One of the most important aspects of owning a Goldendoodle at an apartment is crate training. Unless you trust your dog to wander around your living space for hours without you there, you’ll likely need a crate. In the case of a Goldendoodle, it’s a good idea to crate them. If they become bored, they will destroy and chew anything that interests them.
Start early with Goldendoodles, so that they’re used to the crate. Since they can suffer from separation anxiety, you need to ensure that the crate becomes a place of safety for them. Professional trainers can typically assist you with this. When you leave home, you should turn on the TV to give them something to listen to. As social creatures, the Goldendoodle will feel just a little less alone if they’re able to hear people talking on the TV.
Training them for the crate is also important in terms of potty time. Dogs are less likely to use the bathroom in enclosed spaces because they don’t like to be by it. Accidents happen, but by and large, being in a crate can encourage them to hold their bladder. It also means that if an accident does happen, it’s contained within the crate rather than on your bed or in your carpet.
Lots of Toys
Goldendoodles need a lot of toys. They’re extremely intelligent animals and toys can be a great way to keep them mentally stimulated when you’re not around. Toys like Kongs or other puzzle toys that either has treats or peanut butter in them can entertain them for hours. Chew toys are also a great option for the breed since they do like to chew when bored.
Consider a Camera
If you’re worried that your Goldendoodle may be up to no good, then it might be worth it to invest in a WIFI camera. These cameras will allow you to watch your dog no matter where you are. Some even come with the option of verbal communication. If your dog starts barking, you can quickly communicate with them through the camera. This can prevent noise complaints from your neighbor and perhaps save your favorite pillow from being mauled.
Socialize Them Early
Because an apartment complex sees a lot of traffic of other people and other dogs, it’s important that you socialize your Goldendoodle early. They’re extremely friendly but that comes with wanting to meet everyone and getting into their business. They should also be trained not to jump on people, which is their first instinct, and not to bark when they see someone new. Door manners is also a good aspect to train. Instead of charging to the door whenever someone rings or knocks, they should sit at the door quietly.
How Long Can A Goldendoodle Be Left Alone?
Goldendoodles don’t like to be left alone. They’d much rather be hanging out with their people. However, it’s not feasible to take your pup everywhere you go, so it’s bound to happen. Here are rough guidelines for how long you can leave them alone, based on their age. Keep in mind that duration depends on their age.
- 8-10 weeks: Only an hour left alone
- 10-12 weeks: 2 hours
- 3-6 months: 3-6 hours
- After 6 months: 6-8 hours
In all honesty, no dog should be left alone beyond 8 hours at a time on a regular basis. Most dogs need to relieve themselves every 4-6 hours, even though they might be able to ‘hold it’ longer. So if you’re planning to leave them alone for a long period of time, you might want to consider having a friend stop by to let them out or look into a service like Rover.
Do Goldendoodles bark a lot?
Because the Goldendoodle can develop separation anxiety, it may be prone to whining and barking. However, when you’re in the home with them, they’re less likely to bark. You can train them with positive reinforcement to limit the amount of their barking. Also, training them for the crate when you’re not at home can also limit barking.
How long can they hold their bladder?
Your dog’s bladder correlates with their age. Puppies can hold their bladder from around 2 to 4 hours. As they grow, they can hold it for 5 hours. As an adult, Goldendoodles can usually hold their bladder for 8-10 hours. If possible, you should try to have them go to the bathroom after eating their breakfast before you leave for work to help their bladder last.