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Hey All,

Looking for peoples Opinions: Myself and my partner are young professionals in Sydney Australia and we both really want a dog. (Labrador or Golden Retreiver)

A dog owner at work said that I shouldn't get a Dog unless I have a house. Realistically we're probly going to be renting in Sydney for the next 1-2 years and they will be apartments. I have seen a few in our price range that include a outdoor area (usually enough for a BBQ and table but no grass)

I can't stress how much we really want a dog and don't want to wait years till we have a house, Quite set on those breeds and putting in the effort with walks we are happy to commit too, We'll be close too big parks.

So Opinions:
Could we keep a dog like that without it bieng cruel to the animal? (Space)
 

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As a yardless apartment dweller with a retriever/herder mixed dog, I think so! But if you don't have a yard, you have to have a solid plan for how you're going to exercise the dog. Running with it, swimming, finding a fenced area to play fetch, nearby off-leash dog park, etc. Just walking isn't really enough to tire out an energetic sporting dog, but if you plan for ways to tire your dog out outside the apartment, then I think an apartment is a fine place for a dog of any size to nap and lounge about.

The other thing to think about though is housetraining. If you're getting a puppy (or a rescue that's not already housebroken), I would consider getting a townhouse-type condo or a ground floor apartment. I can't imagine trying to housetrain a puppy if I had to get in an elevator or run down many flights of stairs every time the dog needed to go out.
 

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It just really depends on the breed you get and how much time you're going to spend with your dog. If you make it a priority to bring your dog to a dog park, or a park daily, have a local place to give nice leisurely walks several times a day... you can increase the amount of breeds and breeds-x that would fit your lifestyle. If you want a strictly apartment dog, you may need to bring you "likes" down to a much smaller breed... or an older dog.
 

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I agree with the above. There is nothing wrong with having a dog in an apartment as long as you can commit to exercising it. Look into the energy levels of any breeds you consider so you have an idea how much time and energy you will have to put out to exercise the dog.
Having a yard doesn't really help much to exercise a dog anyways. You can't just put a dog outside and expect it to work itself out. The only advantages are not having to fiddle with leashes for potty breaks and a fenced place to play fetch or let the dog play with an other dog. Dogs with yards still need walks.

If you think you can commit to minimum 30 min walk (plus many potty breaks, playtime and training time) every day, then you should be alright. If you get a higher energy dog, you're going to need to bump the walk to an hour or more, take it for a bike ride/run, find your dog a buddy and an off-leash place to play, or think about some dog sports to burn off the excess because some dogs simply can't get enough exercise from a walk. Judging by the breeds you're looking at though, you shouldn't have to worry too much about that. (They're mid-level energy dogs)

Wherever you are, keep in mind that it's a PITA to try to potty train a puppy in an upper floor apartment, so you may want to keep that in mind when choosing your rental, or your dog (you may want an adult who's already got some bladder control and training). Make sure you're well aware of landlord pet-policies as well as any laws regarding what your landlord can and can't do with regards to pets. Don't get a dog if your living situation isn't stable and you aren't positive you'll be able to stay in a pets-allowed rental until you can afford to buy.

Good luck :)
 

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As puppies, neither of those breeds will be manageable unless they get to run every day and I mean every day. Although, swimming is even better so a place with a pool might just work out. The golden I think should have a lesser exercise requirement.
 

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I will start this by saying that I've had dogs in both apartment and house situations. It's definitely possible to have a happy, well-adjusted dog in an apartment, but it is a LOT (I would choose this modifier over a little bit) harder to do than in a house with a fenced yard. Note that the fenced yard is the biggest difference.

More importantly, I've fostered a few puppies in a house before. I've only fostered a puppy in an apartment once... because it was a huge pain in the butt. After that experience, I told myself never again. I'm not saying it can't be done well -- it's just SO hard. Here's why:

1) Potty-Training. Baby puppies (8 weeks, the soonest you should bring either one of those dogs home) need to go outside to eliminate every half hour. 10 weeks, about every 45 minutes. 12 weeks, about 1 hour. Even you don't follow these guidelines exactly, you'll still need to take your puppy out many times a day. That's many times of putting your jacket on and leashing up puppy. That's waking up at 3 am to puppy cries, stumbling out of bed, running into walls, stepping on something you left in the walkway, leashing up puppy, cursing once you got outside because you didn't grab a poop bag, going back outside to get one, then being unable to fall asleep because you're wide awake now and the puppy is adamant that it is time to PLAY. That's not waking up like a zombie, opening the door to let puppy out, resting your eyes for a few minutes, the letting puppy back in and going back to sleep.

2) Associated with #1, picking up poop right away. This may just be a personal issue, but I really hate picking up warm, squishy poop. It's gross. I find it much more pleasant to be able to pick up nice, day old (or more) dry poop from a distance (as opposed to through a plastic heat-transferring bag). If you were in a house, you'd still have to pick up the occasional fresh poop from walks, but you'd have to do it MUCH less often... as opposed to 1-3 times a day. Tied to this, diarrhea. Most puppies have loose stool anyways, and it's not rare for them to get diarrhea in new situations. Try cleaning up unexpected diarrhea right away. THAT is an experience I am not ready to repeat, ever.

3) Noise. Most puppies cry. Some puppies are bigger whiners than others. Your dog may be too noisy for your neighbors, who may complain and create problems. This can often be worked around, though.

4) Mental Stimulation and Exercise.

Having a yard doesn't really help much to exercise a dog anyways. You can't just put a dog outside and expect it to work itself out.
While the last part is absolutely true (dogs rarely exercise themselves sufficiently), having a yard makes exercising a dog A LOT easier. It definitely REALLY helps. Yards are areas to play fetch. Yards are areas to play "sorta" fetch (for dogs that haven't quite mastered the retrieving part but will chase things that are thrown). Yards are areas to exercise a dog with a flirt pole, play chase and tag, roll around in the yard together, swim if you have a pool or buy a kiddie pool, dig in a sandbox, meet/bark at/chase wildlife, listen to cars and people drive buy, smell barbecues, sunbathe, etc.

My new dog is REALLY easy to exercise because of her yard. While she still gets a daily walk, I've also discovered that if you make a motion as though you are going to chase her, she will ZOOM in circles around the yard... and as long as you convince her that you are sort of trying to catch her, she will continue to ZOOM. 15 minutes of this game and she's worn out, and all I have to do is say "I'M GONNA GETCHA!"

This doesn't mean you need a yard to exercise a dog. It DOES mean a yard makes exercising a dog a lot easier.

If you think you can commit to minimum 30 min walk (plus many potty breaks, playtime and training time) every day, then you should be alright. If you get a higher energy dog, you're going to need to bump the walk to an hour or more, take it for a bike ride/run, find your dog a buddy and an off-leash place to play, or think about some dog sports to burn off the excess because some dogs simply can't get enough exercise from a walk. Judging by the breeds you're looking at though, you shouldn't have to worry too much about that. (They're mid-level energy dogs)
Actually... Labrador and Golden Retriever puppies/adolescents are pretty high energy. One of their characteristics is that they significantly mellow out around 3 or 4 years of age. A 30 minute daily walk is not really enough exercise for either breed in adolescence even with a yard. In an apartment, I'd be more inclined to recommend at least an hour.

It's important to tell your breeder that you're looking for a lower energy apartment dog and indicate the amount of exercise you'd want to give it every day.

Lastly (whew), I would STRONGLY recommend fostering. Puppies in shelters frequently need very short term fostering for simple things like recovery from a doggy cold, time to gain weight, or time for a cut to heal. Think only a 7-10 day commitment. It's really important to know ahead of time if you'd enjoy taking care of a puppy in an apartment before you make what is supposed to be a lifetime commitment to a dog. The worst that happens is that you spend 7-10 days helping out an animal shelter.

Puppies in general are difficult, draining, and a huge time commitment. Puppies in apartments are hell.
 

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Maybe I'm wrong, but you all sound like you could be very new to dogs. If so, then would I would do in your place is figure out exactly what you're looking for in a dog, and realistically evaluate your own life style.

Almost any type of dog can thrive in an apartment. My cardigan is very high drive and we currently live in an apartment. However, we also make concessions for her and spend alot of time playing doggie games inside the house, doing obedience training, and playing fetch outside in the yard we do have.

Because my partner is also very committed to her, we're able to make it work and she has a life that many dogs would envy, ie she gets more attention then many kids I know.

With that being said, some questions you may want to ask yourself are:

*how long am I away from home total during the day? During the week?
*what kind of exercise am I willing to give a dog? Do you run or jog, or is getting off the couch to get a beer the exercise you get?
* are there weight requirements for dogs in my apartment complex?
* am I willing/able to train a dog? If you have never trained a dog before, you will probably have to take obedience classes.
* how much hair am I willing to put up with?
* how much energy do I want my dog to have?
* do I really want to house break a puppy?

Maybe once you evaluate yourself, it would be easier to help you figure out whether you're ready for a dog or puppy.

Labs are sporting breeds and can be very energetic and usually require alot of exercise and mental stimulation. Lab puppies, as with my retrievers, are very mouthy. They were bred to bring back birds in their mouths, and they use their mouths to explore the world. That means that if you leave your shoes out, they will be destroyed. You will probably have to deal with nipping and mouthing of hands and arms and clothing.
 

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Personally, I find it harder to potty train a puppy in an apartment if you aren't on the ground floor. However, I find my puppy gets far more exercise than my last dogs did at my parents house with fenced backyard. At the house everyone just opened the back door to let them potty and as soon as they finished they were let back in so they didn't really get any exercise except for when playing fetch. Not surprisingly, they were a little overweight. Now with my own dog in an apartment she gets far more exercise despite not having a backyard. I take her for a 30 minute walk every day, M-F. Then on Sat.-Sun. and holidays she's at the dogpark for anywhere from 30 min-1.5 hours of playtime plus we usually go for a 1 mile hike in the woods once my husband wakes up weekend afternoons. My parents dogs never got that much exercise. The most they got was following my dad to the end of the driveway in the morning to fetch the paper and in the evenings to fetch the mail or to follow around whoever was working out in the garden.
 

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Actually... Labrador and Golden Retriever puppies/adolescents are pretty high energy. One of their characteristics is that they significantly mellow out around 3 or 4 years of age. A 30 minute daily walk is not really enough exercise for either breed in adolescence even with a yard. In an apartment, I'd be more inclined to recommend at least an hour.
In all fairness I did say MINIMUM 30min plus playtime, training time and potty breaks (which typically include a 10-15 min walk each time). I'm not saying take the dog for a 30 min walk once a day and leave it to its own devices for the rest of the day. When you live in an apartment, every potty break is a walk and if you're potty training a puppy, those walks add up. I also accounted for variable energy levels within the breed when I said that if they end up with a higher energy dog, they may need to bump up the exercise.

When I said labs and goldens are medium energy dogs, admittedly I was going on my own experience. I can think of a good number of breeds that tend to have MUCH higher energy requirements (no amount of walking is sufficient exercise, they need to RUN or PULL or do something more intensive) than any lab or retriever I've ever met at any age. I suppose small, medium and large is all relative though.
 

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As the owner of a very high energy breed (Siberian Husky) living in a one bedroom apt I'm going to say yes you can own a dog in a apt and no, it is not cruel.
Points to consider:
- Your schedule. It's not that a dog cannot be alone while you are at work for 8 hours - it is a matter of choosing a breed that fits your schedule
- You willingness to walk when you are tired. I have a very high energy breed. I must walk her and walk her for a long while multiple times a day. A chihuahua (not recommending this breed using it only as a example) will wear out alot faster. Choose a breed that the exercise needs will fit into your need.
- You willingness to groom and tolerate hair around your house. I have hair everywhere. Everywhere. I'm good with it. I clean it up everyday. Many people are not okay with that much hair everywhere all the time. Some people only want to groom once a week. Some don't want to have to have the dog professionally groom (such as a poodle would require).
- Consider your willingness to raise a puppy/do all the potty training/etc vs. adult.

Be honest with your willingness in the various areas of dog care and get a breed that matches. You will set yourself up for success this way and living with a dog in an apt will be completely doable and an enjoyable experience.
 

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My two cents. All good advice already given. Retriever pups are intelligent, energetic, and destructive - Plus one of the cutest puppies. Altho the dogs are wonderful, the pups are the spawn of goats and vampires - they bite, chew, or eat everything, including fingers. Apartment living won't be an issue - they can eat an apartment just as easily as a house, swallowing it bite by bite. :)

Those of us who love the fuzzy, needle-toothed vampires accept that first year... Personally, I prefer a Lab, because I feel they are a little tougher and more extroverted. But both Goldens and Labs are gentle with people.
 

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My two cents. All good advice already given. Retriever pups are intelligent, energetic, and destructive - Plus one of the cutest puppies. Altho the dogs are wonderful, the pups are the spawn of goats and vampires - they bite, chew, or eat everything, including fingers. Apartment living won't be an issue - they can eat an apartment just as easily as a house, swallowing it bite by bite. :)
:clap2::clap2::clap2:

I have a lab/pit/? mix and live in a small 3d-floor walk-up. It works out just fine because we take him on 2 long walks a day, minimum, or he gets to do something else fun and exercise-y. Today, for example, we took him hiking, which he loves. Any chance we get to let him run around off-leash in the woods we take, because, honestly, walks aren't that much exercise. My dog needs to RUN. But as long as he gets that time in, he just spends his time in the apartment sleeping.

I don't know about housebreaking, since we got him from a rescue organization and he was already housebroken (he was at least a year old). I can imagine it would be an enormous PITA in a upstairs apartment though.

So, I would say, yes, you can have almost any dog you want in an apartment, provided that you're willing to spend plenty of time training him/her to behave appropriately in said apartment. It's not cruel, so long as the dog gets plenty of outside time too.
 

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We live in an apartment and our dog is very high energy. Luckily I work at home so I am able to take him out at least three times a day, usually more because I often take him to run errands. They let dogs in banks here and I can tie him up inside the grocery store while I do the grocery shopping. Our dog needs at least one long outdoor session a day so he can burn off his energy. Usually that is on the beach or the park where he is off the lead and can run. He is great in the apartment and usually just rests in his bed until it is time to go out again.

We lived in an apartment with a large terrace (30 meters) when we were potty training him. That made things a lot easier as we were on the 5th floor and there was no elevator. It would have been a tough job potty training him without that terrace. He made the transition from doing his business on the terrace to outside without any problems.

The only minor problem that I have is that our dog, even though he is short haired, sheds like you would not believe. We have to sweep the apartment at least once a day to keep up with the shedding and it is year round. Also, the floors need to be mopped daily because he loves drinking from his bowl and then walking around the apartment dripping water everywhere. That is a small sacrifice though to have such a great dog.
 

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I think a good idea is looking at older dogs and look at rescues that can tell you more about the temperament of the dogs and help you decide whether its good for apartments.

exercise wise, jogging, parks are great. also take the time to train them mentally is also important, these are smart dogs and they need to be occupied mentally as well as physically.
 
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