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My fiancé and I have decided to adopt a golden retriever puppy in the next few months. I have been doing research and want to do what’s best for new puppy! We currently have two 2 year old cats that are very friendly and social. We are also moving into an 1100 sq ft apartment as well. Considering my fiancé and I both work full time, I have been trying to find the best way to train the future addition to our home. Should we do pen vs crate? Is it bad to have a PetLoo (indoor pet potty area) readily available for the new puppy? Is it a bad idea to allow access to the cats so puppy doesn’t feel lonely while we are at work? Any input for our situation would be so helpful!
 

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Being home alone for long period is a tough ask for a puppy. You are likely to return to a distressed and possibly destructive puppy. Is it possible to arrange for dog sitters, dog walkers, taking the puppy to work or taking them to dog day care, preferably when they have been with you and are settled, eg after annual leave so you can be home with them until they’ve had all their needles. Another animal won’t really keep them company and might even be unsafe.


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I'd certainly keep a puppy separate from the cats until you know they get on - picture the potential scene: puppy in his view plays with the cats but in their view harasses them - if they retaliate you could come home to lots of blood and a one-eyed dog.

I also am not keen on allowing dogs to toilet indoors. If you are ok with that you would have to take several weeks of constant supervision to train him to use the toilet, in the same way that people normally would take several weeks to train a puppy to toilet outdoors - it's not a shortcut.

But also, goldens are very people oriented dogs so being alone all day is quite a big ask. Yes, people who work have dogs but getting a walker to call in at least once and preferably twice a day would need to be factored in - and that's for an adult dog rather than a puppy.
 

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Also, a Golden Retriever is a large dog, a large dog that is going to produce a lot of poop and urine. Do you really want to encourage your dog to toilet inside your small apartment? Yikes!

Why not contact a rescue group that fosters its dogs in home settings, and adopt an adult dog?
 
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