Do Golden Retrievers Need a Big Yard?


Golden Retrievers are large, energetic dogs that can spend all day playing and running around, which makes a lot of people think they can’t get them unless they have the space for them.

But goldens are also incredibly smart and gentle dogs that can easily learn to adapt to their family and the space they have. So, should you get a Golden even if you don’t have a large space for them to roam around?

Do Golden Retrievers need a big yard? No, golden retrievers don’t need a big yard. It’s true that they can enjoy large yards but it’s not necessary for them as Golden Retrievers will do fine with a small yard or in apartments if they are getting enough daily exercise.

So, there you have it. It’s not really about the yard or space itself, but it’s about their exercise routines. Goldens have a lot of energy to expend every day, and while a yard can definitely help with that, it’s not a requirement at all.

To learn what you should do if you don’t have a big yard and still want a golden, just keep reading…

Do Golden Retrievers Need a Big Yard? 

A golden retriever playing with ball in the yard to illustrate the answers to do golden retrievers need a big yard

Golden Retrievers make wonderful pets. They give out this amazing energy and their playfulness is just hard to get over and you never get tired of watching them running around you.

They are gentle, easy to please, cheerful, and great around people. However, they are prone to cases of sadness and depression if they are not handled properly which means getting proper nutrition, enough exercise, and tons of love.

But with the dream of living in a large house becoming harder for newer generations than it was, many families are worried about getting a large dog like goldens in fear they don’t have enough space for them.

But I’m here to assure you that you can definitely have your favorite dog under the roof of your house regardless of how much space you have as long as you meet all their other needs.

Why a Big Yard is Good but Not Necessary 

Based on the experience of lots of Golden Retrievers owners (as well as my own), big yards with fences offer Golden Retrievers the right space to run safely off-leash, but they’re not absolutely necessary to enjoy life with a golden.

So, why is having a big yard good but not necessary? Big yards are used to give Golden Retrievers the chance to run around and play in plenty of space, but it’s not necessary to have one if you take your Golden Retriever out on regular walks and let them play in parks as much as they need. Big Yards can be an easy choice, but it’s not the only one.

So, if you are worried about the space of your home, it’s not important. What is important is planning to give them enough exercise.

The keyword really is exercising them enough. I have discussed in depth how much exercise golden retrievers need at every age in my post on are golden retrievers energetic here, so make sure to check it out to learn exactly how much exercise your dog needs.

How big of a yard does a golden retriever need? 

The size of your yard doesn’t affect your Golden Retriever. It’s recommended to provide enough safe space where they run off-leash and exercise, but the size of your yard doesn’t stop that from happening. People with small yards can let their dogs out for exercises as well.

As long as there’s a free space for them to run around and play to let out their energy, you’re good to go.

So having a big yard is preferred? Yes. Is it absolutely necessary to have a yard of a certain size to meet your dog’s needs? Not at all.

What matters the most when picking an adequate yard for your Golden Retriever is safety, not size.

Golden Retrievers are very impulsive, they move around a lot. They might be greeted by a neighbor across the street and the next thing you know is that they’re running recklessly across the road to have a pet on the head.

Golden Retrievers can also run away for many reasons, and dog theft and kidnapping is still very much a threat (especially for dogs that are very valuable to breeders like Golden Retrievers).

That’s why having fences around your yard is crucial when it comes to letting Golden Retrievers run around off-leash around your yard.

You can learn how to fence your yard here.

7 Ways to Exercise Your Golden Retriever Without a Yard

If you don’t have a yard or you can’t possibly let your dog out for a quick exercise in the yard, for now, here are alternative ways you can still help your dog get their daily dose of exercise.

  1. Outside walks are magical to your dog’s health. A walk that lasts from 45-to-60 minutes a day can help your dog let out their energy safely and healthily.
  2. Go to dog parks where they’ll have all the space they need to keep playing around, don’t leave them unnoticed or off-leash without checking that the place has safe fences to keep them from running off to the road.
  3. Swimming helps your Golden Retriever to burn energy much faster than any other common exercise. It helps them to keep healthy and toned muscles as well. And let’s be real, they enjoy it! You can learn how to teach your golden retriever swimming here.
  4. Getting a pet playpen is a great idea for keeping your dog entertained; it provides a safe contained space where they can be as playful as they can be.
  5. Play fetch with your Golden Retriever as much as you can. You may get tired after a while but they never do, and it’s a great exercise you can use anywhere.
  6. Consider remodeling parts of your house, if you don’t have a yard that’s fine, but you can remodel some unused space within your apartment to make a special space for your Golden Retriever. This will keep your dog stimulated enough. Plus they’d have a contained space to stay in when home alone, so they won’t mess up the house when you’re gone.
  7. Play hide and seek! Yes, you can definitely have some fun with your Golden Retriever playing some hide and seek every once in a while, and having kids involved will absolutely boost the fun. Everyone can hide and each person calls the dog one by one and wait for them to seek everyone out. This also works effectively when you start training your dog to come when called.
Pro Tip
fill your playpen with small colorful plastic balls and watch how much your dog will enjoy playing with it. Click here to get one on Amazon now.

Related Questions 

How Many Walks Do Golden Retrievers Need? 

Golden Retrievers need to walk a minimum 45-to-60 minutes on a daily basis. They can be once a day or broken down into two times a day, whatever suits you best. They need these walks to maintain healthy fit bodies, and lack of these outdoor exercises can lead to depression.

Should golden retrievers sleep inside or outside?

It’s up to you to pick whether your Golden Retriever sleeps inside or outside, but make sure to listen to them on this. Some Golden Retrievers refuse to sleep outside, but if a Golden Retriever wants to sleep outside it’s ok as long as they have a safe dry shelter with enough access to freshwater.

Helpful Resources 

PetHealth Network

Written and reviewed by life-long golden retriever parents

Recent Posts