Hello everyone ! Glad to be a member of the community!. I hesitate to start right off with a question but I want to treat our lab right from the beginning. We rescued him from the ARL about two weeks ago. He has been no problem at at all and what there has been is very minor. My two main concerns are getting him the exercise he needs, which we can't really provide very well living in a 700 Sq. Ft. Apartment. When I walk him it hurts after a short while due to severe arthritis in both knees. My last concern is that although my wife is unemployed now and I am off work on short term disability, when one or both of us return to work, I don't want "accidents" on the floor to come home too. He is about 87 lbs. and is house trained but I think being gone at work for 8-9 hours and expecting him to hold his bladder is unreasonable. And advice is greatly appreciated.
Didn't you think of these things before adopting him?
Your apartment size has nothing to do with providing exercise.... if you can't walk for long distances, can your wife? Does he retrieve? Find a fenced in area and get yourself a chuck-it.
As for being left alone, I'd personally get a crate and start giving him alone time now. Between adequate exercise and a safe place for him to be, he should adjust to you going to work just fine.
I also wonder why these things were not considered begin adopting a labrador? It's great that you rescued a dog but it's important to pick a dog that is a good fit for you.
How old is your dog? Approximately? A young lab or lab mix will need a good amount of daily exercise (generally off leash). So if even walks are difficult you may want to consider a dog walker (someone to come walk the dog) and if you need them to really exercise the dog, one that uses dog parks or other to really exercise the dog. Or doggy daycare.
Is the dog good with other dogs? Another option is a dog park, but only if they are good with other dogs (it's not a place for all dogs). You will want safe places for now to work on recall before letting him loose just anywhere.
Once he has a recall (after training and bonding) you can look at other places to let him off leash for walk or for fetching.
Maybe look for a fenced ball field or tennis court to play fetch, they are usually fenced.
Agree with working on crate training. But a house trained dog that isn't destructive can be fine in the house for 8-9 hours. If you are concerned, get a dog walker to come in mid-day for a potty break (and maybe exercise). you can look at crate training if need be.