Once upon a time, a German Shepherd dog and a Golden Retriever parent fell in love. A forbidden kind of love. The result of their love?
A puppy that’s not a guard dog or a working dog. A pup that’s a German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix!
If it’s not a working dog or a herding dog… What is it? The Golden Shepherd is a loving companion dog who would give you his heart if he could.
That’s how much love this pup has in his cuddly body.
With his floppy ears and head tilted to the side, the Golden looks exactly like a dear friend inviting you to cry on his shoulder.
But, don’t cry. There are no reasons why you should! Just take another look at this PAW-azing dog breed and that frown will be upside down.
Here’s what every future Golden Shepherd dog owner has to know about this unique breed.
The Origin of the Crossbreed: How the Golden Shepherd Was Born
The origin of many mixed-breed dogs is still a puzzle. The Golden Shepherd belongs in the same category.
No one exactly knows how this dog breed was created. It’s highly likely it was just a lucky coincidence.
We might not know how this crossbreed was created, but we do know the main suspects: the German Shepherd and the Golden Retriever.
The German shepherd is the second most popular dog recognized by the AKC in the USA. These hard working dogs lost some of their popularity after WWI and the anti-German propaganda.
However, being used as police dogs in the 1960s brought their popularity back.
Ever since then, the GSD launched on the top of every dog list and stayed put.
Golden retrievers aren’t so far behind the popularity of the German Shepherd. Placed third on almost every dog list, the Goldies were once bred by British nobles and used as gundogs.
Their past is very different from what these purebred dogs are today. There are many Golden Retriever mixes today, as well as mixes of German Shepherds with other breeds.
The reason behind the mixing of these two breeds lies in the breeder’s wish to minimize the health problems these dogs have and create an ultimate family dog serving as a watchdog.
Goldies truly have a heart of gold. These pups are extremely friendly and are always ready to show some love. No wonder they’re being used as guide dogs for the blind!
Having two exemplary dog breeds mix could only mean one thing: a pooch born to become the perfect dog!
The Golden Shepherd is a fine offspring of two purebred parent breeds, but the American Kennel Club still doesn’t recognize it as a breed of its own.
You can register your pup at the International Designer Canine Registry. Be it as it is, this dog breed is still worthy of all praise.
Golden Shepherds are recognized by:
• DBR (Designer Breed Registry)
• ACHC (American Canine Hybrid Club)
• DRA (Dog Registry of America)
• IDCR (International Designer Canine Registry)
No matter whether the AKC doesn’t recognize them as a breed, they’re still recognized in your heart.
Size and Appearance of the German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix
Having in mind the size of the parent breeds, the Golden Shepherd is a pretty large dog. His weight can vary from 50 to 80 pounds, and his height starts at between 21 and 26 inches, measured from paw to shoulder.
This pooch has a thick body with a sturdy frame and a deep chest. He’s much longer than he is tall. Unlike one of his parents, the GSD, the mix won’t have a slouched back.
He looks more like the other side of the family, the Goldens.
He will stand up straight or slouch down alongside his jawline. The tail is thick and long, and the paws are quite big. The muzzle is elongated and has two dark-colored eyes looking over it.
The coat of one German Shepherd/Golden Retriever mix depends a lot on who his parents were.
If the German Shepherd parent was long-haired, it’s more likely that the fur of the Golden Shepherd will be long, too. Usually, the coat is medium to long in length, very thick, and dense.
This dog is a moderate shedder because of his double coat. It’s not a hypoallergenic dog, so make sure you know this if you suffer from allergies.
As for the coat color, the German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix can have either black and tan, golden, dark golden, solid black, white, or brown coloring.
There’s no standard color pattern. He will inherit any color of either parent, even the facial markings of a GSD.
The Heart of Gold: Personality of the Golden Shepherd
The Golden Shepherds are proud to say they’re one of the most friendly pups in the canine world. These pooches are very affectionate towards all family members, not just the master, unlike his parent, the GSD.
Being friendly with all family members doesn’t mean this dog is problematic with strangers. On the contrary, the Golden Shepherd is rarely aloof with unknown people.
Still, the intelligence and bravery of this pup are undoubtful when immediate danger strikes.
Much like his dog parents, the Golden Shepherd is an active dog with lots of energy to waste.
A game of fetch every day, a short walk, or simply playing around the house will help him tire himself for the day.
Keeping this in mind, these dogs aren’t the kind to be left home alone for long. The Golden Shepherd tends to become destructive when left alone for hours.
Some pups even develop separation anxiety! They are addicted to human company and it’s an addiction that has to be supported.
Staying Fit: Working Out With Your Golden Shepherd
Golden Shepherds are quite needy when it comes to exercising. They need at least sixty minutes of workout every day to lose their built up energy.
However, this doesn’t mean a light stroll down the park will be a magic solution.
This dog needs an extensive workout, which is done best on an obstacle course or using a variety of other activities that will keep him mentally stimulated.
This would be the time to check out some fantastic treat puzzles or ball throwing machines online. They can’t get enough stimulation.
If he’s more like the Golden side of the family, the Golden Shepherd will enjoy water games like swimming or playing fetch or even going after ducks in the pond!
You’ll only know what your dog likes when you try out a few different activities.
Living in a small, crowded place with no access to a backyard isn’t the happiest option for these pups.
Golden Shepherds need a big house with a nice, large yard where they can play all day and catch some Zs in the sun.
A big house and an even bigger yard are simply asking for more pets! Don’t be afraid to introduce new family members to your Golden Shepherd.
This dog loves having many brothers and sisters not only from the canine world, but the human world, too!
Training: Teaching Your Golden Shepherd Obedience
The German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is an intelligent puppy that is very eager to please.
This kind of dog lives for being praised and getting rewards for his good work. So, make sure you always have a treat or a toy with a treat nearby when training him.
Reward-based training is the best path to take when training Golden Shepherds. Anything can be a reward for these dogs, especially good ol’ tennis balls!
Although it was mentioned before, these dogs aren’t as protective as their GSD parent, but they still can inherit this trait. Early socialization strikes here and acts on its finest.
It’s important to introduce a Golden Shepherd puppy to people of all ages, sexes, and appearances in order to teach him that there are no enemies. If you want a 100% friendly attitude, you have to encourage it.
Also, hanging around other puppies is always a good idea to implement before the puppy gets too overprotective.
Since this isn’t a one-man dog, the training shouldn’t be such either. The whole family should participate in giving commands and training the puppy.
Golden Shepherds are quite headstrong, and they will notice when you slack off with the training.
How Healthy Is This Dog Breed?
Like many mixed breeds, the Golden Shepherd is a healthy dog breed.
Thanks to hybrid vigor, this dog has a slightly longer lifespan than his parents. The life expectancy of a Golden Shepherd is 10 to 13 years; however, that’s still a short life for such a wonderful dog.
This is a relatively new designer breed that started becoming popular back in 2009. There are no recommended health tests that these dogs should take.
It’s best to look at how healthy the parents are in order to understand what the puppy might be prone to.
Like many other large dogs, the Golden Shepherd is prone to hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. This condition can be extremely painful for the dog, so it’s best that you learn what it actually is.
Hip and elbow dysplasia is a condition of abnormal formation of the affected bones. It can get worse over time and cause crippling arthritis.
Besides bone conditions, the Golden Shepherd is also prone to many eye diseases, including progressing retinal atrophy or pigmentary uveitis. Both of these conditions can lead to eventual blindness.
The list doesn’t stop here. Other diseases that might strike your Golden are cardiac issues. Subaortic stenosis is a condition where the puppy has a heart murmur.
Unfortunately, the murmur can’t be noticed at home, so make sure the vet is posted at all times.
Still, there is no end to the troubles for this generally healthy dog. Another health issue that might strike your Golden Shepherd puppy is degenerative myelopathy.
Such a condition affects the brain and the spinal cord, resulting in immobility of the lower body.
What can affect your dog at any time is a condition named gastric torsion. In other words, bloat! Such a problem occurs when the stomach twists before or after exercising.
This might sound like no big deal, but it’s actually a life-threatening condition.
If you suspect your dog has bloat, seek veterinary help immediately!
What do Golden Shepherd Puppies Eat?
Keeping in mind their susceptibility to gastric torsion or bloat, the Golden Shepherd should eat in two sittings a day. The average food intake should be around three cups. No food before or after major exercises!
Like I have said many times before, the German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is a high-energy dog and needs high-quality dog food.
Kibbles that are rich in nutrients that supply the daily intake of vitamins, protein, and good carbs should always be a must on your shopping list.
Grooming: Keeping the Hair At the Golden Standard
Don’t expect that your Golden Shepherd will have a fine coat unless you pay some attention to grooming it.
These dogs require grooming two to three times a week. A steady brushing routine is what makes their medium to long coat healthy and shiny.
Luckily, this crossbreed is a moderate shedder, even at the peak of the shedding season.
The brushing routine changes at the peak of the season and you will have to switch to daily brushing… that is, if you want your dog to have a healthy coat and your room to be hair-free.
Another trait of these dogs is that their curiosity might cause you a lot of headaches. It’s because they tend to get all muddy and dirty on walks.
However, regular bathing should be set to six to eight weeks, meaning weekly or monthly bathing isn’t allowed.
Excessive bathing can cause their skin to lose natural oils and become too sensitive. Be moderate when it comes to grooming these pups.
General Care Tips for New Golden Shepherd Owners
Regular check-ups at the vet should be conducted with any dog breed. Only then can serious health conditions be prevented. Having regular health check-ups means developing a routine that will keep a dog healthy.
Another way of disease prevention starts at home. Golden Shepherds are prone to weight gain and obesity.
Their energy drive is high, so they have to use all the built-up energy they get during the day.
Hiking, long walks, and activity courses are just a piece of the puzzle. Be creative! Have your dog chase balls around the place. Invest in some ball-throwing machines or other toys that encourage activity. And, remember: this dog MUST have regular activity.
In addition to your daily tasks, we must add checking ears for debris and pests and cleaning them the way your vet suggests. Good ear hygiene prevents half of all ear diseases!
Nail clipping is recommended twice per month, or when you notice they’re getting too long. Overgrown nails can be a painful experience, especially for a kind of dog who’s very active.
Hearing nails tick on the floor means you’re not doing it right.
The main concern about your dog’s health should be oral hygiene. Mixed breeds like the German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix are prone to tartar build-up. Hence, why daily brushing is so important!
Taking care of your Golden Shepherd starts in puppyhood. These pups aren’t supposed to run on hard surfaces like pavement until they’re at least two years old.
The reason behind this is the fact that their joints aren’t fully formed yet.
Playing on the grass is absolutely acceptable.
Here is some bad news for your sofa, your left slipper, and your briefcase. Golden Shepherds are chewers! They’re the happiest when there’s something in their mouth to chew on and play with.
One way to prevent having teeth marks on your belongings is to get them sturdy toys.
The other solution to chew training is to put the dogs in the crate or kennel every time you go out. You don’t want to return to a destroyed house, do you? This training starts in puppyhood and requires consistency at all times.
Tips Why Golden Shepherds Make Great Family Members
Getting a dog is always a responsibility and a sacrifice one must think about before purchasing.
No matter how amazing the German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is, you still need to pay attention to several things. Always remember that:
• They’re friendly, sociable, and get along well with everyone
• They’re the perfect choice for an active family because they are very active, too
• They can be too protective, so have them start socializing early
• They need AT LEAST an hour of exercise every day
• They should always have training and challenges ready for them
• Puzzle games with treats can be lifesaving
• They need big homes with a backyard, so no small apartment for these pups
• They’re moderate shedders, and they don’t cause any trouble when grooming
• Their coat is not hypoallergenic
• They’re friendly and love living with other pets and children
• Living with older children could be a better option
• They’re affectionate and loving towards their family members
• They shouldn’t stay alone for long periods of time
A Family’s Favorite: Golden Shepherd, Pets, and Kids
Some dog breeds tend to be quite nervous when found around young ones. But, not the Golden Shepherd! This dog enjoys the commotion they bring with them and their company.
Got a children’s party you have to attend? Bring your Golden Shepherd, too!
The kids will love to spend time with your dog, and your dog will love being the center of attention. He’ll take anything, even wearing the silly party hat!
Still, such behavior isn’t something inborn in these dogs. It does take time and training to teach them how to behave around other people.
Much like the puppies, the kids need training, too! Teach your youngsters what’s good and what’s bad when interacting with your new Golden Shepherd.
It’s for sure the dog won’t react well if it is being pulled by the ears or the tail.
In general, the kids need to know that a sleeping dog as well as a dog that’s in the middle of his meal shouldn’t be bothered. Ever!
No pup, no matter how friendly and loving he is, should be left unsupervised with the children.
The same goes for interacting with pets. Smaller pets, cats, and other dogs can make great company if the Golden has been trained to tolerate them.
Training from an early age is crucial if you want your Goldie to be best buddies with Fluffy the cat and Speedy the hamster.
How Much Does A Golden Shepherd Cost?
It’s very easy to find a breeder, but it is very difficult to find a reputable breeder. What’s so important when picking the breeder is determining whether the pup has any health issues or not.
The average Golden Shepherd puppy costs around $800 and even higher, which is quite a price to pay for a mixed-breed dog.
But still, love knows no price. If you’re that fond of Golden Shepherds, there’s always a way to own one… it’s called rescuing or adopting!
The Golden Shepherd Rescue Groups
Since the Golden Shepherd is a fairly new dog breed, there aren’t any known dog rescue centers devoted specifically to these dogs.
That’s why your only option is to rescue and adopt from German Shepherd rescue centers and Golden Retriever rescue centers.
These centers often carry mixed dogs, so make sure you sniff around and see what suits you the best.
• German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County
• As Good As Dog
Also, Google and see if there are any rescue centers in your zip code area. You never know what your local shelter carries.
There you have it:
A German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is a wonderful dog by all his traits.
You’ll hardly see any other dog with such courage, intelligence, and affection.
Getting a Golden Shepherd puppy could be the best thing that has happened to you since sliced bread. All jokes aside, he’s among the best dogs any family could ever ask for.
He is truly an intelligent dog who’s adaptable to every situation.
There aren’t many bad traits you should keep an eye out for. These dogs are loyal to the bone, protective of the entire family, and wear smartypants in the canine world.
What else can you wish from such an incredible pup?
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