German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix: The Ultimate Family Dog?

The Golden Retriever German Shepherd mix is a cross between two of America’s favorite breeds.

According to the American Kennel Club’s most popular dog breeds list, the German Shepherd is at number two and the Golden Retriever is at number 3. With these stats behind it, how could a Golden Retriever German Shepherd mix not be an amazing breed?

Affectionately called the Golden Shepherd, this breed is loving, friendly, energetic, intelligent and loyal.

This dog is suited to an active family who will be able to meet their high activity requirements and won’t mind a bit of shedding.

If you think you want to give this gorgeous pooch a forever home, then read on to learn all about their appearance, temperament, care and more.

What is a German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix? (Breed Overview)

Golden Retriever German Shepherd

The Golden Retriever German Shepherd mix is a cross breed which started to become popular around 10 years ago.

They are most commonly a cross between a purebred Golden Retriever and a purebred German Shepherd. However you can sometimes find second generation mixes which are two Golden Retriever German Shepherds bred together, but this is still quite rare.

The German Shepherd was originally bred as a herding dog. They are now used as a working dog in pretty much every field a dog could be used in – favored as police and army dogs for their intelligence and bravery.

Golden Retrievers were bred as a gundog to retrieve waterfowl for hunters. They are still used for this but thanks to the endless amounts of love and affection they have to give, they are also extremely popular as guide dogs, therapy dogs and companion animals.

So what does this mean for the Golden Retriever German Shepherd mix?

You can expect a high energy dog that requires a decent amount of attention when it comes to grooming. They are loyal, loving and make great family pets.

Whilst they are not recognized by the American Kennel Club, both parent breeds are.

German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix Appearance

Golden Retriever German Shepherd Puppy

The Golden Retriever German Shepherd’s coat is long and thick.

Both parents have double coats which are great for working outside but not so great inside your home. You should expect them to shed all year round, with big blowouts in Spring and Fall.

The coloration of your dog’s coat may either be identical to one of their parents or a mix up of the colors of both.

You should expect your Golden Retriever German Shepherd mix to have a straight back and thick chest. They should have muscular legs. Their face may either be shaped like the Golden Retriever or the German Shepherd. Their ears could stand up or droop down.

As for their size, this breed is a medium to large size dog. They generally weigh around 60 to 85 lb and are 20-26 inches tall. It’s common for females to be slightly smaller than males but not always.

Colors and Coat

Both parent breeds have well-known established coat colors. The German Shepherd is well known for its black and tan coat, whilst the Golden Retriever is known for its golden coat.

Your mix may take after either of its parents or both.

You could have any combination of these coat colors and a few more. They are most commonly gold, black and tan. A common color combination is golden with black muzzle and ears.

The coat colors of this dog are always a surprise, even for the breeders!

Their coat however is a bit more certain – it is going to be a long, thick double coat. It may be rough or smooth depending on which parent they take after. The double coat means that shedding is definitely going to happen, especially during shedding season.

The fur may either be smooth or rough depending on whether they take after the Golden Retriever or the German Shepherd.

German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix Temperament

Golden Retriever German Shepherd In Bed

With any cross breed, it is hard to predict exactly what their personality and temperament will turn out to be. This is because they are likely going to inherit different percentages of each of their parents’ traits.

Some might be more Golden Retriever and some might be more German Shepherd. The best way to predict what your pup might be like is to look at both of the parent breeds individually.

  • The German Shepherd is an incredibly intelligent dog. They are high energy and respond really well to training. They are also loyal and protective – this protective nature is what sometimes causes issues with aggression. The best way to combat an overly protective dog is through early socialization.
  • On the other hand, the Golden Retrieveris super affectionate. They love all people and make friends easily. They are also extremely intelligent and high energy – this is what makes them great service dogs.

From looking at the parent breeds we can guess that the Golden Retriever German Shepherd mix is going to be a high energy dog that loves playtime. They are also going to be loving and affectionate, particularly to their main career.

One thing that this fun-loving breed does not like is being left alone.

They can suffer from severe separation anxiety. In short, they will love you so much that being away from you is bad for them. If you are away for long periods of time, you should consider hiring a dog walker or look into doggy daycares.

If they have inherited the protective nature of their German Shepherd parent, they could be pretty good watchdogs. They will alert you to anything strange going on in the house, although the Golden Retriever part of them may mean they only lick an intruder to death.

This breed enjoys having other dogs around.

They would love someone to play with when you are busy. It also helps with their socialization to have another dog around all the time. If two dogs are too much of a commitment for you, be sure to have doggy play dates and head out to dog parks to find them friends.

Is a Golden Retriever German Shepherd Mix a Good Family Dog?

A Golden Retriever German Shepherd mix is an excellent family dog.

Their loving nature makes them great with kids. They will enjoy having little people around who are able to match their energy levels.

How To Train A German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix

This is an incredibly pleasant to train.

They are alert, eager to please and highly intelligent. The most effective training method is positive reinforcement, as is the case with most dogs. By rewarding the correct behaviors with treats, toys or praise and ignoring any errors, your dog will learn quickly and enjoy training sessions.

This breed is an effective working dog as well as a companion animal. They can easily be trained to herd, to retrieve, as therapy dogs or guide dogs. This latter type of training is fairly intense and professional assistance would usually be required.

Due to their high intelligence levels, they may become bored quite easily if left with nothing to do.

Golden Shepherd

Brain games are a fun way of playing with your dog and keeping their mind occupied. Another good game to teach them is fetch – this lets your dog blow off all of their energy.

You could also take agility classes with them. Another activity they are sure to enjoy is fly ball. They love having a job to do and will hang on your every word during sessions. Make sure that you vary their activities or they will get bored.

Caring for a German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix

This dog requires someone to be with them for most of the day due to separation anxiety. They are an active breed and need an active household. They do well with other dogs and they love children.

You should be prepared to exercise them for at least an hour every day.

They don’t mind how they exercise and are happy to be your running pal or do agility classes with you. Everyday brushing is need and they will probably need to go to the groomers on a reasonably regular basis. Let’s look closer at their care requirements.

Exercise Requirements

The Golden Retriever German Shepherd mix requires at least an hour of exercise every day. They are going to need two walks or excursions a day, along with training sessions and play sessions. Having a backyard is pretty important with this dog as they need somewhere to go and let off steam.

Other than walks, you can exercise this breed by running, hiking, swimming, agility or fly ball. They are pretty much up for anything as long as they are allowed to do it with you.

This breed is intelligent and friendly so having them off leash should be no problem. Make sure your recall is excellent as they can become distracted chasing squirrels or birds though.

Grooming and Shedding

Due to their long coat, they will need brushing every day to avoid matting. Golden Retrievers are especially prone to matting which is why it’s important to stay on top of their brushing. A de-shedding brush will be your best friend during Spring and Fall when they are shedding the most.

As their fur is likely to mat, it’s a good idea to take them to the groomers regularly to be washed and trimmed. This will reduce the amount of grooming you have to do and keeps their coat clean and healthy.

Groomers will also trim your pup’s nails which may be useful if your dog does not particularly enjoy having their nails done.

You should brush their teeth every day and check their ears at least every week – this breed is prone to wax build up. You should also keep up to date with all their vaccinations, worming and flea treatments.

German Shepherdd and Golden Retriever

Feeding and Diet

As this is a big dog, you should expect them to eat a fair amount. They should be fed around two and a half cups of high-quality kibble a day. This should be split into two meals for adults and four meals for puppies. This helps to reduce the chance of bloat.

When they are a puppy, it is best to keep them on the same food as the breeder fed them. This will reduce the risk of upsetting their stomach. Once they reach a year old, they can be moved gradually on to an adult dog food blend.

The best way of picking a high-quality dog food is to look at the nutrition section on the label. You should be looking for food that mainly consists of proteins and fats and these are the most important nutrients for your dog.

Be sure to keep a careful eye on what your dog is being fed. Obesity is extremely common in this breed as they may be couch surfers.

Known Health Problems

Health problems that these dogs are predisposed to are hip and elbow dysplasia, eye problems, cancer, hyperthyroidism and degenerative myelopathy.

The best way to avoid having these health conditions with your pup is to find a reputable breeder who does all the health checks.

Parents of this puppy should have good hip and elbow scores and clear eye scores. There should also be no history of cancer in the Golden Retriever’s family. Cancer is the biggest killer of Golden Retrievers – it’s more common in neutered females.

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How Long Does a German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix Live?

A Golden Retriever German Shepherd mix is expected to live around 10 to 14 years.

How Much Does a German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix Cost?

A Golden Retriever German Shepherd will cost from $400 to $800, if you’re buying one of these pups from a reputable breeder.

Quick Breed Summary Table

Breed Characteristics
Size:20 to 26 inches
Lifespan:10-14 Years
Coat:Double coat, long and dense but could be smooth or rough
Color:Black, tan, gold, white or grey
Do They Shed:Yes, especially in Spring and Fall
Temperament:Friendly, loving, loyal, energetic and affectionate
Intelligence:Highly intelligent
Socialization:Extremely sociable enjoys other dogs and humans
Destructive Behavior:May bark and howl if left alone for long periods
People Skills:Great with people
Good with Children:Excellent with children
Activity Levels:High activity levels


When buying a Golden Retriever German Shepherd mix, the most important thing is that you find a reputable breeder.

This is someone who has all the right tests (mentioned earlier) completed for their parent dogs.

If you have lots of time to commit to this pooch, and lead an active lifestyle, this may just be the ultimate dog for your family.

With their playful personalities and loyal nature, you are sure to have found a devoted friend for many years in the Golden Retriever German Shepherd mix.

Do you have any questions about the Golden Shepherd? Let us know in the comments section below…

About Thomas Woods 183 Articles
Thomas has been a dog lover since he was 6 years old when his parents got him a rescue Labrador. Since then his love for dogs has lead him to study Animal Behavior & Welfare. He now keeps a six year old English Bullmastiff and educates pet parents through his online publication Perfect Dog Breeds.


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