What happens when you cross the second and third most popular dog breed in the US?
You get a Golden Shepherd!
They are the result of crossing a German Shepherd and a Golden Retriever.
It is not a surprise that people decided to combine these two breeds together. Both are smart and friendly and make amazing companions for almost any household.
These dogs excel as a hiking companion, service dog, or even as a best friend for your child.
Interested in learning more about this gorgeous, family friendly mix? Read on to learn more about them…
Contents and Quick Navigation
- What is a Golden Shepherd? (Overview)
- Golden Shepherd Pros and Cons
- Golden Shepherd Appearance
- 5 Fun Facts About Golden Shepherds
- Personality and Temperament
- Caring for a Golden Shepherd
- How To Train A Golden Shepherd
- Quick Breed Summary Table
What is a Golden Shepherd? (Overview)
The Golden Shepherd is a large dog that was primarily bred as a companion, but they also make amazing working dogs.
Even if you keep this dog as a pet, their German Shepherd nature means they need a job to stay focused and happy.
Although they are a heavy shedder and need a lot of physical and mental stimulation, their good-natured attitude more than makes up for these shortcomings.
As long as you are able to keep up with their high exercise needs then you should have no issue owning one of these pooches.
- Overview: Hybrid (German Shepherd/Golden Retriever).
- Purpose: Companion.
- Weight: 60-95 pounds.
- Size: 20-27 inches.
- Temperament: Protective, Alert and Loyal.
Golden Shepherd Pros and Cons
- Amazing with children.
- Can make great service dogs.
- Fairly easy to train.
- A healthy breed.
- Heavy shedders.
- Aloof with strangers.
- You will need to socialize them.
- Their size can vary a lot.
Golden Shepherd Appearance
The Golden Shepherd tends to have a body more like a German Shepherd with the head of a Golden Retriever.
Their body is long and muscular and is covered in thick, long fur.
Ears can either flop or stand up and they will have a long muzzle with tight lips.
Golden Shepherd Size
Because they are a mix it is hard to say exactly what size your Golden Shepherd will be when fully grown. However as Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds are roughly the same size the variation should not be that big.
You should expect them to stand between 20 and 27 inches tall and weigh 60-95 pounds.
Coat and Colors
Both the German Shepherd and a Golden Retriever have a small range of colors, so it will likely surprise you that their mixes can come in a range of colors.
They can be: black, tan, red, cream, or even blue.
These coats can either be a solid colored or mixed.
They will have a dense double coat that is a medium length.
Although they do shed quite a bit, their coats are easy to care for. A good brushing once a week is plenty, although more frequent brushing during their heavy shedding periods is a good idea.
This coat helps them in the cold weather – they do great in cold climates, but will need a little more help to stay cool during the summer. Giving them plenty of shade and water should be enough.
Since the Golden Shepherd is a double coated breed, you should never shave them as that can affect how their fur grows back.
5 Fun Facts About Golden Shepherds
- They are also called German Retrievers.
- It’s parents (the German Shepherd and Golden Retriever) are the 2nd and 3rd most popular dog breed.
- They are incredibly smart dogs that love to learn.
- Initially intended to be a companion dog they still make great working dogs.
- We first saw this cross breed in 2009.
Personality and Temperament
The Golden Shepherd is an intelligent, friendly and exuberant breed.
They are not a good pet for the city, as they need a yard to run around in and exercise.
These pooches will need an active keeper who can keep up with their energy levels. Daily walks or a game of fetch are necessary minimums to keeping this breed from becoming destructive.
Fortunately as neither parent is known for barking, their mix is not prone to barking. They will only bark to alert their owners to something or someone!
Socialization is needed with this breed due to German Shepherds being very standoffish with strangers. So when your Golden Retriever mix is a puppy make sure to introduce them to plenty of people and new environments.
This will help to make them friendlier with strangers.
However you need to remember that German Shepherds are often used as a guard dog so it will be in your Golden Shepherd’s nature also.
They will do just fine in a multi-dog home and are often nurturing of smaller animals.
Golden Shepherds just love to be with their owners – they do not do well when left alone for long periods of time. Giving them something to chew on or play with when you are gone will help to curb any social anxiety.
Is The Golden Shepherd A Good Family Dog?
These dogs make amazing family dogs and will love to play in silly activities your kids.
Caring for a Golden Shepherd
As long as you can meet their extreme physical needs, then the Golden Shepherd is a fairly easy to care for breed.
They are well suited to most homes and are great for most families.
A simple walk around the block a couple times a day is not enough for this breed.
These dogs need to be able to run and exercise for at least an hour every day, although the more the better. Adding things like agility to their exercise will help to exhaust them faster.
Playing fetch with them is a great way to get them to run.
Golden Shepherds are not good dogs for someone living in the city in an apartment, or with a small backyard in the suburbs. This breed needs room to stretch its legs and have area to run around off-leash.
- Number of Walks Per Day: 2-3.
- Total Exercise Needed Per Day: At least 90 minutes.
Grooming and Shedding
In fact German Shepherds are often nicknamed “German Shedders” by enthusiasts because of how much they shed – the same is true for the Golden Shepherd.
Brushing weekly will help to minimize this, although more frequent brushing will be needed during the heavy shedding seasons (spring and fall).
Other than brushing, they are a fairly easy to care for breed. They only require bathing every few months with a mild shampoo, but even that can usually be avoided unless they get dirty for some reason.
Feeding and Diet
It is hard to say exactly how much food your dog should get – especially when their size can vary so much as the Golden Shepherds tend to do.
However you should aim to give them around 3 cups of feed each day split between two meals.
Your veterinarian will be able to give you a better idea of what the ideal weight for your dog should be.
|Calories Per Day:||Cups of Kibble Per Day:|
Known Health Problems
Although mixed breed dogs are usually healthier than their parent breeds, they are still prone to some health issues.
With a little planning ahead you could get reimbursed for every vet bill from now on! Save massively on your pet’s medical costs whether it’s an illness, injury, or wellness expense that needs taking care of.
They run the risk of having allergies, ear infections, bloating, eye problems, cancer and hip or elbow dysplasia.
Many of these health issues can be avoided by making sure that you purchase your Golden Shepherd from a responsible breeder that tests for these genetic issues. For some of the others, keeping an eye on their food and weight will help.
How Long Does A Golden Shepherd Live?
A healthy Golden Shepherd should live for between 10-14 years.
How Much Does A Golden Shepherd Cost?
You can expect to spend around $500 on a puppy.
How To Train A Golden Shepherd
Both the Golden Retriever and the German Shepherd are sensitive dogs, so you need to take care and make sure they do not get stressed out during training.
If they are stressed they will shut down.
Positive reinforcement is the best way to train these dogs.
As mentioned before socialization with humans is very important.
Letting them socialize with children is a good idea, along with small animals. These dogs can have fairly high prey drives, although with proper training they are usually not a problem.
Mental stimulation is very important for these dogs. They are a mix between two highly
intelligent breeds that are bred for work, and the Golden Shepherd is no different. Rally or basic obedience are great things to do with your dog to work their brain.
Also doing nose work or just letting them sniff things out at home is great fun for both you and your dog. These dogs also excel at agility, and that exercises both their bodies and their brain.
Quick Breed Summary Table
|Coat:||Medium length double coat.|
|Color:||Black, tan, red, cream or blue.|
|Do They Shed:||Yes.|
|Temperament:||Good natured, loyal, protective and alert.|
|Socialization:||Needed with strangers.|
|Destructive Behavior:||May be destructive when bored.|
|People Skills:||Good with strangers if socialized as a puppy.|
|Good with Children:||Yes.|
|Activity Levels:||An active breed that needs a lot exercise.|
Golden Shepherds are suited for nearly any home.
These are working dogs so make sure that you are working their brains as well as their body.
Agility or Rally are great ways to stimulate your dog.
This pooch just wants to be your best friend and follow you wherever it can. They can be prone to separation anxiety, so they do best with someone at home.
If you are able to keep up and provide the stimulation that one of these dogs need, then the Golden Shepherd may just be your next best friend.
Please leave a comment below letting us know if you have any questions…