Ever wish you could take the best qualities and characteristics of two purebred dog breeds and create the ultimate dog?
Some might say this type of thinking results in mutts, but a trend of purposeful planning over the last two decades has brought about new breeds referred to as crossbreeds, hybrids, and designer dogs.
The German Shepherd Dog and the Golden Retriever are very well-known and popular breeds, but what happens when you mix the two?
Let’s look at 15 things about the German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix, also known as the Golden Shepherd.
1. The German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix is Considered A Designer Dog
German Shepherd Golden Retriever dogs are considered a designer dog breed.
Also known as the Golden Shepherd, the German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is likely not the first dog you think of when you think of designer dog breeds, but this hybrid still falls into that same category.
Neither a purebred nor a mutt, the German Shepherd Golden Retriever, is a purposefully designed dog crossed between two specifically chosen purebred parents.
While crossbreeding is centuries’ old tradition, the trend of crossbreeding designer dogs has exploded over the last two decades, made popular by celebrities, politicians, and other well-known and highly respected people in society.
Still, there is some controversy when it comes to the trend of crossbreeding.
Initially designed to perfect dogs and create new breeds, crossbreeding was once primarily done by experienced breeders. Their intent was typically not to sell the first, second, and even third-generation offspring but to perfect them instead.
The German Shepherd dog and the Golden Retriever originated from being crossbred long ago, though they are now considered purebred dogs after generations of perfecting by professionals.
Today, first and second-generation crossbreeds like the German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix are being sold and rescued by owners hoping to obtain a dog with a combination of the best qualities of each of its parent breeds.
Unfortunately, genetics are not as predictable as many would like for them to be. Leading experts on both sides of the fence have opinions on whether crossbreed dogs are a good or bad thing.
Regardless many owners find they are enchanted with their German Shepherd Golden Retriever hybrid.
2. The German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix Is A Cross Between the German Shepherd and the Golden Retriever
Part of the German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix’s charm is a cross between two of the most famous and beloved dogs in the United States.
Both the German Shepherd and the Golden Retriever are renowned as working dogs and highly regarded as intelligent, friendly, and loyal.
Let’s learn more about the German Shepherd Golden Retriever dog’s purebred parents to understand their potential personality traits.
The German Shepherd Dog
The German Shepherd was originally bred as a herding dog and is renowned for its intelligence and loyalty.
Originating from Germany, the German Shepherd is a tough, intelligent working dog originally bred for herding livestock.
Over the years, the German shepherd’s muscular build, tenacity, loyal disposition, and overall beauty made them an excellent K9 dog for officers of the law and military.
During World War ll, the German Shepherd was feared and even revered as a negative symbol of German loyalty, but today this smart and loving dog is one of the world’s most famous breeds.
The German Shepherd consistently ranks in the top three out of 196 on the American Kennel Club’s list of most popular dog breeds.
The Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever is one of the most famous service dogs employed in the United States.
The Golden Retriever is perhaps one of the United States’ most favorite breeds thanks to a plethora of Hollywood movies and the fact that this dog is one of the most successful service dog breeds in the United States.
A working dog through and through, the Golden Retriever is loved for its intelligence and sweet, loving disposition.
The Golden Retriever makes an excellent family dog and is friendly to everyone they meet.
Originally bred in the Scottish Highlands as a gun dog (a dog who retrieves prey shot by hunters), the Golden Retriever is easily trainable, highly energetic, and incredibly eager to please,
Golden Retriever ranks just behind their German Shepherd counterpart consistently in the top five out of 196 on the American Kennel Club’s list of America’s most popular dog breeds.
3. German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix Dogs Are Known to Be Intelligent, Athletic, and Highly Energetic
Golden Shepherds are playful and full of energy.
Due to their parent breeds’ wonderful personality traits, it’s no surprise the German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is a sought-after crossbreed.
This hybrid is incredibly intelligent, which can be problematic for some novice dog owners who aren’t prepared for their wit and ability to outsmart people.
That said, this brainy mix is a joy to work with as they are eager to please and love to learn.
Because the German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is the offspring of two working dog breeds, they will require a lot of time, attention, and mental stimulation to keep them busy and content.
German Shepherd Golden Retriever dogs are also full of energy. They love to play and can continue to behave in a puppy-like manner well into adulthood.
If you are considering a German Shepherd Golden Retriever dog, keep this in mind and be prepared to stay active with this hybrid.
With that noted, it’s important to consider your lifestyle and home environment before investing in one of these dogs.
The German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix will not do well in apartments or very small homes without yards big enough for them to run and play.
They need to be with owners who can exercise them daily through play, walks, hikes, etc.
4. German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix Dogs Are Double Coated Breeds and Heavy Shedders
This mixed breed needs moderate grooming and brushing to keep their coats healthy.
The German Shepherd and the Golden Retriever are famous for their gorgeous coats, which is an attractive element to a German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix.
That said, this crossbreed will have thick, double-coated fur that sheds quite heavily, especially during shedding season.
Spring and fall are when your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix will blow their coat, resulting in a lot of hair loss, requiring routine brushing, lots of vacuuming, and lint rollers on hand.
The German Shepherd Golden Retriever sheds a lot but is otherwise a low-maintenance breed, and their weather-resistant coat allows them to be comfortable in many climates.
Never shave your German Shepherd Golden Retriever’s double coat to keep them cool or reduce shedding, as doing so can lead to heatstroke as well as skin and hair issues.
5. The German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix Can Vary in Appearance
Your Golden Shepherd’s appearance will depend on the genetics they inherit from his parent breeds.
One of the controversies surrounding crossbreeding is the unpredictability that comes with appearance.
Unpredictability is especially prevalent in first-generation crossbreed German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix dogs (dogs who are the direct offspring of a purebred German Shepherd and purebred Golden Retriever).
However, on average, your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix will fall somewhere in the below descriptions:
- German Shepherd Golden Retriever Height: 20 to 26 inches
- German Shepherd Golden Retriever Weight: 55 to 85 Pounds
- German Shepherd Golden Retriever Coat Color: Black, cream, sable, brown, gold, tan, white, grey, or a combination
- German Shepherd Golden Retriever Coat Type: Double-coated and thick and long and wavy or sleek and glossy depending on genetics
- German Shepherd Golden Retriever Eye Color: Brown
6. The German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix Has the Potential to Make an Excellent Family Dog
Golden Shepherds are friendly and can be great with children when properly socialized.
Both the German Shepherd and the Golden Retriever are famous for their loyal and affectionate dispositions.
German shepherds are specially bonded to their families and instinctively suspicious of unfamiliar people, while a Golden Retriever knows no strangers.
When appropriately socialized, both breeds are loving and great with other pets, adults, and children of all ages.
Still, like all dogs, the German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix should be trained and socialized at an early age, and young children should be monitored around these dogs and taught how to interact with them for the safety of everyone appropriately.
7. The Average Lifespan of a German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix Is Around 10 – 14 Years
As far as larger dogs go, the German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix has a decent lifespan of up to 14 years.
That said, there are reports of German Shepherd Golden Retriever dogs living beyond the age of 14.
A number of factors can contribute to the health and overall lifespan of your German Shepherd Golden Retriever, including a healthy diet, routine vet visits, proper exercise, and genetic factors.
Another important aspect to the health and vitality of your German Shepherd Golden Retriever is going to be the source from where you get them. A reputable breeder can ensure your German Shepherd Golden Retriever comes from healthy parent breeds; thus, better-ensuring genetics are strong.
8. The German Shepherd Golden Retriever Can Be Prone to Numerous Health Issues
Like all dogs, the German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix can be prone to many of the same genetic health issues as their parent breeds. These health issues include but are not limited to:
- Elbow and Hip Dysplasia
- Juvenile Cataracts
- Pigmentary Uveitis
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis
- Degenerative Myelopathy
- Ear Infections
- Dental Issues
The German Shepherd Golden Retriever is also susceptible to suffering from a condition called gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) or bloat for short.
Bloat is when gas fills the dog’s stomach, and the stomach then twists. Bloat is a serious and life-threatening condition caused by several factors, including stress, eating too quickly, overeating, overexertion, or eating too soon after exercise.
Watch for symptoms and signs of bloat in your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix, including a distended stomach, pacing, unproductive vomiting, restlessness, distress, signs of pain, and shallow breathing.
If you see symptoms of bloat in your dog, get to your nearest emergency vet as quickly as possible.
9. German Shepherd Golden Retriever Dogs May Be Overwhelming For Novice Dog Owners
Because they are such high-energy dogs, the Golden Shepherd can be overwhelming for owners who are not experienced or prepared.
While the German Shepherd Golden Retriever makes an excellent family dog, they are not suitable for every family.
Remember, this is a hybrid dog who will be very active, energetic, and intelligent.
Novice dog owners may find themselves overwhelmed by the German Shepherd Golden Retriever’s energy, especially if they are not prepared for it.
A German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix will need a hands-on owner who can keep up with their activity level and training needs.
The German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix will do best in active families where they are included in outings like camping, hiking, walking, and swimming.
The German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix will also benefit from crate training, socialization, regular exercise. Doggy daycare is an option if family members must be gone for long periods during the day.
10. German Shepherd Golden Retriever Dogs Need to Be Well Socialized at An Early Age
You can ensure your Golden Shepherd grows up happy and healthy by introducing them to as many new experiences early on.
Like all dogs, the German Shepherd Golden Retriever should be well socialized and introduced to various experiences and situations at an early age.
Socializing your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix during puppyhood builds confidence.
When socializing any dog, it’s essential to introduce them to new experiences in a positive way.
Never force a dog into a situation it is frightened of, making the problem, anxiety, and fear much worse.
For a German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix, it is vital to introduce them early on to other dogs, cats, children, different people, loud cars, groomers, car rides, and so on.
We also suggest handling your German Shepherd Golden Retriever often and gently playing with their ears, tail, paws, and face during puppyhood.
11. Feed Your German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix A Healthy and Balanced Diet
Make sure your Golden Shepherd eats a healthy and balanced diet specified for their age, weight, and activity level.
Because the Golden Shepherd is an athletic and large breed mix, they need a quality diet that is high in protein and free of additives, fillers, artificial flavors, or preservatives.
German Shepherd Golden Retriever dogs will also need food that contains the proper combination of fats, carbs, and vitamins and minerals. Food should also be specified for age, weight, and activity level.
Quality dog food can be expensive; there are affordable dog food brands available and even recommended by experts. You also have the choice of feeding your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix dry dog food, wet dog food, or even a raw food diet.
12. German Shepherd Golden Retriever Dogs Need Lots of Exercise and Mental Stimulation
Intelligent dogs can be prone to destructive behaviors if not kept adequately exercised and mentally stimulated.
As a hybrid that comes from two working-breed parents, the German Shepherd Golden Retriever is going to need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation every day to stay happy and healthy.
If you are a jogger or outdoor enthusiast, your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix can make an excellent exercise partner.
Along with physical exercise, mental stimulation is also very important. The German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix can be prone to boredom, depression, anxiety, and behavioral issues if not kept adequately stimulated.
13. German Shepherd Golden Retriever Dogs Respond Best to Positive Reinforcement Training
German Shepherd Golden Retrievers are eager to please and quick to learn, so positive reinforcement is recommended for teaching new things.
When it comes to training your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix, remember this intelligent dog aims to please.
They will do best with positive reinforcement training, including lots of praise, treats, and breaks when you see they are getting tired, bored, or overwhelmed. Keep training sessions short and fun.
14. German Shepherd Golden Retriever Dogs Need Moderate Grooming to Stay Happy and Healthy
All dogs need to be routinely brushed and groomed to maintain their health and appearance, and the German Shepherd Golden Retriever dog is no exception.
The Golden Shepherd will need routine brushing with a de-matting comb and de-shedding brush at least once a week. During shedding season, they may need to be brushed once a day.
The German Shepherd Golden Retriever’s weather-resistant coat means they only need to be bathed once every few months under normal circumstances.
Ears need to be cleaned and kept free of debris and moisture often to prevent ear infections.
Nails should be trimmed regularly to keep them from splitting or cracking.
Teeth should be brushed at least once a day with a quality dog toothbrush and dog-safe toothpaste to encourage optimal dental health and prevent potential tooth decay.
15. A German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix is A Relatively Affordable Crossbreed
German Shepherd Golden Retriever puppies can cost between $400 and $800 from a reputable breeder, on average, and this is a relatively affordable price for a “designer dog.”
To reduce the chance of health issues, avoid purchasing from backyard breeders or uncredited online sellers.
That said, you can save money and save money by rescuing or adopting your German Shepherd Golden Retriever from a shelter if you can find one in need.