Golden Shepherd Mix Dog Breed Guide

A Golden Shepherd plays in the snow

When you cross a lovable Golden Retriever with a loyal German Shepherd, you get a Golden Shepherd. The Golden Shepherd is a designer dog that combines two of the friendliest and most loyal dog breeds. This excellent family dog has the Golden Retriever’s playful personality and the work ethic of the German Shepherd.

This mixed breed is a perfect blend of both parent breeds. He makes a great dog for active owners and families with kids. With his energetic and jolly personality, you are sure to fall in love with him! Read on for everything you need to know about this fun and friendly dog.

Golden Shepherd History

A Golden Shepherd has a rest near a backyard fence

The Golden Shepherd, also known as the German Retriever, is a cross between a German Shepherd and Golden Retriever. This designer dog first appeared in 2009 and still remains a rare mixed breed.

This mix offers the best of both worlds to anyone who loves Shepherds and Retrievers.

German Shepherd lovers will appreciate their loyalty and work ethic, while Golden Retriever fans will fall in love with their jolly personality and big energy!

Like their parents, they are an active and playful family dog who are also hard workers and loyal protectors. If you are looking for a four legged workout partner, who is also a goofy family dog, this is the breed for you.

Golden Shepherds have a friendly personality that makes them great family pets. They get along well with children who are old enough to keep up with a large dog. They are also willing to socialize with other dogs and animals.

Since they are a mixed breed, they are not eligible for American Kennel Club recognition. However, they have gained recognition under the Dog Registry of America, American Canine Hybrid Club, and International Designer Canine Registry.

Their kennel club status and lack of official clubs means it is unlikely you will find a breeder.

You are most likely to find one from an amateur breeder or for adoption at a shelter. However, every so often a Golden Retriever or German Shepherd breeder may have one for sale. When one is available, you should expect to pay at least $500.

Origin

The Golden Shepherd was first registered under the International Designer Canine Registry in 2009, however their exact origin is unknown. With two of the friendliest and most loyal working parents, it is likely this mix was first bred before then.

As with most designer dogs, this mixed breed was first bred for companionship. They play the role of a typical goofy family dog very well. Their energetic antics can keep any family amused for days on end.

However, crossing the parent breeds has also removed their susceptibility to many common health problems, such as the Golden Retriever’s predisposition to cancer.

Exercise

Golden Shepherds spend most of the day on their feet and will need their owner to do the same. Since they are bred from two working breeds, they will want to be kept busy for most of the day.

They need to be exercised for up to two hours every day. This can be split into an hour of walking and an hour of play. They love to play outside, so games such as fetch, catch, and hide and seek are very fun for them!

Dogs will be happy with one hour long hikes. Puppies and senior dogs can split their walks into shorter 30-minute romps.

At the end of a hard day, your pup will be happy to curl up with you on the couch or at the foot of your bed. In the morning, he will enthusiastically wake you for another fun day of play! If you are a couch potato, this is not the breed for you. He needs an owner who is just as full of energy as he is.

Appearance

A Golden Shepherd plays in the snow

The Golden Shepherd mix has a beautiful coat that often comes in brown, tan and gold. It is possible for their dense coat to come in a mix of the colors of the German Shepherd and Golden Retriever.

Gold is a particularly popular color. Unlike the Retriever, this gold tends to be a deep reddish gold, rather than a bright yellow.

Tan is another common color, which comes from the German Shepherd’s side. It varies in shade from beige to light brown.

Uncommon colors include dark brown and bicolor.

Bicolor Golden Shepherds often have a light base color, such as tan or gold, with dark brown spots over the back and face. Some mixes have a spot of dark brown as a ‘mask’ over their nose and eyes.

Most Golden Shepherds have a thick, medium length outer coat and a wooly undercoat.

They are heavy shedders and must be brushed a couple of times each week.

Size

The size of a Golden Shepherd is highly variable and will depend a lot on their parents’ genetics.

For example, a puppy that has more Shepherd will be on the larger side and more likely to reach 27 inches tall. This is because German Shepherds are larger than Retrievers by about 2 inches.

Most Golden Shepherds dog will stand from 20 to 27 inches tall and weigh anywhere from 50 to 80 pounds. They will reach their adult size by 2 years old.

Males are often taller and will stand at 24 to 27 inches high versus females at 20 to 23 inches.

A puppy’s growth rate should be similar to both the Golden Retriever and German Shepherd:

  • At 4 to 8 weeks old, a Golden Shepherd puppy should weigh between 5 and 10 pounds.
  • At 8 to 12 weeks old, they will be between 10 to 20 pounds.
  • A 4 to 6 month old will weigh between 25 and 55 pounds.
  • By a year, your dog should be between 45 and 70 pounds.

Your puppy will do most of their growing between 6 and 12 months old.

How Smart Is A Golden Shepherd?

Even though a Golden Shepherd tends to act like a big goofball, they are bred from two of the most intelligent breeds. A Golden Shepherd loves to work, play, and keep themselves busy. They can be trained as a service dog or emotional support animal.

This dog’s intelligence makes them a breeze to train! While you might have to calm them down occasionally because of their goofy nature, they do learn very fast. Training should be fun and enriching so that your dog will be willing to take part.

Start by teaching basic cues like “sit,” “stay,” and “paw” with plenty of treats on hand to reward them for a job well done.

To keep their big brain engaged, you will also need to provide your puppy with plenty of mental stimulation throughout the day, as well as training. A bored dog will make a big, destructive nuisance of themselves.

You can keep your dog’s mind active with fun games, tricks and puzzles.

Agility courses and backyard mazes will exercise both their body and mind.

Try hiding treats in different areas around the house and letting your dog sniff them out. The ‘cups game’ is another fun way to train your dog’s brain. Hide a treat under one of 2 or 3 cups, mix them up, and see if your dog can sniff out the reward.

Temperament

Golden Shepherds are active, energetic and fun loving. Their amusing antics are sure to be great fun for you and your family! This is the type of dog that will sit loyally at your feet and greet you when you walk in the door.

They love children, but are better in a house with kids that can keep up. Their size and high energy may be too much for a toddler to handle.

A Golden Shepherd does not attach themselves to just one person in the family. They will love everyone in your family and may even bond with close friends and neighbors.

However, their extreme loyalty may lead to hypervigilance at times.

The same vigilance that makes them an excellent watchdog, also means they might bark at neighbors and visitors that they do not know. An adult dog should only bark when something is amiss or when they are excited to see you.

While they do not have much of a prey drive, their German Shepherd ‘herding instinct’ may kick in when they see smaller dogs.

Golden Shepherd Puppies

A Golden Shepherd puppy is a wonderful addition to just about any family, but they are difficult to find.

Every so often a litter will become available from an amateur breeder. Otherwise, they can occasionally be found at a dog rescue. You are unlikely to find them for sale from pedigree Golden Retriever and German Shepherd breeders.

Check listings for local animal shelters and breeders in your area and be sure to avoid backyard breeders or puppy mills.

A good breeder should be able to present a puppy’s health certificates and proof of lineage.

It is best to find breeders that have bred from health-tested and pedigree German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers.

Price

A Golden Shepherd puppy is very rare, so you should expect to pay around $500 for one. Even though this is the most expensive option, a puppy from a reputable breeder is almost guaranteed to come from a healthy pedigree bloodline.

If you cannot find a pup from a breeder, it is worth checking your local shelters.

Adoption fees usually run from $50 to $200, depending on the shelter. However, you do not get a guarantee of the pup’s health or lineage.

This breed does not have a dedicated rescue organization, but you may find them at a rescue dedicated to either parent breed listed as a Golden Retriever mix or a German Shepherd mix.

The cost of the puppy is not the only thing you will need to take into account when you budget for a dog. It costs about $1,400 a year to care for a large dog breed like this one. This includes food, housing, toys, veterinary costs, training and grooming.

To raise a Golden Shepherd puppy to its senior years, you should expect to spend about $14,000.

Golden Shepherds As Family Pets

These dogs are best suited for active single owners or families. They are easier to manage in families, as they do not like to be left alone very much. They are always willing to share their love with every member of the family, a trait that makes them an excellent family pet.

Adopting a Golden Shepherd is not a decision to make lightly. This breed is full of energy, built for hard work and can be a bit of a goofball at times.

Their high energy levels mean they are not the best for elderly owners and those with limited mobility. However, they can make a great service dog.

This is not a dog that can be left on their own. They expect you to be on your feet with them, walking and running and finding fun new ways to play.

Diet

Both puppies and adult golden retriever and German shepherd mixes will need around two to three cups of kibble per day, but how the meals are fed depends on their age.

Puppies should have up to three small meals a day, splitting their kibble into full cups. This allows you to fuel their growth, development and play.

Adults can be given 1 1/2 cups of kibble at breakfast and at dinner.

To make sure they have enough energy for their energetic lifestyle, you should feed a kibble formulated for large working breeds.

Grooming

This mix sheds very heavily, like many other double coated breeds. They will need brushing every few days in order to prevent tangles and mats. You should use a pin brush designed to reach the double coat to help remove shed hairs.

Never shave or cut the fur of a Golden Shepherd as you will risk causing damage to the undercoat.

Because this dog is so active you will not need to trim their nails very much. They file down their nails while running and playing.

Health Issues

The typical lifespan for a Golden Shepherd is 10 – 13 years. This is similar to both parents as German Shepherds can live for 9 – 13 years and Golden Retrievers 10 – 12 years.

Luckily, this hybrid is not as prone to health issues as their parents, but they can still have health problems.

Hip dysplasia is one of the most common health problems in large dog breeds. This condition causes loose hip joints, which create pain and inflammation. Symptoms include a decreased activity level, limping and dragging the affected limb. When left untreated, hip dysplasia can lead to arthritis.

Progressive retinal atrophy is a severe eye condition that affects both parents. This disease begins as a gradual decrease in vision and the loss of night vision, before resulting in blindness.

A dog with progressive retinal atrophy may have cataracts or ‘milky eyes,’ though this is not always the case. Unfortunately, this disease cannot be treated or cured.

FAQs

A Golden Retriever and German Shepherd sit together

How Much Is A Golden Retriever German Shepherd Mix?
A Golden Shepherd tends to cost less than either of their purebred parent breeds. Puppies for sale at breeders usually cost around $500, which is far less than the $2,000 needed to buy a Golden Retriever. The price of adopting a pup from a rescue is between $50 and $200. These costs do not include the yearly costs of caring for a large breed, which can run from $1200 to $1400 per year.

Is The Golden Shepherd Rare?
The Golden Shepherd is a rare dog breed that only became recognized about 13 years ago. They were first registered under the International Designer Canine Registry in 2009. You are more likely to find one for adoption at a shelter or from an amateur breeder, rather than for sale from a pedigree breeder.

What Is A German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix Called?
The German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix is usually called a ‘Golden Shepherd.’ However, they also go by many other names, such as the:

  • German Retriever
  • German Golden Shepherd

Breed Quick Facts

Breed Guide
Height 20 to 27 inches
Weight 50 to 85 pounds
Coat Medium double coat
Color Gold, tan or brown
Shedding Heavy
Temperament Loyal, protective, energetic, friendly and boisterous
Family Friendly Extremely affectionate
Barks Rarely
Training Easy
Lifespan 10-13 years
Price $500

Final Thoughts

The Golden Shepherd brings the very best of both the Golden Retriever and the German Shepherd. While it can be rather difficult to find a puppy, it is worth the search for a pup that will never leave your side.

Any owner will need to spend lots of time both exercising and training this dog.

This mix is full of energy, built for hard work and can be a bit of a goofball. It is not uncommon for a Golden Shepherd to come back from a long hike and still want to play. They love to run, hike, play fetch, and romp around the yard.

At the end of a hard day, your pup will be happy to curl up with you on the couch and share their love with every member of the family. They make an excellent choice for anyone who is looking for a fun family dog. They are one of the friendliest and most loyal pups you will ever meet and get along with everybody in the family.

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