Both dogs have their own unique set of traits, so what happens when you mix the two together?
If you’re looking to find out more about the German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix, then you’ve come to the right place. In today’s article, we are going to go over everything you need to know about this unique hybrid dog.
Let’s get started.
1. The German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix Is Considered A Designer Dog
German shepherd golden retriever dogs are considered designer dog breeds.
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 instead perfect them.
Dogs like the German shepherd and the golden retriever, (the German shepherd golden retriever mix’s two parent breeds) are each a product of crossbreeding from 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 wonderful qualities of each of its parent breeds.
Of course, genetics are unfortunately not as predictable as many would like for them to be, leading experts on both sides of the fence to raise their voices on weather crossbreed dogs are a good or bad thing.
As of today, the verdict is still out and many owners find that they are enchanted with their German Shepherd golden retriever hybrid regardless.
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 that he 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 purebred parents of the German shepherd golden retriever dog in an effort to get a better grasp on his potential personality traits.
The German Shepherd
The German Shepherd was originally bred as a herding dog and is renowned for his intelligence and loyalty.
Hailing 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 him an excellent K9 dog for officers of the law as well as military.
During World War ll, the German shepherd was feared and even revered as a negative symbol of German loyalty, but today this incredibly smart and loving pup is one of the world’s most famous dog breeds.
Currently, the German shepherd sits proudly at number 2 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 US.
A working dog through and through, the golden retriever is beloved for his intelligence as much as he is for his sweet and loving disposition. He makes an excellent family dog and is friendly to all he meets.
Originally bred in the Scottish highlands as a gun dog (a dog who retrieves prey shot by hunters), the easily trainable, highly energetic and incredibly eager to please golden retriever now sits just behind his German shepherd counterpart at number 3 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 his parent breeds’ wonderful personality traits, it’s no wonder the German shepherd golden retriever mix is such a sought after crossbreed.
This hybrid is incredibly intelligent, which can be problematic for some novice dog owners who aren’t prepared for his wit and ability to outsmart people. That said, this brainy mix is a joy to work with as he is eager to please and loves to learn.
Because the German shepherd golden retriever mix is the offspring of two working dog breeds, he will require a lot of time, attention, and mental stimulation in order to keep him busy and happy. (More on that further down).
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 getting a German shepherd golden retriever dog, keep this in mind and be prepared to keep busy.
With that noted, it’s also 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 will also need to be with owners who are able to get them out at least twice a day on fast-paced walks, hikes, or visits to the dog park.
4. German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix Dogs Are Double Coated Breeds And Heavy Shedders
These mixed breeds need moderate grooming and brushing to keep their coats healthy.
Both the German shepherd and the golden retriever are famous for their gorgeous coats, and this is one of the most attractive elements to a German shepherd golden retriever mix.
That said, this crossbreed is not only going to have lovely fur but he is also going to have thick, double-coated fur that sheds quite heavily, especially during shedding season.
Spring and fall will bring about the most loose hair from your German shepherd golden retriever mix, and this will require routine brushing, lots of vacuuming, and an investment in quite a few lint rollers.
Luckily, these dogs are also relatively clean and their weather-resistant coat allows them to be comfortable in a number of climates. Never shave your German shepherd golden retriever’s double coat in an effort 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 Could Vary In Appearance
Your golden shepherd’s appearance will depend on the genetics he inherits from his parent breeds.
One of the controversies surrounding crossbreeding is the unpredictability that comes along with appearance. This 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).
Keep in mind that your German shepherd golden retriever dog’s appearance will vary and be dependent on the traits he inherits from his parent breeds.
On average, however, 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 as well as 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 especially bonded to their families and will prefer them over most others while golden retrievers know no strangers.
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 well trained and socialized at an early age and young children should be monitored around these dogs and taught how to properly interact with them in order to keep everyone in the home safe and happy.
7. The Average Lifespan of a German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix Is Around 10 – 14 Years
German shepherd golden retrievers have a decent lifespan of up to 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 some German shepherd golden retriever dogs living longer if conditions are right. 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 of course genetic factors.
Another important aspect to the health and vitality of your German shepherd golden retriever is going to be the source you get him from. A reputable breeder can ensure your German shepherd golden retriever comes from healthy parent breeds, thus better ensuring the genetics are good and strong.
8. The German Shepherd Golden Retriever Can Be Prone To A Number of Serious Health Issues
Like all dogs, the German shepherd golden retriever mix can be prone to a number of the same genetic health issues as his 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
- And 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 that can be caused by a number of factors including stress, eating too quickly, eating too much, over exertion, or eating too quickly 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 a bit overwhelming for owners who are not prepared.
While the German shepherd golden retriever does make an excellent family dog, he is not right for every family. Remember, this is a hybrid dog who is going to 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 is able to keep up with his activity level and training needs. The German shepherd golden retriever mix will do best in active families where he can join on adventures like camping, hiking, walking, and swimming.
He will also benefit from crate training, dog park visits, and may do well in a good doggy day care 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 him to many new experiences early on.
Like all dogs, the German shepherd golden retriever should be well socialized and introduced to a variety of experiences and situations at an early age. Socializing your German shepherd golden retriever mix during puppyhood can help alleviate anxiety and potential destructive behaviors in the future.
When socializing any dog, it’s important to introduce them to new experiences in a positive way. Never force a dog into a situation it is clearly frightened of or this can make the problem and fear much worse.
For a German shepherd golden retriever mix, it is important to introduce him 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 his ears, tail, paws, and face during puppyhood.
11. Make Sure Your German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix Eats A Healthy, Balanced Diet
Make sure your golden shepherd eats a healthy and balanced diet specified for his age, weight and activity level.
Because he is an athletic and large breed mix, it’s very important that your German shepherd golden retriever is fed a quality diet that is high in protein and free of additives, fillers, artificial flavors or preservatives.
His dog food should also be specified for his age, weight and activity level. German shepherd golden retriever dogs will also need a dog food that contains the proper combination of fats, carbs, and vitamins and minerals.
While some quality dog foods can be expensive, there are also plenty of affordable dog food brands that are 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 raw dog food.
12. German Shepherd Golden Retriever Dogs Need Lots Of Exercise and Mental Stimulation
These intelligent mixes can be prone to destructive behaviors if not kept properly exercised and mentally stimulated.
As a hybrid who comes from two working-breed parents, the German shepherd golden retriever is going to need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation each and every day in order to stay happy and healthy.
We recommend two good walks each day with your German shepherd golden retriever mix. He will also benefit from a good amount of outside play time in a decent sized yard or frequent visits to the dog park.
If you are a jogger, your German shepherd golden retriever mix can make an excellent jogging partner.
Along with physical exercise, mental stimulation is also highly important. The German shepherd golden retriever mix can be prone to boredom, depression, anxiety and behavioral issues if not kept properly stimulated.
He will enjoy having jobs to do around the house including helping sort the laundry, loading the dishwasher, bringing in the mail and carrying in groceries. Your German shepherd golden retriever mix will also love playing with doggy puzzle toys and partaking in a number of training sessions with you where he can learn new tricks.
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 works best.
When it comes to training your German shepherd golden retriever mix, remember that this is an intelligent dog who aims to please. He will do best with positive reinforcement training which includes lots of praise, treats, and breaks when you see he is getting overwhelmed.
German shepherd golden retriever mix dogs will not respond well to punishments and scolding and may even shut down if they feel you are becoming frustrated with them. Instead, try being patient with your dog and giving him short training sessions in bursts of five minute segments.
Lots of breaks, exercise, playtime and treats between training sessions will further help to keep your dog interested and will nurture a strong and trusting bond between you both as well.
14. German Shepherd Golden Retriever Dogs Will Need Moderate Grooming To Stay Happy and Healthy
The German shepherd golden retreiver’s weather resistant coat means he only needs bathing once every few months.
All dogs need to be routinely brushed and groomed in order to maintain their health and appearance, and the German shepherd golden retriever dog is no exception. He will need routine brushing with a dematting comb and deshedding brush at least once a week. During shedding season, he may need to be brushed once a day.
Your German shepherd golden retriever will only need to be bathed once every three to four months unless he gets especially dirty, and he will need his ears cleaned and kept free of debris and moisture often to prevent ear infections.
His nails should be trimmed regularly to keep them from splitting or cracking and his teeth should be brushed at least once a day with a quality dog toothbrush and dog-safe toothpaste to encourage optimine dental health and prevent potential tooth decay.
15. A German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix Is A Relatively Affordable Crossbreed
German shepherd golden retriever puppies usually cost around $400 and $800 from a reputable breeder. (https://unsplash.com/photos/xue7Zx_uYA4)
If you’re looking to purchase your German shepherd golden retriever from a reputable breeder, you should prepare to spend anywhere from $400 to $800. This is a relatively good price for a “designer dog” these days, and it’s important not to try and cut costs by going through backyard breeders or online sellers.
As we mentioned above, getting your German shepherd golden retriever puppy from one of these unqualified sources could result in you winding up with a very sick puppy and end up costing you even more money in the long run.
That said, you can always save money by rescuing or adopting your German shepherd golden retriever from a qualified shelter. rescuing a dog has many benefits aside from saving money, and you may even get a free initial vet exam included when you adopt.
Top Five Products For German Shepherd Golden Retriever Dogs and Their Owners
All dogs are different, and it’s important to be prepared for the unique needs of your dog before becoming a dog parent. Are you considering getting a German shepherd golden retriever to call your own?
If so, there are some products we recommend you get in order to ensure you can be the best dog parent for your new dog as possible. Take a look.
VetPro Complete Glucosamine Vitamins
Both German shepherds and golden retrievers are prone to suffering from hip and joint issues including hip and elbow dysplasia. The above vitamins can help strengthen your dog’s joints and prevent future joint problems as they age including arthritis, hip and elbow dysplasia, and overall joint pain.
The formula is made by veterinarians and is rich in turmeric, Omega 3 fatty acids, and vitamin C to help promote healthy and strong bones for large breed dogs like the German shepherd golden retriever mix.
The FURminator Undercoat Deshedding Brush
The FURminator is one of our favorite tools for dogs with double coats like the German shepherd golden retriever mix. This is a premium grooming tool which can help alleviate shedding and matting and will help remove loose hair that gets stuck under the thick coat of your dog.
It can also reduce odor, prevent skin infections, and help control the amount of loose hair around your home, on your furniture and on your clothing.
The Deluxe Easy Walk Harness
Walking is going to be a big part of your life as a German shepherd golden retriever dog owner. Because German shepherd golden retriever mix dogs have so much energy, they can have a tendency to pull on leash.
The above Easy Walk Harness is widely used by trainers and experts for larger dogs who tend to pull. Not only is this harness safer and more comfortable for your dog to wear, it also reduces pulling by redirecting the dog back to you and by not putting pressure on his chest, which can tap into his natural instincts to pull.
Wainbowa Interactive Dog Treat Balls
Your German Shepherd golden retriever will love playing outside, but you may not be available each time he wants to go out to help play with him and keep him busy. This is why we love these interactive treat ball toys by Wainbowa.
These toy balls dispense treats and make sounds as they are played with and will help to keep your German shepherd golden retriever busy and active, even if he’s on his own. You can use these toys for both inside and outside fun and to help reduce boredom and destructive behaviors.
Outward Hound Slow Feeder Dog Bowl
One of the leading causes of bloat in dogs is eating too quickly or over eating. And because German shepherd golden retriever dogs can be so prone to bloat, we are lastly recommending slow feeders.
You can help prevent bloat in your German shepherd golden retriever by investing in a slow feeder like the one above. Slow feeders make your dog work for his food and slow him down during meal time to ensure he does not overeat or consume his meals too quickly.
And there you have it – 15 things you should know about the German shepherd golden retriever mix, plus a few of our favorite products for this unique crossbreed.
What do you think? Does this hybrid seem like the perfect fit for you and your family? Why or why not? Let us know what you think about the German shepherd golden retriever mix in the comment sections below.
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.