Is the German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix right for you?

Last Updated on April 27, 2023

German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers are popular breeds, right?. What most people didn’t know is that they can get the best of these two with its hybrid offspring – the German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix.

Also called Golden Shepherd, this pooch is definitely worthy of being considered if you’re looking for a new canine pal.

Want to know more about this breed? Then stay with us and keep reading!

The story behind Golden Shepherds

It is unknown how long the German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix has been around, but it started getting attention as a designer breed in 2009.

Breeders who were trying to create the crossbreed wanted to minimize the health problems that tend to affect each of the individual parent breeds, as well as create a hybrid that combines the best qualities of German shepherds and Golden retrievers.

Since the Golden Shepherd is a mixed breed, they are not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

But the International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR), American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC), and Designer Breed Registry (DRA) recognize this hybrid.

Let’s discuss the purebred parents of this fido so that we can clearly understand how this crossbreed would turn out.

Meet the German Shepherd

A whole body picture of a purebred German Shepherd (GSD) dog

The German Shepherd (GSD) is a large dog breed that founded its inception in Germany in 1899.

Initially, they were bred to herd and guard sheep and are known to be very strong, intelligent, and easy to train. This is why, to this day, they are often used by the military and police as working dogs.

This well-muscled and agile canine weighs about 65 to 90 pounds (29 to 41 kg) and can reach 26 inches (66 cm) in height. A size that will be enough to take on any kind of job.

Meet the Golden Retriever

A photo of a beautiful Golden Retriever dog

Golden retrievers joined the canine world during the 1800s, as well. Dudley Majoribanks, also known as Lord Tweedmouth, bought the only yellow puppy, named Nous, in a litter of black retrievers in 1865.

He bred Nous with Belle, a Tweed Water Spaniel, and gave rise to several yellow puppies, and were bred with other retrievers. Lord Tweedmouth kept mostly the yellow puppies, and these were the first Golden Retrievers.

Goldens are very eager to please, as well as extroverted and friendly. They are great family pets and generally very playful throughout their lives. They act like young pups despite their full-grown size of 21.5 to 24 inches (55 to 61 cm), and they can weigh up to 75 pounds (34 kg).

It’s interesting to note that they were originally bred as hunting dogs to retrieve prey for their masters. Nowadays, many Golden retrievers also serve as therapy dogs, guide dogs, and fantastic companion canines.

What does a German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix look like?

The truth is that these dogs can vary quite a bit in terms of appearance since the parent breeds have significant differences in their physical qualities. However, we are going to describe the general features that apply to most of this mixed breed.

Golden Retriever German Shepherd mixes can either have a lean or athletic build. Then their ears can be floppy or erect, and have eyes with an intelligent gaze like the GSD, or expressive like Goldens.

At the end of their straight back and body is a long, slightly curved tail, and muscular legs.

How Big Will a German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix Get?

The German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix classifies as a medium-to-large-sized dog. Both female and male Golden Shepherds can grow around 20 to 26 inches (51 to 66 cm) and can weigh between 55 to 85 pounds (25 to 39 kg).

German Shepherd Golden Retriever mixes are considered full-grown when they reach their adult height anywhere between 6 to 12 months of age.

Golden Shepherd
Physical Features
Male Female
Height 20 to 26 inches
(51 to 66 cm)
20 to 26 inches
(51 to 66 cm)
Weight 55 to 85 pounds
(25 to 39 kg)
55 to 85 pounds
(25 to 39 kg)

You can see in this video how big a German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is by the time they’re 3 ½ months old:

Coat: Do German Shepherd Golden Retriever mixes shed?

Both GSDs and Goldens are double-coated dogs, so that means we can expect the same with their hybrid offspring. With that said, this designer breed moderately sheds throughout the year and becomes heavy shedders during the shedding season (spring and fall).

They generally have a medium-length coat that is fairly dense and waterproof, which helps them when doing outdoor tasks, just like its parents.

For their coat color, it can vary quite a bit, but typically, they come in tan, red, cream, or black. Golden Retriever German Shepherd mixes can either have solid colors or a blend that makes them look unique.

The qualities and quirks of the Golden Shepherd

The Golden Retriever German Shepherd mix can inherit the personality of one or both parent’s temperaments.

However, there are a few things that we can say that does generally apply to this crossbreed.

Family-friendly and fun!

Dita, the German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix having some fun rolling in the grass

Generally speaking, these dogs are fantastic companions. Once you have earned their loyalty, they will be faithful to you for the rest of their lives.

The German Shepherd & Golden Retriever cross is a wonderful family pet, and they’re very tolerable with kids.

They can be great with most humans and pets, as long as they’re properly socialized. It’s best to take note that you will need to teach your children, especially little ones, on how to approach and interact with pets, no matter the size. Make sure that you supervise them so that the child doesn’t do anything to agitate the dog.

Golden German Shepherds can also be very playful and are usually very full of energy. This can be easily dealt with by playing some indoor or outdoor games.

A Golden watchdog and fantastic work abilities

Thanks to the amazing traits of the German Shepherd and Golden Retriever, their crossbreed can also excel in different jobs. They may love to play and have fun, but it doesn’t stop them from being excellent watchdogs.

They are very protective of their person and will bark to alert you when strangers are approaching. Some, like the GSD, won’t be very friendly with humans they’re unfamiliar with, at least not immediately.

Golden Retriever German Shepherd mixes are great to have around as fur buddies, and they can also be put up to a task. With appropriate training, they can be employed by the military and police, or even as hunting and guide dogs.

It means that if you give this dog a job, he won’t let you down. After all, they’re very intelligent and relatively easy to train.

Just like other canines, it’s always better to train them using positive reinforcement. So, instead of punishing them for bad behaviors, you should focus more on rewarding your doggo for something that he did right with toys, praise, and of course, treats.

Separation anxiety in a social dog

Keep in mind that this crossbreed does not like to be left alone. They can quickly become depressed, frustrated, and bored, which can lead to undesirable behaviors such as being destructive.

In case you need to be away from your home for a long time, consider hiring someone to take care of and spend quality time with your dog.

Golden Shepherds are social butterflies, and they enjoy the company of both dogs and humans.

Ideally, you can have another dog in your home that can be with your fido. However, if this isn’t possible, try to set up playdates for your dog and take him to the dog park whenever possible. It’s also a great way to let your fur baby socialize.

Lots of Dog, Lots of Care!

If you are interested in adding a German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix to your family, you’re in for a lot of fun. However, you’re also in for a huge responsibility.

Are you up for the commitment with this fluff ball?

A Ball of Energy!

A beautiful black German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix enjoying a boat ride through a lake
Source: @lunapuppalardo / IG

Letting your pooch play in the backyard and short walks in the doggy park won’t be enough for this mixed breed. Your Golden Retriever-German Shepherd cross will require 1 to 2 hours of exercise a day. If your pet is highly active, then it will often be the latter.

Why not take your dog on a run or a hike? He can also go swimming! This breed is almost sure to enjoy playing fly ball, and you can take agility classes with him as well.

This is an amazing way to spend quality time with your pet, and he will especially enjoy it because he gets to do it all with you – his favorite human!

It is crucial to be able to control your dog’s inclination to run off since the German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix can easily be overcome by their urge to chase a squirrel or bird who happens to show up. You need to make sure that your recall with your fido is excellent so that he’ll quickly come back to you if he tries to take off.

If you just got a Golden Shepherd puppy, do not overexert your little furball, whether it’s exercise or play. Wait until he is 18 months old so that his joints are fully formed, then you will be safe to do more activities with him.

Golden Retriever German Shepherd mix grooming habits

Because of its coat, you’re going to need to brush your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix daily. You may think that you only really need to do this to minimize the effects of his shedding around your house, but the truth is, you’ll also be able to avoid matting in his fur.

Golden Retrievers have fur that is particularly likely to mat, so you might need an even more durable brush during the spring and the fall when they shed the most.

Take your dog to a groomer once in a while for a bath and a trim. This will help keep his coat healthy and minimize the amount of grooming you need to do.

A groomer will also trim your dog’s nails, which can be a big help if you have a skittish dog who doesn’t tolerate you trying to cut his nails.

If you can give your Golden German Shepherd mix a bath on your own, that will work, too! Since they have a weatherproof fur, washing him every 2 to 3 months (or when needed) is enough.

Brush your dog’s teeth daily, and make sure to check his ears weekly. These dogs are somewhat prone to wax buildup in their ears.

Feeding a German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix

Expect that a dog this size would require a lot of food. This hybrid needs approximately 2 to 4 cups of high-quality dry kibbles every day. You should try to divide this amount into spaced out feedings, giving an adult dog two meals a day and a puppy four meals a day.

Dividing your dog’s meals throughout the day will minimize the chance of bloat, which happens when your dog overeats at one feeding.

Also, the type and amount of dog food you give your pet should be based on his age, size, activity level, and health. Some owners even prefer feeding their canines with their daily caloric needs.

You can use this calorie calculator to compute how many calories your doggo needs.

If you’re getting this dog as a puppy, give him the same diet that the breeder did. If you switch between dog foods right away, this could upset his stomach and cause all sorts of unwanted illnesses.

Even though this is a big dog who eats a lot, you need to make sure that he’s not eating too much. Obesity is relatively common in this breed, especially if they don’t get enough exercise.

Keeping Your German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix in peak health!

The German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is not known for its health issues. This designer dog has a lifespan of 10 to 14 years, which is typical for canines in the broader size range.

However, there are some health concerns that this breed is prone to, problems that tend to affect both parent breeds as well. The diseases that you should watch out for if you plan on getting this hybrid are:

Degenerative myelopathy (a progressive disease of the spinal cord in older dogs that involves a loss of coordination in the hind limbs and can eventually progress to paraplegia).

Bloat (a condition common in large breeds, where the stomach becomes filled with a gas and twists; this can be fatal).

Hyperthyroidism (a condition where the dog’s thyroid gland produces an excess of thyroxine, leading to an overly fast metabolism)

Hip and elbow dysplasia (a condition where the parts of the hip and elbow joints don’t move together smoothly, resulting in inflammation, pain, and eventually secondary osteoarthritis)

Other health problems to add to the list are eye problems, allergies, and even cancer.

If you want to minimize the chance of having a dog that has any of these conditions, you should make sure you get your dog from a reputable breeder. One that will do all of the necessary health checks, ensuring that the parent breeds have clear eye scores, as well as good hip and elbow scores before breeding.

Ideally, there will be no history of cancer in your dog’s family, either. Although, it’s vital to keep this disease in mind since it is the biggest killer of Golden Retrievers that are currently known.

Remember when we advised you not to give your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix too much exercise until their joints are fully formed? The reason behind it is that too much activity as a puppy can predispose this breed to hip and elbow dysplasia when he gets older.

Most of our pets’ health would be based on the care we provide. If you notice anything unusual in your dog, don’t hesitate to contact or visit a vet.

How much is a German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix?

A long-coated German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix puppy
Source: @swat_gsd_golden_kennel / IG

Expect to pay around $500 to $800 for a Golden Retriever German Shepherd mix puppy. That is just a general amount range for this breed. Still, it can be more expensive depending on the bloodline of the parent breeds, the popularity of the kennel, the breeder’s location, and even the availability of puppies.

Crossing Goldens and GSDs together can produce 6 to 10 pups in a litter.

German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix breeders

Before you make a deal with a breeder or puppy seller for a cute furball you see online, you should only buy dogs from a reputable breeder. Do your research and request to visit the parents and the litter. This will let you observe the dog’s personalities and how they react when they see their owner and a stranger.

Take this opportunity to ask if you can see the parent’s medical documents before they were bred. If the puppies already got a few vaccines, ask to see their records, too.

Currently, there are no specific breeders or kennels that focus on producing this particular designer dog. However, you can still find puppies for sale in marketplaces such as Greenfield Puppies, Lancaster Puppies, Buckeye Puppies, and Keystone Puppies.

But you may get lucky with our next option.

How about a German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix for adoption?

What a great idea! Many people don’t know this, but a lot of mixed breed dogs end up in shelters for different reasons. And aside from giving another canine a chance to be loved and be part of a family, it’s also mostly cheaper.

Generally, adoption costs are around $300, but the price can go lower or higher. You may be glad to know that most dogs are already trained and vaccinated! Amazing, right?

If you’ve already visited your local shelter, but you still want to check out those fur angels who can be adopted, rescued, or fostered, check out these sites:

  • Westside German Shepherd Rescue (Los Angeles, CA)
  • All Shepherd Rescue (Baltimore, MD)
  • Golden Retriever Rescue of Wisconsin, Inc. (West Allis, WI)
  • Golden Retriever Rescue of Mid-Florida (Goldenrod, FL)

This mix gives you the best of both worlds!

After learning more about the Golden Shepherd, we can say that this is a great family dog!

Of course, anyone who’s interested in a purebred or a crossbreed would have to weigh in the pros and cons before deciding if this is the dog for you.

You’ll need to be mindful of potential health problems and make sure that you can handle the size and needs of this pooch, but the mix of two great breeds gives rise to an incredible companion.

Here’s a video that gives a quick summary or overview of this crossbreed:

Tell us what you think of the German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix in the comments!


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