Dog Breed Info: Are Golden Shepherds good dogs?

Last Updated on April 26, 2023

Dogs are exceptional animals that firmly secure a place in our lives. Some dogs are genuinely excellent, and one of them is the Golden Shepherd. 

A cross between the Golden Retriever and German Shepherd, two of the most popular dogs in the US, their beautiful hybrid is an ideal pet and companion.

If this sounds like the pup for you, keep reading to know this fido better.

Why was the Golden Shepherd created?

The breeders’ intention was to create a mixed breed with minimal health problems compared to its purebred parents and to become the ultimate watchdog and family pet.

It’s unknown how long the German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix has been around, but some say that they might’ve been part of the canine world since the 1980s – when crossing purebreds started. They really did start getting attention in 2009, though.

Even if Golden Shepherds aren’t recognized by the American Kennel Club because they’re a designer dog, other associations recognize them and accept this pooch for registration. There’s the Designer Breed Registry (DRA), American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC), and International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR).

Let us meet the parents of this doggo to understand further how they’d turn out in terms of appearance and personality.

The courageous German Shepherd

A German Shepherd dog resting on the grass

Known as the 2nd most popular breed in the US and Germany’s official dog, German Shepherds (GSD) is adored for their hard-working attitude, sharp demeanor, and intelligence.

They were initially used for herding in Germany, and owners saw that these dogs’ work ethics are valuable. Today, they’re not only famous in farms and ranches, but they’re included as a top choice as a companion of the police and military. Having a bite force of 238 PSI definitely helps with the job and taking down bad guys.

GSDs are large canines with a height ranging from 22 to 26 inches (56 to 66 cm) and a weight of 65 to 90 pounds (29 to 41 kg).

And with the use of their agile and well-muscled body, it can take a toll on them and only get to enjoy a lifespan of 7 to 10 years.

The German Shepherd breed’s popularity may have boomed at the end of the 1800s, but they still continue to enter a lot of dog lover’s hearts because of their defining qualities. No wonder they’re one of the favorite choices when creating crossbreeds, like the Golden Shepherd, German Husky, and the cute Corman Shepherd.

The friendly Golden Retriever

A beautiful Golden Retriever having

Following the GSD when it comes to popularity, especially with families, is the lovable Golden Retriever with a lustrous golden coat.

This gun dog that originated from Scotland was bred to retrieve game (hence the name) such as ducks, waterfowls, and upland game birds. Owners of this breed would agree that any water-related activity is a favorite pastime of this doggo.

With its playful and joyous approach to life, Goldens seem like medium-sized canines that retained its puppy-ish behavior, and they do. But for those who don’t know, this is an affectionate and intelligent pooch.

Not only do these retrievers compete in obedience and conformation events, but they’re also reliable when it comes to detection, hunting, search & rescues, as well as assistance and guide dogs.

Goldens are sporting fidos that weigh 55 to 75 pounds (25 to 34 kg) and stand about 21.5 to 24 inches (55 to 61 cm).

Compared to German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers live longer – around 10 to 12 years.

What does a Golden Shepherd look like?

A close-up photo of a Golden Shepherd's face resembling more of a German Shepherd

You should know that it’s difficult to predict what the offspring of two different breeds will look like, and it often happens that their appearance as a puppy will change once they’re full-grown, even with purebreds. But we can make generalizations based on their parents’ physical traits.

The German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix may have an athletic or lean build, with a head large and broad head. Their large ears can either be upright or floppy, and their eyes have a deep brown hue with an expressive or intelligent gaze. Then the tail will be long, thick, and slightly curved.

When it comes to this designer dog’s coat, they mostly have dense fur that can be medium or long. But since they’re double-coated dogs, we can be sure that they’re not recommended for allergy sufferers.

Some may even have feathering on their underbelly, legs, and tail. Golden Shepherds can be seen in main colors like black, tan, cream, blue, and red, but they can be a mix of these shades, too.

Size: How big does a Golden Shepherd get?

We can expect this hybrid to be a medium- to a large-sized dog with a height that ranges from 20 to 27 inches (51 to 69 cm) and can weigh 60 to 95 pounds (27 to 43 kg). By gender, females are usually smaller than males.

If you’re wondering when a Golden Shepherd puppy reaches its adult size, it usually when they’re around 2 to 2 ½ years of age.

Another fun fact about this designer dog is that they do well in apartments! Despite their size, the Golden Shepherd mix can adapt to any type of house, as long as their exercise requirements are met.

The endearing personality of Golden Shepherds

A Golden Shepherd with floppy ears

To answer our initial question about this crossbreed, Golden Shepherds have an excellent temperament. Just like its parents, they’re loving and smart. They’re a brilliant canine that can easily be trained and can be one of the best guard dogs and watchdogs.

Keep in mind that a mixed breed offspring can inherit any of their parents’ qualities. Sometimes, they can be more like one parent over the other. Either way, this fido has a lot of good traits.

They can also be easy-going and would always want to please their family with their cleverness, which makes this crossbreed popular with the kids.

Watch out, though. Even if they get along with your little ones, this pooch is quite big, and if it gets the German Shepherd’s bite force, you have to be cautious. Better be safe than sorry.

It doesn’t mean playtime can’t be fun. It’s even an excellent way to bond with our pets. No matter what activity it is, the Golden Shepherd would want to be a part of it. They wouldn’t even appreciate it if you leave them alone for a long time because they can get separation anxiety.

Burning off their energy would also help stave off any behavioral problems.

Do you have other pets at home? Birds, a chubby hamster, or a cat? Be careful if you intend to get a Golden Retriever & German Shepherd mix of your own. We have to take into consideration that they have parents with a hunting background. If not, you may have to deal with lots of chasing.

If you want this breed as a canine friend, focus on socialization and early training so that they’ll know how to react properly when there are other people and pets around.

Just take a look at this video of a cute and playful Golden Shepherd puppy:

Taking care of your Golden Shepherd

If you’ve ever had a Golden Retriever or a German Shepherd, combining these two would create a hybrid that is NOT hypoallergenic. So be prepared for shedding season! You have to brush your doggo’s hair every day and have your vacuum ready.

But when the Golden Shepherd mix is not blowing its coat excessively, you can groom or brush its coat two to three times a week.

You should also keep in mind that double-coated dog breeds shouldn’t be shaved. Their fur is meant to protect the fidos from extreme weather like snow, rain, and swimming in cold water. It’s also resistant to dirt. That means you only have to give your pooch a bath when needed.

Watch this video of an expert groomer on how to groom double-coated dogs:

Other than that, make a weekly check of your Golden Retriever German Shepherd mix’s ears for debris and trim his nails once or twice a month.

And since this mixed breed is prone to tartar build-up, make it a habit to brush his teeth daily.

For its diet, remember the rule that the type and amount of food we feed our dog should be based on his age, size, activity level or metabolism, and health. So for this canine, choose dry kibbles that are formulated for highly active and large breeds.

This designer dog is also prone to gaining weight, so make sure to divide two and a half cups of dog food into two meals. And don’t leave food out or free-feed your pet. Stick to a regular feeding schedule and make sure to limit the treats.

To deal with its mouthy quirk, convert from snacks to sturdy bones and chew toys. It will keep your fur buddy from chewing your favorite footwear and pricey furniture.

Let’s move on to exercise! Going for this active crossbreed means you need to spend at least an hour every day to make sure he gets the physical and mental stimulation he requires. Make it exciting by taking your Golden Shepherd on adventurous activities like hiking.

Don’t be too excited, though. If you get a German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix puppy, keep playtime, such as running or fetching, on the grass. Their joints aren’t fully formed until they reach two years old. So try to stay away from hard surfaces, like the pavement, to avoid early health problems.

Are Golden Shepherds healthy?

Golden Shepherds are generally healthy, but they can either inherit illnesses or develop some health concerns along the way.

Some of the diseases that you should watch out for are hip and elbow dysplasia, atopic dermatitis, and hyperthyroidism.

If you think those are bad, they can also have cancer, epilepsy, Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI), Von Willebrand’s Disease, aortic stenosis, osteoarthritis, and degenerative myelopathy.

You may be wondering how can this be when crossbreeds have hybrid vigor? Some people agree that mixes are healthier than purebreds, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be careful.

From the breeding process to the point where we’re taking care of a puppy, it can all affect the health of that particular dog.

We still have to take precautions, take good care of our pets, provide a proper diet, and have regular veterinary checkups, which can make a difference. Do this, and your Golden Retriever & German Shepherd cross can have a lifespan of 10 to 14 years.

How much is a Golden Shepherd puppy?

a cute Golden Retriever German Shepherd mix puppy
Source: @brinaramirez / IG

Golden Shepherd puppies cost anywhere from $500 to $1500. The price of a pup is affected by different factors. Some of those are the breeder’s location, the bloodline of the parents, the kennel’s popularity, and the size of the litter.

Generally, crossing a German Shepherd with a Golden Retriever can produce a litter of 6 to 10 puppies. So if a particular breeder has a lot of buyers and there are just one or two pups available, prepare your wallet so you can get your hybrid furball right away.

But before paying for any puppy, make sure that you’re dealing with a responsible breeder.

Look for breeders who prioritize the welfare of its breeding stock and its pups. They would interview every interested buyer to make sure that the little furballs would end up with the right owner. Be ready to answer those questions, and know what to ask, as well.

Doing your research is a small price to pay in order to find a healthy Golden Shepherd of your own.

To be sure that you are getting a healthy puppy, don’t forget to ask if you can see the medical records of the parent breeds. If the litter has been vaccinated, request if you can take a look at that, too.

You can also look for other Golden Shepherd owners or a social media group to understand the commitment you need to make to give this designer dog the best life possible. 

Golden Shepherd breeders & kennels

If you’re ready to take a look at some Golden Shepherd puppies for sale online, we found some websites that have available dogs for you!

  • Golden Shepherd Pup (Central Virginia)
  • Alzimm Kennels (Ohio)

There are also marketplaces that are worth checking out, like Greenfield Puppies, Lancaster Puppies, and Keystone Puppies.

How about a Golden Shepherd for adoption?

Good thinking! Did you know that a lot of crossbreeds end up in shelters? There can be a lot of reasons behind it, but one of them is because their previous owners weren’t prepared for how the cute pups grew up to be – more shedding, larger than expected, and many more.

That’s why we encourage you to adopt, rescue, or foster a Golden Shepherd, or any other dog. Each one of them deserves to be loved and have a family, and they only wanted to love a human of their own.

Many Golden Retriever and German Shepherd organizations or groups also have mixed breeds in need of a forever home. They don’t just have purebreds and Golden Shepherds, there are also other mixes that might steal your heart!

  • German Shepherd Rescue & Adoption
  • Sedona Shepherd Sanctuary (Millburn, NJ)
  • Sooner Golden Retriever Rescue
  • Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (Reinholds, PA)

Pets in shelters come in all ages and sizes. If you don’t want a puppy because, admittedly, they are a lot of work and require as much time as they do patience, then adopting an older pup, or even a senior canine, is a great choice. After all, most of them are already housetrained.

Breeds compared to the Golden Shepherd

There are other mixes out there that can be an excellent option in case you feel that the Golden Shepherd is not the right breed for you.

Here are other designer dogs that you should consider if the Golden Shepherd was able to get your interest.

Golden Australian Shepherd

Golden Retriever Australian Shepherd mix AKA Golden Aussie
Source: @2husks1golden / IG

Also known as the Aussie Retriever, this hybrid is a cross between an Australian Shepherd and a Golden Retriever.

Aussie Golden Retrievers have a broad head, hanging ears, expressive eyes, and a black nose. This medium- to a large-sized dog can weigh 30 to 60 pounds (14 to 27 kg) and have a height of 19 to 23 inches (48 to 58 cm). Some say they can reach a height of 30 inches (76 cm).

They’re also not hypoallergenic and considered moderate shedders. You can find them in a combination of golden, black, white, or brown. Others can be merle, spotted, and speckled varieties of colors. This mixed breed also has a waterproof double coat that’s coarse and wavy.

You can expect this fido to excel in different types of jobs, especially in herding! They do enjoy spending time with their owners and doing work. Although, it can be an issue for those who have other pets because this designer dog can be a bit possessive of their things and their favorite humans.

Other than that, Golden Australian Shepherds are loyal, friendly, great with kids, and can live up to 15 years.

King Shepherd

A close-up photo of a glorious-looking King Shepherd dog
King Shepherd

The purebred GSD and its mixes, as well as other herding dogs, are often compared to this attractive King Shepherd.

Bred during the early ‘90s from European and American German Shepherds, Alaskan Malamutes, and Great Pyrenees, this giant was developed by Americans named David Turkheimer and Shelley Watts-Cross.

They wanted to create the long-haired King Shepherd, but the breeding also gave this designer dog a boosted genetic variation or less genetic illnesses.

King Shepherds may share a few physical traits and personality with GSDs, but they’re more rugged, heavily muscled, and more robust. In fact, they’re the largest in the shepherd class. They have a height of 27 to 29 inches (69 to 74 cm) and weigh 90 to 150 pounds (41 to 68 kg).

With those measurements, don’t even think about bringing this massive pooch in a condo, apartment, or any small home. They need a lot of space, so a house with a big backyard, a farm, or a ranch, would be more suitable.

For their coat, they have two types – straight and coarse, then the wavy and long-haired ones.

The King Shepherd can come in black and white colors and even tan with some hints of black and brown markings. Some can have a grayish silver fur with hints of black.

In terms of behavior, they’re highly intelligent, loyal, hard workers, and loving. Despite their size and exuberant personality, they’re incredibly gentle with children. So make the most of their life expectancy of 11 years at most if you decide to get a king for a pet.

The Verdict: Golden Shepherds are noble companions

Ghost the Golden Shepherd about to take a swim
Source: @ghostthegoldenshepherd / IG

Golden Retriever and German Shepherd crosses can be considered as ideal canines for all novice and experienced owners. A blend of their stunning looks, intelligence, devotion, and well-mannered demeanor makes them a very appealing breed.

There may be a lot of factors to consider, such as being a large dog, the amount of food it can consume daily, and its high energy level. 

The time you have to spend with your furry companion is another major consideration, as is finding someone to take care of him when you are away.

If you are an experienced owner who is looking for a big pooch that is very smart and loves going for a jog or taking long hikes, a Golden Shepherd will enjoy that! If you prefer smaller, low-maintenance dogs who will be happy to lounge on the couch for most of the day, you might want to consider another option, like little Poodle mixes such as the Yorkie Poo.

And do not forget, if you are allergic to dogs, this breed has a lot of fur and sheds all year-round. Translation: you might start sneezing just looking at a picture of this pup.

Temperament-wise, any dog lover wouldn’t find anything to complain about this hybrid. It’s also the perfect size to be a cuddle buddy.

We would love to hear your tales (pun intended), thoughts, and experiences with regards to Golden Shepherds. Share it with fellow paw parents and us by commenting below!

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