The Golden Shepherd is the result of breeding two of the most popular breeds of dog is the world — the Golden Retriever and the German Shepherd. This combines the intelligent and hardworking traits of the German Shepherd with the loyal and loving traits of the Golden Retriever to create a playful and affectionate dog that makes an excellent family dog.
This lovable hybrid breed is becoming more and more popular in the United States for many reasons. Read on below to find out more about this interesting breed and whether they might be the right dog for you.
History Of The Golden Shepherd
The Golden Shepherd has very popular parents. The Golden Retriever is the third most popular dog in the US and the German Shepherd is the second most popular dog in the US. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that their mixed breed offspring is also a very popular dog!
The Golden Shepherd hybrid is not registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC), or any other major kennel club. However, the breed has been registered by the International Designer Canine Registry since 2009 and is also registered with the Designer Breed Registry.
To understand where the Golden Shepherd came from, we can take a look at the origin of it’s parent breeds.
The Golden Retriever originated in Scotland and was the result of cross-breeding a Yellow Retriever with a Tweed Water Spaniel. These dogs were trained as a sporting dog to retrieve birds and other animals while out hunting, hence their name “retriever”. They soon became popular in the United States in the early 1900s.
The German Shepherd had a controversial past. These dogs were used in World War One and were seen as German dogs which is why they were shunned. However, these dogs regained popularity with the public in the 1960s and have been a favorite with the police and military for decades, due to their hardworking and loyal nature.
The Golden Shepherd was first bred in 2009. The hope when breeding this dog was to create a puppy with the alertness, courage and quickness of the German Shepherd while getting the retrieving ability and gentle nature of a Golden Retriever.
Characteristics Of The Golden Shepherd
Due to the fact that these dogs are not a purebred breed, it can be a little difficult to predict their characteristics. This is especially true for the Golden Shepherds that are first generation. However, we can make predictions based on past Golden Shepherd litters.
A Golden Shepherd puppy will normally cost you anywhere between $500 – $800 depending on the breeder. Always buy from a reputable breeder and never from puppy mills.
A Golden Shepherd can weigh anywhere between 35 and 55 lbs and stand between 22 and 24 inches tall. Males are normally bigger than females and it will, of course, depend on which parent your Golden Shepherd pup takes after more.
These dogs are medium to large size and normally have a German Shepherd body and a Golden Retriever head. However, German Shepherd puppies often have floppy ears when they are born, eventually becoming erect as they grow, so there is a chance your puppy will have these ears too.
The best thing to do when buying your Golden Shepherd is to take a look at the parent breeds, because this will give you the best indication as to what your Golden Shepherd pup may look like when they’re fully grown.
The Golden Shepherd coat is normally long, because both the Golden Retriever and the German Shepherd have long coats. However, German Shepherds can also have short coats, so there is a chance your Golden Shepherd will inherit this coat too.
Whichever coat they inherit, it will be a double coat which, unfortunately, means lots of shedding! They will have two major blowouts every year but, to be realistic, your Golden Shepherd will never stop shedding. This will mean you need to have the vacuum cleaner on hand and they won’t be suitable dogs for those with severe allergies.
The color of the Golden Shepherd’s coat can vary greatly. It can be golden just like their Golden Retriever parent, or they can take after their German Shepherd parent and have a mixed color coat. This could be black, cream, yellow, tan, white or blue. Again, take a look at the parent breeds of your Golden Shepherd to determine what color coat your puppy might inherit.
The Golden Shepherd is known for being a gentle, kind and loving dog that makes an excellent companion. Energetic and full of life, these pups love to be around people and love to play. They do not like to be left alone and will want to be by your side at all times, meaning they can sometimes exhibit signs of separation anxiety. Early socialization can help to fix this.
Extremely intelligent, it is no wonder that these pups need to be kept entertained and thrive when given a job to do. While they are sociable dogs who love people and other animals, they can often inherit a protective nature from their Shepherd parent that can result in these dogs being an excellent watchdog or guard dog when trained.
The Golden Shepherd loves to please their owners, making them very easy to train. They also love to play with children and other animals, so you do not need to worry about any kind of aggression and socialization will be minimal. When they’re not playing, they will just as happily curl up on the couch for some love and attention.
The average life expectancy of a Golden Shepherd is anywhere between 10 to 14 years. They are generally a healthy breed and can live a long and happy life!
Known Health Issues
While the Golden Shepherd is a healthy breed for the most part they can, as with all dogs, be prone to some health problems. These are usually health issues that have been passed down to them from their parent breeds.
One of the biggest health concerns for the Golden Shepherd is bloat. They are more susceptible to this because they are a large breed of dog. Bloat is where the stomach twists and fills with gas. It can be fatal. Feeding your dog smaller, more frequent meals can help to reduce the risk of bloat.
Other issues the Golden Shepherd may be prone to are hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. This is common in large dog breeds and is when the elbows and hips weaken and become arthritic. It can be the result of quick growing.
Degenerative Myelopathy is another problem that both parent breeds can develop. It can result in hind leg paralysis.
Regular vet checkups and keeping an eye on your dog will ensure you can catch any of these issues before they become untreatable.
Remember — buy from a reputable breeder and the chances your dog will suffer any health conditions will be greatly reduced. Trusted breeders will do health checks on both parent breeds and will not crossbreed if there is a chance of passing on any issues to offspring.
Now we have explored the characteristics and the temperament of the Golden Shepherd, it is time to look at what daily life with one of these dogs is like. Although their traits can be a mixture of both parents, looking after these dogs is pretty straightforward.
Food And Diet
As a large dog breed, the Golden Shepherd does require a fair bit of food! This type of dog needs roughly three to four cups of dog food a day and it should ideally be a dog food tailored to large breeds. You should always check the back of the food packet to see the exact amount of a certain food you should be feeding your pup based on their weight.
Always try to feed your Golden Shepherd high-quality dog food that meets all their nutritional needs. This breed can be known to be a little greedy, so try not to feed them too many treats, either.
Remember, the Golden Shepherd breed is prone to bloat, so split up their meals. Two to three meals a day will greatly reduce the risk of bloat in comparison to one large meal.
Best Dog Food For The Golden Shepherd
Blue Buffalo has millions of fans who love the brand’s formulas such as this dry dog food. The Life Protection formula is suitable for adult dogs that need a little extra help. It comes in a 30-pound bag to cover multiple feedings and uses a chicken and brown rice recipe. Thanks to the real chicken used in the formula, your dog gets the protein that it needs to build and maintain healthy muscles. The formula also uses fruits and garden vegetables along with whole grains. Unlike other dog food that uses lots of grains and fillers with a small amount of protein, Blue Buffalo gives your dog a nice dose of protein with just the right amount of grains and no fillers. This food is also suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs and other problems as it is free from soy and wheat along with preservatives and corn.
We recommend the Rachael Ray Nutrish dry dog food for the Golden Shepherd. Formulated for large breeds, this food helps to support hip and joint health in bigger dogs. With U.S. farm-raised chicken as the number one ingredient, this formula also provides your dog with all the protein they need to keep their muscles lean and healthy.
The large kibble size of this food not only provides a crunchy texture, but it also helps to support dental health in large breeds by scrubbing the teeth as they chew. Even better, there are also natural prebiotics which help support healthy digestion and there are no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
This German Shepherd Mix has high exercise needs and is best suited to an active family home. They need around 60 minutes of exercise a day, so are therefore excellent as a hiking or running buddy! These pups also need lots of mental stimulation as they are a very intelligent breed. If they are not kept entertained then they will likely become bored and begin to exhibit destructive behaviors.
One way to ensure your dog stays entertained is to give them a job. This can be as simple as teaching them a dog sport, such as agility or flyball. They’ll also love to accompany you wherever you go, especially if you have an active hobby!
With both parent breeds, the German Shepherd and the Golden Retriever, two of the most popular dogs in the United States, it comes as no surprise that the Golden Shepherd is a good family dog.
The breed is very affectionate and will just want to play with you and be by your side. They can be known to exhibit signs of separation anxiety when left alone for too long, so you will need to makes sure that you have the time to spend with this dog before buying. Otherwise, they can begin to exhibit destructive behaviors.
Extremely intelligent, these dogs are easy to train, meaning even the smallest of children can help out! These dogs tolerate children of all ages and understand their needs, and also don’t mind sharing their homes with other animals!
The Golden Shepherd is not fussy about where they live, either. This dog will thrive in an active family where they can be taken on walks and hikes but, as long as you exercise them enough and keep them entertained, they can happily live in a small apartment and do not need a lot of space. All they need is lots of love and attention!
The Golden Shepherd is a highly intelligent dog who will do anything to please their owner. This means that they are very easy to train, which also makes them a perfect first dog or great for those who have no experience in training a large dog.
You should always use positive reinforcement when training the Golden Shepherd. This includes reward based training — both verbal praise and treats. You should never get angry or frustrated with your Golden Shepherd, because they will not understand and will not want to learn.
Fortunately, this Golden Retriever Mix is a very sociable dog and socialization is very easy. They love to have friends around them, in the form of both humans and other dogs and pets, so introducing them to other members of the household should not be an issue.
However, because of their parent breeds working history, they can be known to chase squirrels and other small animals while out. Socializing your Golden Shepherd from a young age and introducing them to new sights, sounds, places, smells, people and animals can help to combat this.
As we mentioned above, the Golden Shepherd does shed a lot of fur and so they are not the pet for those with allergies. Because of this, they also do require a lot of grooming. Although they will have two blowouts a year, they will also need regular brushing to minimize shedding.
You should try to brush them at least two to three times a week. Also check their ears when you can for any signs of infection. Brushing your Golden Shepherd’s teeth is also important to prevent gum disease and tooth decay, although you can also use dental sticks to help with this issue.
Golden Shepherd FAQ’s
Is a Golden Shepherd a good family dog?
The Golden Shepherd makes an excellent family dog. These pups love people and never like to be left alone, so they will do best in an active household where they can always be part of the action. They especially love children and other animals and are very good at understanding their needs.
While the Golden Shepherd might be best suited to those who have experience with a large dog breed, their intelligence makes them a dream to train. They also just want to please their owners, meaning they can be a good first pet and will just want to love you.
How much does a Golden Shepherd puppy cost?
A Golden Shepherd puppy can cost anywhere between $500 – $800 depending on the breeder. You should always buy from a reputable breeder who can give you health checks for both parent breeds.
If this is too far out of your price range, check your local shelter. There are always dogs out there who need a loving forever home!
The Golden Shepherd is the result of breeding two of the most popular dogs in the United States and the result is a loving, affectionate and active family dog. These pups make the perfect companion for anyone, children and animals included, and their intelligence makes them a dream to train. With high activity levels they do have large exercise needs, but as long as you keep them engaged and entertained, they’ll be your best friend for life. Do you think a Golden Shepherd could be the pup for you?