When you combine two striking breeds, the Golden Retriever and the German Shepherd, the result can vary significantly.
The German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix can range rather significantly in terms of appearance but what you can always count on is an obedient and intelligent species that will make a great pet.
Because each breed offers unique care requirements, challenges, and expectations, it becomes important to consider both of the breeds in the mix when making a hybrid.
This is especially true with characteristics as distinct as those demonstrated by the Golden Retriever and the German Shepherd.
Hybrid Characteristics at a Glance
Also known as the Golden Shepherd, the German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix can range between 21 inches and 26 inches in height and can weigh between 50 lbs and 70 lbs. The average lifespan ranges between 10 years and 14 years.
As the appearance of these two different breeds is so strikingly different there are many different color variations that can result.
Some of the most common color variations of the German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix include black, white, black and tan, golden, dark golden, and brown.
Because their parent breeds are both active, affectionate, and playful, a new owner can expect these hybrids to be loving, doting, and eager to please.
They are best suited as companion dogs and are well suited for families who have large homes and yards.
What Can You Expect with A German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix?
When properly bred, a German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix should be an intelligent and athletic dog who is both sociable and easy to train.
Both German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers are loyal companions who are eager to please, and so you can expect these same qualities in a hybrid.
Keep in mind that this hybrid breed is acknowledged by the International Designer Canine Registry because it is a mixture of breeds however it is not registered with any of the Kennel Clubs.
The German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix has been registered with the International Designer Canine Registry since 2009.
These are complementary breeds because they are both active and athletic with similar sizes and lifespans.
This is a popular hybrid mix because it combines two extremely popular dog breeds for families. When you get the best of these two popular AKC favorites the results can be quite astonishing.
Breed Profile: German Shepherd Dogs
The German shepherd dog is the second most popular dog of 191 registered breeds. German shepherds are herding dogs that originate from Germany.
The males are generally between 24 and 26 inches and the females are generally between 22 and 24 inches. The males are generally between 65 and 90 lbs and the females are generally between 50 and 70 lbs. The average life expectancy of a German shepherd dog is between 7 and 10 years.
This dog breed is well regarded for its courage, loyalty, confidence, and trainability. Because they can be trained so easily and have a tremendous work ethic the German shepherd is a popular breed for use in military and police applications.
Breed Profile: Golden Retriever Dogs
The American Kennel Club says that the Golden Retriever is the third most popular dog breed out of 191 registered breeds.
This makes sense when you consider how easy going the breed is and how well they fit in with the family dynamic. Golden retrievers are sporting dogs that originate from Scotland.
The males are generally between 23 and 24 inches and the females are generally between 21.5 and 22.5 inches.
The males are generally between 65 and 75 lbs and the females are generally between 55 and 65 lbs. The average life expectancy of a Golden retriever is between 10 and 12 years.
According to AllGoldenRetriever, Golden retrievers are popular as guides for the blind and for use in search-and-rescue work, competitive events, and in other obedience work. They are eternally loyal and hardworking with an eager-to-please demeanor.
With proper training, they will carry their same playful and joyous demeanor through youth into adulthood.
They enjoy outdoor play, fetching, and swimming, and should have ample outdoor space to run and play. They tend to be a popular choice for everyone including adults, kids, and families with other pets.
What to Expect with a German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix Puppy
Because both breeds are relatively similar in size it will not matter which is the female and which is the male in mating if you are trying to determine the size of your puppy.
It will take approximately 18 months for your puppy to reach its full maturity considering the large size of the two parent breeds.
It is possible that your hybrid puppy’s ears will be floppy when firstborn and then eventually become pointier and more erect.
It is also possible for your puppy’s ears to remain floppy throughout his entire life. You will not know until your puppy gets a little older.
The coat color and markings of your puppy may also develop over time, becoming lighter or darker over time, however, it is likely that you can get some idea of your puppy’s markings while he is young.
The temperament of the German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix
Comparing the two breeds will help you better understand the most prominent characteristics of the two temperaments that will combine to create this hybrid.
The Golden is quite sociable and the Shepherd is adaptable and trainable. Both breeds are loyal and hardworking.
Together they are playful, eager-to-please, and affectionate breeds.
From the Golden retriever, you can expect a friendly nature and the ability to tolerate all members of the family.
Golden retrievers love everyone young and old including teenagers and children. Golden retrievers tend to get along well with other animals.
From the German shepherd, you can expect a quick learner who is excited to receive new training and to pick up new tricks and techniques from every member of the family.
Shepherds are social creatures that make excellent family dogs and thrive in busy and active homes.
Your German Shepherd and Golden Retriever hybrid are going to be a mixture of these qualities. You should be prepared to nurture the qualities that you like through training and socialization.
If there are qualities that you do not particularly like you can use training and socialization to ensure they do not manifest.
For example, the protective nature of the German shepherd may manifest in alertness or increased barking. The Golden retriever’s hunting instincts may result in a need to chase wild animals like squirrels or chipmunks outside.
These are both busy and active breeds who like to stay entertained and to work. It would benefit you to crate train your dog to ensure that they know how to handle being left alone and do not become restless if you have to leave them alone for a period of time.
If you do have to leave your dog alone for any lengthy amount of time, daycare or a dog walking service is ideal because intelligent breeds like these become bored and restless easily. They may also be prone to separation anxiety if they are left alone often.
Caring for Your German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix
Although neither of these breeds is particularly high maintenance there are still some considerations to make when caring for your dog on a daily basis. Food, exercise, training, and grooming requirements are of particular importance.
Your dog will need around 1,500 calories worth of food every day to stay healthy, according to the American Kennel Club.
This equates to around three cups of high-quality dog kibble per day. You will want to make sure that you are choosing a food that is meeting the nutritional requirements of these breeds.
As a puppy, you should aim to feed in smaller amounts four times per day, then reduce down to two meals per day as an adult.
Your puppy will reach adulthood between 18 and 24 months. The purpose of feeding smaller meals is to prevent stretching your dog’s stomach while he matures.
Training Considerations for the German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix
You should find that this dog breed is relatively easy to train since it is a highly intelligent dog breed that is going to be eager to please its people.
Some of the best tools available to you will be reward-based training as well as using positive reinforcement.
What this means is that you are going to want to use plenty of rewards and positive praise whenever your dog is behaving how you want him to behave.
Mental stimulation is going to be important for your dog throughout his lifetime. If your dog develops the protective trait that is inherent in the German shepherd breed, then socializing your dog early and often will be especially important as part of your training curriculum.
In addition to mental stimulation, you will also want to make sure that you are providing daily exercise. This breed is going to excel especially well when it comes to learning new tricks and exploring brain games and challenges.
German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix Health Concerns
There are a small handful of health issues which this breed may inherit from the parent breeds. The most common three that you should be ready to watch out for include allergies, bloat, and degenerative myelopathy.
Both of the parent breeds can be predisposed to a wide range of different allergies. The most common symptoms associated with allergies include scratching, swelling, nibbling, chewing, inflammation, and general signs of sickness such as running nose, watering eyes, coughing, or sneezing.
Bloat is an illness that is common among larger dog breeds. When bloat occurs, what happens is that gas fills the stomach and this may cause a twist or turn in the digestive tract. Medical intervention is necessary to prevent serious, long-term harm.
According to CanineGeneticDiseases, Degenerative myelopathy is a progressive and incurable disease that affects a dog’s spinal cord.
The way that it presents is with weakness in the hind limbs of the dog and over time the dog will lose use entirely.
The appearance of the German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix
Because the German Shepherd and the Golden Retriever are so different in appearance this hybrid mix can vary quite substantially in terms of appearance as well.
Both breeds are similarly sized so you can expect a large dog between 21 inches and 26 inches in height and between 50 lbs and 70 lbs in weight.
Some aspects of the dog’s appearance will vary including the coloration of the coat, the length of the coat, and the shape of the ears.
Some will have pointy and erect ears as the golden retriever german shepherd mix does while others will have large, floppy ears as the Golden retriever does.
The colors of the dog can range significantly from black and tan to white, golden, brown, or dark golden. What is not likely to vary is the breed is likely to have a thick double coat since both breed parents have the same.
This breed will require regular bathing and grooming in order to keep it looking and feeling healthy. The Golden Retriever is especially known for its coat becoming matted if you neglect grooming requirements.
While you are taking care of grooming your dog’s coat you should make sure to keep up on regular ear, nail, and teeth requirements as well.
Conclusion: The Best of Both Worlds
When you combine the best qualities of both breeds the German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix has a lot to offer. This breed is an exceptional people-lover with great intelligence and unyielding loyalty.
Additionally, this breed is easily trained and tends to be quite adaptable. They tend to be great with adults, children, and even other pets and work well with large homes and yards. Keep in mind that they will do best with early training and continued socialization for ideal behavior.
If you are seeking an intelligent, loyal, and intelligent companion for your family then the Golden Shepherd is a hybrid breed well worth your consideration.
If you need more convincing, here is a great video with puppy pictures and more facts about the Golden Shepherd mix.