Your Complete Guide to the Golden Shepherd (German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix)

Golden Shepherd playing with a ball

Credit: Justin Jensen / CC BY

Do you know what happens when you mix a Golden Retriever and a German Shepherd? You literally end up with the cutest dog ever (believe me, I know cuteness when I see it).

With looks for days a super friendly temperament, the Golden Shepherd is truly a gem in the canine world. He is beautiful, he has a heart of gold, and man is he a looker! The Golden Shepherd is a loyal companion and a friendly pooch. He is both playful and brave, which makes him perfect for pretty much everyone (you can’t deny this).

But, before diving into the heart of the subject and learning more about this magnificent mixed breed, let’s learn more about his parents.

Who are the Golden Shepherd’s parents?

As always, before learning about a mixed breed, we must know more about their parents. And boy, does the Golden Shepherd have the best-purebred parents! Both the Golden Retriever and the German Shepherd are loved for their exceptional qualities. One is known for being extremely playful and energetic, while the other is always praised for his work ethic and courage. So, it is only natural that their mix would be a true star.

So, let’s learn more about the purebred parents, shall we?

The Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

What a smile!

Today, the Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States, and it is easy to understand why. This breed is friendly, loyal, and fun to be around, which make the Golden Retriever the perfect family pet. Loved by everyone, from small children to old people, he is a smart dog that misses nothing.

The Golden Retriever loves nothing more than playing games with his family, and he excels at most of them. He is also a great working dog, being able to sniff out drugs, or to be an assistance dog for the elderly or the blind. And he can even be the perfect therapy pet for those who suffer from mental illness.

Loyal and lively, the Golden Retriever is a silly dog, even as an adult. Nothing, not even the years and old age, take away his puppy-like joy from him. This makes him at the same time a delight to be around and an annoyance (he is like that kid who keeps asking you to play even though all you want to do is lay down and have a nap).

Because he was originally bred to be a working dog, the Golden Retriever needs to be exercised daily. A jog or a walk around the neighborhood is sufficient, but, if you want to make your pooch happy, take him to the water. Golden Retrievers are famous for loving being in the water. So, letting your best friend run at the beach or near a lake would be like offering him a very tasty treat. And, because he is a working dog, the Golden Retriever loves having a job to do. You could teach him how to wake you up in the morning or get him into competing sports.

And, you should know that the Golden Retriever is not a backyard dog. More than anything, he is a family dog, and he needs to be around the people and the pets he loves. So, if you adopt a Golden Retriever, be prepared to have him with you at all time.

To learn more about the Golden Retriever, click here.

The German Shepherd

Brown German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is proud, brave, and hardworking.

Another one of America’s sweethearts, the German Shepherd is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. Smart, brave, and hard-working, the German Shepherd is famous for his rigorous work ethic and his sense of duty. But not only that. He is also extremely devoted and will do anything to keep his owners and family happy and away from danger.

One thing that makes this dog unmatched is how versatile and flexible he is. He can pretty much excel at any job he was taught to do from guiding to assistance, to police service, rescue, or competitive sports.

But, even as popular as he is, the German Shepherd is not for everyone. He needs an owner who is attentive, and most importantly, active. He has a lot of energy to spend. If he doesn’t get to do that, he gets bored and destroys everything around him, from the furniture to your favorite leather shoes.

For this special breed of dogs, the biggest job they have to take care of is you. For a German Shepherd, you are sacred and he will do anything and everything to protect you, even if that means giving up his own life. This is all due to one of his finest traits, his loyalty. So, if you adopt a German Shepherd, know that you will have a friend for life.

Also, because he is usually aloof of strangers and just generally wary of them, he makes a great watch and guard dog. But, this might be an inconvenience when you are having guests since he will not make them feel welcome. This is why training and socializing a German Shepherd is beyond important.

All in all, the German Shepherd is one of the greatest dogs out there. Hard-working and intelligent, he is perfect for someone who is looking for a guard dog.

To learn more about the German Shepherd, click here.

Now that we know a bit more about the Golden Shepherd’s purebred parents, let’s move on to their mix!

Fun facts about the Golden Shepherd

When breeders started thinking about breeding the Golden Shepherd, they wanted a dog that was at the same time loyal, brave, and gentle. And man, did they succeed! The Golden Shepherd is truly one of the best mixed breeds out there. He is at the same time smart and silly, inheriting his wits and loyalty from both his purebred parents. So, who is the Golden Shepherd anyway? (I don’t mean this in a philosophical way, but like, literally).

The Golden Shepherd is the James Dean of the dog world

A Golden Shepherd laying on a sofa

This dog has a beautiful coat color!

Credit: Jack Liddon / CC BY-SA

By this, I mean that the Golden Shepherd is a handsome fella. He carries himself with pride and will impress anyone near him (because that’s how he rolls, folks). With his long head and straight muzzle, he is the definition of classic canine beauty. His eyes are usually a deep shade of brown, a bit chocolatey, and they are always alert and expressive.

Your Golden Shepherd’s ears are another story. Depending on his genes and which purebred parent he takes from physically, they can be either upright or flopped down.

The Golden Shepherd is usually either medium-sized or big, you will never truly know until your dog reaches full adulthood. He usually weighs between 60 and 80 pounds and stands up to 25 inches tall. With a long or medium-length coat, he is beautiful to look at.

Because both his purebred parents are hard-working dogs, the Golden Shepherd will have a muscular and powerful body.

Finally, your Golden Shepherd's coat is either cream, black, golden, blue, tan, or even yellow. This, of course, all depends on your mixed breed's genetics.

Grooming your Golden Shepherd will be a daily task

Because your Golden Shepherd’s coat is long and thick, he will need to be brushed daily. You will also have to brush his teeth at least two or three times a week, despite the fact that this mixed breed usually has a great dental health. Use either a commercial dog toothpaste or one that you can make yourself.

For the ears, they need to be cleaned once a week, using a special cleaner for dogs. All of this is to avoid ear infections. Don’t forget to trim your best friend’s nails regularly either, this way, you will avoid having to do so when they are too long. Use a nail trimmer made especially for dogs. And as always, if you are too scared to trim your dog’s nails, hire the services of a professional.

Here is a video showing how to brush a German Shepherd, whose coat is quite close to the Golden Shepherd’s coat:

The Golden Shepherd is a sociable dog

Golden Shepherd running

Isn’t he just majestic?

The Golden Shepherd, just like his purebred Golden Retriever parent, thrives on interaction. He loves playing around with his owner, spending time with the family, and just hanging around the house to be close to the people he loves.

The Golden Shepherd will be happiest when he is surrounded by the people he loves. Human touch gives him a sense of euphory, joy, and accomplishment. If he is left alone, with no one to play or hang out with, he will be miserable.

The Golden Shepherd fares especially well with children of all ages. Just like them, he is energetic, full of life, and loves to play and run around. He is not shy around other pets either, if you happen to have a cat or another dog (or, like in my case, a turtle), he will immediately make friends with that pet.

But, even though he is sweet in nature, your Golden Shepherd still needs to be properly trained and socialized, so he doesn’t end up hurting anyone. After all, he is quite a big dog, and he might forget it sometimes. The same thing goes for the kids who are playing with him. Children, even small ones, should learn how to interact with dogs.

The Golden Shepherd needs a lot of exercise

Because the Golden Shepherd is a highly active and energetic dog, he needs space to run around and play. He absolutely loves the outdoors, so a house with a backyard would be perfect for this beautiful mixed breed.

To make your dog happy, make sure to play games with him. Just like his Golden Retriever parent, he loves nothing more than playing a game of fetch, swimming, or playing Frisbee. Be sure to make time to spend with your dog, this is the only way you will be able to create a strong bond with your Golden Shepherd.

The point here is to keep your majestic four-pawed friend healthy. Not only physically, but also mentally. And there is nothing better for this dog’s mental health than a good exercise or playing session.

There is nothing better for this mixed breed than a good swim. Because of his Golden Retriever genes, the Golden Shepherd absolutely love being in the water. So, if you have a pool at home or live near a lake or the beach, don’t hesitate to take your Golden Shepherd swimming.

You should dedicate at least 90 minutes a day to your pooch’s physical activity if you want him to stay healthy and distracted. If you don’t have a backyard, then taking your dog on walks is primordial. If you have one though, you might not even need to exercise with your dog. He will be more than happy playing around in the backyard, either with children or other pets.

Bear in mind that your Golden Shepherd needs a lot of space to be happy and comfortable. So, if you live in a small apartment, it would be better to adopt a different breed.

Training a Golden Shepherd will not be too daunting

The Golden Shepherd is as smart as his purebred parents, the Golden Retriever and the German Shepherd. This, of course, means that training a dog as smart as this one won’t be too difficult. He will be able to understand what you ask from him without too much effort.

You will only need to teach the Golden Shepherd a trick or a command for a few times for him to understand and master it, never forgetting it again.

It doesn’t hurt either than the Golden Retriever is always trying to please you, his owner. So, he will do absolutely everything you ask for him. As you can see, the Golden Shepherd is the original “good boy”. He knows that following your orders will please, and he is more than happy to do so just so he can make you smile.

Because of how smart he is, the Golden Shepherd doesn’t respond well to harsh training. If you physically harm him or scold him too hard, the only result you will get is a fearful dog who might become aggressive later. Instead, use treats, praise, and positive reinforcement. Establish yourself as good, reliable leader, and your Golden Shepherd will follow your order without blinking.

Just like with every other dog breed, it is better to start training and socializing at an early age. So, don’t hesitate to start all of this during your best friend’s puppyhood.

Training your Golden Shepherd to be a guard dog might be a gamble

Depending on which parent he takes most of his traits from, your Golden Shepherd might either be an excellent guard dog or a lousy one.

As I’ve already stated before, while your dog’s German Shepherd parent makes the perfect guard dog, his Golden Retriever parent is just way too friendly and playful to be wary of strangers. So, if your dog is more Shepherd than Retriever, he will be perfect at this job. If it’s the contrary though, then just give up, he will always be too friendly and nice to stop an intruder.

One thing the Golden Shepherd excels at though, regardless of which of his parents he takes the most from, is being a good working dog. He is usually used as a search and rescue dog. And for a reason: The Golden Shepherd is excellent at this task.

The Golden Shepherd is a glutton, which means that you’ll have to be careful not to overfeed him

Two Golden Shepherds smiling at the camera

Aren’t they just beautiful?

Much like his Golden Retriever parent, the Golden Shepherd loves food and has a tendency to overeat himself to oblivion. So, make sure not to overfeed your pooch, unless you want to end up with an obese Golden Shepherd.

3 to 4 cups of quality dry food daily is enough. Make sure to divide these into 2 or 3 servings a day, to keep your dog’s metabolism healthy. Adding milk, fruits, and vegetables to your dog's diet will not hurt either since he will benefit from the vitamins and minerals in them.

The Golden Shepherd, like every other dog, is not immune to health issues

Your Golden Shepherd is a mixed breed, which means that he is usually healthier and lives longer (up to 14 years) than his purebred parents. Despite that, your Golden Shepherd might still suffer from some health issues inherited from his parents.

Here is a list of the most common health problems your Golden Shepherd is prone to suffer from:

The Golden Shepherd is pricey

If you want to go to a good breeder and purchase a Golden Shepherd puppy, be ready to spend between 500$ to 1500$. It all depends on the pup’s individual pedigree. Generally, the Golden Shepherd is in high demand, which is why he is so expensive.


The Golden Shepherd is a beautiful dog with a heart of gold. Playful, full or joy, and loyal, he will make you, and your whole family, happy.

About the Author Houda Laabadi

A dog lover!

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