German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix: Tips and Facts to know!

Did you know that the German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix was only discovered in 2009?

That’s not to say that they weren’t around well before then, but that was when this breed was first ‘officially’ recognized by the likes of the DBR, ACHC, DRA & IDCR.

This dog is definitely a people pleaser and loves to be part of a family-oriented environment. Loyalty is paramount too, as you can be sure to be protected with a German Retriever mix, whilst still getting the loving affection that you would want from a companion.

That said, I decided to take you on a deep dive into the history, assets, and capabilities of this breed, so you can leave with a clear idea as too whether this is the breed for you.

Let’s start with size!

How big will a German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix get?

Golden Shepherd adult size’s 21-26 inches in height and weigh 50-70 pounds. The lifespan’s approx 10-14 years. This breed’s color can vary from black, black and tan, white, golden, dark golden and brown. It’s suitable especially for families with large homes.

Generally, a blend between these two breeds will have the body of a German Shepherd and the face of Golden Retriever. On some occasions yet, dogs can appear with different characteristics.

For example, a Golden Shepherd can have a German’s pointed ears, whilst others can have the floppy ears of Golden Retriever. On some occasions, it can happen that a puppy will inherit both types of ears, making them cute and adorable.


The temperament of a Golden Shepherd has characteristics from both his parents. They are intelligent and loyal. Due to his parent, the German Shepherd, this breed will be more protective than the regular Golden Retriever.

Golden Retriever characteristics stand up when it comes to aggressiveness. A mix of German Shepherd and Golden Retriever should ‘rarely’ result in aggressive behavior, as this pup is eager to please which makes them great learners.

Golden Shepherd’s affectionate nature makes them the perfect choice for a family. He will love to play with kids and is very friendly.

Being a mix, it’s hard to say the percentage of characteristics it will take from one parent and from the other one. Some can look more with German Shepherds, while others can tend to be more like the Golden Retriever. Luckily, both breeds have similar characteristics., so their main traits are intelligence, affection, and loyalty.

You should also know that this breed can suffer from separation anxiety. They are so loving and affectionate that they want to be all the time around you. It’s best to hire a dog walker if you stay apart for long periods of time.

This dog’s perfect for families with kids. They have a lot of energy and they are sociable, so being around children will be a big plus for them.

As a recap, the Golden Shepherd it’s loyal, playful, and smart. If you want a dog that it’s active and follows you everywhere, the German shepherd mix with golden retriever is the best choice for you. You can do plenty of activities with them and also enjoy his loyal, lovable nature.

You have to keep in mind that you must spend as much time with your pup in order to be healthy. If you don’t plan to spend a lot of time at home or with them, he’s not the right choice for you. It can lead your pup to depression, a very serious condition.

Required Training for a Shepherd Golden

Golden Shepherd, is one of the most intelligent dogs, so you can do extraordinary things with them if you pay attention to their training.

Minimal training is required to become the perfect pup. These dogs are eager to please and this makes it easy to train your Golden Shepherd. They tend to undermine the authority when they are untrained, but with a little training will be back on track. It’s advised to use positive reinforcement for training, such as treats too.

If you position yourself as a leader in front of your Golden Shepherd, you will have an excellent dog around. The secret is to start the training at an early age, as soon as possible. This way the Golden Shepherd will learn faster and easier.

It’s important to socialize the Golden Shepherd as soon as possible with other dogs and humans, both adults, and children. German Shepherds have a tendency of being nervous around new people, which means socializing from as young as a few weeks old will be imperative for your dog to remain happy and healthy.

If you repeat them a command 2-3 times, they will master it fast. Both the German Shepherd and Golden’s are intelligent breeds, so their offspring will likely be no different. They are quick learners and are easy to train with consistency and dedication.

Golden Shepherd has a desire to retrieve, work, and play so you can enjoy these traits while you train your pup.

Other things they love are mind games that keep them alert and busy. Fetch is a great game to play, which helps them to blow off their tremendous energy. Fly ball is another great game!

Retrievers love having a job to do and will appreciate this activity, so be sure to vary the activities because they get bored very quickly.

To recap, to train your Golden Shepherd effective you must:

  • Apply positive reinforcement such as toys, treats
  • Establish yourself as their leader
  • Remain consistent throughout

You can choose to train them yourself or contact a specialist. It responds to your call. If you have little experience with training dogs, it will be easy to do it yourself. You may consider a professional trainer if you don’t have experience or you feel insecure.

If you choose to train your pooch yourself, there are several advantages such as you will build a relationship with your pup and you will be the leader in front of them. You can choose exactly what commands you want them to respond to. Also, you can start training as soon as you want.

If you decide that you want to take up training yourself, then a great course I took online was called (brain training for dog’s) which help me train up my pups in a matter of weeks. You can check it out here.

mix breeds

Physical Activity

This breed is very active and needs at least 1 hour of activity per day. Their parents, the German Shepherd, and Golden’s are canines made to work. And their healthiness and happiness will depend on the amount of exercise they do.

You must engage with them in different activities on a daily basis. Besides the games, you can take them to jog, swimming, hiking, and other outdoor activities.

A pup like this will particularly love swimming and is eager to please much like Golden retrievers. Healthy activities like swimming are great exercise and can be used for bathing purposes too.

Another characteristic’s that they are sociable creatures. It’s best for them to take to the park to meet new people and play with other animals. If you want to help them develop their primary instincts, you can put them work, as for example, to find hidden items.

It will be a real pleasure for them to find the items and return them to you. This way you will also keep their mind sharp and fulfill their instincts.

Golden Shepherds are very playful, especially in their middle age. So, it’s required to pay attention to your pup when they exercise and to make sure that they do not overdo it. They are prone to various types of dysplasia and overdoing exercise may increase the risk of health concerns.

Health Risks

In most cases German Shepherds are pretty healthy pups, however, that doesn’t take away the potential health concerns that can be identified in their parent breeds.

Due to this pup being a new ‘designer’ type breed, there are too many health records or history to go from. Instead, we can take a look at a few common health issues in their parent breeds to gather a better understanding of what might pop up.

The Golden retriever mix with german shepherd it’s prone to the following medical conditions:

  • Allergies: Food allergies, animal dander, dust mites
  • Progressive: retinal atrophy – it’s a hereditary disease of the retina
  • Hip Dysplasia: caused by a deformity in the joint that may affect one or both hips
  • Elbow Dysplasia: it’s an irregular deformity of the elbow joint
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease: a common congenital disorder of hemostasis
  • Bloat: known as gastric dilatation-volvulus it’s commonly known as the twisted stomach
  • Epilepsy: seizures that include loosing of consciousness and convulse
  • Eye Problems: such as cataracts, which appears usually after the dog it’s at least 7 years old

You should know that it’s not necessary that your dog will develop any of these diseases. But it’s good to make sure that you are aware of them and you know their symptoms. In the bad case in which your dog will develop one of them, you will be able to detect soon if it’s something wrong and get the proper treatment.

Proper Care

A Golden Sheperd has a long coat length and they are heavy shedders, so grooming is essential daily. Spring and autumn may be some tough months for you, as this breed will shed excessively during these seasons.

You must bath this dog only when needed, and if there’s a chance for them to swim from now and then, perfect, which means you shouldn’t have too much of a battle during bath time.

Golden Shepherds also frequently need to clean their ears and get their nail trimmed (you can also contact a specialist for these two activities).

Feeding consists of 50 calories worth of food per pound of body weight. As an example, an adult Golden Shepherd that it’s active requires 1500 -1700 calories per day. So it’s best to feed the adult dog two times per day and a puppy 4 times per day.

That way you will reduce the bloating, a common health problem for this breed, we went over earlier.

Make sure to maintain a good level of quality in foods. trying to save yourself a buck here and there could result in your dog becoming unhealthy, so make sure to consider the best foods before buying.

Here are a few tips on retirements you can follow when feeding:

  • The protein level should be 28% for puppies and 18% for adults
  • The fat level should be 17% for puppies and between 9-15% for adults
  • Made from natural ingredients
  • Must contain also vegetables for the necessary nutrients

You can read the label from the food package to make sure it contains adequate proportions of nutrients. Food is important for your Golden Shepherd’s health.

It’s best to keep this breed in a bigger house with plenty of room to play and a yard. However, if you live in a small apartment, then regular walks for 1 hour per day should be fine too.

A German shepherd mix with a golden retriever will need lots of water to keep them hydrated, especially during hot weather conditions as this couldn’t present health issues when not managed properly.

Regular examinations are paramount to keeping your of healthy, and very much more if they are older too. Twice per year for older pups os good, whilst1 time per year should be good for a puppy.

History of the German shepherd golden retriever mix

This breed may have existed for many years, but first came to public attention in 2009. Breeders created the retriever german shepherd mix to cut the health problems that affected the two pure breeds. They also wanted to create the perfect watchdog and companion for families.

For a better understanding of this canine, let’s take a quick look at its parents.

The German Shepherd was bred originally as a herding dog. Nowadays they work especially in police and army for their exquisite intelligence and bravery.

He was bred in late 1800 by Germany’s Captain Max Von Stephanitz and was used in the military department. Due to their intelligence, fearlessness, and utility, we’re a great asset to the German army during the First World War.

In the Second World War, this breed was used also in the USA and Britain. They worked following different purposes, such as detecting bombs, guarding, and rescuing.

In 1928 was launched the first seeing Eye Dog Program by a blind man, Morris Frank, and a police dog trainer, Dorothy Eustis. They started the program with a German shepherd named Buddy and the program was a success. Nowadays approx 155 of the canines in this program are German Shepherds.

Golden Retrievers were bred as a gun-dog to retrieve waterfowl for hunters. They are still used for this activity. But for their loving and caring nature, they work also as therapy dogs, guide dogs and companions.

These canines were originally bred in 1800 in Scotland by the businessman Dudley Marjoribanks. He wanted to develop a breed of hunting and retrieving that would thrive in the Scottish climate.

He acquired a golden retriever puppy named Nous and bred him with a tweed water spaniel named Belle. He selectively bred them and kept only the yellow puppies.

Nowadays the Golden Retriever is one of the most popular choices for family pooches.

Crossbreeding happened several times before the actual mix appeared officially. This was due to the fact that they have similar sizes.

The mix between these two results in Golden Shepherd, a smart watchdog. He is also affectionate and loving. What more can you ask for?

How much does a German shepherd golden retriever mix cost?

The costs can vary between 500$ and 1500$, depending on the pedigree, vaccines, and breeder. It’s best to buy from a reputable breeder or you can adopt from the dog shelters.

If you choose to buy one from a breeder, you should make sure that it has all the right tests completed for their parent breeds. To make sure that the dog doesn’t have the congenital health problems of his breed, you have to check the parents of the puppy.

After you take the dog, you will add to the original cost, the costs for health checks, microchip, collar, leash, and crate.

Facts you didn’t know about the German shepherd golden retriever mix

They are affectionate and people pleasers. This dog will cling on you and want to make his best to see you happy.

Golden Shepherd hates being alone so you have to pay extra attention to this to prevent them from separation-anxiety. This can lead up to depression, a very serious condition.

This breed’s popular. The German shepherd it’s ranked second in the top most popular breed, while the Golden Retriever ranked third. So, a mix between the german shepherd golden retriever mix can be only a cool breed, with increased popularity.

This dog makes a wonderful combination of a smart and loyal companion, two incredible characteristics for a dog.

You should also know that they are friendly and sociable pups, suitable for a family with kids.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now its time to answer your questions. There are a few things that you may have felt we didn’t cover in this article… So to ensure we touch base on just about everything there is to know, I decided to answer a few quick questions to make sure that no stone is left unturned. 

What do you call a German shepherd golden retriever mix?

You can call this pup a german shepherd golden, german shepherd and golden retriever mix, german shepherd mixed with a golden retriever

How big do these canines get?

The average size for breeds like this can reach about 26 Inches.

Can this breed be left alone?

Highly intelligent breeds like retriever german shepherd mix need their mind to be constantly stimulated. This means you will need to keep them active and occupied for the most part of each day. Leaving them alone over a long period of time is really not an option.


The Golden Shepherd it’s a wonderful breed. The german shepherd golden retriever mix has taken on some of the best characteristics from their parents, the Golden Retriever, and the German Shepherd. He is friendly, sociable, but also intelligent and loyal.

This pup is a highly intelligent breed that has two amazing parent breeds, which in turn is the reason that they cannot be left alone for long periods of time as they love to always be part of a loving family.

A dog like this is eager to please and with 26 inches (due to parent breeds), this mixed breed pup is a bundle of fun.

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Rachael Summers

Rachael Summers

Rachael Summers is the Founder and Senior Editor at Dig Doggy. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! Rachael also loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

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Rachael Summers

Rachael Summers

Rachael Summers is the Founder and Senior Editor at Dig Doggy. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! Rachael also loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

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