The Definitive German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix Guide

German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix Feature

Ranging significantly in appearance, the German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix is an intelligent and trainable hybrid which is the result of mixing a German Shepherd Dog with a Golden Retriever.

With active parent breeds, this hybrid is a playful, affectionate and eager to please companion.

Intrigued to see whether this golden hearted dog could be the one for you? Keep on reading.

German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix Summary Table
Size 21-26” in height
Weight 50-70 pounds
Lifespan 10 – 14 years
Breed Type Mixes and more
Purpose Companion
Suitable For Families with large homes
Color Variations Black and tan, black, white, golden, dark golden and brown
Temperament Intelligent, trainable, athletic, playful and affectionate
Other Names Golden Shepherd
Free Owner’s Guide: Download a free copy of our owner’s guide so you can discover more about this hybrid dog.

What is a German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix?

When bred well, a German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix should be smart, athletic, trainable and sociable. They are eager to please and a loyal companion.

Not registered with any Kennel Club, they are however recognized by the International Designer Canine Registry. Although it is unclear when the first mix was bred, they have been registered as a breed since 2009.

Adored for their sociability and easy-going nature, it’s no surprise that the Golden Retriever is one part of this loving mix.

Combine that with the intelligence and athleticism of the German Shepherd, you could even argue this is a perfect large breed dog for active families.

When mixing any breeds of dog, you must remember that you can never guarantee appearance and temperament as you can with purebred dogs. You could end up with the best qualities (e.g. loyalty) from both breeds or the worst qualities (e.g. hyperactivity)!

Let’s take a look at the parent breeds so you can see what to expect from your German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix.

German Shepherd Dogs

German Shepherd Dog

The second most popular dog in Kennel Club registrations is this herding dog from Germany.

Originating in the 1800s, the German Shepherd has a controversial history. They were subsequently renamed to Alsatians in a hope to maintain their popularity after World War One. Recently returning to their original name, they are loved for their strong work ethic and trainability.

Golden Retriever Dogs

Golden Retriever Dog

The third most popular Kennel Club registration is the easy-going, family loving Golden Retriever.

They are renowned for their friendly nature and love of everyone and everything. The working history of a Retriever was a gundog. Bred to be the perfect family companion, they tolerate all; adults, kids and pets alike.

German Shepherd Golden Retriever Puppy

German Shepherd puppies are often born with floppy ears (pictured). It takes a few months for them to become pointy and erect, for this reason, you may think your German Shepherd and Golden Retriever Mix puppy has inherited the floppy ears from the Shepherd parent.

In general, you can expect to pay between $500 and $800 USD for a puppy. This will vary depending on the breeder you choose.

As both parents are similar in size, it doesn’t really matter which parent is the sire (male) or dam (female) when mating.

As they are a large breed, your puppy won’t be fully matured until at least 18 months of age, so for this reason, you should be mindful of over-exercising during this time (read more about this in the exercise section).

German Shepherd Golden Retriever Puppy

German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix Temperament

Characteristic Rating
Friendliness
Ease of Care
Trainability
Exercise Requirements
Social Tendencies

With the sociability of the Golden and the trainability of the GSD, it’s not surprising that the German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix is loved for its adaptability to a family home.

They are affectionate, playful and eager to please.

The friendly nature of the Retriever dog means they tolerate all family members, young kids, teenagers and even the small furries.

The intelligence of the GSD means that the whole family can help with their training!

Golden Retriever and German Shepherd

With early and positive socialization and training, they are potentially the perfect family dog, with a heart of gold.

They thrive in active homes, where they will easily meet their daily exercise quota and there is always someone to practice some training with and play ball in the yard.

Keep in mind that as the German Shepherd x Golden Retriever Mix is a hybrid, there is also the risk that they have inherited other qualities from their parent breeds. They may have inherited the protective nature from their GSD parent, which means they will be alert and may be more likely to bark.

Both parents were very good workers (the Retriever was a hunter and the Shepherd a herder), whilst the German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix is generally a friendly dog, there is the risk they will chase or herd small animals.

With the German Shepherd being wholeheartedly loyal, and the Golden Retriever being seriously people-orientated, it’s no surprise that the German Shepherd and Golden Retriever Mix doesn’t cope well being alone for long periods. They may suffer with separation anxiety.

If you are planning to be away from home for more than a couple of hours, it would be best for everyone if you source a local dog walker or daycare center.

Adaptable and intelligent, the German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix is suited to most homes who have experience of large breed dogs. They are perfectly happy with kids who understand their needs and stature.

How to Care for a Mixed Breed Dog

GSD and Lab
Although not particularly high maintenance, there is still a lot to consider when caring for a German Shepherd Mix on a daily basis; his food, exercise and grooming.

Feeding a Golden Retriever Mix – Diet Requirements

Daily Food Consumption
Calories 1,500
Cups of Kibble Three Bowls of Kibble Required per Day

Ensure the food you are feeding your dog is of a high quality and meets his daily nutritional requirements.

Being a large mix, you should aim to feed him four times per day as a puppy, this is usually reduced to 2 meals per day as an adult – this will be after he’s matured between 18-24 months.

Feeding your puppy four meals daily will help to avoid stretching their stomach whilst maturing.

Being highly trainable, you won’t need to use many treats when training your German Shepherd and Golden Retriever Mix; they learn quickly.

Obesity can be an issue in both breeds, especially Lab Mixes, so be mindful of what you are feeding your pooch and consider using low calorie dog treats if necessary.

Exercising a German Shepherd and Golden Retriever Mix

Daily Exercise Requirements
Minutes 60 – 120 minutes
Activity Level This is a very high activity dog breed

With both parent breeds being historic workers, the German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix is certainly active.

Upwards of 60 minutes exercise per day is essential, if not more. A mix with high energy can require closer to 120 minutes of daily exercise including some running and games.

If you want a hiking buddy, then look no further. When he is fully matured (after 18 months), he is safe to walk those trails. Be careful as large breeds are predisposed to developing hip and elbow dysplasia and we know that over-exercise during puppyhood can be a risk factor.

Just be mindful not to over-exercise when they are a puppy. Use the 5-minute rule for any dog. For every month of age, walk for a maximum of 5 minutes.

Athletic and energetic, the Golden Shepherd thrives in large homes or where he has access to long walks.

With the Golden’s history of hunting you may find that your dog is a superb swimmer. You can try introducing them to water from a young age, in a safe and controlled way, and let them paddle to start off. Swimming will be a great form of exercise for your dog.

German Shepherd and Golden Retriever Appearance

Training a German Shepherd and Golden Retriever Mix

Being highly intelligent, and eager to please, this dog is generally very easy to train.

Reward-based training and positive reinforcement are the best tools for any pet-parent. When he’s behaving how you want him to, use plenty of praise and reward.

If he’s displaying unwanted behavior then just ignore and redirect their focus if necessary.

It is possible that your German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix may have inherited the protective traits from the German Shepherd. For this reason, early and continued socialization is very important.

Not only is daily exercise key for this mixed breed, so is mental stimulation to keep their intelligent mind occupied. These guys excel with brain games and in learning new tricks:

Teach your pooch “touch!”

  1. Hold a treat in a closed hand and encourage your dog to sniff it
  2. As soon as his nose makes contact with your hand, release the treat
  3. Repeat
  4. As he touches your hand, label the behavior “touch!”
  5. Repeat
  6. Eventually, hold a fisted hand without a treat inside. When your dog touches your hand, label it and give him a treat from your other hand
  7. Repeat
  8. Your dog should learn to “touch” your hand on command

Known Health Problems

German Shepherd and Golden Retriever Mix

Whilst we have briefly touched on some of the health issues prevalent in this breed, unfortunately, they run the risk of inheriting a range of conditions from both parents including:

  1. Allergies – both parent breeds are predisposed to a range of allergies. It can be difficult to pinpoint specific allergens but symptoms will often include; scratching, nibbling, sickness, inflammation and swelling.
  2. Bloat, this is a very common illness in large breeds. Here, the stomach fills with gas and twists, this is often fatal.
  3. Degenerative Myelopathy – this is an incurable, progressive disease which affects the spinal cord in dogs. It presents as weakness in the hind limbs with eventual loss of use.

German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix Appearance

German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix Appearance

Ranging in appearance, the German Shepherd and Golden Retriever Mix can be more German Shepherd than Golden or vice versa.

One thing for sure, they are classed as a large size dog, ranging between 21-26″ in height and weighing between 50-70 pounds.

They are seen in a range of colors including; black and tan, black, tan, white, golden, dark golden and brown.

Some have erect pointy ears, some have floppy ears.

Generally, as both parents have thick, double coats, so does this dog. Coats can be longer if the German Shepherd parent was long coated.

Regular grooming and bathing is a must; the golden coat is renowned for becoming matted if grooming is neglected. Whilst you are brushing, you should regularly check over their ears and teeth; nails too.

Summary of Breed

Combining the intelligence and trainability from the German Shepherd and the easy-going, eager to please Golden Retriever, you could argue that a German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix is the perfect addition to an experienced family.

Being easy to train and adaptable, they thrive in an active home where they will easily hit their exercise quota!

Happy with adults, kids and other pets, you really couldn’t ask any more from a dog. Just be mindful of the hybrid nature and the need for early and continued socialization and training.

A people lover with an incredible intelligence, this loyal companion should really be named the Golden Hearted Shepherd – let us know your thoughts and experiences below.

John Woods Autho Bio Picture
John Woods is the founder of All Things Dogs, member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, graduate in Animal Behavior & Welfare and recognized author by the Dog Writers Association of America.

8 Comments

  1. I love your informative dog articles. While I can appreciate your article on German Shepherd – Retriever mix, I am a small dog owner. I have a Westipoo and would love more information on this mix. He is a wonderful companion for me.

  2. Hi there I have owned now to golden retriever and German shepherd mixes. They have both been incredibly intelligent, do not steal food, know their limits, incredibly protective and loyal and good companions for children. Both of my dogs have been left home alone all day while I work and do not experience any sort of separation anxiety. My first was a brown and tan Shepherd mix and my second was a white Shepherd and golden retriever mix. Both dogs exceptional and I will always look for this mix when looking for a dog.

      • Hi Ern, this is a common myth. Many owners think if they have one dog they need to leave alone, getting them a friend will keep them company.

        A happy dog is a happy dog, whether or not they have a friend. It’s equally true for an unhappy dog.

        If a dog is suffering with true separation anxiety, that needs to be addressed. Often, well meaning owners find their suffering dog a friend and it just results in two dogs suffering with separation anxiety.

        There are plenty of owners who added a second dog to their home and noticed a difference with their original dog, but we’d hazard a guess the first dog wasn’t suffering with true separation anxiety.

        So, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have more than one dog, but it’s a myth that a second dog will fix any potential behavioural issues with the first. That’s the job of the owner.

  3. I have 1 year old Golden Shepherd (just turned 1) . She is 84 lbs and slim. She has long shiny black fur and floppy ears. She sheds like crazy. She has the sweetest personality. Loves everyone she meets (canine and human). Barks when someone comes to the door which I like. No issues with separation anxiety. She is perhaps the most chill young dog I’ve ever been around.

    • I have been looking for a Golden Shepherd for a long time. Would you mind telling me where you got her? I can’t find any available 🙁

      • Where are you located? We have german shepherd mix pups and we believe the father is our golden retriever. They are almost five weeks old.

Leave a Reply to John Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.


*