Hybrid dogs have become very popular within the last 20-30 years, and one hybrid dog is the German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix, also called the Golden Shepherd. These dogs have been combined in the hopes that the best characteristics of a German Shepherd and Golden Retriever will be combined, offering a better dog. These dogs have the potential to be excellent companions and watch dogs, making a great dog for active families. If you’re considering the Golden Shepherd, consider the hybrid’s history, appearance, temperament, grooming needs, and other information before you make your final decision.
Origin and History
While this hybrid was probably created in the past couple of decades, the time of its creation is unknown. Since the German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix combines two unique breeds, it’s a great idea to look closely at the origin and history of both of these parent breeds to learn more about the hybrid.
The German Shepherd originates in Germany and was developed during the 1800s for the purpose of dealing with flocks of sheep. Native German dogs were crossed to create the German Shepherd. The German Shepherd Dog Club of Germany was founded in 1899, and after that, the dogs quickly became popular throughout Germany and across the world. Thousands of dogs were thought to be used during World War I, and the breed was later used in World War II as well. In 1913, the German Shepherd Dog Club of America was started. Today these dogs continue to be popular in the United States and elsewhere in the world.
Golden Retrievers have their roots in England, and they were first bred in the 1800s by sportsmen that wanted retrievers for upland game and waterfowl. Not much is known about the breed until 1904, when the “yellow retrievers” won a field trial. It wasn’t until 1913 that the dogs were recognized on their own as Yellow or Golden Retrievers. In the 1900s, the Golden Retriever came to the U.S., quickly becoming a popular dog. The first Golden Retriever was registered with the American Kennel Club in 1925. Later, in 1938, the Golden Retriever Club of America was started, and today it remains one of the strongest parent clubs within the AKC.
In most cases, the German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix will have the straight back and the head of a German Shepherd. While most have ears that lay down, these dogs can have ears that stand up as well. Usually these dogs have the longer, beautiful coat of a Golden Retriever, although it’s possible for some dogs to have a coat that is more like a German Shepherd’s coat. These dogs have a double coat, and the coat can come in many different color combinations. Since both parent breeds are medium to large, expect the same from the hybrid. The dogs can vary in size from 21 to 26 inches tall, and they can weigh anywhere between 50 and 90 pounds.
Golden Shepherd Temperament
A Golden Shepherd dog can display different characteristics. Generally they have the loving disposition of the Golden Retriever, and since both parent breeds are smart, expect these dogs to be very intelligent. They are usually quite easy to train, since they generally want to please their master. While they may not particularly like strangers, a trait inherited from the German Shepherd, these dogs are very loyal to their family and they stay loyal for life.
Since the Golden Shepherd does have a double coat that generally takes after that of the Golden, these dogs are going to require regular grooming to keep their coat looking nice. For the best results, brush their coat every day to reduce shedding and to prevent tangles. While they may shed throughout the year, expect the shedding to be heavy during the fall and spring. The German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is prone to a dog smell, so it’s a good idea to give these dogs a bath once a month to keep the smell down. Ears should be checked every week for wax buildup, infection, or any irritation. Use a vet-approved solution to clean their ears each week as well. Teeth should be brushed at least twice each week to keep bad breath from becoming a problem.
Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds have both been used as working dogs, so it’s not surprising that the German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix can also make a great working dog. Some of the working roles these hybrid dogs may excel in include search and rescue, guide dogs, hunting dogs, tracking dogs, therapy dogs, military work, police work, and narcotics detection.
You can expect your Golden Shepherd to live to be between 10 and 13 years old. These hybrid dogs may end up with health concerns of either parent, although they are generally fairly healthy. Some of the potential health concerns that may affect the German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix include:
- Progressive retinal atrophy
- Subaortic stenosis
- Elbow dysplasia
- Muscular dystrophy
- Pericardial effusion
- Skin disorders
- Hip dysplasia
- Hock osteochondrosis
- Myasthenia gravis
- Cushing’s disease
- Nasal cavity tumors
- Pituitary dwarfism
- Degenerative myelopathy
- Cherry eye
- Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency
- Immune mediated thrombocytopenia
- Glycogen storage disease
- Footpad disorders
- Mitral dysplasia
- Persistent right aortic arch