Golden Shepherd – Is This Cute Mix The Perfect Dog For You?

Updated: October 13th, 2022

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german shepherd golden retriever mix

The German shepherd golden retriever mix isn’t a purebred dog but rather a recently developed hybrid that has caught the attention of dog lovers around the world. Loyal, loving, and protective of its people, this energetic dog makes a wonderful family pet and companion.

If you are looking for a family companion that can double as a guard dog, the shepherd golden retriever mix is the perfect dog for you. The golden shepherd is a large, highly energetic dog with a soft side – it is exceptionally affectionate and devoted to its owners. When not busy cuddling or licking you, this pooch will be your exercise partner, always pushing you to go the extra mile.

Since they are highly energetic and large dogs, golden shepherds need a lot of exercise and are best suited for people with active lifestyles or families with older children that can play with a dog all day long.

Keep on reading to find out more about this gorgeous mix, including their temperament, exercise requirements, dietary needs, and much more!

What Type Of Dog Is A Golden Shepherd?

golden retriever and german shepherd mix

The German shepherd golden retriever mix is a mixed breed dog developed by crossing a purebred golden retriever with a purebred German shepherd. While this mix may have existed naturally over the years, breeders started to breed them intentionally as the interest for designer dogs grew.

The goal of mixing golden retrievers with German shepherd dogs was to minimize health problems seen in these two breeds and create an ultimate family companion and guard dog.

Despite its noble ancestry, the shepherd golden retriever mix isn’t officially recognized by the American Kennel Club and is considered a designer breed.

While you won’t be able to take your German retriever to dog shows, this mix is recognized by and can be registered with the following organizations:

  • Designer Breed Registry
  • American Canine Hybrid Club
  • Dog Registry of America, Inc
  • International Designer Dog Registry

Since mixed breed dogs inherit traits from two distinctive dog breeds, their appearance and personality traits can take after either of their parent breeds. To get a better understanding of the shepherd golden retriever, let’s check out its parent breeds!

German Shepherd

The German shepherd was developed in the 19th century in Germany as a herding dog. During World War I, these dogs served as messengers, guards, sentries, carriers, and Red Cross dogs. However, while this breed arrived in America long before the war, they became popular only after the war was over.

Even today, the German shepherd is one of the most popular dog breeds worldwide and is especially favored by police and the army due to its obedient nature, intelligence, and bravery.

Golden Retriever

If you think a golden retriever is the right dog for you, you aren’t the only one! Goldens are one of the most popular dog breeds in existence and make wonderful pets and family companions to people of all ages.

The golden retriever was originally developed in Scotland as a gun dog capable of gently retrieving shot waterfowl and upland game birds without damaging them. Nowadays, goldens are still used for hunting, but they are far more popular as family dogs mainly due to their kind, friendly, trusting, and affectionate nature.

Golden Shepherd Mix Appearance

Like any other mixed breed dog, no two golden shepherds are exactly the same. Being an offspring of a golden retriever and a German shepherd, it’s safe to say that this hybrid will be on the larger side. Expect your mix to have a sturdy frame, straight back, thick chest, and muscular legs. These dogs are usually slightly longer than they are tall, and they generally should not have the sloped back of the German shepherd.

In terms of features, expect your mix to be a bit more wild-looking than a purebred golden retriever. These dogs tend to have broad skulls, long muzzles, large, darkly colored eyes, and triangle-shaped ears that can stand erect or be more floppy.

Size, Height & Weight

While there are no set standards when it comes to size for this mixed breed, you can definitely expect your shepherd golden retriever to be a large-sized dog. Most are between 20 to 27 inches tall at the shoulders and usually weigh anywhere from 60 to 90 pounds. It’s common for females to be slightly smaller than males, but that isn’t always the case.

Coat & Color

Since both German shepherds and golden retrievers have long double coats, it’s safe to say that the German retriever mix will also have a long and thick double coat. The coat’s texture may be rough or smooth, depending on which parent your dog takes after.

When it comes to coat colors, golden shepherds can take any color of either parent or have a combination of any of these colors. Some dogs may also inherit facial markings from their German shepherd parents. The most commonly seen colors in this mix are:

  • Golden
  • Black and tan
  • Cream
  • Black
  • White
  • Golden and black
  • Dark golden
  • Brown

German Shepherd And Golden Retriever Mix Temperament

As with any other crossbreed, it’s hard to predict the exact personality and temperament of any individual shepherd golden retriever mix. Your pooch can take more after its golden retriever parent or end up looking more like a German shepherd. To get a better idea of how your hybrid dog will look like and behave, try to meet both of its parents prior to bringing your pup home.

Overall, you can expect your golden shepherd to have the following personality traits and qualities.

Loyal Companionship

german shepherd and golden retriever mix

The golden retriever and German shepherd mix was created to be a wonderful family companion and watchdog. If your mix takes more after its goldie parent, they’ll be extremely friendly towards everyone and will love being surrounded by their family.

The shepherd golden retriever will spend an equal amount of time with all family members and won’t pick a favorite person, unlike its more reserved and selective German shepherd parent.

Besides being great with adults, this crossbreed also loves children and gets along well with other pets when properly socialized from an early age. The German retriever mix is a social, people-loving dog that gets deeply attached to its owners and loves spending time with them.

The one thing this hybrid dog is bad at is staying home alone! They crave constant companionship and tend to develop separation anxiety when left at home alone for long periods of time. Start crate training your golden shepherd mix puppy from a young age to help them deal with being home alone while you are at work, at school, or otherwise out running errands.

This mix is best suited to people who can keep it company and spend a lot of time with them at home. So, if you work long hours or travel a lot, the German retriever isn’t the right dog for you.

Guard Dog

Depending on which parent it takes after more, your golden shepherd can either be a great guard dog or a very poor one. However, in general, most of these mixed breed dogs make excellent watchdogs that won’t hesitate to protect their families.

Dogs that take more after their German shepherd parents make excellent guard dogs and will alert you if something suspicious is going around your property. These doggos are also more aloof around the people they don’t know and need time to warm up to strangers.

On the other hand, if your pooch takes more after its golden retriever parent, it will fail at guard duties, big time! Golden retrievers tend to make friends with strangers rather than initially distrust them, so they aren’t well suited to guarding homes.


The German shepherd and golden retriever mix is a highly energetic and active dog that loves to play and needs an equally energetic owner. They enjoy all sorts of activities and will excel at running, swimming, obstacle courses, hiking, and retrieving.

Be prepared to spend anywhere from 60 to 120 minutes every day exercising your dog. Without enough physical and mental stimulation, they can easily become bored and resort to destructive chewing or find other ways to demolish your property. An under-exercised shepherd golden retriever mix can quickly become frustrated and depressed and is capable of tearing your whole home to shreds if they get too bored.

Highly energetic and athletic by nature, golden shepherds thrive in homes with big fenced-in yards and need plenty of space to roam around. They can live in apartments, too, but be prepared for long daily walks and a lot of outdoor exercise.


The German shepherd golden retriever is probably one of the smartest dogs out there, just like its parent breeds. They pick up on command and tricks in no time, so obedience training won’t be frustrating or challenging.

When training your puppy, always use appropriate training techniques, such as positive reinforcement and reward-based training. Never scold or physically punish your German retriever! These harsh training methods won’t get you anywhere, and your pooch might rebel, become aggressive, or start being afraid of you!

Although they are friendly by nature, early socialization is essential if you want a well-behaved and easygoing dog that will get along with other people and dogs. For best results, start socializing early and introduce your pooch to different people, situations, places, noises, cats, and dogs while they are still a puppy.

German Retriever Mix Health Problems

The shepherd golden retriever is generally a healthy designer breed. Mixed breed dogs tend to be more resilient than their purebred parents, as they are genetically more diverse. However, the golden shepherd may still inherit certain diseases that commonly affect both German shepherds and golden retrievers.

The most common health problems seen in this crossbreed are:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Allergies
  • Cancer
  • Eye problems
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Degenerative myelopathy

The best way to prevent these issues is to get your puppy from a reputable breeder who does all health checks and necessary screenings. Both parents should have good hip and eye scores, so make sure to ask the breeder to show you the papers as proof.

This crossbreed has an average life expectancy of 10 to 14 years, which is a lot, considering most other large breed dogs don’t live as long.

Golden Retriever Shepherd Mix Dietary Needs

retriever shepherd mix

Diet plays a huge part in the life of any dog, and eating nutritious and balanced food is very important for your dog’s overall health and wellbeing. Being large dogs, golden shepherds require a diet packed with proteins and fats that will fuel their muscles and keep them energized all day long.

Opt for large breed dog foods to meet your German retriever’s nutritional needs, and feed adult dogs two evenly-spaced meals per day to prevent bloating. When it comes to puppies, stick with the same brand of food their breeder was using to prevent an upset stomach and feed your puppy four meals a day. Once your pooch is at least one year old, you can slowly transition them to adult food and switch to feeding them two meals a day.

While most German retrievers need about three cups of high-quality kibble every day, your dog may need less or more depending on their age, pre-existing health problems, and activity level. Since obesity is a huge problem for both German shepherds and golden retrievers, don’t overfeed your pooch, and be sure to keep track of the number of treats they are receiving.


Golden Shepherd Grooming & Care

Most German retrievers have long and thick double coats, although some may have a medium-long coat. Regardless of the coat’s length, your shepherd golden retriever mix will shed a lot! Shedding is even more pronounced during spring and fall, and you may end up brushing your dog several times a day just to stay on top of all the loose hair.

To remove loose hair and minimize shedding, brush your dog at least three times a week. Regular brushing will help you control your pup’s shedding and also prevent mats and tangles from forming. Due to their heavily shedding coats, this designer hybrid isn’t a good choice for allergy sufferers or people who dread seeing dog hair on their clothes or furniture.

As mentioned above, their coat is likely to mat, so taking your pooch to a professional groomer for an occasional trim and bath can be a good idea. Alternatively, you can invest in a variety of dog brushes and grooming tools and take care of everything at home. Luckily, this mix doesn’t have to be bathed often – generally, once every three months is enough to keep your dog clean and smelling fresh.

The rest of their grooming needs are fairly basic. This involves daily teeth brushing using a dog toothbrush, regular nail clipping, and ear cleaning. These dogs’ ears are especially prone to wax buildup, so make sure to check your dog’s ears once a week and clean them thoroughly when they are dirty. Use a vet-approved dog ear cleaning solution to remove dirt and waxy buildup from your pup’s ears and prevent painful ear infections.

If trimming your dog’s nails is more than you can handle at home, take your golden retriever shepherd mix to the vet or a professional groomer. They’ll be more than happy to trim your dog’s nails for you!

FAQs About The German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix

What do you call a German shepherd golden retriever mix?

The German shepherd golden retriever mix is also commonly known as the golden shepherd, German retriever, golden German shepherd, or simply German shepherd golden retriever. This designer breed is a cross between the golden retriever and German shepherd dog breeds.

What does a golden retriever German shepherd mix look like?

The shepherd golden retriever is a large-sized dog with a sturdy frame, deep chest, and thick body. They are slightly longer than they are tall and have large paws and thick, furry tails. Generally, they shouldn’t have a sloped back like a German shepherd. Most German retrievers have broad heads, long muzzles, and triangular ears that can be floppy or stand erect.

This designer hybrid has a thick and long double coat that comes in many colors, though most of these dogs have a dark golden coat and a black muzzle.

Do German shepherds and golden retrievers get along?

German shepherds and golden retrievers usually get along nicely, especially if both were socialized properly at a young age. While goldens are friendlier by nature, both of these breeds can live in harmony with other dogs if they receive enough attention and affection from their owner.

How big will a German shepherd golden retriever mix get?

Golden German shepherds are large dogs that are typically between 20 and 27 inches tall at the withers. Since this is a new designer breed, there are no set standards when it comes to size, so some dogs can be larger or smaller than the average. Female dogs are generally smaller than males, but that isn’t always the case.

Do golden shepherds shed?

German retrievers have thick double coats that shed all year round. They also go through a shedding season every year. These dogs will lose a ton of hair during spring and fall, and you’ll have to brush your dog daily to keep the shedding under control. As heavy shedders, these dogs aren’t a good choice for allergy sufferers or people who don’t have the time or energy to vacuum up loose hair every day.

How much does a German shepherd golden retriever mix cost?

A golden retriever German shepherd mix typically costs around $800 to $1,500 per pup. However, the exact price can vary and depends on a lot of factors, including the breeder, supply and demand in your area, and the dog’s pedigree, coat color, and gender.


The German shepherd golden retriever mix is melting and conquering the hearts of dog lovers around the world and for many good reasons! This designer hybrid has it all – good looks, a friendly nature, and brains that will impress Einstein! The breed’s main selling points are:

  • An extremely loyal and faithful companion
  • Intelligent and easy to train
  • Has a long lifespan

As an added bonus, golden shepherds are incredibly sweet and affectionate dogs that will badger you for cuddles and attention all day long!

Do you have a German shepherd golden retriever? What do you love most about your dog? Share your experience raising this gorgeous mix with us and our readers in the comment section below!

Written By

Wendy is a self-employed beauty therapist, mother of two, life-long pet parent and lover of dogs who somehow manages to squeeze in the time to satisfy another of her loves - writing. Wendy is the founder, main contributor to and editor of TotallyGoldens.

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