The Ultimate Guide to German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mixes
As more and more designer hybrids flood the dog scene, one definitely stands out. Unlike most mixed breeds that receive an oddly mashed up name (e.g. Gerberian Shepsky), the Golden Shepherd keeps it simple and classic - just like their ever popular parents.
Though they all look different, depending on which parent they take after most, all German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mixes are sure to be highly intelligent and trainable - a key quality of both parent breeds.
This playful hybrid inherits boundless energy from both parents, a strong penchant for cuddles from their Golden Retriever side, and an intense eagerness to please from their German Shepherd side! If you are looking for a loyal and spirited companion, your search may be over!
Could you strike gold with this sweet pup? Read our guide to find out!
Origin Story: What Makes a Golden Shepherd
Similar to most mixed breeds, no one knows quite where the German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix originated from. Perhaps, it was a happy accident! But, we do know quite a bit about their parents. For example, we know that the German Shepherd is ranked as the second most popular breed by the American Kennel Club, and that they arrived in America in 1907 as loyal, hard-working guard dogs. Not surprisingly, their popularity tanked after World War I due to anti-German attitudes. However, in 1960 German Shepherds found a job with the police and made a huge comeback. Many have even served valiantly in the military. And they have topped the list of most popular breeds ever since!
Golden Retrievers are ranked right behind German Shepherds, taking third place with their ever-wagging tails! Bred by British nobles as gundogs, Golden Retrievers are high-energy, they love to fetch, and of course they make the perfect family dog. Golden Retrievers are notoriously friendly and show plenty of love to people and fellow pets alike. They never seem to meet a stranger and make wonderful service dogs. In fact, Goldens are very popular with the internationally acclaimed charity, Guide Dogs for the Blind.
It is undeniable that when combined, these two favorite breeds produce a wonderful hybrid - sociable, smart, easily trainable, and highly intelligent. Though you can’t register your German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix with any major Kennel Club, unlike his purebred parents, you can register him with the International Designer Canine Registry to document his ancestry!
German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix Characteristics & Care Tips:
Grooming Your Golden Shepherd:
Your hybrid puppy may inherit the sharply erect ears of their German Shepherd parent, or the adorably floppy ears of their Golden Retriever parent. They may take on a longer golden coat, or the classic Sable coat of a German Shepherd. But no matter which parent your new pup looks most like, one thing is for certain. He will be very big, and shed a lot! Brushing your pup’s double coat 2 to 3 times per week will help keep it soft, shiny and healthy. We recommend using this brush to reach through their water-proof outer coat, to the soft, downy coat underneath. It is great for taming those waves that tend to become matted if not properly cared for.
Feeding your German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix:
Depending on your Golden Shepherd’s sex, you can expect a full grown dog between 22 and 26 inches tall, with a weight of 55 to 85 pounds and a large appetite! The hybrid puppies should eat four small meals each day until they are fully grown. Feeding them kibble that is specifically formulated for large-breed puppies is best. That way, you can rest easy knowing that all their nutrition needs are met!
German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mixes typically reach full maturity between 18 to 24 months old. At this time, you can reduce his number of meals to two per day instead of four. Feeding 1.5 cups of high-quality, protein rich kibble at each meal should meet his daily nutrition needs. Always consult with your vet to be sure!
How to Feed Your Gerberian Shepsky
This large, highly active breed requires a high protein diet. Calorie requirements differ based on age, weight, activity level, and sex. For example, a quickly growing puppy requires more calories than an adult Shepsky and should eat food specifically formulated for puppies. This way, they’ll get all the proper nutrients and vitamins necessary for skeletal and muscle growth!
In contrast, active adult German Shepherd Husky mixes require about 1700-2400 calories, while less active and senior dogs only require 1300-1600 calories per day. To promote easy digestion, and avoid the dangers of bloat and volvulus associated with both breeds, it’s best to split the meals over at least two feeding times per day. As energetic carnivores, Shepkys thrive on a diet composed of no less than 22% protein.
A high quality food, formulated for large breeds is best. Remember to account for special treats in daily caloric needs!
Training Your Golden Shepherd Puppy
When it comes to training, the whole family can and should participate. Your Golden Shepherd will be just as happy to take commands from your 5-year-old as they are to take them from you!
But remember that because your puppy may have inherited the guarding and protective nature of his German Shepherd parent, early socialization with all family members, other pets, and even strangers is extremely important to developing a confident and happy Golden Shepherd.
These pups, like their purebred parents, are very eager to please and easily trainable! Training sessions should be rooted in the positive-reinforcement, rewards based method instead of punishment based.
Because both German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers are highly motivated, treats may not be a necessary component to your training regimen. Perhaps, high-pitched verbal praise and lots of petting may be enough reward for your Golden Shepherd. Experiment with both methods and discover what works best for you! If you do decide to use small treats to reward your Golden Shepherd, be sure to account for the extra calories in your dog’s daily energy needs.
Temperament: What to Expect from Your Golden Shepherd
The ideal German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix will receive the affectionate friendliness of Golden Retrievers and the intelligent trainability of German Shepherds. So, under the best circumstances, the Golden Shepherd is the perfect family dog - loyal and loving, great with children and always lots of fun to be around.
However, as mentioned, they may have inherited more of the guarding and protective nature of the German Shepherd. If this is the case, they are more alert and prone to barking, proving bothersome to some families.
Your Golden Shepherd may also bark excessively and get into trouble if left alone for extended periods of time. Because they thrive on human contact, they are best suited for families who are home most of the day. If not, look into hiring a dog walker or signing up for a doggy-daycare service.
Exercise Needs: Providing Stimulation for Your Golden Hearted Pup
As they are bred from hard working dogs, Golden Shepherds require at least 1 hour of daily activity. However, recommendations suggest that they will actually thrive on two hours or more of moderate to vigorous exercise.
Additionally, German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mixes will be happiest with large yards to run and play in. They do not make great small home or apartment dogs, unfortunately.
With a retriever background, your Golden Shepherd puppy may quickly become obsessed with fetching a tennis ball! Your dog will also be happy with long walks or runs once he is fully grown. You can even take him hiking and swimming! Read our tips on safely introducing your pup to water, here.
Maintaining Your Golden Shepherds Health
As shown in our Fast Facts chart below, the German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix may suffer from Hip and Elbow Dysplasia. This is a joint disease common to most large breeds. If purchasing your Golden Shepherd puppy from a reputable breeder, you will likely receive full health reports that include hip scores of both parents. If you do not receive them, just ask for them as these will help determine your dog’s risk of developing the painful condition.
Unfortunately, this hybrid breed is also susceptible to Bloat. This is common to both parent breeds and causes the stomach to fill with gas, twist, and sadly is often fatal. Here are ways to help avoid it.
And of course most importantly, be sure to keep up with your Golden Shepherd’s annual veterinary visits. Staying up to date with teeth cleanings, vaccinations, and preventative medications are the best way to ensure your dog lives a long, happy life with you!
The adorable Golden Shepherd is a winning combination of the highly favored German Shepherd and Golden Retriever. He is very intelligent, confident, eager to please, loving, and the perfect addition to any active and experienced family!
This mixed breed will absolutely thrive when socialized and properly trained from an early age. He is more than happy to interact with kids of all ages and even other animals.
When paired with an attentive owner, the Golden Shepherd will be an incredibly loyal companion and an overall great family dog that everyone can enjoy!
Are you considering adding a Golden Shepherd to your family? Checkout our guide to unique dog names!
Or maybe you already have a German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix? Join our community of dog lovers and share your experience with us in the comments below!
Facts & Figures - Golden Shepherd Stats
22-26 inches, 55-85lbs; depends on sex
Highly Motivated; Easy to Train
Playful, Intelligent, Loyal, Loving
Elbow/Hip Dysplasia, Bloat
Very Active; 2+ hours/day Exercise
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