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Ever wonder what would happen if two intelligent, loyal dogs such as a German Shepherd and Golden Retriever were crossbred? What would the puppies be like? Would it be a strong and healthy breed? What about its personality and temperament?
I am here to answer any questions related to the German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix dog breed.
This step-by-step handbook will guide you in learning all there is to know about this amazing breed. This will ultimately help you decide whether or not this dog is perfect for you.
Let’s jump right in, shall we?
What is German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix?
As you can guess, a German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix is a designer dog breed. It’s a mixture of two purebred dogs: a German Shepherd and a Golden Retriever.
Designer dog breeds have been very popular in recent times. For people who are in love with both breeds, a German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix would really be a dream-come-true dog for them.
Let’s learn about their background to find out where the breed and its parent’s come from.
The origins of the German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix
When exploring mixed breed dogs, it’s important knowing that they might not always have a long history.
Designer/hybrid dogs are relatively new compared to purebred dogs. To understand the origins of Golden Shepherd Mix, you need to know the history of the parent breeds.
Origins of German Shepherd
As one of the most recognized dog breeds in the world, German Shepherds have come a long way in the last hundred years. They started out as sheepherders in Germanic regions, but the breed varied from region to region.
An army veteran named Max Emil Friedrich von Stephanitz, in the late 19th century, created a club that standardized the German Shepherd breed. He bought an ideal stud and proceeded to breed an iconic dog. The current German Shepherd you see is the result of his hard work.
Due to WWII and anti-German sentiments, the breed popularity took a hit; however, it quickly regained popularity. German Shepherds were seen working as a rescuer, guard, sentry, and Red Cross dog and supply carriers.
There are few other breeds that can be as versatile and cunning as a German Shepherd.
These days, they are highly sought out for work in military and law enforcement. German Shepherds rank #2 in the USA and #4 in the UK among the most popular dog breeds.
Origins of Golden Retriever
The origin of Golden Retrievers starts with Dudley Marjoribanks, 1st Baron Tweedmouth (then Lord Tweedmouth) during the Victorian Era. Home to Inverness-shire, Scottish Highlands, the Baron wanted to create an ideal gun dog suitable for the rainy weather and rugged terrains.
He kept meticulous records for 50 years—from 1840 to 1890—of breeding that ultimately gave birth to the Golden Retriever.
The first parents of the Golden Retriever are said to be a now extinct breed: the Tweed Water Spaniel and the Baron’s own “Yellow Retriever”.
History records the first Golden Retriever having been seen at a British dog show in 1908; specimens of the breed arrived in US and Canada around the same time.
Golden Retrievers are classified as a sporting dog breed—hunters prized their ability along with fanciers. Dog aficionados were charmed with the breed’s beauty, playfulness, and level-headed temperament.
In the 1970s, Golden Retriever’s popularity blasted off with U.S President Gerald Ford and his beautiful Golden Retriever named “Honor’s Foxfire Liberty Hume”
Now that we understand a bit of background on the origins of a Golden Retriever German Shepherd Mix, let’s take a look at what they would look like.
Physical Characteristics of a German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix
Generally, puppies of a German Shepherd Retriever Mix are a blend of both parents— both in appearance and temperament; however, it’s not uncommon to see some puppies leaning on one particular parent. Depending on the percentage, the dog may take on a number of combinations.
Here are the broad outlines of their physical characteristics:
Size and Weight
A Shepherd Retriever Mix stands between 20-26 inches at the shoulder and can weigh from 60-86 pounds. Females are usually a bit smaller in size and weight. They are generally mid-level large dogs.
Most of the time, a German Shepherd and Golden Retriever Mix will have a body like a German Shepherd and a Golden Retriever’s face. You’ll notice that the dog will have a straight back head with deep, almond-shaped eyes
They have short floppy ears that can stand up at will and strong round muzzle with 42 teeth that meet in a scissors bite.
A Golden Retriever and German Shepherd Mix has a straight back, but relatively short compared to its parents. The forequarters are much like a German Shepherd with a thick chest. When viewed from the side, the hindquarters—upper and lower thighs—look well-muscled, forming almost a right angle.
A Golden Retriever Shepherd Mix has a long, rough, dense coat. Depending on the genetics mix it can be either soft or smooth. A Golden German Shepherd is by no means a hypoallergenic dog and you need groom your dog properly.
The most common combinations of colors a Retriever Mix German Shepherd can have are:
Personality and Temperament of a German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix
Both parent breeds are intelligent and loyal, so a German Retriever puppy will inherit those same qualities.
With a German Shepherd’s ancestry, they will be much more protective than a typical retriever and will defend the person they feel most attached to.
But with Golden Retriever in the mix, they won’t be aggressive as most German Shepherds; they have an easy-going personality that makes them excellent family dogs and companions.
Naturally, a German Shepherd Golden Retriever puppy will be very affectionate. They will be friendly towards everybody unless provoked. They’re also very playful.
Their people-pleasing attitude is one which keeps their tails wagging and makes them super friendly towards people and pets. They’re full of excitement to see you! Golden Retriever German Shepherd Puppies are also great with kids!
With minimal training, they can become your ideal dream dog
The Trainability of a German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix
Like every other dog out there, a German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix needs the training to learn how to properly behave around the house and people.
Intelligent breeds such as this are prone to undermining authority when left free, but the good news is they can be trained very easily.
Cunning dogs such as Golden Retriever Mix with German Shepherd learn tricks quickly. If you are consistent in showing them what to do, then they will learn it for life.
Positive reinforcement (and treats) is the best way to handle this breed of dogs.
If you are a leader (yes, they need to understand that you’re in charge!) and guide them well, a Golden German Shepherd will be a joy to be around.
For medium to large dogs, it’s always a good idea to start crate training them from an early age.
However, you won’t really know how your dog will turn out until they’re older. You’ll never go wrong getting them some socialization training.
It’s important to invest in this because even breeds as gentle as Golden Shepherd Mix can have innate aggression.
Health Concerns of a German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix
Generally, mixed breed dogs are healthier than their parent breeds. There have however been cases where they inherit health problems form one or both parents.
A German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix will live somewhere from 10 to 14 years if properly cared for.
There are some health risks you should be aware of before adopting a Golden Retriever German Shepherd Mix puppy.
Most common of them are:
- Flea Infection
- Infections from Ear Mites
- Joint Dysplasia
- Eye problems
- Von Willebrand’s disease
- Degenerative Myelopathy
It’s unlikely that your dog will have all of the above diseases, but the information will help you prepare for any possible outcomes in the future.
Before we move on, here’s a quick look at the health problems of the parent breeds.
German Shepherd Common Health Problems:
- Anal Furunculosis
- Anal Gland Issues
- Food Allergies
- Chronic Superficial Keratitis
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
- Von Willebrand’s Disease
- Patent Ductus Arteriosus
- Chronic Degenerative Radiculomyelopathy
- Various Other Back Problems
Golden Retrievers Common Health Problems:
- Allergic Skin disease
- Aortic Stenosis
- Digestive Tract diseases
- Elbow and Hip dysplasia
- Endocrine Disease
- Geriatric and Canine Vestibular Disease
- Hereditary and Congenital Cataracts
- Generalized Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Retinal Pigment Epithelial Dystrophy
- Multifocal Retinal Dysplasia
The list may look scary, but trust us! With proper care, your German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix will live to have a great life!
Getting a German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix Puppy
You can avoid many of the health problems discussed above by getting a German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix puppy from a responsible breeder.
Reputable breeders will always be very careful in the breeding process and test the parents for health problems beforehand. Parent dogs should always have dog elbow and hop scores, clear eye tests and be PRA-clear.
A German Shepherd parent should have a straight back and should not walk on their hocks. Golden Retriever parent should not have a family history of cancer.
It’s always a good idea to spend some time with the parent breed before getting a puppy. This should give you an idea of the likely temperament of the dog—again, it’s not guaranteed, but is good to help get a sense.
Ask a lot of questions and be very clear about the answers before proceeding. If you are in doubt or feel that you’re being duped, walk away and look for more breeders.
Taking care of your German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix
Proper care is essential for any dog to live a long and healthy life. This means a regular visit to the veterinarian, timely vaccinations and fulfilling the nutritional needs (depending on the dog’s age). Don’t forget about getting the proper amount of grooming and exercise.
A German Shepherd Golden Retriever has a lot of energy! That means you need to make sure your dog gets lots of exercise. This is especially important to keep them fit and healthy.
A bored dog will use its pent-up energy tearing up the house—we don’t want that! So, spend some time outside with your dog—play Frisbee, go for a long walk or take a hike; include your dog in running, jumping and in any physical activity you can think of.
If you’re having fun doing it, you can be sure that your dog will love it too!
A German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix is most definitely a “shedder”. Get ready to become best friends with your vacuum cleaner because you will need it—more often than you realize—not to mention shedding season, which will be absolutely crazy!
You’ll also need to brush your dog’s fur daily. This might sound like a hassle, but many breeds need it to keep their coat healthy. In addition to brushing, their ears, nails, and teeth should be cleaned at short, regular intervals.
A German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix needs minimal bathing—once a month or so should be more than enough!
Getting food for mixed-breed dogs can be tricky. While a German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix is not a picky eater, caution should be followed when it comes time to pick their food.
Look for foods that have a minimum of 18% protein and 5% fat content. It’s good to look for ingredients and supplements that support joint and bone development.
Veggies, fruits, fish oil, vitamins, and minerals are also essential for proper growth. Nutritional needs will vary depending on the dog’s age.
Avoid products with soy, corn, and sugar as they aren’t sources of carbohydrates for dogs.
A German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix is one of the most wonderful dogs you’ll ever meet. They will most definitely make your life enjoyable (and interesting!), to say the least.
Love your Golden Shepherd with all your heart and it will, in turn, be the perfect companion for you and your family.