The friendly, outgoing, and energetic Golden Retriever is the 3rd most popular dog breed in the world. A tad bit more popular, taking the second position in the AKC popularity rankings, is the courageous, loyal, and noble German Shepherd. Imagine all the best elements of these two highly preferred purebreds in one single dog: The Golden German Shepherd.
What is the Golden Shepherd?
The Golden German Shepherd goes by the names Golden Shepherd, German Retriever, or German Shepherd Golden Retriever.
This breed is a cross between two purebreds—the Golden Retriever and the German Shepherd. Because of selective cross-breeding between these two parent pedigrees, the Golden shepherd is considered a designer breed.
The resultant puppy may inherit the large body build, high energy levels, and stamina from both its parent breeds. No wonder the Golden Shepherd makes for a spunky, but devoted pet.
History of Golden Shepherd
It is likely that the Golden Shepherd has existed naturally in the past, due to mating between purebred German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers. The hybrid was not preferred by breeders in the past, because of the high demand for purebred pedigrees only, so many of these Golden Shepherds ended up in shelters or rescue homes.
In recent years, a greater awareness as to the health problems plaguing purebreds led to breeders selectively cultivating hybrids. Further, a need was felt to create the ultimate family companion and watchdog. The specific mix of the Golden shepherd was noted as late as 2009. This makes it a relatively new designer breed.
Golden Shepherds are recognized by:
- Designer Breed Registry (DBR)
- American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC)
- Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA)
- International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR)
Characteristics of Golden Shepherd
Since the Golden Shepherd is a mix-breed, it may be difficult to predict its actual characteristics, especially in the case of first-generation pups. If you are considering getting this dog from a reliable breeder, you can be assured of his characteristics based on past Golden Shepherd litters. Let us have a look at these characteristic features!
- Lifespan: The Golden shepherd may live for about 10 to 14 years.
- Color: Don’t be misled by the “Golden” in his name! Golden Shepherds come in a wide array of colors, including black, tan, red, cream, and blue, which may be solid or mixed colors. This is explained by the genetic makeup of the parent breed’s characteristics.
- Coat: The Golden Shepherd coat inherits the long, double coat of both the Golden Retriever and the German Shepherd. There is a slight chance that your Golden Shepherd has inherited the short hair coat from the GSD, so be prepared for this surprise.
- Size: As a hybrid of German Shepherd and Golden Retriever parents, the Golden Shepherd may be expected to be a heavyset, large dog. Its weight may range anywhere between 60 to 95 pounds and measure between 20 to 27 inches at the shoulder. That said, many such breeds can either be smaller or larger than the average.
- Temperament: Golden shepherds are protective in nature, and like the suspicious German Shepherd, they are alert or aloof around strangers. They are purposeful, and in absence of productive activity, they tend to easily become bored, restless, and gloomy.
- Trainability: Just like his parent lineage, the Golden Shepherd is highly trainable. This makes him an excellent addition to family dogs and as service dogs. He can be well trained to happily accompany children (of course under supervision!). He can also thrive with other pets, like other dogs and cats, provided they have had ample exposure in their past.
Taking Good Care of Your Golden Shepherd
- Diet: Golden Shepherds have high energy levels, and as such, their diet should be formulated accordingly. Make sure you do not overfeed him because he tends to get overweight. Strictly maintain a regular feeding schedule and limit access to treats.
- Activities and playtime
- This breed, we have already discussed, tends to get bored easily and has high stamina. Channel his pent-up energy in suitable, high-stamina activities, such as hiking, fetch, frisbee, walks, jogging, running and swimming. If you choose to adopt a Golden shepherd, it’s important that you spend plenty of time with them in exercise and play.
- A household with an open yard is the most suitable for this type of dog. Restraining them in an apartment or small enclosure is not good for their temperament. He should get at least an hour of physical activity per day.
- Just like his parent breeds, the Golden Shepherd is mouthy and loves chewing. You should keep plenty of sturdy chewable toys around him, to prevent aggressive chewing. This naturally means that you also need to regularly check his dental and oral health.
- Health Concerns
- The breed is prone to dental tartar and gum decay. Brush his teeth and gums properly to avoid dental issues.
- Other major health concerns are those that are passed down through the genetics of the parent pedigrees. While most have generally good health, some may suffer from skeletal disorders like Degenerative Myelopathy, hip and elbow dysplasia, or digestive issues such as bloat and diarrhea. Golden shepherds, being a large breed, are more susceptible to bloat. In this potentially fatal disorder, the stomach twists and fills with gas. Feed smaller, more frequent meals to reduce the risk of bloat.
- Always make regular visits to the vet to detect health problems early on!
- The Golden shepherd, as mentioned earlier, is a long-haired breed with a double coat. This means that the dog will shed heavily throughout its life cycle. Like its parent bloodlines, you will observe two cycles of blowout, wherein there is a heavier shedding than usual.
- Regular grooming, nail trimming, and bathing once a week are enough to keep your pooch fresh and happy.
- Also, make sure you clean his ears of wax or other pests regularly.
5. Cost : Many mix-breed dogs are as costly as their purebred counterparts. In the case of the golden shepherd,
- The Average cost of a new Puppy ranges between $200 to $500.
- Expect Average Annual Medical Expenses to the tune of $500 to $600.
- Average Annual Non-Medical Expenses, such as toys, food, grooming kits, etc. are as high as $920 – $1050.
Should you get a Golden German shepherd for your home?
Golden Shepherds are the perfect match for an owner who loves as much physical activity as this furball of energy. While he is not an ideal choice for novice pet owners, if you’re ready to put in enough attention, love, and time in upbringing this adorable dog, you have got a friend for life. He makes for an excellent watchdog and all-around family companion.
He is a highly sensitive dog and may become overprotective and easily attached to his owner. Thus, it’s essential he finds a household filled with people, as he does not like being alone.
For his playful, carefree behavior, open yards or play areas are needed, but it doesn’t mean you can’t upbring them in your apartment. Make sure you give them a lot of physical movement through the day.
If you face any allergies or respiratory issues, avoid getting this dog, since his moderately high shedding tendency will create health issues for you as well.
Currently, the Golden German Shepherd is considered as a designer breed, due to which there are a lot of inconsistencies in the breed. You will not find a single standard or authority for the breed. However, in general, this hybrid is pliable, and given the right training, you can see him grow to be an inseparable part of your household.