The German Shepherd Retriever Mix: Golden Shepherd

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Combining the laidback and friendly nature of a Golden Retriever with the intelligence and muscular build of the German Shepherd, comes the Golden Shepherd. This German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is a perfect choice for active families who need an outgoing but loyal canine companion. Find out what to expect when adopting a half German Shepherd half Golden Retriever mix.

What is a Golden Shepherd?

A Golden Shepherd is basically a German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix. Depending on genes and traits, your German Shepherd Golden Retriever cross can vary in its appearance; sometimes looking more like one dog breed than the other.

Despite a Golden Shepherd being a mixed breed, you can more or less expect this hybrid to have a thick double coat, be of medium-large to large build, can measure about 2 ft (0.6 m) standing up, weigh between 50 – 80 lbs (22 – 36 kg), have well-developed, powerful muscles and sport long, bushy tails. Its muzzle length is medium and narrow.

A Golden Shepherd can be black, cream, sable, amber, yellow, tan, golden, white or a combination of any two colors. It will typically have different shades of brown for eye color.

What are some basic facts about Golden Shepherds?

The following list should give you some useful and practical information about a German Shepherd Golden Retriever cross.

Life span

A German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix life expectancy lies between 10 and 12 years.


A Golden Retriever and German Shepherd mix price is between US$500 and $800; price dependent on the breeder. This price is what you can expect to pay for German Shepherd Golden Retriever puppies.

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Commonly-occurring known health issues

Take note of the following known health problems inherent to German Shepherd Golden Retriever cross dogs.

Hip Dysplasia

A typical problem for both dog breeds, hip dysplasia happens when a Golden Shepherd’s thigh bones become dislocated from the hip joint. This can cause severe pain and can greatly decrease your Golden Shepherd’s quality of life. Common symptoms include stiffness or weakness in the hind leg area, a reluctance to exercise and problems walking.

Elbow Dysplasia

Another common health problem from both dog breeds, elbow dysplasia happens when the joints start damaging the cartilage cushioning a Golden Shepherd’s elbow sockets. This can lead to arthritis. Symptoms usually consist of weakness in the front legs and a general reluctance to exercise or walk.

Degenerative Myelopathy

This painless disease has a tendency to occur later on in a half German Shepherd half Golden Retriever’s life (ages 9 to 14). When it occurs, the spinal cord slowly wastes away, causing motor coordination problems, weakness and paralysis. Typically, this disease requires vet intervention for detection, as it is painless and is not known to affect a German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix life expectancy.


A common problem for large breeds is bloat. When this happens, a Golden Shepherd’s stomach rotates or distends which can lead to blood circulation problems or even death. Symptoms to watch out for include dry heaving, irregular or shallow breathing, bloated stomachs and excessive salivation. Because it usually happens when Golden Shepherds are fully-grown, it is rare to have this happen in German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix puppies.

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Eye problems

Cataracts can be common in Golden Shepherds because of genetics or old age. They form in the lenses of Golden Shepherd eyes and can cause blurry vision, glaucoma, or even permanent blindness. Symptoms include milkiness or cloudiness in your dog’s lens, discharge from the eyes, constant rubbing or scratching of the eyes and clumsiness.

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI)

Golden Shepherds affected by this disease do not produce enough digestive enzymes to adequately process their food. This can lead to malnutrition, chronic diarrhea, weight loss and growth of bacteria in your Golden Shepherd’s intestines. 


The most common allergies for Golden Shepherds include atopic dermatitis, food allergies and flea allergies.


Tumors may occur in your Golden Shepherd’s bones and can quickly metastasize. This is a common cancer for large breeds whose symptoms include swelling in the joints or cancer-affected areas, general fatigue and even anorexia.

Thyroid disease

Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism may occur in your Golden Shepherd. Typically, hypothyroidism symptoms include obesity, weakness, low endurance for exercise, increased shedding or fur loss and obesity. Hyperthyroidism symptoms include weight loss, increased thirst and hunger, heart problems and vomiting or diarrhea.

What is a Golden Shepherd’s personality like?

In terms of personality, you can expect a combination of behaviors and traits from two different dog breeds. Sometimes, a Golden Retriever and German Shepherd mix price is cost-efficient as you can get good behavior traits from both dogs.


This personality trait is inherent in both GSD’s and Golden Retrievers. Golden Shepherds are highly trainable dogs and benefit greatly from regular training. This dog breed can learn commands relatively quickly and will perform them to the best of their abilities. Golden Shepherds benefit greatly from being trained by experienced dog owners.

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Golden Shepherds are loyal and very protective of their owners. This can be a problem if your Golden Shepherd is not socialized early, as they may be cold or untrusting towards strangers. However, if trained properly, Golden Shepherds can be a great dog to have around small children and can double as protection or guard dogs.


This personality trait originates from the Golden Retriever side. Golden Shepherds are people-pleasers and need to be around people very often. Being overly-trusting may be an issue. However, this also means that being congenial towards other dogs and humans is easy and Golden Shepherds can be allowed in most social situations without many problems.


In addition to being friendly, Golden Shepherds are known to have a non-hostile temperament. This may prove problematic if groomed mainly for guard dog purposes. But this also means that unnecessary barking and distrust of strangers can quickly be disciplined. 

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