Golden Shepherds are a popular mixed breed for their double dose of intelligence, energy, and loyalty. These sweet puppies have the best qualities of their parent breeds combined. Also, unlike most mixed breeds, the breed history of Golden Shepherds has been well-documented. While Golden Shepherd puppies can be expensive due to their status as a designer breed, these pups can be found in shelters and certain animal rescue centers, as well. You may be wondering if a Golden Shepherd would be a good pet for your household. Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about Golden Shepherds.
Golden Shepherd Pedigree
A Golden Shepherd is typically a close half-and-half mixture of Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds. The American Kennel Club (AKC) does not recognize the Golden Shepherd as an official breed, but as a mixed breed, as they tend to disregard breeds that have been labeled as designer.
However, both Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds are recognized by the AKC, and these breeds are quite popular in the United States and Canada, where many people consider them to be excellent family dogs.
Golden Shepherd Breed History
Golden Shepherds are a still a relatively new breed, dating back only about forty years. Breeders started crossing Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds some time in 1980 to get a more genetically diverse (and subsequently healthier) offspring. Golden Shepherds were also much less likely to shed and were less aggressive than many other well-known breeds at the time, like the Mastiff or the Rottweiler.
Both parent breeds were developed approximately a century earlier. German Shepherds were bred in Germany to guard sheep, but they quickly became an ideal military dog for their intelligence. Golden Retrievers were developed around this same time in Scotland to retrieve birds that had been hunted from incredibly cold water.
Golden Shepherd Puppies
A Golden Shepherd litter will generally consist of six to ten puppies. These puppies are a decent size for a newborn dog, weighing about one pound. While Golden Retrievers tend to be quite friendly and affectionate like their parent breeds, they may be a bit wary around strangers, as are German Shepherds.
It is best to introduce a Golden Shepherd to all sorts of people and environments when they are still young to prevent them from becoming skittish. However, this socialization ought to be done gradually, between the ages of two to four months. Doing so will increase their confidence.
These introductions need to be controlled as much as possible to ensure that the Golden Shepherd only has positive experiences with new people and places. Golden Shepherd puppies have large appetites, but it is important not to free-feed them, as they can easily become obese.
Golden Shepherd Temperament
Golden Shepherds are naturally quite sociable, energetic, curious, and intelligent. These dogs will actively attempt to partake in all sorts of interaction with people, both indoors and outside. They especially love being outdoors. Golden Shepherds tend to experience separation anxiety when they are left by themselves for long periods of time, so they do best in homes where someone is typically present for most of the day.
A Golden Shepherd needs to burn off a lot of energy, which is best carried out by playing outside for long stretches. Otherwise, these dogs can develop destructive behaviors out of sheer boredom.
Golden Shepherd Size and Looks
As Golden Shepherds are a mix of two large dog breeds, it is safe to say that they are big dogs. A healthy adult Golden Shepherd may weigh anywhere from sixty to seventy-five pounds, and they tend to be twenty to twenty-six inches tall.
Females are usually slightly smaller. Golden Shepherd coats may be a variety of colors, including several shades of gold, black and tan, black and white, black, white, gray, blue, liver, or sable. Their fur is medium or long and often dense. Their ears may be upright or floppy, and they have brown eyes.
Golden Shepherd Training
Golden Shepherds are easy to train, as they are just as intelligent as both parent breeds. They learn commands quickly. Introducing them to new people and situations requires more effort, but it is still relatively simple to do. Establish commands and rules and enforce them consistently. Positive reinforcement is a key aspect of training, which is the case for most dogs. Good forms of positive reinforcement to employ are verbal praise and treats, and these should be provided right after the Golden Shepherd follows a command for clarity.
Golden Shepherd Care
Golden Shepherds require at least one to two hours of intensive exercise every day. Long walks, runs, or hikes are excellent ways to interact with a Golden Shepherd. These dogs should not do exercise that encourages a lot of jumping when they are young since their bones are still developing.
As it is easy for a Golden Shepherd to become obese if they do not get enough exercise and overeat, monitoring their diet is important. Dry kibble for large dogs is the food these dogs thrive on the most. They need only three and a half cups each day, which should be divided into two meals. Shedding can be an issue, so it is best to brush a Golden Shepherd three or four times a week, and constant vacuuming is a necessity.
Golden Shepherd Summary
Golden Shepherds are a popular mixed breed for retaining the best traits of two pure breeds that are also highly beloved. These dogs are smart, affectionate, energetic, and loyal, and they are easy to train. However, Golden Shepherds are prone to becoming obese and developing seperation anxiety, especially if they do not recieve enough exercise, diet monitoring, and attention.
Such treatment can lead to destructive behaviors like chewing on bannisters or shoes. Golden Shepherds also need to be socialized when they are still young. These loving dogs are a good fit for an active household where at least one person is constantly at home, and they tend to make for great family dogs.