What is the Origin of the Golden Shepherd?
Golden Shepherds are a mixture of Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds. They were first registered as a designer dog in 2009, although people have been breeding them since about 1980.
German Shepherds are known for their proud and loyal nature. They are highly intelligent and make great police and military dogs, they are also one of the most popular breeds in the world today.Golden Retrievers are known for being wonderful, loving family dogs and can also be wonderful gun dogs.
It is important to keep these traits in mind as we talk about the Golden Shepherd. Being a mix of both these breeds, the Golden Shepherd might lean more toward being like one parent than the other.
Golden Shepherd Overview
55 to 64 cm (20 to 26 inches)
28 to 42kgs (60-90lbs)
Affectionate, energetic, smart, sociable, and playful. Love to be involved in all activities
Easy To Train
A mix of two highly intelligent breeds and pick up training quickly. Also very eager to please their people
1-2 hours per day physical activity, plus plenty of mental stimulation.
High-meat, moderate fat, low-no carb
Possible Health Concerns
Von Willebrand’s Disease, epilepsy, cancer (most common in neutered females), bloat, Degenerative Myelopathy, EPI, joint dysplasia, allergies, eye problems, hyperthyroidism, and separation anxiety
How Big Does a Golden Shepherd Get?
Male Golden Shepherds will generally be 24-26 inches tall and weigh 65-90 pounds. A female will likely be 22-24 inches tall and 50-70 pounds.
Are Golden Shepherds Good Family Pets?
Golden Shepherds can make wonderful family pets especially if they are socialized properly. Of course, it is always a good idea to keep an eye on dogs and children when they are together.
Do Golden Shepherds Get Along with Other Dogs?
Golden Shepherds can get along well with other dogs and pets as long as they are socialized properly. They may be prone to chase smaller dogs or small animals.
How Easy is a Golden Shepherd to Train?
The Golden Shepherd is very easy to train with a positive reinforcement-based training method. Since the Golden Shepherds is mixed with two easy to train breeds, one is highly intelligent and the other is extremely eager to please. This combination makes for a dog that is a joy to train.
Socialization may be the most important thing you can train any puppy. Be sure to start with socialization early and keep up with it for the life of your companion.
How Much Exercise Does a Golden Shepherd Need?
Golden Shepherds are a mix of two highly active breeds and thus Golden Shepherds are also highly active. They do best with 1-2 hours, minimum, of physical activity a day. Playing fetch in the yard, going to the dog park, practicing some agility, going for a run, these could all be good physical outlets for this breed.
They are also highly intelligent and need to either have a job or be actively engaged in brain games. Training can be great a brain game as well as hide n' seek or a treasure hunt.
On that note, it may be fun to participate in some dog competitions like agility, flyball, scent trials, human-dog marathons, canine freestyle, the list is endless!
Do Golden Shepherds Need To Be Groomed Often?
Golden Shepherds have a thick double coat, just like both of their parents do. This means that the Golden Shepherd sheds a lot! Daily brushing is the best to help keep down fur levels in your house. Frequent vacuuming wouldn't hurt either. You may also need to embrace the fact that "no outfit is complete without some dog hair on it."
Some Golden Shepherds my have floppy ears from their Golden side. If they do it would be a good idea to keep an eye on their ears to check for excessive wax and clean as needed. Also, clean the ears after swimming. This will help reduce the likelihood of ear infections.
The Golden Shepherd should only be bathed when they really need it.
Daily tooth brushing is important too. A disease in the mouth can spread rapidly and cause worse problems down the road. So, prevent that with daily toothbrushing!
How Long do Golden Shepherds Live?
Generally, the Golden Shepherd will live 10-14 years. This can vary due to genetics, diet, and lifestyle. So, for maximum longevity find an excellent breeder, feed a high-quality and high-meat diet, and make sure to give your dog plenty of exercise and love.
What are the Main Health Concerns of the Golden Shepherd?
Some say that mixed breeds and designer dogs are healthier, but they can get anything that their pure breed parents can get. Yes, you combined the character traits of two wonderful breeds but you also combined their potential health issues.
Main health concerns of the Golden Retriever:
Joint dysplasia, skin conditions, chest conditions (affecting the heart, lungs, and/or circulatory system), cancer (particularly "fixed" females), Von Willebrand Disease, cataracts, low thyroid, ear infections, bloat.
Main health concerns of the German Shepherd:
Joint dysplasia, bloat, EPI, epilepsy, hemophilia, diabetes, cataracts, degenerative disc disease, panosteitis, allergies, pancreatitis, thyroid issues, bladder stones, urinary tract infections, nose infections, dental issues, cancer.
You will notice that of the two lists both parent breeds share: joint dysplasia, bloat, blood disease, thyroid issues, cataracts, and cancer.
Golden Shepherds are also very loyal and very social. They love being with their family. They do not tolerate being left alone for long periods and may become destructive if they are or worse develop full separation anxiety. Be sure that you have enough time to devote to being with this dog before you decide to get one.
What Does a Golden Shepherd Eat and How Much?
What you choose to feed your Golden Shepherd can make a huge difference in helping to prevent the above diseases and health issues. It is important to note that dogs are carnivores and thrive on a fresh, preferably, raw diet. A raw diet can be the best preventative measure you use for your dog.
Generally, when feeding a Golden Shepherd you should feed about 2-3% of the dog's ideal body weight. This will vary somewhat depending on the activity level of the individual dog.
You can feed a Golden Shepherd a more conventional diet but be sure you are picking a high-meat, zero additives, zero grain diet. Make sure that the diet is very low-carb and very high protein. Be sure that the protein is not coming from plant sources like legumes, these are not as bioavailable to your dog and do not provide as complete an amino acid profile.
That goes for treats too, no-carb treats, please! The best treats are going to be one ingredient, meat! Baked or freeze-dried meat treats are great. These treats are typical of higher value to dogs too, which can help with training.
What Are Some Things I Can Do As Preventative Medicine?
To prevent ear infections: Clean your dog's ears whenever you note excessive wax and after swimming with a solution of half apple cider vinegar and half distilled water. Simply squirt a little into your dog's ear (do not use this in your dog already has an infection). Be sure to give treats because most dogs don't like getting their ears cleaned.
Bloat: First, it is important to note that bloat can be deadly but it is preventable. Feeding a raw diet can be very beneficial in preventing bloat. Feeding your dog raw meaty bones can strengthen his stomach, aide in digestions, and help alleviate gas build-up. Do not feed your dog out of a raised bowl, this can increase the possibility of bloat. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercises, but not right after he eats.
Diabetes: Again this one comes down to diet. Carbs cause a rise in insulin, the insulin acts to lower the blood sugar. Insulin opens up the cells to store the excess sugar as fat. The more insulin spikes a dog gets from a high-carb diet the less the cells begin to respond to insulin causing insulin resistance. This is a huge factor in the development of diabetes. But there is a simple solution, feed your dog very limited carbs if you choose to feed your dog carbs at all.
Cancer: Diet can play a big role in cancer as well. Most cancer cells prefer to grow and consume carbs. So, a low carb diet for the win, again! The inclusion of a high-quality CBD oil, turmeric, phytoplankton, and a medicinal mushroom blend can also be helpful.
Thyroid Problems: The thyroid is located on the neck of your dog, in the front of the throat. A super-easy way to help avoid thyroid problems is to only walk your dog with a harness and never attach his leash to a collar. Please, please never use a prong collar or choke chain on these dogs. Doing so will increase the likelihood of damaging their thyroid. Feeding a high-quality raw diet can help with this too. Be sure your dog is getting iodine this is essential to thyroid health. Adding in a probiotic or fermented food can also be very helpful for preventing thyroid issues.
EPI and Pancreatitis: The pancreas is responsible for creating enzymes to break down food. Both of these issues happen when the pancreas has issues with enzyme creation. If left untreated the dog with EPI can starve to death, even though he is eating all the time. You can do a lot to help with these two issues by simply adding raw pancreas (typically from ruminant animals) to your dog's food or you could add a pancreatic enzyme. Both of these will help with breaking down the nutrients and making it usable for your dog. Adding in some pro and prebiotics can be very helpful as well. Also, feeding smaller more frequent meals so there isn't such a strain on the digestive system. A raw diet is going to be best for these dogs. Raw food is about 10% more usable to dogs and if your dog has an issue with breaking down his food the more usable the food is the better.
Epilepsy: Adding CBD oil has been shown to reduce seizures. Making sure your dog is getting plenty of taurine, which they will be if fed a raw diet, can help support the nervous system.
Joint Issues and Dysplasia: Bone broth is rich in many nutrients including gelatin which is great for joints. The addition of glucosamine could be helpful as well. The addition of turmeric, CBD oil, and astaxanthin should help too. Probiotics and fermented foods can help. Be sure that you do not spay/neuter your dog too young (if you choose to do that at all), this also results in joint damage.
Allergies and Skin Issues: Most of these issues are preventable with a healthy raw diet. In traditional Chinese medicine, they say "like cures like." So, don't cut the skin off that chicken before you feed it to your dog!
Chest Issues: Along those lines being sure to feed your dog raw heart and lungs can be effective in helping to keep his heart and lungs healthy. The addition of a high-quality, animal-based omega-3 can also go a long way to prevent heart problems.
Degenerative Disc Disease: Keeping your dog active will help to reduce the likelihood of your Golden Shepard getting this disease. Also, be sure to do everything in your power to reduce inflammation in your dog. Feed a raw diet, use CBD oil, turmeric, reduce exposure to toxins, and feed other anti-inflammatory foods and herbs can all help.
Urinary Tract Infections: Diet plays a huge role here tool. If your dog is on a high-meat raw diet then you will have taken a huge step to reduce the chances of UTI. There are also several herbs that may help should your dog develop a UTI.
Dental Issues: Daily toothbrushing, chomping on recreational bones, and a raw diet will go along way to prevent dental disease. Preventing dental disease can help prevent other diseases as well.
So, there you have it the Golden Shepherd is a great dog, wonderful family member, and easy to train. There are several health concerns to be aware of but if you do your research and get a good breeder and do your part to prevent, you and your dog should live a long and healthy life together.