Golden Shepherd Care

The Golden Shepherd (GS), as a hybrid of a Golden Retriever and a German Shepherd, is the offspring of two intelligent, athletic, and all-around fantastic breeds. These energetic crossbreeds will need moderate care overall, including lots of daily exercise, regular hair cleanup, and since they're prone to obesity, close diet monitoring.

Below you'll find plenty of detailed info on Golden Shepherd care: puppy development, exercise needs, diet and nutrition, and more are covered here. For answers to your questions about raising these outstanding hybrids, keep reading!

Golden Shepherd Exercise Needs

As a hybrid of two athletic, task-oriented breeds, Golden Shepherd exercise requirements are quite extensive. These dogs will need a variety of activities that both condition them physically (walking, jogging, fetch) and stimulate them mentally (games, canine sports). They make good bicycling companions as well.

The typical adult GS, depending on its age and overall activity level, will need 90 minutes or more of proper exercise each day. You can start exercising your GS puppy when it's three months old by taking it on short walks, then you can increase the walks' length as the pup grows.

A few things to consider when exercising a Golden Shepherd: first, puppies younger than 10 months old shouldn't do too much jumping, running on hard surfaces, or navigating of stairs, as these can injure their still-developing joints and bones. And regardless of age, these hybrids will probably need to be leashed when in public. They often inherit a high prey drive from the Golden Retriever, so they may instinctively chase small critters; a GS might also be highly protective like the German Shepherd, and might active defensive or confrontational around unknown people or animals. A leash will help you control your GS in these situations. Even when exercising in your own yard, the area will need to be securely fenced to keep the dog from running off. Finally: these hybrids might inherit the separation anxiety trait from the Golden Retriever (meaning they'll hate being left alone), so exercises you do together are much better.

Precautions aside, exercising your Golden Shepherd every single day is a must. These dogs are very energetic, and without consistent activity they'll become destructive, disobedient, and unhappy in general. Regular exercise will be great for both the dog's and your own peace of mind! A few Golden Shepherd exercise ideas:

  • Walking/Jogging/Bicycling: Two 30-minute walks (or 20-minute jogs or bike rides) per day is a good target
  • Fetch/Frisbee: Your GS will love chasing a ball, stick, or Frisbee
  • Tug-of-War: Good indoor activity; use a rope or old towel
  • Swimming: These hybrids usually love the water; start swimming with the dog when it's still a puppy
  • Canine Sports: A GS can excel at obedience or agility trials, flyball, and other events
  • Dog Park: If properly socialized, a Golden Shepherd will enjoy the company of other dogs
  • Hiking: Great bonding activity; the dog can even carry the backpack

When indoors, give your GS access to balls or toys that will allow the dog to burn any excess energy. It's also recommended that you have a regular exercise schedule for the dog, such as walks, jogs, or bike rides in the morning and evening and a play period in the afternoon.

Golden Shepherd Maintenance

In terms of shedding and drooling, these hybrids will need moderate to frequent care. Golden Shepherd shedding is fair to heavy most of the time, and profuse during the twice-yearly shedding seasons; drooling is a minor issue.

Because this crossbreed is the offspring of two breeds with thick double coats, a GS and its short- to medium-length coat will shed regularly for most of the year--and during the spring and fall shedding seasons, the shedding will be very heavy. Owners can brush their GS dogs 3-4 times per week with a pin brush to help collect dead hairs, and cleanup--vacuuming the floors and lint rollers on clothes and furniture--will be necessary regularly. (Brushing and cleanup will obviously be needed more often during shedding season. During that time the use of a shedding tool like an undercoat rake will help.)

A Golden Shepherd may also drool a bit in anticipation of food, after drinking water, or when especially excited or nervous--but the drooling certainly won't be heavy like that of a Saint Bernard or Bloodhound. If your GS is drooling excessively, it might be a sign of a medical issue, in which case a veterinarian's care is needed.

Golden Shepherd Diet

There's no doubt these hybrids like to move--so the Golden Shepherd diet will need to include plenty of animal proteins for energy, vitamins and minerals for digestive and immune health, and omega fatty acids for coat and skin wellness. And like their Golden Retriever parents, these dogs are highly prone to obesity. All this means the best food for Golden Shepherds is premium dry kibble, because it has balanced portions of the above-listed ingredients that your GS needs to maintain its health in the long term.

This high-quality food, while more expensive, is very nutrient-dense--meaning the dog won't need to eat nearly as much of it to feel full. Premium food is much better for weight control than cheap, generic food, which has mostly empty "filler" ingredients that are not healthy for your GS, plus they'll have to eat a lot more of it to be satisfied--which means you'll soon have a fat Golden Shepherd waddling around!

Some recommended brands are Blue Buffalo, Royal Canin, and Taste of the Wild, all of which carry excellent lines of premium dry food.

The typical GS adult, depending on its age, size, and activity level, will need about 3½ cups of premium dry food per day, divided into two meals. Golden Shepherd puppy food portions, again depending on age, are only a bit less: three cups per day, divided into three meals per day (not two) until six months of age.

For more info on feeding a Golden Shepherd from puppyhood through maturity, see the following chart:

Feeding Chart
Dog AgeDog WeightFood TypeAmountFrequency2 Months10 lbsDry (Puppy formula)0.5 cups3x/day3 Months20 lbsDry0.75 cups3x/day6 Months40 lbsDry1 cup3x/day9 Months55 lbsDry* (Puppy/Adult)1.5 cups2x/day12 Months+70 lbsDry (Adult formula)1.75 cups2x/day

*--Around this time, transition to adult food by first mixing in a bit of adult formula with the puppy formula. Over the course of a week, with each meal add a little more adult formula to the mixture, until the dog is eating it entirely.

Try if at all possible to stick to the above-listed portions. As previously noted, these dogs are prone to obesity, and will quickly become overweight if constantly overfed (and under-exercised). A fat Golden Shepherd will have major health problems and a shortened lifespan. You can help control your GS's weight by establishing consistent feeding and exercise schedules, by not feeding the dog table scraps, and by not leaving food in the dog's bowl all the time, thereby allowing it to eat anytime it wants.

If you're worried your Golden Shepherd is overweight, give the dog this simple test: run a hand along its side, and if you can't feel any ribs, it's diet time. Reduce the dog's daily food consumption by one-fourth, and add an extra walk, jog, bike ride, or play period to its daily exercise schedule.

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About this Article

Authored by:Dog-Learn
Updated:June 2, 2019