Do German Shepherds And Golden Retrievers Get Along
Dog Care Tips · Dog Behavior

Do German Shepherds And Golden Retrievers Get Along? Facts

Last Updated/Info Checked on October 18, 2023 by Scott

It’s no surprise that owners often wonder whether or not they can adopt both breeds together, or maybe introduce the other breed to their already settled pooch in the house.

Generally speaking, yes, German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers get along very well because they have similar sizes, they are family-oriented and intelligent, they cannot tolerate loneliness, and they are energetic. 

Do German Shepherds And Golden Retrievers Get Along - Infographic

Shared Positive Traits of GSDs and Goldies

Here are the positive traits.

1. Similar Sizes

The Average height for a German Shepherd dog is 22- 26 inches while that for a Golden Retriever is 21-24 inches.

As evident, this is not a big difference between these two breeds.

Size plays a role in the compatibility of different dog breeds to live together.

A bigger difference in the size may make the larger breed more dominant and the smaller breed may be apprehended.

This similarity in size is one of the features that make a German Shepherd and a Golden Retriever get along well. 

2. Family Oriented

AKC gives a 5/5 rating to both GS and GR in affection for their families. This means that both breeds are highly caring and obedient when it comes to family relations.

When these 2 breeds are raised together from the start they would see each other as families and this kinship allows for love and respect to be maintained between them. This reduces any chance of conflict or hostility. 

Related: Are German Shepherds good for first-time owners?

3. Intelligent

Both GSs and GRs are intelligent breeds. They score 5/5 in intelligence according to Dogtime.

This implies that they will be quick to learn the nuisances of living together, understanding the ins and outs of a shared owner and housing.

But such a high intelligence is also linked to a certain level of selfishness. Smart dogs have their way of getting things done and that often comes with disregard for others.

However, both breeds are easy to train and new behaviors can be ingrained into their personalities with little time and effort.

They can be trained to do tasks together as a team with a shared consciousness and learn to function as a team. 

4. Do Not Tolerate Loneliness

Good company never hurts anybody, especially those who are poor at handling loneliness.

Overall, both breeds do not tolerate loneliness for greater periods and need someone to look after them. Being alone for too long can make them jittery, anxious, and apprehended.

Having each other by their sides would help them fight boredom and overcome the long lonely hours when their owners cannot be by their side.

You may also like to read: German Shepherd Separation Anxiety

5. Energetic with High Exercise Needs

An energetic dog is always on the go mode and ready for any kind of activity. Such dogs want partners who share the same energy and enthusiasm and someone that won’t tire easily.

Energetic dogs have trouble living with breeds that are lazy and they have a hard time adjusting to their presence.

As both breeds have a history to be working dogs, German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers are very energetic. They love to be on their feet and have a love for physical activities.

This results in higher exercise demands that can be in the form of walking, running, sports, and fetching or swimming.

Not only are such activities a source of recreation and fun but also develop a sense of playmate-ship among dogs, strengthening their bond.

Read Also: How Much Exercise Does A German Shepherd Need?

Shared Negative Traits of GSDs and Goldies

Shared Negative Traits of GSDs and Goldies

Here are the negative traits.

1. Big Prey Drives

German shepherds are notorious for having big prey drives, this can come as a nuisance when they are introduced to new pets in the household who they may see as enemies.

This results in general hostility and anger towards the presence of the new dog.

2. Mouthiness

Many dog breeds have a natural tendency to bite and nibble. Most of the time it’s their general curiosity of trying to find out the nature of things while at other times it’s the result of sheer hate and anger.

Both times it can be received as a sign of hostility and result in reciprocal aggression.

As a matter of fact, both GS and GR are mouthy breeds and are capable of irritating and infuriating each other.

3. Sensitive

Sensitive dogs don’t do well in an environment of anger and reprimand. They take things to heart and can become depressed over the slightest of insults.

Any admonishment coming from their owners or a lack of attention due to other pets in the house can shatter their confidence and can lead them into depression.

You need to be on your toes dealing with such dogs and cater to their needs constantly. Be extra vigilant when reprimanding them in the presence of other dogs.

Tips for Better Camaraderie Between A German Shepherd and A Goldie

For better companionship between the breeds, here are some tips:

1. Raise them, Young

Dogs show better compatibility when they are raised young as pups. This is because they start seeing each other as their littermates which is linked to a sense of love and kinship.

Moreover, their brains are in the phase of development, and the various neural pathways responsible for behavior and habit formation haven’t matured yet. Hence, any behavior or relationship ingrained now will stay with them forever.

2. Engage in Team Sports

Team sports are one of the most effective ways to bring about friendship between dogs. As GS and GR are fond of sports and exercise, you can engage them in such activities fairly easily.

You can start from simple games of fetch and obstacles and once a certain level of coordination develops you can move to tasks like hunting and puzzle solving which require more physical and mental engagement.

Better results are obtained when a proper schedule is followed for a long time.

3. Positive Reinforcement

Another very effective way to bring about healthy behaviors in dogs is positive reinforcement. In this, you associate the wanted behavior, teamwork, and synergy in this case, with a reward to shape your dog’s behavior patterns.

Whenever your dogs work in synergism and show a healthy attitude towards each other, you reward them with a treat.

This could be their food or sports, anything that brings about the motivation for future behavior.

This relates the said behavior with a reward and motivates your dogs for the future. Over time, such habits become part of their nature and you won’t even need to motivate them through rewards.

Good things take time, you would have to be patient for things to work out the way you want. Make a schedule for the physical and mental training of your dogs and follow it religiously.

4. Be Just

Make sure both of your dogs are receiving an equal amount of your time and attention.

A combined schedule should be set up for them so that their daily routine is in sync. In this way not only would they be synergized with each other but also none of them will feel left out.

To give you a better perspective on this one, here’s a video:

Can The Breeds Be Mixed?

Yes, GSDs and Goldies have been mixed to create designer breeds such as the Golden German Shepherd or Golden Retriever Shepherd. You can find them in GSD- or Retriever-specific groups.

German Shepherd and Golden Retriever puppies offer a blend of personas from their parents. But the fact also remains that focusing on their upbringing to favor some traits will be instrumental in how the puppy behaves later.


Let’s have a look at frequently asked questions from GSDs and Goldies owners.

Do German Shepherds like having another dog?

Generally speaking, the German Shepherd is not the most dog-loving breed on the planet. However, they get along well with dogs that share similar physical characteristics of size, build, and are energetic. 

When trained young, GSDs get along nicely with many other breeds like GR, Doberman, Boxers, and other German Shepherds.

Do German Shepherds get jealous?

German Shepherds are very close to their families and show great love and affection. They can get jealous when they don’t receive the same love and attention in return and it is being redirected to someone else.

Are Golden Retrievers friendly with other dogs?

Yes, Golden retrievers are one of the most dog-friendly breeds in the world. They are easy-going and have a low tendency to be hostile towards other dogs.

Moreover, it is easy to train a Golden Retriever to be friendly towards dogs when there is some reluctance at the start.

Do German Shepherds And Golden Retrievers Get Along? Conclusion

Having two dogs can be a blessing when they get along well and it can become a nightmare when they don’t.

For this reason, it is important to see whether or not the breeds you are planning to adopt together share some key features.

When it comes to German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers, they are similar in a lot of features like overall size, energy level, exercise, prey drives, and intelligence.

Moreover, they can be trained to live together through positive reinforcement and engagement in team sports.

However, as with all good things, you will have to be consistent and patient for these dogs to get along, more so when they are being put together in adulthood.

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