Do Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds Get Along?

Golden Retriever and German Shepherd

Would a German Shepherd get along with Golden Retriever? Can both dogs live together? Here’s everything you need to know.

Do German Shepherds get along with Golden retrievers

On one hand, we have a protective & obedient German Shepherd. And on the other hand, we have a fun-loving & affectionate Golden Retriever.

The question is,

Do German Shepherds get along with Golden Retrievers? Can both of them live together?

The answer is YES! German Shepherds get along well with Golden Retrievers and both dogs can live together. You can expect to see a friendly bond between the two, especially when they are raised together.

Adult Goldens and Shepherds also gel well with each other, but they just need some time to adjust.

Can German Shepherd and Golden Retriever Live Together?

Yes, they get along well with each other so both can live together.

It’s best to introduce a German Shepherd to a Golden Retriever when it’s still a puppy. If this isn’t possible and you introduce them when they are adults, your canines will still get along well if you have trained & socialized them correctly.

As you might know, German Shepherds are known for their aggressive behaviors. The problem arises when German Shepherds are not socialized well in puppyhood. In such a case, you can expect the Shepherd to be aggressive.

If a Shepherd has never been socialized with other dogs and spends the majority of its time in the backyard or a kennel, it is more likely to show aggressive behavior toward other dogs.

On the contrary, if a German Shepherd has been socialized or raised with another dog, there shouldn’t be any problem getting along and living together with a new Golden Retriever.

Train and Raise Your German Shepherd As A Puppy

Now that you know Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds can live together, you must be planning to bring a GR or GSD dog to your house.

It’s good to get a dog that matches the energy level of your existing dog. For example, a senior dog cannot match the high-energy level of a puppy, while an adult dog can.

Golden Retrievers are friendly and playful. With proper training and introduction, they tend to get along well with other dogs.

As Germans are quite distrustful toward unfamiliar dogs and have an aggressive personality, it’s important to train & socialize them when they are young.

During puppyhood, socialize your German with more people and dogs so that he gels well and doesn’t turn out to be extremely aggressive in adulthood.

German shepherd puppy running

How To Introduce When They Are Adults?

As we have seen introducing and raising Germans as puppies work the best, but what if you want to introduce both when they are adults?

Before introducing, teach some basic commands (like stay, lie down) so that you can have some control over your canines, in case things don’t go as expected.

And, don’t forget to leash them.

The first meeting should be at a neutral location (like a garden); somewhere your pups don’t feel territorial. Once they start gelling up with each other, you can bring them home.

Use positive reinforcement when training both your dogs. Through reward-based training (like treats, praise, or a favorite toy), you can associate the other dog with something positive. Every time you notice good behavior, reward it.

The more time they will spend together, the more they will get along. As both have similar energy levels and exercise needs, you can take both your pups together on long walks, jogging, gaming sessions, etc.

Give them some time to adjust. And, always keep an eye when they are together. If you notice them fighting, separate them.

About Golden Retrievers

Golden retriever puppies

Origin Scotland, UK
Height 23-24 inches (male), 21.5-22.5 inches (female)
Weight 65-75 pounds (male), 55-65 pounds (female)
Temperaments Friendly, intelligent, outgoing, sociable, energetic, loyal
Exercise Needs Daily 1-2 hours of exercise
Coat Type Double-coated
Coat Colors Light golden, dark golden, classic gold, red, cream
Shedding Level Sheds in light-to-moderate amounts year around & excessively in spring and fall
Intelligence Ranking 4th smartest breed in the world
Life Expectancy 10-12 years

Golden Retriever is the most playful and fun-loving dog breed you will ever come across. The breed was developed in Scotland by Dudley Majoribanks in 1868.

In the 1930s, the breed was recognized by American Kennel Club (AKC). At present, Golden Retriever ranks 3rd as the “Most Popular Dog Breeds.”

Goldens are so friendly that they get along well with everyone, even with other dogs and strangers.

Another good thing is they are intelligent. They are very obedient and can learn new commands faster. Hence, training Golden Retrievers isn’t stressful.

About German Shepherds

German Shepherd dog

Origin Germany
Height 24-26 inches (male), 22-24 inches (female)
Weight 65-90 pounds (male), 50-70 pounds (female)
Temperaments Intelligent, alert, active, loyal, brave, protective
Exercise Needs Daily 1-2 hours of exercise
Coat Type Double-coated
Coat Colors Black, black & cream, black & red, black & silver, black & tan, blue, gray, liver, bi-color, sable, white
Shedding Level Sheds moderately throughout the year & excessively in spring and fall
Intelligence Ranking 3rd smartest breed in the world
Life Expectancy 7-10 years

German Shepherds are intelligent, protective, and loyal pups. The breed was developed in 1899 by Max von Stephanitz using traditional German Shepherds.

When talking about German Shepherds, how can I forget about their intelligence? Germans are very smart as well as obedient. According to Stanley Coren’s dog intelligence ranking, this breed ranks 3rd for obedience and working intelligence.

Their loyalty, agility, and protectiveness make them the best guard dogs.

The German Shepherd was recognized in 1908 by AKC. In terms of popularity, it ranks number 4th out of 193 registered breeds.

Comparing Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds

Let’s understand the similarities and differences between GRs and GSDs:


Golden Retrievers have smooth & silky fur, while German Shepherds have coarse fur.

Goldens are commonly seen in light golden, dark golden, and classic golden colors. You will also find them in red and cream coat colors. However, red and cream color variations aren’t officially recognized by AKC.

German Shepherds, on the other hand, are commonly seen in black, black & cream, black & red, black & silver, black & tan, blue, gray, liver, bi-color, sable, and white coat colors.

Physical needs

Both dog breeds are highly energetic and both demand plenty of exercise. These high-energy dogs are happy when they are exercised regularly. Thus, GRs and GSDs are not recommended for families with a less active lifestyle.

Both breeds require 1 to 2 hours of exercise daily. Lack of adequate exercise can lead to boredom, separation anxiety, and ultimately destructive behavior.

As Golden Retrievers are playful and fun-loving, they enjoy outdoors playing games (fetch, frisbee, etc.) with their favorite people. They never get tired of it. You can also take them on long walks.

Likewise, GSDs are also full of energy. So, engage them in various physical activities (walking, running, games, etc.) to provide physical and mental stimulation.

Golden Retriever and German Shepherd


Teaching new commands can be big stress when you have a dog with a low intelligence level. But with GSDs and GRs, this isn’t the problem. Both dog breeds are so smart.

GRs are fun-loving and eager to please, while GSDs are very loyal. So, training is quite easy.

In terms of intelligence, the German Shepherd is slightly on the upside. As per Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs book, Golden Retriever ranks fourth, while the German Shepherd ranks third.


Golden Retriever is one of the sweetest and most fun-loving dog breeds out there. The breed is popular for its easy-to-get-along and friendly temperaments.

German Shepherds, on the other hand, are somewhat suspicious of strangers. They are loving, protective, and loyal to their members.

Health issues

Some common Golden Retriever health issues are:

  • Hip & elbow dysplasia
  • Hotspots
  • Atopic Dermatitis
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Pigmentary Uveitis
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Subaortic Valvular Stenosis
  • Nutritional DCM
  • Ear infections
  • Cancer (Lymphoma, HSA)

Some common German Shepherd health issues are:

  • Hip & elbow dysplasia
  • Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Bloat (Gastric Dilation and Volvulus)
  • DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy)
  • Allergies
  • Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI)
  • Pannus
  • Gastric torsion
  • Cataracts
  • Perianal fistulas
  • Cancer (hemangiosarcoma and bone, lung, and intestinal cancers)

Both dog breeds are prone to some health conditions. So, before owning a German Shepherd or Golden Retriever, get the health checked and also pay attention to its medical history.

Similarities & Differences

Goldens and Shepherds are similar in many ways:

  • Size
  • Energy levels
  • Exercise needs
  • Smartness
  • Trainability
  • Lovable to their families
  • Double coated
  • Popularity
  • Though different histories, both were bred to be working dogs.

Talking about differences, the obvious one is physical appearance. Both can be seen in different coat color variations.

The major difference between the two is temperament. Golden Retrievers are so fun-loving that they get along well with everyone, including strangers. Thus, GR is definitely not a good guard dog.

Talking about German Shepherds, due to their protective nature, they are aloof to strangers. Their protectiveness and alert temperaments are the reason why they are the best guard dogs.

Related Questions

Are Golden Retrievers aggressive to other dogs?

Golden Retrievers are not usually aggressive to other dogs. But, they can be aggressive when they are being dominant, trying to protect their territory or owner, in fear, or when they are not socialized with other dogs from a young age.

Do Golden Retrievers need a dog companion?

GRs are very sociable and outgoing, however, it’s not necessary to have a dog companion. They can be happy being surrounded by humans.

Do Golden Retrievers get lonely?

Yes, they do get lonely. As they are very sociable and affectionate, they don’t like being left alone. Leaving a Golden Retriever dog alone for long periods can lead to problems like separation anxiety and destructive behavior.

Do Golden Retrievers get along with other Golden Retrievers?

Yes, two Golden Retrievers do get along well. If you are planning to get two GRs, avoid getting both of the same gender (male-male or female-female) because there will be higher chances of fighting.

Do Golden Retrievers get along with small dogs?

Yes. They are so affectionate that they get along with dogs of all sizes: small, medium, and large breed dogs.

What breeds go well with Golden Retrievers?

Golden Retrievers get along well with all dogs, regardless of the breed. However, if you are finding a companion for your existing Golden Retriever, some of the best dog companion breeds are:

Final Thoughts

Having a Golden Retriever and a German Shepherd makes a perfect combination of affection and protectiveness.

Your Golden Retriever and German Shepherd would have a nice bond when they are raised together.

However, if you are introducing them when they are adults, pay attention to socialization. With proper introduction and socialization, they would get along nicely.

Also Read:

15 Greatest Golden Retriever Mixes

Labrador Retriever German Shepherd Mix


[adinserter block="1"]
Spread the love
Brandon Dickinson

Brandon Dickinson

I love playing and spending time with pups. On RetrieverPaws, I share tips, guides, and my experiences with retriever dogs (Labrador and Golden Retrievers mainly).

About Us

Retriever Paws is the official news and review site dedicated to Retriever dog owners and lovers.

Recent Posts

Sign up for our Newsletter

Scroll to Top