Golden Retriever vs German Shepherd

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
10 to 12 years
Size:

Medium

Maintenance Level:

High

Shed Level:

High

Best For

Golden Retrievers are best for busy homes with high activity levels. Goldens thrive on attention, and they're typically kid-friendly and pet-friendly.

Golden Retriever Temperament

Golden Retriever dogs are born extroverts who are eager to please. Although personalities can differ, most Goldens love people and social outings, thriving in homes with lots of activity. Golden Retrievers need a lot of mental and physical exercise to be at their peak health. But for them, the...

Golden Retriever dogs are born extroverts who are eager to please. Although personalities can differ, most Goldens love people and social outings, thriving in homes with lots of activity.

Golden Retrievers need a lot of mental and physical exercise to be at their peak health. But for them, the bottom line is spending time with you. Whether it’s sleeping next to you on your chair or playing outdoors, they’re happiest if they can just be by your side.

These medium-weight and height dogs are a great choice for families with young children. But that doesn’t mean every Golden Retriever is problem-free. When bringing a Golden home, give them careful introductions to other members of your household, especially the smaller ones like children and cats.

But overall, they love to mingle and see everyone as a potential new bestie. Whenever they meet someone new, they seem to say, “Hi! I am so glad we met. Do you have a ball to throw for me now that we’re friends?”

Another quality you’ll appreciate in your furry new BFF is their intelligence. Goldens are quick learners and easy to train, bred to retrieve waterfowl with a soft mouth. They often have jobs, serving as guide dogs or search-and-rescue dogs.

Keep in mind that even the best-trained Goldens still have a bit of a mischievous streak. So be prepared for occasional mischief and learn to laugh along with your dog as they “help” you unload the laundry basket.

Golden Retriever Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
12 to 14 years
Size:

Large

Maintenance Level:

High

Shed Level:

Very High

Best For

German Shepherds are best for active households and experienced pet parents who are ready to train this highly-active pup.

German Shepherd Temperament

Born guardians, the German Shepherd’s best trait is their intense, unwavering loyalty to their families. (There’s a reason they make some of the best police dogs.) The fearless breed has also been known to put themselves in harm’s way before they let a family member get hur...

Born guardians, the German Shepherd’s best trait is their intense, unwavering loyalty to their families. (There’s a reason they make some of the best police dogs.) The fearless breed has also been known to put themselves in harm’s way before they let a family member get hurt.

Not surprisingly, friendliness is not the German Shepherd dog breed’s strong suit. They can be aloof, and you definitely have to earn their trust. Naturally wary of strangers, a German Shepherd will default to “guard dog mode” if they believe their family is in danger.

Early social interactions with kids, babies and other animals is also important if you want your German Shepherd to be well-behaved around guests. With the proper education, this easy-to-train pup can be a great family dog.

German Shepherds are born talkers. They will bark when they’re bored, and they’ll bark to alert you if something isn’t quite right. But training and exercise can help curb a lippy pup and keep their barking to when you need it the most.

These dogs are incredibly smart, and they are at their best when they have a job to do, whether working as a police or military dog, doing tracking or search and rescue, serving as a guide dog or at home practicing scent work or solving puzzles for a treat. And when they’re with their family, German Shepherds will let their silly side show as they flip their toys in the air and roll around on their backs.

German Shepherd Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents
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