- Height: 13-20 inches
- Weight: 25-55 lb
- Lifespan: 11-15 years
- Group: Not applicable
- Best Suited For: Active families, singles, families with or without children, people living in an apartment, people living in a house with yard
- Temperament: Intelligent, friendly, energetic, sweet, affectionate, loyal, playful
- Comparable Breeds: Golden Retriever, Shetland Sheepdog
Golden Sheltie Basics
With its adorable looks and good-natured character, it is no wonder that the smart Golden Sheltie is quickly becoming popular. This designer dog was developed by crossing the Golden Retriever and the Shetland Sheepdog. The mix of the equally wonderful, albeit different, personalities and looks from its parents, this hybrid breed will charm you from the get-go.
Remarkably smart, loyal, easy-going and docile, the Golden Sheltie makes a perfect companion. They love to learn tricks and commands, so they’re suitable dogs for beginners. Additionally, their sweet persona and undemanding needs make these lovely mixed breed pooches a great choice for families of all shapes and sizes.
There are numerous designer dog breeds out there- let’s find out what makes the Golden Sheltie stand out from the crowd!
Remarkably smart, loyal, easy-going and docile, the Golden Sheltie makes a perfect companion.
There have been mixed breed dogs for as long as there were any breeds to speak of. Naturally, Golden Retriever and Sheltie mixes have existed even before these hybrid dogs got an official name and were intentionally bred. However, while this speaks to the long line of the breed, it also makes it quite difficult for people to determine its origin. The closest we can get to find out when Golden Sheltie was created is to assume it was in the last two decades, somewhere in the United States- same as all other designer dog breeds.
Fortunately, even with the lack of information on the Sheltie’s origin, we can learn more about these hybrids solely by looking at the parental breeds. Both the Golden Retriever and Shetland Sheepdog are breeds with a long history- we know that both of them make ideal pets.
Not unlike all hybrid dogs, the Golden Sheltie is yet to be recognized by the American Kennel Club. And without being recognized as an actual, official breed, Golden Sheltie puppies can’t have pedigree papers. However, the lack of recognition doesn’t indicate the lack of qualities in this mixed breed pooch. Pedigree is just a well-documented family tree of a dog, that serves as a “proof” of the fact that they’re purebred. You can achieve the same by simply inquiring your breeder about the parent’s pedigree. Both Sheltie and Golden Retriever are recognized by the AKC, so you should be able to learn more about your puppy’s family history.
And, in case you got a Golden Sheltie from a rescue or a shelter, your “ proof of good breeding” lies in the parents. After all, any offspring of two such popular breeds with centuries-long history as family pets can’t turn out to be anything other than a lovely companion!
To make sure that your pet stays healthy and grows into a fit, happy pooch, you need to make sure to feed them properly. Luckily, as omnivores, dogs get their nutrients from a variety of foods and it shouldn’t be hard to meet their dietary needs. Most pet parents decide on feeding their Golden Sheltie high-quality dry food for dogs, as it’s convenient and contains everything a dog needs to be healthy. Make sure to choose kibble that’s appropriate for the dog’s size (medium), age (puppy, adult, senior) and activity level (moderate). This way, you ensure your precious pooch gets tailored nutrition for their unique lifestyle.
However, there’s one important thing to note about the diet of a Golden Sheltie. Owing to its sensitive Shetland Sheepdog parent, this hybrid might inherit an allergy to grains. These herding pooches seem to be particularly sensitive to grains in all forms, so to be on the safe side, it’s better to pick out a brand of grain-free kibble for them. Alternatively, you could opt for an unconventional dog diet, such as raw or home cooked, but not before consulting with a vet. A professional that is specialized in canine nutrition will help you determine how best to feed your pet in order to provide them with all the essential nutrients and vitamins they need.
Owing to its sensitive Shetland Sheepdog parent, this hybrid might inherit an allergy to grains.
Did you want a dog that will be happy to train with you, excelling at every lesson? If so, you’re in luck! The Golden Sheltie is the perfect canine student. Not only that these designer dogs are exceptionally intelligent, but they’re also very eager to please. These quick learners will meet your every training expectation and then some: whether it’s simple housebreaking, learning commands and tricks, or training for agility. Ideally, owner of a Golden Sheltie will recognize their impressive capabilities and work with them, otherwise, they fall prey to boredom and depression.
Of course, the best way to teach your pooch anything is to rely on positive reinforcement methods. Not only that using treats and praise as motivation is very effective, but it also makes training process a fun, bonding activity for you and your new pet. Training, when done properly, can only bring you closer to your pooch, especially a Golden Sheltie who thrives in a mentally-engaging environment.
With designer dog breeds, all bets are off when it comes to their appearance. Even across one litter, hybrid puppies can look dramatically different one from another, their differences only more apparent as they grow up. When it comes to Golden Retriever and Shetland Sheepdog mixes, the offspring of this two purebreds will wildly vary in size.
Due to the significant difference between the weight of the parents, Golden Sheltie dogs can weigh anywhere between 25 to 55 pounds. Your puppy’s size in adulthood will largely depend on which parent they favor more as well as their sex.
The Golden Sheltie is like a poster child for the “good boy dog”. After all, both the Golden Retriever and the Shetland Sheepdog have been one of the most represented dog breeds in popular culture, from books to movies- everybody agrees that they have perfect qualities. Wasn’t it easy to guess that their offspring will also boast an array of amazing personality traits?
These designer dogs have a playful, friendly behavior that knocks everyone off their feet. It is quite hard not to find them utterly adorable, with their goofy antics and extroverted behavior. The Golden Sheltie is a big-hearted pooch that’s not shy about it. They’ll show their love to their family and strangers alike: they’re not the greatest choice for a watchdog. Although, unless socialized on time, this hybrid can be a bit of a barker. But it’s mostly directed at squirrels and that pesky mailman rather than a passerby on the street.
Although loyal and devoted to their families, these laid-back pooches are not clingy in their affection. They’ll enjoy cuddling and snuggling time, but will feel alright being on their own, while you’re at work. As long as they have some fun puzzle toy to occupy their bright mind with, these dogs will be perfectly content!
Common Health Problems
One of the many reasons why mixed breed dogs are popular is the belief that they are more resilient and healthier than their purebred counterparts. Of course, the jury is still out on so-called ‘hybrid vigor’ in designer dogs that should lead to fewer hereditary issues, and no one can claim with certainty that mixed breeds are healthier in general. Fortunately, these debates don’t concern the Golden Sheltie that much: this is a relatively healthy dog in general. With good care and optimal living conditions, there shouldn’t be many issues with your new pet.
Owing to its parents, the Golden Sheltie can be at risk of certain congenital conditions, though. These include patellar luxation (kneecap dislocation), hip dysplasia, cataracts, and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. Apart from that, your hybrid could be prone to allergies and skin conditions if the Shetland Sheepdog parent prevails in the genetic mix.
As designer dog breeds are a fairly new occurrence, there is still a lot to learn about these dogs. Some of the breeds haven’t even been around long enough for us to know their full lifespan. Although there is not enough data for a backed claim, you can guesstimate the life expectancy of hybrid dogs based on their parental breeds. For the Golden Retriever and Shetland Sheepdog mix, lifespan is about 11 to 15 years.
A bright, active mind and ancestry tracing back to a working and herding breed? You can bet that your Golden Sheltie will be a little ball of energy. These dogs are not demanding and needy in general, but they do require a fair amount of exercise. The Golden Sheltie loves to play, go on walks or outdoor adventures, and as such, would be best suited for an active family. Their medium size makes this breed suitable for a life in the apartment, but only if the owner is willing to take them on frequent walks and outings.
As a rule of thumb, a good amount of activity for a Golden Sheltie is between an hour-hour and a half each day. This will tire your pet out and give them exercise that they wouldn’t be able to get indoors. Additionally, due to their intelligence, these designer dogs need to have engaging puzzle toys that will keep their mind sharp. Not to mention stave off boredom and eventual depression or destructive behavior!
The Golden Sheltie loves to play, go on walks or outdoor adventures- ideal for an active family!
The American Kennel Club, as well as its international counterparts, don’t recognize designer dogs are actual breeds. There are many reasons for this. For instance, most (if not all) hybrids are first generation mixes. Without selective breeding throughout generations, there is no way for a “breed” to have a uniform appearance and distinct behavior. Without set standards like other purebreds, AKC can’t recognize hybrids. There are, however, plenty of canine clubs and organizations that give recognition to designer dogs. Golden Sheltie is recognized by the Dog Registry of America.
A Golden Retriever has lovely honey-colored waves that repel water and the Sheltie flaunts long, three-colored double coat. So what about their offspring? As it is the case with most traits, a lot will depend on which parent the puppy favors. If it’s the Sheltie, the coat will be longer and it’s likelier for it to have the breed-specific coloring. Similarly, the puppy that takes up after the Retriever will resemble this breed more. On average, most Golden Shelties tend to have medium to long hair, and come in a range of colors, from black, blue, and sable to all hues of cream and gold.
When you adopt a puppy, you need to start with training and socialization right away. With Golden Sheltie puppies, this will be a wonderful experience. Even if you never had a dog before or never tried your hand at training one, you will have no issues with this hybrid. Eager to learn and smart to boot, Golden Sheltie puppies are stellar students from their early life.
As your puppy grows, so will their needs. A Golden Sheltie is an active breed that will need daily walks and playtime, as well as frequent adventures in the dog park or nature. These designer dogs are not overly energetic, though: their kind and sweet personality makes them quite a cuddle bug. After the walk, they’ll love nothing more than to curl up with you for the evening! If you’re an active single or need a family pet (for older children) than you can’t go wrong with a Golden Sheltie.
Photo credit: Susan Schmitz/ Shutterstock; OlgaOvcharenko/Shutterstock