Shetland Sheepdog Golden Retriever Mix-Lifespan and Facts

Shetland Sheepdog Golden Retriever Mix-Everything You Need to Know

Shetland Sheepdogs are sensitive and affectionate dogs, while Golden Retrievers are fun and playful dogs. So, you’re probably thinking that the two bred together would make a really awesome dog. And maybe you’re even wondering what kind of a pet they would make for your family.

Shetland Sheepdog Golden Retriever Mixes (commonly referred to as a Golden Sheltie) are lovable, friendly, eager to please dogs who make wonderful pets for most families. However, they do have a few specific grooming and exercise needs you need to take into consideration.

The Shetland Sheepdog Golden Retriever Mix is a beautiful blend of two wonderful dogs to make one goofy, adaptable, equally wonderful dog. However, it’s very important you know more about this type of dog before you commit to bringing one into your family.

Physical Characteristics

The Golden Sheltie certainly is a unique looking dog! These medium-sized dogs come in a wide range of colors ranging from white to black, with most Golden Shelties being tan, sable, or a variety of these colors. They have fairly long, very dense, wavy coats that are silky and soft.

Their pointed muzzles and eyes are generally very dark. And while their ears may take on the characteristics of their Golden Retriever parent and be floppy, they could also take on the pointed ears from their Sheltie parent instead.

Female Golden Shelties generally stand about 16 – 20 inches high and weigh between 40 – 50 pounds, while males stand a bit taller at 18 – 22 inches high and weigh 50 – 60 pounds.

Grooming Needs

Golden Shelties don’t have as many grooming needs as some other types of dogs, and they typically don’t require bathing unless they get dirty. But there are still some regular grooming needs they do have which you need to be aware of.

All of these grooming needs should be started when your Golden Sheltie is as young as possible so they get used to having all of this done.

Brush their fur. Because they have such long, dense hair they are prone to shedding a fair bit, and their hair can get tangled fairly easily. Brush your dog a minimum of once a week, using a spritzer to wet the coat and use a pin brush and/or a comb to get through the hair — take the time to brush extra carefully around the ears, on the stomach, and other places your dog may be prone to tangles.

Clean their ears. Take time at least once a week — or whenever your dog gets wet — to check their ears and clean out any excess moisture. This is especially important if your Golden Sheltie has fold-over ears that may trap moisture which can lead to ear infections. If you notice your dog has a lot of build-up or excess moisture in their ears for no reason please consult with your veterinarian.

Brush their teeth. It’s important to brush your dog’s teeth at least a few times a week to ward off any dental problems and bad breath. Ask your veterinarian or groomer for advice on which brush and paste to use, as well as for the techniques you need to use to ensure you’re brushing correctly.


Golden Shelties are friendly, affectionate, loving dogs. They can be quite goofy and playful and love to be around their family. However, as much as they love attention, they’re not overly clingy dogs. As long as it’s not for excessively long periods of time they don’t have any issues entertaining themselves with a few toys or simply laying quietly.

Exercise Needs

Since the parentage of a Golden Sheltie consists of a working dog and a herding dog you can imagine this breed does have a lot of energy and requires a lot of exercise to burn that all off. This breed is also prone to weight gain, so it is extremely important that you do give them enough exercise to keep fit.

Golden Shelties love to go for long walks, play fetch and other games where they get to run around, and take part in other outdoor adventures with their families. They love to carry things in their mouths so they will be happy to carry their balls or sticks to and from the park.

Generally, a Golden Sheltie needs at least an hour of exercise a day — preferably up to 90 minutes! This can be split up into two or three 30 to 45-minute periods of time if you don’t have the time or energy to take your dog out for 60-90 minutes at a time.

Since Golden Shelties are an extremely smart breed of dog so they enjoy playing with engaging puzzle games to keep their minds and bodies busy. These will help to keep them occupied while you are at work or school.

Health Risks

As with any other breed, or hybrid breed, of dog, the Golden Sheltie is prone to some health risks, especially as they age. These include:

Your dog may need to get occasional X-Rays, CT scans, and/or physical exams to make sure they are not suffering from one of these, or any other, ailments.

Health issues can become more common as your dog gets older so watch for any changes in their behavior like sleeping more, eating less, being uncomfortable, or generally just acting differently than they usually do and consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns. Most health conditions can be treated or managed if they are caught early.


To keep your Golden Sheltie in the best physical shape possible you need to make sure you’re feeding him the best quality food possible. One thing you do need to watch out for is a possible allergy to grains like a lot of their Shetland Sheepdog parents tend to be.

What to eat. Ask your veterinarian or local pet food experts for a recommendation on the best type of food for your dog based on their age, size, and activity level. This can include kibble or moist food.

When to eat. It’s always best to feed your dog based on the advice from your veterinarian or pet food expert. Typically, puppies should be fed smaller amounts two or three times a day, while adult and senior dogs should be fed twice a day. Simply take the daily recommended amount and split it up.

How much to eat. Again, feed your dog based on the advice from your veterinarian or food expert, but typically you should follow the directions on your bag or can of dog food. Divide this amount up into however many meals your dog will be eating per day.

If you want your dog to gain or lose weight don’t simply cut or add to their portions. Consult with your veterinarian about switching their food to one which will lead to weight loss or weight gain.


The typical lifespan for a healthy Shetland Sheepdog Golden Retriever mix is 11 – 15 years. You can maximize their lifespan by feeding them good quality food, grooming them regularly, making sure they hit their daily exercise goals, and watching out for any health issues which may creep up as they age.

Are Shetland Sheepdog Golden Retriever Mixes Protective?

Golden Shelties will typically bark at strangers if they come near your family members or their home. But they’re generally pretty friendly with most people so you can’t trust them to do more than bark to protect you against any danger.

How Much Does A Shetland Sheepdog Golden Retriever Mix Cost?

The cost of a Golden Sheltie ranges greatly depending on where you get your dog from. If you manage to find one at your local humane society or another pet shelter you may pay as little as a few hundred dollars — which will generally include some vaccinations and possibly their spay or neuter. But if you get your dog from a breeder, reputable ones (check first!) it can cost you upwards of $1000 or more!

Best Climate For A Shetland Sheepdog Golden Retriever Mix

Because of their thick coats and relation to the Shetland Sheepdog, Golden Shelties are generally best suited to colder climates. They can and will be active in any season but you need to watch them for heatstroke or overheating in warm to hot weather.

The Attention A Shetland Sheepdog Golden Retriever Mix Needs

As mentioned above, a Golden Sheltie has high exercise requirements and they do love to play with their families regularly. However, as long as you maintain these exercise levels, they are content to play by themselves with toys or lounge without you when playtime is over.

Does A Golden Sheltie Have Good Compatibility With Kids?

Golden Shelties love being around kids, however, because they can become overly excitable and playful, they may inadvertently knock down or hurt small children. So, caution should be used when your children are playing with or even around your dog.

A Golden Sheltie’s Compatibility With Other Animals

Golden Shelties typically get along with most other breeds of dogs and even cats — especially if they were introduced to them at a younger age. However, although they do get along with most breeds, they typically will play best with other Golden Retrievers, Shetland Sheepdogs, Golden Shelties, or a smaller breed.

Is A Shetland Sheepdog Golden Retriever Mix Right For Me?

As long as you can commit to the minimum 60-90 minutes per day of exercise this breed needs, a Golden Sheltie would likely make a great addition to your family.

They don’t take up too much room, so they do live nicely in smaller homes as well as apartments. And although they do shed, you can keep on top of this fairly easily with weekly grooming.

You Might Also Like:

Scroll to Top