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Purebred dogs get a lot of attention, but there are a number of common mixed-breed dogs that also make great pets. The
Golden Retriever Husky Mix (aka Goberian) is a great example.
We’ll tell you everything you need to know about these fun-loving, energetic and affectionate mutts below!
Meet the Parents: Traits of Golden Retrievers and Huskies
Anytime you consider getting a mixed breed dog, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about the parent breeds. Most mixed breeds display a combination of traits inherited from their parents, so you can usually get a good idea of what to expect by doing so.
Golden Retrievers and Huskies are both very popular breeds – the American Kennel Club (AKC) identifies them as the third and twelfth most popular breeds, respectively. This popularity is easy to understand, given the wealth of endearing traits both breeds possess.
We’ll run down some of the most important physical and behavioral traits of each breed below.
Like most other
retrieving breeds, Golden Retrievers were initially intended to accompany bird hunters into the field and retrieve down birds. However, the man credited with developing the breed – a 19 th century Scotsman named Lord Tweedmouth – also wanted to ensure that these new bird dogs were eager to bond with their owners more than the typical hunting breeds of the time.
His efforts certainly worked, as Golden Retrievers are not only skilled hunting dogs, but they make wonderful and attentive family pets too. They also excel in agility and obedience trials, and many work as service dogs too.
Golden Retrievers are large dogs, who typically weigh between 55 and 75 pounds and have a medium build. They are covered in medium to long, wavy golden hair. The exact color of their hair varies from nearly white to strawberry blonde to light brown. They have a double-coat, comprised of a water-repellent outer layer and a dense undercoat that helps keep them warm in cold weather.
Golden Retrievers were bred to love the water, and they have otter-like tails and webbed feet that make them very capable swimmers. They have moderately high energy levels, and most are exceptionally playful dogs who need plenty of daily exercise.
Most Golden Retrievers are very friendly dogs – some will bark at strangers, but they’ll typically greet visitors with a wagging tail and smiling expression. They usually get along very well with children, and some Golden Retrievers even learn to get along with the family cat.
Golden retrievers are often considered one of the best breeds for first-time dog owners, as they’re smart, gentle and easy to train. They do, however, require plenty of attention, exercise and mental stimulation to prevent them from becoming bored and destructive.
Siberian Huskies (which are often simply called Huskies) were originally bred to pull sleds through their snowy Russian homelands. One of the oldest dog breeds in the world, Huskies were initially developed by the Chukchi – a group of nomads living in parts of Siberia.
Siberian Huskies are medium to large in size. The smallest females may barely exceed 35 pounds in weight, but large males may reach 70 pounds or more. They have a relatively light build, although their dense coats often make them appear much more massive than they really are.
Their coats are comprised of two very dense layers, which helped to keep them warm and dry while hauling sleds across snow and ice. They were normally reared in large packs, so most Huskies get along well with other dogs. They do, however, have very well-developed prey drives, so they may chase after cats and other small animals.
Huskies have a somewhat independent nature, which can make them challenging to train. They are certainly smart enough to learn how to follow commands, but they aren’t always motivated to do so. Most Huskies would rather just run and play or snuggle with their owner on the couch.
Huskies are rarely trustworthy off-leash, so owners should really have a fenced yard for these dogs unless they are willing to go to the park for an hour every day. Just be sure that the fence is secure, as Huskies are some of the most skilled escape artists in the canine world.
Traits of Golden Retriever Husky Mixes
When you mix a Golden Retriever with a Siberian Husky, the result is usually a dog that exhibits a combination of the traits of each parent breed. There are always exceptions to this trend, and some individuals will tend to favor one parent breed or the other.
We’ll explain what you can expect your new Goberian to look and act like below.
Physical Traits of Husky-Retriever Mixes
Husky-Golden-Retriever mixes can exhibit a variety of different physical traits – you never know exactly what you’re going to get when you cross these two breeds. Accordingly, while we’ll explain some of the most common traits of these mixed-breed dogs below, there are plenty of exceptions to these general trends.
Most Golden-Retriever-Husky mixes are medium to large dogs, who will generally weigh about 50 pounds or so. They’ll usually have very dense, thick fur, that will occasionally be quite long. But no matter how long or short your Goberian’s hair is, you can be sure of one thing: You’ll find the hair clinging to everything you own. These dogs shed just as much as their parent breeds do.
One of the most interesting things about some Golden Huskies is their eye color. Some individuals will have two brown or yellow-brown eyes like their Golden Retriever parent, while others will have icy blue or bright green eyes like some Huskies have. Still, others will have eyes of different colors, which will make them look quite striking.
The Personality of Husky-Golden-Retriever Mixes
Most Goberians are very sweet dogs, just like both parent breeds. They’re usually very affectionate with their families, and they are typically friendly with strangers and children too. Most will likely get along with other dogs, but some will display a prey-drive similar to that of Huskies, so use caution when introducing your new pet to cats.
Some Golden-Retriever-Husky mixes – especially those who take after their Golden Retriever parent – will be fairly easy to train, but those who have a personality that is more reminiscent of a Husky will likely present challenges. In either case, your new pet will likely be a reasonably intelligent dog, and it shouldn’t be difficult to house train him.
One thing is certain: Your new Husky-Golden mix will surely have a very high energy level and require plenty of opportunities to exercise. Daily walks probably won’t suffice; you’ll likely need to make daily trips to the dog park, so your pet can run and play with other dogs or fetch a tennis ball.
Health Concerns for Husky-Retriever Mixes
Like most other mixed breed dogs, Husky-Golden-Retriever mixes usually benefit from a phenomenon called hybrid vigor (or more accurately,
heterosis). This essentially means that animals descending from distantly related animals are often more resistant to health problems and disease than animals produced by closely related animals are.
Accordingly, you are probably less likely to experience health problems with a Husky-Retriever mix than you would from a dog representing either individual breed. However, Husky-Retriever mixes are likely susceptible to a few medical issues. Some of the most noteworthy include:
Hip Dysplasia – Hip dysplasia occurs when a dog’s hip joint fails to develop properly. This can lead to the inflammation of the connective tissue and cartilage inside the joint, which can in turn trigger pain and make it hard for your dog to get around. This medical condition is quite common in many large-breed dogs. Cancer – Golden Retrievers are unfortunately susceptible to several different types of cancer. Two types of cancer – one of which affects the bones and another that damages the linings of a dog’s blood vessels – are pretty common in middle- to old-aged Golden Retrievers. Cataracts – Huskies frequently suffer from cataracts, so your Golden-Retriever-Husky mix may very well develop cataracts with age. Cataracts cause the lens of the eyes to become opaque and can render a dog blind in one or both eyes. Cataracts can sometimes be treated surgically to restore a dog’s eyesight. Related: 7 Best Joint Supplements for Dogs Care and Grooming for Your Goberian
Like all other dogs – including mixed breed and purebred dogs – your new Golden-Retriever-Husky mix will require a few things to remain healthy and happy. This includes everything from a nutritious food, to durable chew toys to regular baths. We’ll explain some of the things you’ll need to prepare to provide your new Golden-Retriever-Siberian-Husky mix below.
Picking a good food for your Husky-Retriever mix will be easy once your pup reaches maturity – you can simply select any high-quality food that meets the AAFCO guidelines and features a whole protein at the top of the ingredient list. However, it is also wise to look for a food that is fortified with glucosamine and chondroitin, which will help protect your dog’s joints and omega-3 fatty acids, which help promote a healthy coat and reduce inflammation.
We discuss some of the best food options available in
this article, so be sure to review it before you start shopping.
However, you will want to discuss food selection with your vet while your puppy is still growing. This is because large-breed puppies require different things from their dog food than small and medium-sized dogs do. However, not all Husky-Retriever mixes will end up being large dogs, so foods designed for large-breed puppies aren’t always appropriate.
Just be sure to discuss your food options when taking your young puppy during one of his first veterinary visits.
Most dogs will appreciate safe and size-appropriate toys, but durable chew toys are imperative for Husky-Retriever mixes. Husky-Golden-Retriever mixes are not only energetic dogs, who can become bored and frustrated easily, they often exhibit a distinct desire to chew. If you don’t provide them with things they’re allowed to chew, they’ll find things to chew on their own.
We discuss some of the most durable chew toys
here. Just be sure that you select a size that is appropriate for your dog – generally speaking, this means picking the largest toy your dog can comfortably handle. Related: 10 Best Dog Toys for Big Dogs A Comfortable Place to Sleep
Even if you are comfortable letting your dog sleep on the bed with you, this won’t always work – after all, most dogs sleep about 10 to 14 hours a day, and you probably don’t spend this much time in bed.
Accordingly, you’ll want to provide your dog with a comfortable and supportive bed to use at other times. In most cases, you’ll want to choose an orthopedic bed, made from memory foam, as this will provide the kind of support your dog’s hips and joints deserve. We discuss orthopedic beds in depth
here, so be sure to give that article a look when trying to pick out a bed for your new pet.
Additionally, you’ll likely want to obtain a crate for your new puppy. A secure crate will not only give your Shepherd-Husky mix a place in which he’ll feel safe, but it’ll also give you a good way to keep him contained and out-of-the-way when necessary. A crate will even help make the housetraining process proceed more smoothly.
Check out our review of some of the best crates for large-breed dogs
here to see a few of the best options on the market. Bathing and Grooming
Most dogs will look and smell their best if they receive regular baths, and Husky-Golden-Retriever mixes are no exception. In fact, because these mixed-breed canines love playing outdoors, they may need regular baths more than some other breeds do. Usually, a once-a-month bath schedule will work well.
You can bathe Husky-Retriever mixes just as you would most other breeds (just be sure you use a good shampoo designed specifically for dogs – you can even select one that’ll help
reduce the amount of shed hair your new pet leaves in his wake), however, there are a few key things to note. First of all, you may find that your pet doesn’t like baths very much at all. This is generally a byproduct of their Husky genes; although many Golden Retrievers love the water and don’t mind baths, most Huskies strongly detest bath time.
It is also important to note that Husky-Golden-Retriever mixes often have exceptionally dense fur. This means it can take them a very long time to dry, which can cause a host of problems. Accordingly, you may want to pick up a
hair-dryer designed for dogs, to help dry your new pup more quickly.
You probably won’t have to trim your Husky-Retriever’s hair, unless it starts causing hygiene problems. However, because these dogs will
shed a ton of hair, it is a very good idea to brush them regularly. Most will learn to love getting their hair brushed, so be sure to start brushing your new pet at an early age. Flea Control
Neither Golden Retrievers nor Siberian Huskies are more susceptible to fleas than the average dog, but it is always important to employ a good flea-control strategy. Fleas won’t only make your dog miserable, they can even lead to allergies or spread parasites to your dog. Additionally, many of the best one-spot flea treatments on the market will also protect your dog from mosquitoes (which can give your pet heartworm disease), biting flies and ticks too.
You can check out a few of the best flea treatments (and other helpful flea-control products)
Do you have a Golden Retriever Husky mix? We’d love to hear about your experiences. Let us know what your Goberian is like in the comments below.
Recommended Reads: 8 Mixed Breed Dogs for Lovers of Big Canines 7 Tips to Manage Golden Retriever Shedding 9 Do’s and Don’t of Husky Grooming and Coat Care Resources: