Golden Retriever or Australian Shepherd?


New member
I just can’t decide. I’m going to be a first time dog owner but I’m pretty good at training animals and think I could manage both. What are some pros and cons? Thank you!🐶💙


1) Will this be your first dog? If not, what experience do you have owning/training dogs?

*first dog but I have some experience with training cats

2) Do you have a preference for rescuing a dog vs. going through a reputable breeder?
  • I would prefer breeder and already looked into the VDH (Germany)
3) Describe your ideal dog.

*M-L food motivated active likes to cuddle

4) What breeds or types of dogs are you interested in and why?
  • Golden retriever and Australian shepherd: they are really pretty seem to fit my lifestyle and my criteria for dog
5) What sorts of things would you like to train your dog to do?
  • I would say the usual things and maybe into the direction of more complex tricks
6) Do you want to compete with your dog in a sport (e.g. agility, obedience, rally) or use your dog for a form of work (e.g. hunting, herding, livestock guarding)? If so, how much experience do you have with this work/sport?
  • I wouldn’t mind going into dog sports no experience
Care Commitments

7) How long do you want to devote to training, playing with, or otherwise interacting with your dog each day?
  • 2-5/7 hours depends if I can take it to work
    I think around 4 hours atleast if I can’t
8) How long can you exercise your dog each day, on average? What sorts of exercise are you planning to give your dog regularly and does that include using a dog park?
  • I love going on long walks but not with people so I think a dog would be great I don’t know if I have a dog park in my region but if I do I would
9) How much regular brushing are you willing to do? Are you open to trimming hair, cleaning ears, or doing other grooming at home? If not, would you be willing to pay a professional to do it regularly?
  • as much as needed 1 hours a day? Yes
Personal Preferences

10) What size dog are you looking for?


11) How much shedding, barking, and slobber can you handle?
  • i don’t really mind as long as the barking isn’t excessive
12) How important is being able to let your dog off-leash in an unfenced area?
  • if recall is good I would think that’s really important if that’s not possible long leash
Dog Personality and Behavior

13) Do you want a snuggly dog or one that prefers some personal space?
  • i don’t really care to much if it wants to interact with me atleast 3 times a day maybe rather snuggly
14) Would you prefer a dog that wants to do its own thing or one that’s more eager-to-please?
  • eager-to-please
15) How would you prefer your dog to respond to someone knocking on the door or entering your yard? How would you prefer your dog to greet strangers or visitors?
  • Calm but happy? I don’t care to much as long as no one is getting uncomfortable
16) Are you willing to manage a dog that is aggressive to other dogs?
  • if I get a dog then that’s my responsibility
17) Are there any other behaviors you can’t deal with or want to avoid?
  • I don’t know any right now maybe excessive biting

18) How often and how long will the dog be left alone?
  • I would maybe have a roommate but MAX 8 hours but I’m pretty sure it will be less
19) What are the dog-related preferences of other people in the house and what will be their involvement in caring for the dog?
  • same as mine
20) Do you have other pets or are you planning on having other pets? What breed or type of animal are they?
  • corn snake (harmless and they will always be separated by a glass wall
21) Will the dog be interacting with children regularly?
  • no that’s isn’t the plan
22) Do you rent or plan to rent in the future? If applicable, what breed or weight restrictions are on your current lease?
  • don’t know currently but I think I would try to make it fit
23) What city or country do you live in and are you aware of any laws banning certain breeds?
  • Germany and I don’t think there’s any atleast not one I’m interested in
24) What is the average temperature of a typical summer and winter day where you live?
  • 25C S. 5C W may vary
Additional Information and Questions

25) Please provide any additional information you feel may be relevant.
  • No additional information.
26) Feel free to ask any questions below.

What should I do if I’m really sick and can’t go on a walk

If I missed anything please ask me. Thanks 😁
@eatsomegrub I don’t mean to sound judgy I just did the mistake of doing that as my first dog 🤣 love him more than anything but he had issues that I didn’t get in time and it became bad habits etc. I failed him as a dog parent I feel.
@cherieak I got an ACD/BC mix as my first dog. Honestly, probably the best time in my life for such a dog. A learning curve, but I had the time and energy to devote to her higher exercise and mental stimulation needs and to managing her quirks.

By the time I get my second dog I'll have a family with a young child, less time for exercising and training, and will most likely seek out a lower energy dog.

Not saying OP should get an Aussie, but I feel like there are other circumstances that are more important to factor in beyond being a first time owner.
@eatsomegrub I’m sure if you put in time and effort you can handle an Aussie but they need space etc so if you’re in an apartment that would mean like 3 walks a day lot of running etc I’d get training too if you can with a professional. But i don’t want to tell you how to live! I doubled down on my mistakes. I had 1 Aussie then got a 2nd. lol so I didn’t even take my own advice
@eatsomegrub If you want more energy drive from a dog after owning a golden retriever, then yeah it might be. If you're really happy with a golden, I'd recommend getting a similar second dog.
@eatsomegrub I can't confirm that entirely. As the owner of an almost 2-year-old Australian Shepherd, also as a first-time dog owner in Germany.

I can only partially agree with the general statements encountered on this matter. Fundamentally, it's important to understand that one is a herding dog and the other is a retriever, thus a hunting dog. This presents different challenges in training, concerning behaviors like herding instincts or prey drive.

Statements like "He always needs so much activity" and "I couldn't do that, having a dog that requires so much exercise" are a matter of socialization and training. If I assume that my dog always needs an excessive amount of activity, then I engage in numerous activities with him, resulting in just that. But if I start teaching calmness from an early age, focus on targeted enrichment, and manage to train relaxation, then, at least for me, an Australian Shepherd is a fantastic first dog, as they are highly trainable and adventurous.

However, I've never perceived them as particularly cuddly, rather affectionate...
@christ4ever777 And this is what most people don't understand about dogs, in particular.

Dogs are trained to new abilities- fetch, sit, Frisbee catching, riding skateboard, jumping off a platform, opening doors, etc. I trained my dog to be calm. I trained my dog to be loving & gentle. I trained my dog not to chew on ABC... You have not trained the dog to do anything but avoid a negative response from you for doing otherwise.

The most basic instincts in dogs cannot be "trained" out of the dog.

Not understanding the distinction is why people think an inherently aggressive dog is a "big ol baby" until it does what is instinctive.
@eatsomegrub Nothing about your post really says an Aussie would be a good fit for you. They do not have some of the traits you’re looking for. They might work, but they certainly wouldn’t be the top choice I’d pick out for you based on your answers. A golden or a lab seems to be a better idea. If you’re interested in larger, a Bernese mountain dog may be something to look into.
@eatsomegrub I have more experience with MAS’s than aussies, but they are prone to reactivity and wanting to control their environment. That can be hard to deal with because it affects who you can leave the dog with, whether they’re safe around people and animals, etc, and it might be too much for a new owner. You still need to socialize a golden retriever, but I don’t think they’re supposed to be AS prone to it.

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