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Golden Retriever vs German Shepherd vs Irish Setter – Which one is a better dog breed for you?

"Find similarities and differences between Golden Retriever vs German Shepherd vs Irish Setter" Compare Golden Retriever and German Shepherd. Which is better: Golden Retriever or German Shepherd or Irish Setter?
Name Golden Retriever German Shepherd Irish Setter
OriginsScotland Germany Ireland
Group Gun Dog Pastoral Dogs (Herding Dogs) Gun Dog
Popularity Rank3272
Reviews110
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Other Names Yellow Retriever, Golden Flat Coat Alsatian, Berger Allemand, Alsatian wolf dog (UK), Deutscher Schäferhund, Schäferhund Red Setter, Irish Red Setter
Breed Type Purebred Purebred Purebred
AKC Group Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1925 as a Sporting breed. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1908 as a Herding breed. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1878 as a Sporting breed.
FCI Group Recognized by FCI in the Retrievers - Flushing Dogs - Water Dogs group, in the Retrievers section. Recognized by FCI in the Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs) group, in the Sheepdogs section. Recognized by FCI in the Pointing Dogs group, in the British and Irish Pointers and Setters section.
Breed Recognition American Canine Registry American Kennel Club America's Pet Registry Canadian Kennel Club Dog Registry of America Inc. Federation Cynologique Internationale Kennel Club of Great Britain North American Purebred Registry, Inc. American Canine Association, Inc. Australian National Kennel Council Continental Kennel Club National Kennel Club New Zealand Kennel Club United Kennel Club American Canine Registry American Kennel Club America's Pet Registry Canadian Kennel Club Dog Registry of America Inc. Federation Cynologique Internationale Kennel Club of Great Britain North American Purebred Registry, Inc. American Canine Association, Inc. Australian National Kennel Council Continental Kennel Club National Kennel Club New Zealand Kennel Club United Kennel Club German Shepherd Dog Club Of America American Canine Registry American Kennel Club America's Pet Registry Canadian Kennel Club Dog Registry of America Inc. Federation Cynologique Internationale Kennel Club of Great Britain North American Purebred Registry, Inc. American Canine Association, Inc. Australian National Kennel Council Continental Kennel Club National Kennel Club New Zealand Kennel Club United Kennel Club Canadian Canine Registry
Price $1000-$2000 $800-$2000 $800-$1000

General Appearance - Golden Retriever vs German Shepherd vs Irish Setter

Size Large Large Large
Weight Male: 60-80 pounds (27-36 kg), Female: 55-70 pounds (25-32 kg) Male: 66-88 pounds (30-40 kg), Female: 49-71 pounds (22-32 kg) Male: 65-75 pounds (29-34 kg), Female: 55-65 pounds (25-29 kg)
Avg. Weight Male: 70 pounds (31.5 kg), Female: 62.5 pounds (28.5 kg) Male: 77 pounds (35 kg), Female: 60 pounds (27 kg) Male: 70 pounds (31.5 kg), Female: 60 pounds (27 kg)
Height Male: 22-24 inches (56-61cm), Female: 20-22 inches (51-56 cm) Male: 24-26 inches (60-65 cm), Female: 22-24 inches (55-60 cm) Male: 26-28 inches (66-71 cm), Female: 24-26 inches (61-66 cm)
Avg. Height Male: 23 inches (58.5 cm), Female: 21 inches (53.5 cm) Male: 25 inches (62.5 cm), Female: 23 inches (57.5 cm) Male: 27 inches (68.5 cm), Female: 25 inches (63.5 cm)

Hair & Care - Golden Retriever vs German Shepherd vs Irish Setter

Coat Silky Wavy Shiny Straight Fuzzy Fine
Colors Golden Light Silver Tan Red Black Mahogany Red
Grooming
Average: The Golden Retriever requires average grooming effort.
Average: The German Shepherd requires average grooming effort.
Advanced: The Irish Setter requires a lot of grooming.
Shedding Level
Golden Retrievers shed moderately.
German Shepherds are heavy shedders.
Irish Setters shed moderately.

Characteristics - Golden Retriever vs German Shepherd vs Irish Setter

Temperament Confident Intelligent Reliable Friendly Kind Trustworthy Alert Courageous Intelligent Obedient Confident Curious Loyal Watchful Affectionate Energetic Lively Intelligent Companionable Independent Playful
Intelligent Rank
Outstanding: Golden Retriever is one of the brightest dog breeds.
Outstanding: German Shepherd is one of the brightest dog breeds.
Smart: Irish Setter's has great intelligence.
Trainability
Golden Retrievers are easy to train.
German Shepherds are easy to train.
Irish Setters are very easy to train.
Playfulness
The Golden Retriever is a highly playful breed.
German Shepherds, like any other dog breed, like playing.
The Irish Setter is a highly playful breed.
Sensitivity Level
Golden Retrievers have an average emotional level and are not the most sensitive dog breed.
German Shepherds don't like an irregular daily routine, noisy household and frequent guest visits.
They are a little bit more sensitive than other dog breeds.
Affection Level
Golden Retrievers are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.
German Shepherds are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.
Irish Setters are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.
Social Needs
Golden Retrievers need a lot of social interaction.
German Shepherds need for social interaction is average.
Irish Setters need a lot of social interaction.
Barking
Low to Average: The Golden Retriever rarely barks.
Low to Average: The German Shepherd rarely barks.
Low: The Irish Setter barks none to minimal.
Watchdog Ability
Golden Retrievers are average watchdogs.
German Shepherds are one of the best watchdogs.
Irish Setters are average watchdogs.
Territorial
Golden Retrievers are average defenders.
German Shepherds are extremely protective guard dogs.
Irish Setters are not the best to protect their territory.
Biting Potential Moderate
The Golden Retriever has an average chance of biting somebody.
High
The German Shepherd has a high chance of biting somebody.
Low
The Irish Setter has a low chance of biting somebody.
Mouthiness
Golden Retrievers have a strong tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
German Shepherds have a strong tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
Irish Setters have a strong tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
Golden Retrievers tend to escape less than other breeds.
German Shepherds are not the biggest explorers.
Irish Setters have high wanderlust potential, which means that this breed has a strong desire for exploring the world.
Prey Drive
Golden Retrievers have an average prey drive, which means that they don't have a high impulse to chase and catch something like a cat or any other small aminals, but it might happen.
German Shepherds have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds.
Irish Setters have a high impulse to chase and catch something.
Apartment Friendly
Golden Retrievers are not recommended for an apartment lifestyle.
German Shepherds are not the best choice for an apartment lifestyle, but they don't mind being inside if you walk them several times every day.
Irish Setters are not apartment-friendly dogs.
Adaptability
Golden Retrievers adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
German Shepherds adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
Irish Setters adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
Golden Retrievers tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
Just like every puppy, they are prone to panic, cry, bark, whine when they left alone by their owner.
Irish Setters tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
Fighting Dog Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.
Yes
In history, this breed was unfortunately used for combat dog.
Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Good With - Golden Retriever vs German Shepherd vs Irish Setter

Stranger Friendly
Golden Retrievers are very stranger friendly dogs.
German Shepherds are stranger friendly dogs.
Irish Setters are very stranger friendly dogs.
Child Friendly
Golden Retrievers are very kid-friendly dogs.
German Shepherds are very kid-friendly dogs.
Irish Setters are very kid-friendly dogs.
Cat Friendly
Golden Retrievers are cat-friendly dogs.
German Shepherds are average friendly towards cats.
Irish Setters are very cat-friendly dogs.
Dog Friendly
Golden Retrievers are very dog-friendly dogs.
German Shepherds are not the most dog-friendly dogs.
Irish Setters are very dog-friendly dogs.
Office Friendly Yes
Golden Retriever is one of the best dog breeds for office environment
No
German Shepherd is not the best dog breed for office environment.
No
Irish Setter is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly
Golden Retrievers are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
German Shepherds are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
Irish Setters are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
Pet Friendly
Golden Retrievers are usually friendly towards other pets.
German Shepherds are generally with other pets.
Irish Setters are one of the friendliest dog breeds.
Good For First Time Owners Yes
Golden Retrievers are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
No
German Shepherds are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
No
Irish Setters are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
Service Dog Yes
This breed makes good as a service dog.
Yes
This breed makes good as a service dog.
Not really
This breed generally not used as a service dog.
Therapy Dog Yes
This breed makes a perfect therapy dog.
Yes
This breed makes a perfect therapy dog.
Yes
This breed makes a perfect therapy dog.
Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog Yes
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.
Yes
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.
Not really
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.
Search and Rescue Dog (SAR) Yes
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people.
Yes
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people.
Not really
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people.
Boat Dog Yes
Golden Retriever breed usually likes being on a boat.
Not really
German Shepherd breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Yes
Irish Setter breed usually likes being on a boat.
Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog Not really
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.
Not really
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.
Not really
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.

Health Factors - Golden Retriever vs German Shepherd vs Irish Setter

Health Issues
Golden Retrievers are commonly healthy dogs.
German Shepherds are commonly healthy dogs.
The Irish Setter is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
Health Problems Allergies Bloat Cataracts Elbow Dysplasia Epilepsy Hemangiosarcoma Hip Dysplasia Hypothyroidism Osteochondrosis Dissecans Osteosarcoma Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis Von Willebrand's Disease Allergies Blindness Bloat Cancer Cataracts Cherry Eye Chronic Diarrhea Cruciate Ligament Rupture Cushing's Syndrome Degenerative Myelopathy Demodectic Mange Diabetes Digestive Problems Elbow Dysplasia Epilepsy Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency Heart Disease Hemophilia A Hemophilia B Hip Dysplasia Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy Lens Luxation Lupus Megaesophagus Myasthenia Gravis Nail Bed Disease Osteochondrosis Pannus Panosteitis Paralysis Perianal Fistula Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) Retinal Dysplasia Seborrhea Vitiligo Von Willebrand's Disease Wobbler's Syndrome Bloat Cancer Canine Leukocyte Epilepsy Hip Dysplasia Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy Hypothyroidism Osteochondrosis Dissecans Panosteitis Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
Life Expectancy 10-12 years 10-13 years 12-14 years
Hypoallergenic No No No
Energy Level
Golden Retrievers are high energy dogs.
German Shepherds are high energy dogs.
Irish Setters are high energy dogs.
Exercise Need
Golden Retrievers need a lot of exercises.
German Shepherds need quite a lot of exercise.
Irish Setters need a lot of exercises.
Sleeping Need
Golden Retrievers don't need too much sleep.
German Shepherds don't need too much sleep.
Irish Setters don't need too much sleep.
Avg. daily food consumption 3 to 4 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals. 3 to 4 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals. 3 to 4 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.
Weight Gain Potential
High: The Golden Retriever breed has a strong tendency to overweight.
Low to Average.
Average.
Weather & Climate Tolerates warm and cold weather. Tolerates warm and cold weather. Prefers average to cold weather conditions
The Irish Setter can adapt to well to cold weather conditions, some dogs even can be a good mountain dog.
Stinkiness Medium
The Golden Retriever has an average chance of bad smell.
Medium
The German Shepherd has an average chance of bad smell.
High
The Irish Setter has a high chance of bad smell.
Drooling tendency
The Golden Retriever drools quite a lot, so if you dislike being covered by slobber spots on your clothes, you may want to choose another dog breed.
The German Shepherd is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.
The Irish Setter is a perfect example for low drooling tendency.

Reproducibility - Golden Retriever vs German Shepherd vs Irish Setter

Gestation Length 60-64 days 60-64 days 60-64 days
How often can the have a litter? Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy.
Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy.
Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy.
Litter Size 5-10 puppies 6-10 puppies 7-10 puppies

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