The mix of a Golden retriever with a Husky is known as a Goberian. This intriguing hybrid dog is an interesting mix of two breeds, each with their own distinct character. Indeed, one reason for creating the Goberian is to moderate the roaming, independent streak of the Husky by adding loyalty genes from the Goldie.
As with any hybrid dog, each pup is an individual blend of characteristics, often more from one parent breed than the other. The ideal mix results in a friendly Goberian dog, with the endurance of a Husky but the obedience of a Golden retriever. However, there are no guarantees and a pup could grow up with either the fully-fledged wanderlust of a Husky or the eagerness and loyalty of a Golden retriever.
Whatever your Goberian’s character, you’ll want the pup to lead a long and active life. This overview of the breed gives pointers to extending your Goberian’s lifespan to the max. But first, let’s start at the beginning by finding out from the Goberian’s mouth, what they look for in a good owner.
The Ideal Pet Parent For a Goberian
My ideal owner lives in a house with a spacious backyard. They’d take me running every day and be firm but fair with training. If they had well-behaved kids who knew how to treat a dog right, then I’d love them right back. I am intelligent (even if I say so myself) but also acknowledge I have a stubborn streak, therefore, my owner should be experienced with dogs rather than a first-timer.
Physical Prowess: The Goberian inherits pulling power from the Husky and agility from the Golden retriever. He needs plenty of exercise every day in order to divert his energy from reverting to his Husky roots and roaming.
Temperament: ‘Friendly’ sums up his character, along with ‘intelligent’, but tinged with ‘stubbornness’. Thus he may cheerfully work out an escape route and when you call him, gaily wag his tail as he makes a swift getaway.
Reliability with Children: The Goberian loves kids, so long as they treat him right. As with all dogs, early socialization and positive experiences with children will shape his reliability. That said, children should be supervised with dogs at all times.
Bad Habits: The Goberian isn’t a barker and doesn’t mind spending time alone. However, he does need space and exercise, and if he’s not given an appropriate energy outlet he’ll develop bad habits such as roaming or destructiveness.
Goberian At a Glance
|Height||50 – 61 cm|
|Weight||15 – 36 kg|
|Training requirements||High (Intelligent but prone to stubbornness)|
|Suitable as a first dog||No|
|Good with children||Yes – but requires supervision|
|Grooming||Twice weekly brushing|
Goberian Health Concerns
As a blend of two breeds, the Goberian has the potential for double trouble. Indeed, as well as separate breed-related problems there are some overlaps with both breeds having health issues in common.
In this overview of Goberian health, we’ll also consider how best to minimize the risks and extend his lifespan.
Allergic Skin Disease
This comes from the Goldie side of the family and is characterized by scratching and gnawing at the skin. An allergic dog can react to food or allergens in the environment (similar to a person who suffers from hay fever, but with itchiness as the symptom).
Avoiding the allergen altogether is the ideal way to make the dog comfortable. For food allergies, this means feeding a high-quality hypoallergenic diet (a single source of protein and a single source of carbohydrate).
However, for environmental allergies avoidance often isn’t possible. A good compromise includes simple things such as bathing the dog regularly which helps remove allergens from the skin’s surface. Another beneficial action is feeding a diet rich in omega 3 & 6 which improves skin health, making it more resilient.
Cataracts and PRA
This time it’s the Husky side that takes the starring role. Sadly, the breed is prone to genetically predetermined blindness caused either by early cataract formation or degeneration of the light-sensitive layers of the eye.
Cataracts can be removed by an advanced specialist technique called phaecoemulsion. However, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) has no treatment. This is best avoided altogether by only breeding from a parent Husky dog that has been screened for PRA and confirmed as negative for carrying the condition.
Hip & Elbow Dysplasia
This is double-whammy time with poor hip and elbow anatomy being a weakness of both breeds. Again, look for a pup bred from parents who were screened and certified as having healthy hips and elbows. Not to do so risks having a pup that will grow up with painful joints and a high risk of premature arthritis.
However, you can help protect your pup’s joints by giving controlled amounts of exercise whilst the bones are still maturing. In addition, keep the dog at a lean weight, since carrying too much weight strains the joints and impairs mobility.
You may also wish to give a joint supplement from an early age, for example, glucosamine and chondroitin, as these make for a slippery joint fluid and supplies the joints with the necessary building blocks for repair.
Again, this is both a Golden retriever and Husky problem. Hypothyroidism refers to underactive thyroid glands which don’t produce enough thyroid hormone. The signs include a low energy dog with a poor coat that is prone to weight gain.
Happily, once identified this condition is easily treated with a daily pill containing a thyroid supplement. Treatment is well worthwhile as not only will the dog rediscover his mojo but it reduces the risk of secondary complications with the heart and joints.
Osteosarcoma is a form of bone cancer which is unfortunately linked to the Golden retriever breed. There also appears to be an increased risk of developing bone cancer when a female dog is spayed at a young age. Whilst the evidence is controversial, some vets are increasingly advising later neutering of female dogs from certain breeds such as the Golden retriever, to try and reduce this risk.
Uveodermatolgocial Syndrome (UDS)
Back to our Husky hound, to which this condition has strong links. This is an autoimmune disease where the body’s defense mechanisms attack the body’s own tissue. Specifically, it tends to attack the tissues of the eye (leading to blindness) and skin (leading to depigmentation, especially of the nose and pads). Unfortunately, this often occurs in younger dogs, leading to blindness early in life.
There is no cure for UDS. Steroid therapy can sometimes bring the condition under control, but relapses are common. Again, the ideal is to only breed from unaffected dogs so that the genes aren’t passed onto the next generation.
Beat the Average Lifespan
Happily, your actions can tip the scales in favor of the longer end of the lifespan scale. Here’s how:
Overweight dogs, especially as puppies, lead shorter lives. We know heavy dogs predecease their lean littermates by as much as two to three years. Therefore the simple act of exercising portion control and keeping your Goberian at a lean weight means your best buddy will be with you for longer.
Pay Attention to Preventative Care
Parasites such as heartworm are life-threatening. Be sure to keep up with monthly heartworm preventatives, as directed by your vet. In addition, routine tick control can prevent the dog from acquiring serious infections that impact on long-term health.
Whilst regular deworming means your dog gets all the benefit from their food, rather than the worms. Then, of course, there is vaccination, which has the power to protect your dog from some devastating diseases.
In addition, speak to your vet about the benefits of desexing and the best age to do this. For example, early neutering of females can greatly reduce the high risk of mammary cancer….but this is balanced against a small increased risk of bone cancer. Discuss this with your vet!
A good quality wholesome diet that is rich in antioxidants goes a long way to strengthening the immune system and aiding tissue repair. Feeding a raw diet is controversial (an increased risk of paralysis has been linked to raw chicken).
Look for a diet that lists a named meat as the main ingredient and lists vegetables and fruits that you recognize, rather than a list of e-numbers or preservatives.
Brush your dog’s teeth daily. This isn’t just about fresh breath (although that helps) but also reduces bacterial infections of the gum, which in a worst case scenario could seed to the heart and cause myocarditis.
Don’t over-exercise a Goberian pup as this can damage his joints. Make sure he isn’t exhausted by the end of the walk and always has enough energy to trot home. Avoid impactful activities such as agility until his bones have finished growing at around 12-18 months.
And last but not least, have an annual vet check until the dog is seven years old, at which point a check every six-month is advisable. This helps spot problems early, which is desirable because early treatment extends life.