Golden Dox

Linda Simon
Dr Linda Simon (MVB MRCVS, University College Dublin)
Photo of adult Golden Dox
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If you have ever wondered what a shrunken Golden Retriever would look like, the answer is probably a Golden Dox. The chondrodystrophic (or dwarf) Dachshund has been bred with the large Golden Retriever to create a feisty hybrid with a long body and stumpy limbs. While some inherit the golden, wavy coat of the retriever, others will have brown or red coats.

Smart, friendly and energetic, the Golden Dox is the quintessential pet dog and makes a great choice for both first-time owners and families with children. However, they do require lots of attention and have the potential to become stubborn during training sessions so may not be the right fit for everyone.

About & History

The canine world is truly an incredible place, where any breed can be mixed together, no matter how unusual the pairing. Perhaps one of the most unexpected creations of the ‘designer dog explosion’ in the last few decades has been the Golden Dox, or Golden Doxie. The ‘sausage dog’ Dachshund has been bred with the gentle Golden Retriever to create the rare and curious-looking Golden Dox.

While records are lacking, it is likely that the first Golden Dox was created in the 1980s or 1990s. Their popularity has not grown much since then and they are not a well-recognised breed today. Their parents, on the other hand, have a rich history and are both commonly found as companion animals all over the world. The Golden Retriever first came about in Scotland in the early 1800s and was traditionally used to retrieve game on both land and water. Their sweet-nature and charm has meant that they are frequently employed as service animals and guide dogs. The Dachshund comes from Germany, where it would hunt a variety of game including rabbits and foxes. There are both miniature and long-haired versions of this breed.


With two strikingly dissimilar parent breeds, there is a huge variability in the appearance of the Golden Dox and even those pups from the same litter may look completely different. There are, however, some similarities which we can discuss and which are a feature of most.

Many describe this breed as a dog with the head of a Golden Retriever and the body of a Dachshund, but the reality is not quite so straight-forward. The ears of the Golden Dox sit high on the head and are pendulous, with their flowing fur often reaching the chin. Their eyes are a dark brown colour with a loving and trusting expression. Their nose may be black or brown and is a prominent feature of their endearing face, sitting on the end of a long muzzle. An elongated body is frequently seen and it should be well-muscled and supported on short, quite stubby legs.

As with the Dachshund, the coat of the Golden Dox can be a number of lengths and colours. The fur tends to be dense and may be short or long and straight or wavy. Wire-haired and smooth-haired variants exist. Despite the name ‘Golden’ Dox, the fur can actually be various shades of brown, yellow or red. A fully-grown individual can weigh anything from 13kg to 27kg and may measure from as little as 25 cm to as tall as 58cm.

Character & Temperament

Both the Golden Retriever and the Dachshund are known for their super-star personalities, so it is little wonder that the Golden Dox has inherited a wonderful temperament. A true people lover, this dog is loyal to its family and enjoys nothing more than being in their company. Spirited and good fun, they make great playmates for children and are capable of being gentle and mild-mannered in their presence.

A happy-go-lucky and social chap, the Golden Dox rarely makes a good guard dog as they are more likely to welcome an intruder into the home than to scare them away! The ease with which this breed can socialise, both with humans and other animals, makes them a good option for first-time owners.

One feature that may not suit every household is the very high energy level of the Golden Dox. They are by no means couch potatoes and thrive on constant attention, relishing the opportunity to complete tasks and participate in any sort of activity on offer. Couple their ‘get-up-and-go’ attitude with their intelligence and you quickly release that this dog has the potential to get bored easily if not adequately entertained. In situations where the Golden Dox feels under-stimulated, they may begin to develop nuisance behaviours, such as digging, chewing or barking.


With brains to spare, the Golden Dox has no trouble understanding commands and learning quickly. However, there is the potential for this breed to inherit the Dachshund’s stubborn streak, so owners must ensure their training is started from a young age and disobedience is not tolerated.

By incorporating positive reinforcement training into their sessions, whereby good behaviour is rewarded (rather than bad behaviour being punished), you can easily keep the Golden Dox on side.


One of the big arguments against purebred dogs is that they tend to suffer from more health issues than their mixed-breed counterparts due to the lack of genetic diversity. While this is generally true, it does not mean that mixes, such as the Golden Dox, will be free from the health conditions that their parents experience. While responsible breeding may reduce the incidence of these diseases, they must still be closely monitored for.


Intervertebral Disc Disease is one of the biggest problems within the Dachshund population. As the Golden Dox tends to inherit the long back of the Dachshund, they are more prone to developing IVDD than the average dog.

This debilitating spinal disease can affect dogs to different extents, with some suffering mild discomfort and others becoming irreversibly paralysed. Long-backed dogs should be kept slim, walked on a harness and must limit their jumping when possible.


Idiopathic epilepsy is a neurological condition that causes seizures for no known reason. While age at onset is variable, most will be between one and five years old when they experience their first seizure.

As it tends to be otherwise healthy dogs that are affected, the first seizure can be a real shock for owners. Thorough diagnostic testing will be performed to rule out any causes of the seizure other than epilepsy. Most epileptic dogs are managed with life-long medication.

Cushing’s Disease

Cushing’s disease, or hyperadrenocorticism, is a hormonal disease caused by excessive cortisol production. Affected dogs may have symptoms including excessive thirst, excessive hunger and they may pant a lot. Owners might notice a pot belly and patches of fur loss or thinned fur. For many, medication can be given to reduce the symptoms and improve the dog’s quality of life.

Ear Infections

As with any dog with pendulous ears, the Golden Dox is prone to developing ear infections throughout their life. The shape of the ear means that dirt and debris get trapped inside and the environment within the canal tends to be humid and moist, resulting in a proliferation of bacteria and yeast. Ear infections can largely be prevented by regular ear cleaning and by avoiding getting ears wet during baths and swimming.

Exercise and Activity Levels

Even those short in stature will require a good amount of exercise each day. Most require around one hour of hiking or jogging to keep them satisfied, and this should be supplemented with games in the yard and interactive play time within the home. For the Golden Dox, mental stimulation is just as important as physical, and they should be challenged within their training sessions and with canine puzzles.

A small house or apartment may not be suitable for the Golden Dox, who enjoys having space to roam. They should be provided with a fenced-in back yard that they can play in, and the more play-time that involves people, the happier they will be.


As the coat of the Golden Dox differs from individual to individual, grooming requirements are variable and should be tailored to each dog. This breed is known to be a moderate shedder and moulting will get worse during warm weather.

The biggest consideration when it comes to the grooming of the Golden Dox is their ear health. For many, their densely-furred, droopy ears are prone to infections and require weekly cleaning to keep them healthy.

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