The rare animal was spotted and photographed by an ornithologist in the Linth area last week, though he didn't know what it was when he saw it, St Gallen authorities said in a statement.
A protected species in Switzerland, the first ever sighting of a golden jackal in the country was in 2011 when one was photographed by a camera trap.
They have been rarely seen since, though in 2016 a golden jackal was accidentally shot by a hunter in Graubünden after he mistook it for a fox.
Other than that there have been no other human encounters until now.
A predatory animal, a golden jackal is smaller than a wolf but larger than a fox, though it resembles the latter in its behaviour, eating mainly small animals, insects and fruit.
According to Swiss animal protection body Kora, the golden jackal was originally found in Africa, India and the Middle East though it has spread into central Europe due to rising temperatures.
The golden jackal's presence has been detected in Austria and northeast Italy since 2007.