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How to Care for a Golden Shepherd: The Ultimate Guide

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Breed Introduction

The Golden Shepherd is a large dog breed with a beautiful mixture. Golden Shepherd puppies have parents that are German Shepherd and Golden Retriever. For your dog to be a German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix, it needs both parents. However, the mixture does not need to be completely 50-50. Instead, it is not uncommon to see a Golden Shepherd puppy with 75% German Shepherd and 25% Golden Retriever.

The purpose of a German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is to be a loyal and protective companion. They are social, which they get from their Golden Retriever parent. They are also alert and protective, a trait they inherit from their German Shepherd parent. Golden Shepherd puppies are great for large families looking for a companion to love and shower with affection!

Since your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is a large dog breed, they can weigh anywhere between 60 and 90 pounds. The larger size they inherit from their Golden Retriever parent can reach up to 100lbs of healthy weight. The size of Golden Shepherd puppies also varies; however, the average size is 20-27 inches.

The combination of your Golden Shepherd puppy’s large size and social personality means that they require space and time. These adorable Golden Shepherd puppies are great for country living and better suit a house with a large backyard. While it is still possible to raise a Golden Shepherd in an apartment or city space, it is more difficult. Golden Shepherd puppies are energetic and large; they can develop serious health conditions without burning their energy and strengthening their muscles.

You should take your Golden Shepherd puppy for a minimum of three walks a day. Not only do German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix require walks, but they also benefit from daily playtime and physical activities. One of the most common games that your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix enjoys is fetching their toys! It is hard to play this game inside a small home. Golden Shepherd puppies become restless and anxious when they have too much energy and not enough space.

One of the most interesting things about your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is that they are amazing with adults, children, and other animals! However, you need to socialize them young, as they can inherit their German Shepherd parent’s stubborn and timid personality. If pet owners do not socialize their Golden Shepherd puppies, they can act aloof and aggressive towards other people. Your Golden Shepherd puppy’s natural play instincts are rough. While this may be frightening to watch, it is normal! This dog breed likes to tug, run, and body slam into other puppies and humans.

Unsurprisingly, Golden Shepherd puppies are heavy shedders. They inherit their thick coats from their parents as both German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers shed a lot of fur. While this is the case, they have gorgeous coats that range in colors! The most common coat colors seen in a German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix are black, cream, tan, brown, and red. While most Golden Retrievers have one coat color, German Shepherds have a bi-color or tri-color coat. Because of this, each Golden Shepherd puppy has a unique coat.

Your Golden Shepherd puppy’s coat is also dense and takes time to dry properly! While there is a lot of shedding, you can still manage the fur by brushing your Golden Shepherd puppy a minimum of once a week. You can also take them to the groomers for a de-shedding treatment.

Interestingly, your dog sheds frequently, twice in a year, and your puppy may begin to shed their entire coat during a specific season. Frequent shedding is something your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix inherits as a survival tactic since both breeds come from a country of origin that sees heavy snow and intense sun.

Your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix also has a unique ear shape. Since German Shepherds have ears that point up after four months of development, Golden Shepherd puppies can also develop upright ears! However, they can also inherit their Golden Retriever parent’s floppy and long fur-covered ears.

close up of golden shepherd

The History of the Dog Breed

Golden Shepherd puppies underwent years of breeding to have a longer lifespan than their parents and a lower risk of inheriting the serious health conditions that German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers have. The main purpose of Golden Shepherd puppies is to be a companion dogs.

While this is the case, since Golden Shepherd puppies have a German Shepherd parent, experts can train them to be service animals. The history of this German shepherd golden retriever mix is new; the first time we saw it was in 2009 in the U.S. While their history may be newer, a Golden Shepherd puppy’s parents have a long and rich history.

Golden Retriever

Pet owners first saw Golden Retrievers in Scotland. They are seen as a symbol for Scotland as early as the 18th century. The first purpose of this large dog was to be a retrieving dog. A Golden Retriever’s ancestry is long, and hunters bred them from an old extinct hunting dog native to the area to retrieve waterfowl.

Pet owners and hunters could not dive into the water. However, their Golden Retrievers could. Hunters would send their Golden Retrievers to hunt water birds like ducks and fowls. The Golden Retriever’s thick and dense coat was great at repelling water and offering protection from the cold water.

Interestingly, after hunters started using guns, the purpose of the Golden Retriever changed. Suddenly, hunters could shoot their food out of the sky, and their Golden Retriever puppies could run after and retrieve the waterfowls. The practice of hunting with a Golden Retriever slowed down. They are companion and family dogs, and Golden Retrievers would rather play, cuddle, and run than hunt.

German Shepherd

German Shepherd puppies are primarily working dogs. While some pet owners have them for companionship, they largely work alongside servicemen like firefighters and police officers. Pet owners first saw the German Shepherd dog breed in Germany during the late 19th century. The exact genealogy and mixture are unknown.

This dog breed has some health conditions which limit the German Shepherd’s life expectancy between 9 and 13 years. The first purpose of a German Shepherd puppy was to herd sheep and protect homes. In Germany, pet owners would train their German Shepherds to increase their speed, stealth, agility, and overall intelligence. A German Shepherd’s traits makes a great recipe for a trainable dog.

There are, however, a few major controversies surrounding the German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix. One of the controversies is that both German Shepherd  and Golden Retriever mix dog breed parents have conflicting personalities. The parent’s conflicting personalities can make it hard to train your Golden Shepherd puppy since there is no way of knowing if your Golden Shepherd will be protective or social and friendly. Some pet owners also keep these dogs in small spaces. Since they are adorable and a highly sought-after mix, many Golden Shepherd puppies find themselves in shelters.

It is not uncommon for families to adopt Golden Shepherd puppies only to give them away once they grow large. Golden Shepherd puppies are a commitment and need lots of attention and care!

Breed Intelligence

The best thing about your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is they are highly trainable! Since German Shepherd puppies are primarily service animals, they have personality traits that make training easy and quick! Although this is true, you should socialize your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix young, so they don’t fear people or other animals.

While they are highly trainable, the Golden Shepherd breed can be stubborn! The German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix has conflicting personalities that make coming up with a training program hard. Although you can train your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix at home with certain techniques, experts recommend hiring a dog trainer for obedience training.

Some Golden Shepherd puppies take no time to train, as they inherit their Golden Retriever parent’s personality. Golden Retrievers are social animals that want to make their owners happy! These Golden Shepherd puppies are great listeners and have strong memory. Since they have a great memory, you can adopt an adult German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix and still properly train them!

golden shepherd puppy laying in front of white background

Psychological Health Conditions

Your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is at a higher risk of developing psychological conditions. Both parents of Golden Shepherd puppies underwent years of breeding to be companion dogs. Because of this, if they are in situations where they feel anxiety, they can develop cognitive or anxiety conditions. It is important to help your Golden Shepherd to relieve their anxiety and stress to decrease their chances of developing a psychological health condition.

Cognitive Health

The German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is a unique dog with a strong cognitive health. Although Golden Shepherd puppies have a strong cognitive health, they can still develop conditions like canine depression and seizure. These happy companions like to be around people and are not independent. To prevent cognitive health problems, you need to strengthen your dog’s mind with mentally stimulating activities.

Canine Depression

What is Canine Depression? Canine Depression is a mental health disorder that affects your Golden Shepherd puppy’s mood. The disorder results in negative reactions and depressive episodes. Your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix inherits this condition from both parents. It is not uncommon to see a German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix with canine depression, especially after a difficult event. Since many Golden Shepherd puppies live in shelters, they have unique and difficult experiences that can help develop canine depression.

A few common causes include a chemical imbalance, stress or anxiety, or a loss of a loved one. Death can affect your Golden Shepherd puppy since you cannot verbally explain the situation. Golden Shepherd puppies can feel confused and hurt without their pet owners or siblings. There have been many causes of Golden Shepherd puppies mourning the loss of their companions.

It is hard to watch your Golden Shepherd suffer from canine depression. Usually, they react by crying, excessively panting, being lethargic, and losing weight rapidly. Surprisingly, the signs of canine depression are similar to how humans react to this mental disorder. You can diagnose canine depression in your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix through their local vet. Your Golden Shepherd puppy’s vet can physically check your dog and ask you about its symptoms. However, no exact test can determine if your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix has Canine Depression.

Although this is the case, you can make a diagnosis on your own based on the symptoms your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is displaying. Canine Depression is not life-threatening or chronic, and it goes away with time, treatment, and management. Since each German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix has reasons for developing Canine Depression, the exact treatment plan differs.

Some dogs prefer activities and physical playtime, and physical activity naturally increases dopamine and serotonin levels in your Golden Shepherd puppy. You can also introduce lavender essential oil to your Golden Shepherd. The scent of lavender is sweet and calming, and experts in studies link inhaling lavender with stress and emotional relief.

Seizures

What are seizures? Seizures are a temporary or chronic disturbance in your Golden Shepherd puppy’s brain that causes involuntary spazzing of the muscles. Golden Shepherd puppies have a predisposition to this condition, and they can inherit seizures and epilepsy because it is common in both Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds.

A tumor can also cause seizures in your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix. Although this may sound scary, you should know that brain cancer is rare! While it can affect your dog, seizures and epilepsy are typically inherited.

There are also one-time causes for seizures. It is possible for Golden Shepherd puppies to only suffer from seizures once in their life. If your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix eats something toxic or poisonous, for instance, they can have a seizure. German Shepherds are also likely to suffer from obesity and high blood pressure, resulting in seizures and the development of epilepsy. All dogs suffer from seizures differently. However, the most common type of seizure includes zoning out, confusion, whining, thrashing on the ground, and leg muscle cramps.

It would be best if you take your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix to your local vet as soon as your dog stops seizing. This scary instance can be dangerous depending on the exact cause. Your dog’s vet may exam their brain activity to see if something is misfiring, and they may induce a medical seizure to see the brain activity clearer. Epilepsy takes months, if not years, to diagnose. Your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix may only have one or two seizures within a few months.

If you see that your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is having a seizure, secure the area around them, so they don’t get hurt. Although it is hard to watch, you have to let your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix have the seizure without interference. Once they finish, take them to vet care. You cannot solve seizures at home without medical treatment, and it can be severe and fatal if you do not monitor your dog’s condition.

It is almost impossible to predict or prevent seizures as the causes vary. While this is true, you can give your dog coconut oil supplements. Coconut oil is safe for consumption, and the ketones in coconut oil can help decrease the chances of having another seizure.

golden shepherd walking on the beach

Stress

Stress is a natural reaction to stimuli, however, when your Golden Shepherd feels too much stress, it can develop into other health conditions. Your Golden Shepherd can feel stress because of their age or a fear. If German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix pet owners don’t find their dog’s stressor and fix it, their dog’s condition can worsen including digestive health, cognitive, health, and psychological disorders.

Age-Based Stress

One of the most common types of stress that affect your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is age-based stress. Age-based stress occurs because of a dog’s age. As your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix ages, they lose the ability to see, hear, and move properly. Golden Shepherd puppies can also develop a health condition that experts call canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome. During this condition, Golden Shepherd puppies lose their ability to store and retrieve memories. This confusion causes stress and biological reactions like stomach problems and anxiety.

Golden Shepherd puppies inherit this condition from both parents; however, it is common in all dog breeds. Typically, age-based stress is just a sign of aging in your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix. The most common symptoms and signs that your Golden Shepherd dog is suffering from age-based stress are confusion, whining, aggression, and looking lost.

Usually, it is not necessary to get a professional diagnosis of stress. However, you can contact a vet if the symptoms worsen over time or you can’t locate the stressor. However, usually, you can note the symptoms at home and make changes to help your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix. At the vet, your veterinarian will do a physical on your Golden Shepherd puppy and ask for their medical history.

Thankfully, there are many ways to treat stress in Golden Shepherd puppies. The condition is not life-threatening but can affect the quality of life for your dog. If your Golden Shepherd dog’s symptoms are mild, you can treat and manage their stress at home. For instance, keep their schedules the same. Since they suffer from memory loss and confusion, please keep it simple for your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix. Don’t change the placement of your dog’s food or water bowl and walk them at the same time every day.

Fear-Based Stress

The second most common form of stress in Golden Shepherd puppies is fear-based stress. This type of stress occurs because of a stressor that your dog can trigger through fear. It is normal for your Golden Shepherd puppy to feel stress, especially in new situations. Although this is true, it should not affect the quality of their life or the relationships around them.

It is common to see Golden Shepherd puppies afraid of situations because of past trauma or experience and afraid of being alone with specific groups of people (children, men, etc.). Some Golden Shepherd puppies come from shelters and suffer in these conditions, and Golden Shepherd puppies may hold on to these fears. For fear-based stress, however, to change a dog’s quality of life, it must be constant.

Each dog has unique symptoms, but the most common signs of stress in Golden Shepherd puppies are shaking, trembling, accidentally defecating or urinating, aggression, biting and chewing at entry or exit points, and extreme attachment. Sadly, some complications can arise if you do not correctly treat stress in your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix. For instance, if they vomit because of stress, they can suffer from dehydration. Some dogs also scratch to relieve their stress, resulting in a loss of fur.

One of the most severe complications is stomach ulcers. If your Golden Shepherd puppy chronically throws up due to stress, it can burn ulcers in its digestive lining. The acid that usually protects the stomach from trauma and infections is not there. Like fear-based stress, you can diagnose this condition at home or with the help of a vet if the symptoms are severe.

You can treat fear-based stress in your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix by providing them with behavior therapy. This reduces their reactions to the stressor. It can also help to desensitize your dog to the stressor over time. You can also change your Golden Shepherd puppy’s diet if they frequently throw up. Golden Shepherd puppies need a diet high in fiber and low in oils or fat. Dog foods high in processed fats are harder to digest, causing worse pain and problems with stress.

close up of happy golden shepherd

Anxiety

Golden Shepherd puppies are cute and fluffy dogs that can suffer from anxiety disorders. The Golden Retriever and German Shepherd are both large dogs that cause destruction when they are feeling anxious or stressed. If your Golden Shepherd has consistent exposure to their stressor, it can turn into an anxiety disorder like social anxiety and separation anxiety.

Social Anxiety

What is Social Anxiety Disorder? Social anxiety is an anxiety disorder when your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix reacts nervously to a social experience. Although it is normal to feel nervous when meeting new people or animals, if your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix reacts negatively, it may be because they have social anxiety.

Golden Shepherd puppies develop social anxiety because they inherit this psychological condition from their Golden Retriever parent. Sometimes, however, it is because of trauma. For instance, if you let a child bother your Golden Shepherd puppy, they may remember the treatment as they grow up and feel fear and anxiety with children. Your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix might now associate all kids with anxiety.

The most common signs that your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is suffering from social anxiety are shaking, shivering, trembling, trying to hide, and general nervousness. Golden Shepherd puppies that experience severe symptoms need additional help. These severe symptoms include vomiting, aggression, diarrhea, and excessive scratching. Your Golden Shepherd puppy can leave open wounds from scratching, inviting bacteria into the wound and resulting in a skin infection.

The only way to properly diagnose this condition is by taking your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix to their veterinarian. However, you can note the symptoms at home and develop your treatment plan. As nerve-wracking as social anxiety can be for your Golden Shepherd, it is not life-threatening and can be permanently treated. It can also decrease the opportunities your dog gets to play with other pets because of their fears, though.

To treat social anxiety in Golden Shepherd puppies, pet owners can provide therapy to their dog at a professional or home with a few techniques. However, this does take time, and it may be easier to hire a professional dog trainer.

It is easier to prevent social anxiety disorder in Golden Shepherd puppies. One solution is to socialize and train your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix. Be sure to socialize your young Golden Shepherd when under a year old. You can do this by bringing them to dog parks or by scheduling playdates. You can socialize your dog with humans of all ages, so they have exposure to children, adults, and the elderly. It may also help to walk your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix in a public area where they can encounter people.

Separation Anxiety

What is Separation anxiety disorder? Separation anxiety is an anxiety disorder where your dog reacts poorly when left alone. Golden Shepherds inherit this condition from both parents. Golden Retrievers are social dogs and are half of the Golden Shepherd mix. They are companions and don’t do well alone, especially if pet owners don’t train Golden Shepherd puppies young. On the other hand, German Shepherds are a large dog breed that needs to run and let their energy out. If your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix doesn’t let out their energy, they can develop an anxiety disorder and destroy your home out of boredom.

The most common symptoms of Separation Anxiety in Golden Shepherd puppies are destruction when owners are not home, digestive problems, overheating, pacing, and signs of worry. Your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix puppy’s physical reaction can tell you much of what they are feeling. The German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix can tell when their owners are about to leave as they memorize the movements and patterns.

You can diagnose your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix with Separation anxiety at home or through a vet professional. It is not uncommon to see Golden Shepherd puppies with other psychological conditions like depression and CCD. To help your Golden Shepherd puppy’s vet, it is helpful to write down the symptoms your Golden Shepherd displays.

If at-home solutions don’t work, you may need to consult your Golden Shepherd puppy’s vet for additional help. However, first, you can train your dog to be alone. You can do this by providing your dog with a crate or comfort corner. In the comfort corner, place your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix puppy’s favorite items. It may also help to add a piece of clothing that has your scent. This can soothe your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix until you get home.

You can also give beneficial supplements to your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix, including L-Theanine and S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe). Both of these supplements contain an ingredient that naturally increases serotonin and dopamine levels.

golden shepherd puppy sitting in grass

Physical Health Conditions

Your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is a relatively healthy dog. This dog breed has working parents, and they have long legs and build muscle through work. While Golden Shepherd puppies are healthy for the most part, they can inherit a few physical health conditions from their parents.

Allergies

Golden Shepherd puppies are adorable, but they are also notoriously known for having allergies! These large dogs have thick fur that attracts fleas and mites during the Summer months. Many Golden Shepherd puppies are allergic and react poorly to a flea bite. German Shepherds have sensitive stomachs, which Golden Shepherd puppies can inherit, including food allergies.

Flea Allergies

It is not uncommon to see a German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix with an allergic reaction to fleas. An allergy is when your dog’s body rejects an allergen causing skin or stomach reactions. Some dogs have contact allergies or environmental allergies like pollen, dust, etc. However, for Golden Shepherd puppies, it is fleas! While the coat length ranges, many German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix puppies have long coats that easily hide fleas from their owners.

There are a lot of causes of flea allergies, which include contact points. Fleas are tiny bugs that jump from host to host. These small bugs lay hundreds of eggs and live in grass, fabric, humans, and fur. Fleas are highly contagious, and they don’t discriminate. Contrary to popular belief, fleas will infest any animal, whether they have clean or dirty fur. Your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix can catch these bugs by walking through tall grass or spending time with another animal that has fleas. These tiny bugs are also mainly active during the summer months.

Fleas leave painful bites on Golden Shepherd puppies. The bites cause dry red skin and bumps that result in your Golden Shepherd constantly scratching at its paws, belly, and neck. The more your Golden Shepherd scratches, the higher chance they will lose fur throughout their body. Scratching also leaves open wounds, allowing bacteria inside, causing skin infections. These infections spread quickly throughout your Golden Shepherd puppy’s body! Skin infections because of flea allergies are painful and have a foul odor.

Pet owners can diagnose flea allergies in their Golden Shepherd puppies by finding fleas while grooming them. You can diagnose this common allergy condition at home. However, if you struggle to find the cause of the symptoms, you can take your Golden Shepherd to the vet for further examinations. The only way to treat flea allergies is to get rid of the fleas. This is easier said than done. Some over-the-counter shampoos kill fleas with high concentrations of zinc. It may burn the scratches and bites, though.

You can also use products with oatmeal on your Golden Shepherd puppy’s skin. This not only soothes your Golden Shepherd puppy’s skin but also relieves inflammation. With only a few applications, you should see a difference. Pet owners can frequently groom their German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix to prevent further flea allergies to check for fleas and eggs periodically. During the Summer months, where humidity is high, refrain from walking your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix in tall grass.

Food Allergies

What are food allergies? Food allergies are an allergic reaction to foods like protein and white flour-like bread, chicken, and pork. Golden Shepherd puppies inherit food allergies from their parents. However, it can also randomly develop as they age. Experts are still trying to understand food allergies and how they affect dogs.

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Some researchers believe that genetics cause food allergies, but it is unknown. The thing about food allergies is that your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix can be born with them and outgrow them quickly. As your Golden Shepherd puppy’s body ages and progresses, its allergies change as well.

Your dog may display symptoms of an allergic reaction to food like a red and uncomfortable rash on your Golden Shepherd’s lips, cheek, or inside of their mouth. Golden Shepherd puppies may whine in discomfort as they eat foods, and their reaction subsides. Sometimes, food allergies harm a dog’s digestive system, forcing them to feel stomach pain resulting in vomiting.

Diagnosing your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix with a food allergy takes time. You can make guesses at home, but the only way to know for sure is for your Golden Shepherd to take an allergy test using a blood sample taken by their vet. The rest of the results are not always accurate, and the results only show probable sensitivities.

Instead, your dog’s vet may ask you to track their food and reactions. If you write down the ingredients your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is eating, you and your vet can work together to eliminate possibilities. A diagnosis is important to form a treatment plan.

Allergic reactions to food are usually not severe. You can treat an allergic reaction by giving your dog water and treating the symptoms. If the symptoms are complicated, take your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix to the vet. Complications include unresponsiveness, dehydration, and stroke. Since many Golden Shepherd puppies with food allergies throw up, they lose important bacteria that aid in digestion in their stomachs. You can give your Golden Shepherd puppy probiotic supplements to strengthen your stomach’s digestive power.

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Gut Health

Your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is a strong dog breed that still can suffer from gut health conditions. These dogs need a lot of exercise and special care. If not, they can develop gut health conditions like obesity and acid reflux. It is easy to prevent these conditions, however, by maintaining your dog’s healthy lifestyle.

Obesity

What is obesity? Obesity is a health condition where a dog gains excess weight, resulting in other health conditions. The German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is a large dog breed that is relatively healthy and active. While this is true, they can still gain weight, resulting in obesity and pressure on the stomach, heart, and digestive system. Currently, more dogs are suffering from obesity than ever before.

Your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix inherits the risk of developing obesity from both parents as they are prone to depression and anxiety. These conditions can motivate your Golden Shepherd to overeat. The leading causes of obesity are overeating too many calories or an underlying health condition. However, it is less likely that Golden Shepherd puppies have an underlying condition.

Your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix may experience panting, lack of energy, weight gain, aggression with food, and eating too quickly while obese. Typically, Golden Shepherd puppies with obesity struggle to lose the weight they gain, resulting in complications. The extra pressure causes acid reflux, stomach ulcers, dehydration, and heart problems in Golden Shepherd puppies.

If you want to diagnose your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix with obesity, you need to take them to their vet. Once at the office, your Golden Shepherd puppy’s vet can take a physical exam on your dog. The physical exam includes weighing your dog. If they are above a certain amount of pounds, they are obese, depending on their height. There is no one number for your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix because each dog varies in height and weight due to being mixed.

The only way to properly treat obesity is to help your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix lose weight. Your Golden Shepherd can lose weight through exercise and a new diet. While your Golden Shepherd gets used to eating smaller meals, experts recommend feeding them two to three times a day in small portions. You can also encourage playtime, so they are more active. German Shepherds love to play with toys. Obesity can decrease your Golden Shepherd puppy’s life expectancy because of the complications that can arise.

Acid Reflux (GERD)

What is Acid Reflux? Acid Reflux is a condition where the sphincter, an opening at the bottom of the esophagus leading to the stomach, allows acid from the stomach to rise and come back up. Your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is highly likely to develop Acid Reflux as they age because they can inherit the risk from their Golden Retriever parent.

Golden Shepherd puppies that eat bad diets high in fat and low in fiber can develop Acid Reflux. The processed and oily fat is hard to digest, causing the sphincter to open and relax. If your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix has trauma to the stomach of the sphincter, they can also develop this condition.

Most Golden Shepherd puppies with Acid Reflux show the following symptoms: vomiting, dry cough, burning in the back of throat, restlessness, loss of apetite, and rapid weight loss. Some complications can arise because of Acid Reflux. The German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix may also develop blood in vomit, irritation to the throat, stomach ulcers, and dehydration. Dehydration is especially dangerous in Golden Shepherd puppies because it can worsen and cause a stroke.

There is only one test that your Golden Shepherd puppy’s vet needs to complete on your dog to find the diagnosis. An endoscopy is a procedure where the vet inserts a small camera to show irritation in the esophagus. Although uncomfortable, it is a safe procedure. Your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix will have anesthesia and won’t feel anything.

Golden Shepherd puppies that feel severe symptoms need veterinarian care and treatment. However, if it is manageable, there are at-home solutions you can give your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix. One of the solutions is to feed your dog on a schedule. You should also train your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix to eat slowly without upsetting their stomachs and throat. A diet that is low in fat with fresh food like carrots and grains is easier to digest. Acid Reflux does not affect your Golden Shepherd puppy’s life expectancy.

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Eye Health

The German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix typically has great eye health! This is because both the German Shepherd and the Golden Retriever use and strengthen their eyes on a daily basis. However, with time, your Golden Shepherd dog’s eye health can deteriorate. The two most common eye health conditions in Golden Shepherd puppies are canine cataracts and glaucoma.

Canine Cataracts

What are Canine Cataracts? Canine Cataracts are an eye condition where a grey or white film passes the lens of the Golden Shepherd puppy’s eye. The cloudy white formation clouds your Golden Shepherd puppy’s vision. The lens of your dog’s eye lets light pass through and lets your dog see. Your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix cannot see if no light passes through the lens.

There are four stages that Golden Shepherd puppies with canine cataracts go through. During the first stage, the eye condition starts. There are only a few specks of cataracts, and it is hardly noticeable. In the second stage, the condition is more prominent. Your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix may start to lose their vision or their depth perception. The cataract covers the entire eye in the third stage, and your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is fully blind. Golden Shepherd puppies in the fourth stage often develop eye infections as their eyes bulge and worsen.

There are only a few possible causes of canine cataracts in Golden Shepherd puppies. The leading cause is genetics. Your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix can inherit this eye condition from both parents as they develop it with old age. Age is another factor. As your dog’s body ages, its cells begin to die and aren’t replaced. Diabetes is another common cause of canine cataracts. Golden Shepherd puppies with diabetes may develop cataracts overnight that distress them.

The good thing about canine cataracts is that they are rarely painful or uncomfortable. However, your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix may feel itchy and scratch at their eyes. The condition can worsen if they accidentally infect their eyes with bacteria lingering on your dog’s paws and fur. To diagnose this condition, your vet can take a quick eye exam. It is a visible condition that pet owners may notice first. Vets rarely diagnose Golden Shepherd puppies with canine cataracts during the first few stages.

There is no exact treatment at home to get rid of canine cataracts. Once your Golden Shepherd has this eye condition, surgery is the only way to remove it. The thing is, not all Golden Shepherd puppies qualify for this procedure. A vet professional makes a small incision in your Golden Shepherd puppy’s eye during the procedure and removes the cloudy film. They then replace it with a synthetic and transparent film so your dog can see. Although this is the case, not all Golden Shepherd puppies have surgery and are permanently blind.

Don’t worry, though; you can manage your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix at home by making a few lifestyle changes. For example, keep your home free from clutter. This way, your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix does not accidentally bump into any hard objects. You can also prevent canine cataracts with a few techniques: the stronger your dog’s eyes, the less chance they will develop canine cataracts. Encourage outside play as it forces your Golden Shepherd puppy to strengthen their eyes by seeing the world without walls. You can also give your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix Vitamin C supplements for eye strength.

Glaucoma

What is Glaucoma? Glaucoma is an eye condition that may affect your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix. It is an eye disease where your Golden Shepherd puppy’s eye pressure increases and the extra pressure leads to blindness and other complications like eye infections.

The leading causes of Glaucoma in your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix are inheriting, improper drainage, tumors, and trauma. However, most of the time, Golden Shepherd puppies inherit the condition from their Golden Retriever parent. While it is still possible to develop eye and skin tumors, they are rare! Any kind of blockage is negative in the tear ducts of the eye.

If your Golden Shepherd puppy has any of these symptoms, they may have Glaucoma: eye pain, scratching or rubbing at the eye, overly watery eyes, pus flowing out of the eye, and the reddening of the white part of the eye. This condition is easy to diagnose in Golden Shepherd puppies. Your dog’s vet will go through a general physical exam, shining light into your dog’s eye. Golden Shepherd puppies at risk for cancer may undergo X-rays, and CT scans to rule out the possibility.

There are no at-home treatments for this condition. The only thing you can do for your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is managing the condition at home. If your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix loses their sight, you can still provide them with a healthy and happy life. For instance, you can stimulate their other senses during playtime. You can do this by inserting strong smells into toys that stimulate your dog’s senses. Not only does it get your dog physically active, but also mentally as they have to figure out how to get the peanut butter out.

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Immune Health

Your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix needs to have a robust immune system to fight off illnesses and diseases. The immune system of your Golden Shepherd puppy is unique because it connects to many other parts of the body! For instance, your Golden Shepherd puppy’s immune system has a direct connection with its gut and digestive system.

close up of golden shepherd on the farm

Hypothyroidism

What is Hypothyroidism? Hypothyroidism is an immune system disorder that your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix inherits from their German Shepherd and Golden Retriever parents. The body attacks your dog’s healthy thyroid gland, which damages the gland, forcing the gland to produce insufficient hormones. The thyroid gland is in charge of releasing important hormones that help in digesting foods. If your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix cannot digest food properly, it increases weight. This is one of the first signs of something wrong with your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix.

The leading symptoms for German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix puppies with Hypothyroidism are hair loss, weight change, loss of appetite, depression, and lack of energy. Sometimes, a tumor of your thyroid gland causes the lack of hormones. The tumor does not have to be cancerous.

To diagnose your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix with Hypothyroidism, your dog’s vet needs to take a blood test to see the levels of your dog’s thyroid hormones. The condition does take time to diagnose, and hormone levels naturally change on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes a Golden Shepherd puppy’s vet will recommend X-rays, CT scans, or an MRI to view the thyroid gland. The scans can show damage, scarring, and any growths on the thyroid gland that could cause Hypothyroidism.

There is no treatment you can take or make at home. Your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix will need medical attention if they have this condition. However, you can manage the symptoms of Hypothyroidism at home. To combat against a Golden Shepherd puppy’s lack of energy, you can encourage playtime with new toys and outside play. Bringing your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix to a new environment can give them the motivation to run and exercise.

Hyperthyroidism

What is Hyperthyroidism? Hyperthyroidism is an immune system condition that acts as the opposite of hypothyroidism. Golden Shepherd puppies inherit this condition from their Golden Retriever parent. The risk is slightly lower since it is not common in German Shepherds. Trauma can also cause hyperthyroidism. Sometimes the thyroid gland produces too many hormones, and your dog’s body digests food too quickly.

Your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix may be suffering from this condition if they are rapidly losing weight, anxious, constantly hungry, have a rapid heart rate, are increasingly thirsty. You should take your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix to the vet if you notice any of these abnormal signs. During the vet trip, your dog’s vet will take blood tests to look at the hormone levels. They can also take X-rays and CT scans to look at the thyroid gland for damage.

Treatment depends on the severity. Most of the time, though, if the symptoms are severe, the vet will recommend removing the thyroid gland out of your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix. Golden Shepherd puppies can still live long lives without their thyroid gland, but they need medical intervention.

There are some natural ways to boost your dog’s immune system naturally, though, from the comfort of your home. You can encourage exercise and cardio as it increases your dog’s metabolism and immune system. Your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix may do best with supplements made from omega-three fatty acids. The fatty acids give your dog a shiny coat and fight off inflammation.

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Ear Health

As your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix ages, you may find your dog’s ear health declining. Don’t panic, though; this is normal! Golden Shepherd puppies typically have long, floppy, fluffy ears that invite bacteria. The prominent ear health problems your Golden Shepherd puppy will face are ear infections, including Otitis Interna and Otitis Externa.

Otitis Interna

What is Otitis Interna? Otitis Interna is an inner ear infection that your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix can develop if they inherit their Golden Retriever parent’s ears. The ears of a Golden Retriever are long, floppy, and full of fur. Bacteria and fungus likes to cling onto hair and hide away in debris stuff in fur. If your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix has knots near their ears, the dirt or foreign objects can bring infections.

Usually, inner ear infections occur because of a fungus or bacteria as they thrive and further develop in damp, dark, and wet spaces. The causes of Otitis Interna in Golden Shepherd puppies are chronic ear infections, long ears, a predisposition, allergies, constant scratching, and water trapped inside their ears. Any foreign object can introduce bacteria that can lead to an uncomfortable ear infection.

While all Golden Shepherd puppies suffer from Otitis Interna differently, the most common symptoms are foul odor, pain in ear, and head tilting and shaking. The pain inside the ear can result in itchiness, causing your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix to scratch and re-introduce bacteria. Usually, Golden Shepherd puppies with Otitis Interna have redness and swelling inside of their ears.

Ear infections are not life-threatening and don’t lower your dog’s life-expectancy. You can diagnose inner ear infections on your own at home with the symptoms. If the symptoms are severe you can take your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix to the vet for additional testing. Vets can take a sample of the bacteria or fluid from a Golden Shepherd puppy’s ear and send it to a lab for further testing. The results are ready within a few weeks. Usually, ear infections also clear up on their own, but it depends on the type of bacteria.

Since ear infections go away on their own, it is more important to prevent them from happening again. You can prevent inner ear infections by frequently grooming, cutting and trimming ear fur and washing and drying the inside of your dog’s ear properly. If you don’t know how to properly trim your Golden Shepherd puppy’s ears, don’t be afraid to schedule a dog grooming appointment.

golden shepherd running through snow

Otitis Externa

What is Otitis Externa? Otitis Externa is an outer ear infection that your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix can develop if they have bat-like ears. Your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix can develop this ear infection by inheriting the risk from their bat-eared German Shepherd parent. There is inflammation of the outer ear canal with an outer ear infection.

The main causes of Otitis Externa include bacteria in humid areas and long fur. The symptoms are similar to an inner ear infection. The German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix may experience scaly skin, redness in their outer ear, head shaking, pain, bleeding from the ears, and a foul odor from the development of the bacteria.

Outer ear infections need a proper diagnosis from a vet professional. Each bacteria reacts differently to treatment, and some go away independently. A Golden Shepherd puppy’s vet will look at your dog’s ear through a physical exam. They will ask you questions about their hygiene and the symptoms they experience. If it is chronic, your vet may order an allergy test to discover if that is a cause.

You cannot treat this ear infection alone without medical treatment. However, as your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is taking treatment, they need to rest at home. You should also try to distract them from scratching their ears to not re-infect the outer ear. Golden Shepherd puppies may need to wear a cone around their necks to limit their mobility to not scratch at their ears.

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Joint Health

Golden Shepherd puppies have long and skinny legs that hold up a lot of weight! These large dogs can develop joint health conditions as they age because of their body type. The German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix may inherit this health condition from both parents as they have a predisposition to Hip and Elbow Dysplasia.

Hip Dysplasia

What is Hip Dysplasia? Hip Dysplasia is a joint condition that affects your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix when the hip bones do not develop properly. The joint where the hip is, is made with two parts the ball and socket. Golden Shepherd puppies born with this condition have a ball or joint that is too big or small. The awkward sizing causes the hip to displace which is painful and hard to recover from.

Your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix likely develops this condition through inheriting it from Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds as they underwent years of overbreeding. Since they were used as working dogs, the conditions brought harm to their joints and muscles. Hip Dysplasia can also occur with trauma to the hip joint, however, it is usually common in smaller dogs.

Pet owners with a German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix should watch out for these symptoms of Hip Dysplasia legs wobbling, pain when walking, losing balance, limping, and fear of jumping to high places. You cannot diagnose this condition at home. A vet needs to diagnose the condition through scans and imaging. The bones and joint deteriorate because of the constant rubbing which shows on scans.

The only way to solve this problem is surgery. However, not all Golden Shepherd puppies qualify for the surgery. If the condition is caught early, surgery can repair the damage and prevent more by making the socket and ball compatible.

These dogs develop a lot of joint health conditions, including elbow dysplasia. to decrease the chances, you can give your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix joint supplements to decrease the inflammation. Supplements are not cures though!

Osteosarcoma

What is Osteosarcoma? Osteosarcoma is a bone cancer that is aggressive and painful. The life expectancy of a German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix with this condition decreases drastically. The prognosis for Bone cancer is not positive. Tumors develop in certain dog breeds like the Golden Retriever on long bones like their legs.

The exact cause of bone cancer is unknown, but it could be genetic or environmental. There is still research being done to find out the exact cause of bone cancer. The leading symptoms of bone cancer are swelling, pain, loss of appetite, exhaustion, and fear of movement. It is not uncommon to see Golden Shepherd puppies whining in pain while walking.

To diagnose bone cancer in dogs, you need to talk to a professional. The vet can then take scans and look for tumors throughout your dog’s body. It usually is cause later as the symptoms progress and lumps appear.

You cannot treat bone cancer at home! Your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix needs medical intervention. If they qualify, your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix may undergo surgery to remove the tumors. You can try and prevent this condition by giving your dogs supplements high in calcium, although the effectiveness does not mean that the cancer will go away.

close up of golden shepherd in field

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Skin and Coat Health

The German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix has a beautiful coat that is breathtaking! Sadly, there are some conditions this dog breed can inherit from their parents including Yeast Dermatitis and Hot Spots. While this is the case, there are ways you can prevent, treat, and manage skin and coat conditions in your Golden Shepherd puppy.

Yeast Dermatitis

What is Yeast Dermatitis? Yeast dermatitis is a skin condition where a skin infection changes your dog’s skin and coat health. It is extremely common in dogs with long and dense hair. Your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix inherits this condition from both parents as they have dense medium to long hair. The yeast that develops on your dog’s skin is Malassezia pachydermatis.

The fungus is not necessarily bad, however, it can worsen as it develops. This fungus is naturally on a dog’s skin and coat, but when it over produces, it causes dandruff and other unpleasant symptoms. As your Golden Shepherd puppy’s immune system changes, their skin and coat health do as well. Sometimes, when there is too much oil, the yeast thrives and multiplies.

The symptoms of Yeast Dermatitis in dogs is ear infections, hyperpigmentation, hair loss, scratching, redness and swelling, and dandruff. You don’t need to diagnose this at a vet to treat or prevent it. However, if the condition worsens, your dog’s vet can take skin scrapings to get a sample of the yeast.

You can use over the counter lotions to get rid of the excess years, but always consult your Golden Shepherd puppy’s vet before trying a new product on their skin. There are also shampoos with soothing ingredients like aloe and oatmeal which can hydrate your dog’s dry skin.

Hot Spots

What are Hot Spots? Hot Spots in your Golden Shepherd is also known as acute moist dermatitis. They are bacterial infections if your Golden Shepherd puppy that are local and only in one area creating painful lesions. This is not contagious and does not spread throughout the body.

The main causes of hot spots are biting, scratching, and causing open wounds for bacteria to travel and infect. Your Golden Shepherd may start with only one spot and develop into various spots on the belly, back, or paws. The spots are red and swollen. There is usually a lack of fur on the spot and your Golden Shepherd whines, itches, and licks the location. The sensitivity is uncomfortable and can hurt to touch.

Pet owner’s can diagnose their Golden Shepherd puppies with hot spots based on the symptoms and the visible marks. If you do go to a vet for your Golden Shepherd puppy, they may take a skin biopsy to find the exact bacteria. Usually, depending on the bacteria, the condition heals on its own.

To treat this condition, you need to monitor it. You can also use over-the-counter topical cremes. While it heals, you may need to use a cone to protect your dog’s skin. It is tempting for them to want to lick and scratch, but it will only worsen their condition. Pet owners can also place Band-Aids to cover the hot spots. Any excess hair that gets in the way of your Golden Shepherd puppy healing needs to be shaved. The hair will grow back once done.

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Overall, your German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix is a delightful and healthy dog. While they are generally healthy, they can inherit health conditions from their parents. Thankfully, there are ways to treat, manage, and prevent these conditions outlined in this guide.