German Shepherd Lifespan: Interesting Facts About Our Best Friend

    German shepherds (Canis lupus familiaris) are known and often sought after for their tranquil behavior and warm temperament. They are affectionate towards people and are agile in nature. German Shepherds are the first breed of dogs to be used to aid the blind. They are also used in certain sports.

    Through this article, you will come to know certain facts about the German shepherd lifespan, its food habits, behavior, and so on.

    Things you need to know before getting a German Shepherd

    Origin and history of GSD

    German Shepherd Lifespan
    American Kennel Club

    As the name of the breed suggests, German shepherds hail from Germany. German shepherds were not standardized until the late 19th century. In simpler words, they didn’t appear until the World War. The GSDs that you see today are way too different from the ones found in the late 19th century.

    The German shepherds found now are bought for their friendly nature, intelligence and to get a good companion but in the initial days after their discovery, they were bought as servants, show dogs, and for athletic purposes. Researchers say that they were once used to protect the flock of sheep from dangerous predators.

    German shepherds were first exhibited in 1899 and then became a well-established dog. They started getting famous, that too within a short span of time. The German shepherds were first exported to the USA in 1906.

    It gained popularity there too, and earned the title called ‘one of the best pedigree breeds’ as a pet as well as a working breed. German shepherds are purebred dogs. A famous dog breeder named Max Emil Friedrich von Stephanitz was the first person to develop this breed and set guidelines for the breed.


    German Shepherd Lifespan
    German Shepherd Dog Club of Washington State. Inc.

    German shepherds were initially small but currently, they are considered either as a medium-sized or large-sized dog. An average male German shepherd can grow up to a height of 65 to 70 centimeters (around 25 to 26 inches) whereas an average female GSD grows up to a height of 55 to 60 centimeters (around 24 inches).

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    When it comes to weight, male GSD can weigh up to 40 kilograms and the female ones can weigh around 32 to 35 kilograms.

    They have medium coat length and can be seen in color combinations like Golden tan and Black, Cream and Black, Black, and Silver, etc. Their coat fur can come in various combinations too. The combinations include thick and dense, short and thick, fluffy and thick, short, long, and so on.

    Their body is well-muscled and has a rigid structure. They have quite a long muzzle and a squared face with pointy ears. Most of the GSDs are found to have black snouts and feet.

    Behavioral Pattern of GSD

    German Shepherd Lifespan
    The Spruce Pets

    German shepherds are known for their intelligence, curiosity, and alertness. Their brisk nature is what tempts people to get themselves a German shepherd. They are very loyal and compassionate with their owner and can become a great playmate too.

    Even if you don’t find a positive response from your German shepherd during the initial phase, don’t you worry because they are so fun to interact with once you become familiar. All you need to do is to give proper training.

    Speaking of training, German shepherds are the most befitting breed when it comes to search missions. They are very protective, in fact, overprotective of their owners. They are also known for their stubbornness.

    Diet and Trainability

    German Shepherd Lifespan

    Like us humans, animals too need a proper diet and regular exercise. Since our pets need to depend on us, it is our duty to make sure they are on a proper diet and exercise regime. Carelessness and ignorance in the day-to-day regime can directly affect a German shepherd lifespan.

    German shepherds are a medium/long sized breed but still, it is dangerous to their health if they weigh more than enough. It is dangerous if they are underweight too.

    The diet of a german shepherd must be composed of mainly proteins. They require a minimum of 22% proteins in their diet for their ideal growth and functioning. Like proteins, Fat is also another important component to be fed to them on a daily basis. Here are a few of the dog meals, which you can actually feed your dog without any tension:

    • Fish and chicken-based LID food (Limited Ingredient food)
    • Large breed adult formula
    • Grain-free adult dog food
    • Buffalo protein
    • Duck
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    One of the most important things to be taken care of is their training. Make sure you start training your dog during the initial days of its life. Delay of training during the growth phase may lead to intense stubbornness. They have high trainability. Try to be a bit firmer during the training period.

    Health hazards involved with GSD

    Do not overfeed or underfeed your dog. Actually, this is implied for all kinds of pets. Being overweight can lead to serious issues. Common health ailments that are seen in GSDs include Bloating, Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, Epilepsy, Diabetes, Cataracts, etc.

    As they are prone to many health issues, just run to your veterinarian if you find anything unusual in their behavioral pattern. Also, make sure you take care of their vaccination schedules. Get them vaccinated with the known vaccines without much delay.

    Joint disorders are a great threat to the German shepherd lifespan. GSDs who have crossed the age of 10 tend to catch degenerative joint disorders easily. You can save them from DJDs by feeding them in correct proportions and taking them for a walk or jog regularly.

    Do you know that lack of proper dental care can actually shorten a German shepherd lifespan? Not only in German shepherds but also in many breeds. Canine gum diseases weaken their teeth, resulting in kidney failure and other ailments.

    German Shepherd lifespan

    German Shepherd Lifespan
    Highland Canine Training

    Wondering what a German shepherd lifespan is? Well, an average German shepherd lifespan is about 10 to 13 years. The longest-lived German shepherd lifespan was about 18 years.

    There are many factors which directly as well as indirectly affect their life expectancy. You can actually avoid premature demise by taking care of them like your own offspring, by showering them with love and nourishment. The most important steps to follow in order to increase a German shepherd lifespan include making sure they are parasite-free, fully vaccinated, following a top-quality diet and proper exercise routine, taking care of dental health, etc.

    Types of GSD dogs

    German Shepherd Lifespan

    There are five major types of German shepherds, differentiated based on their coat pattern. They are:

    • Black German Shepherd
    • Panda German Shepherd
    • Saddle coat German Shepherd
    • White German Shepherd
    • Sable German Shepherd
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    People have noticed German shepherds with unusual colors on their coat furs. Some of the rare colors and patterns seen in the coats of German shepherds are all white, all black, blue and liver, sable, etc.

    Other inquiries

    When it comes to asking queries regarding pets, the sky’s the only limit. Many have asked whether their GSDs can survive on a vegetarian diet regime. The answer is a big Yes. Dogs can thrive in life being vegetarian.

    Certain food items like chocolate, mushrooms, walnuts, avocados, garlic and onions, macadamias, etc. are poisonous to them. So, Make sure you consult your veterinarian for a proper vegetarian diet regime.

    Another question that is commonly asked is whether adopting a German shepherd costs you a fortune or not. The answer is both a yes and a no because it is expensive when compared to other dogs but the price is actually reasonable. The price increases if you are looking for a purebred one.

    German Shepherd Lifespan

    If you ask about their exercise regime, the answer is that they need at least 2 hours of physical activity every day. It varies in accordance with their age, health, and energy. Usually, exercises include running, jogging, and walking.

    You can also try playing frisbee, hide and seek, brain training games, puzzles, etc. with them to make their workout regime more interesting. Regular exercise can actually help towards ensuring a good and healthy German shepherd lifespan. A German Shepherd’s lifespan can also be extended just by making it feel relaxed and nourished all the time.

    Lastly, if you are asking about the shedding nature of a german shepherd, the answer is yes, they shed a lot. They also blow their undercoats at least twice every year (during spring and autumn). So, do not skip their brush-out sessions.

    Cessation | German Shepherd Lifespan

    So, that was all about the German shepherd lifespan. They say that the only fault in dogs is that their lifespan is not as long as ours and we couldn’t agree more. So, it is our responsibility to take utmost care of them and feed them with good food, love, and attention.

    Hope this article has cleared your possible doubts regarding the German shepherd lifespan, diet, behavior, and so on. Feel free to share if you have any interesting cool facts about GSD.


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