Are you planning to invite a German Shepherd into your life?
May be you finally owned that German shepherd you’ve always wanted to have. They look good with you and you play well together. But, there comes the point in your life where you might ask yourself when do German Shepherds stop growing?
If you are still searching for answers, then you better stop right now because you have come to the right place. Let me show you an in-depth explanation of the growth of German Shepherds and just when exactly do they stop growing?
A German Shepherd is a breed of medium to a large-sized dog that originated in Germany. Their strength, trainability, intelligence, and obedience made them popular as a “working dog.”
Things you might not know about your German shepherd dog:
- German Shepherd Dog (GSD) is the second most popular dog breed in the U.S. according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). It is an organization that registers purebred dog pedigrees in the U.S. They describe this breed as confident, smart and outrageous.
- Also, it is the fourth most popular breed registered by the Kennel Club located in the United Kingdom. No wonder they are such a popular pet.
- Their puppies’ ears flop down while they point upward and when they get a little older.
- These dogs are real military and police dogs. Because they are considered intelligent and brave, they won’t hesitate to risk their lives for their handlers. They are also smart enough to learn valuable skills. They are disciplined and can easily follow instructions.
- Originally, a German Shepherd is bred as herding dogs.
- In Great Britain and other parts of Europe, it is known as Alsatians or Alsatian Wolf Dogs. In 1914 during the First World War, all things German were considered harmful. Because of this, their breed’s name was changed to Alsatian. After the World War II, they changed the name again to Alsatian Wolf Dog to remove any Hitler or Germany connection.
On an average, German Shepherds reach physical maturity between 18 up to 24 months or 1 ½ to 2 years.
However, some Eastern European lines mature much slower and do not reach their full maturity until they reach the age of 36 months. Most of these breeds growth rate slows noticeably when they reach six months, and the rate continues minimally after 12 months.
Average height: 24-26 inches or 60-65 cm for Male; 22- 24 inches or 55-60 cm for Female
Average Weight: 77- 85 pounds or 35-40 kg.
How Big Does it Grow?
Generally speaking, an adult male German Shepherd grows up to 25 inches long and weighs around 65 to 90 pounds. Its average weight is around 77 lbs. For females, they become a little smaller in comparison to the male GSD. On an average, a female German shepherd’s height reaches from 20-21 inches tall. Their weight ranges between 45 to 70 pounds.
Did you know that a healthy puppy of this breed can double its birth weight just in the first seven days? After that, they consistently gain an incredible amount of weight which typically ranges from 5% up to 10% of their original weight.
When do German Shepherds stop growing? Let us take a closer look. Below is a chart which will help you learn a lot about your German Shepherd dog:
This period typically lasts about two weeks. A puppy’s body temperature is much lower during the neonatal period compared to an adult. However, their heart beats much faster, which is usually 200 beats per minute.
- Puppies begin to stretch their legs and arch their back when picked up
- Eyes and ears also start to open.
- Eyes and ears will be fully open
- Starts to crawl
- First incisor teeth occur
- Begin to take their first wobbly steps
This period is a phase full of exploration as they go from their environment to their litter mates. Typically, socialization period lasts from 2 to 13 weeks where puppies learn different social skills. It is also during this stage where they experience emotional development.
- Puppies can identify their species
- Learn to form bonds with their kind as well as humans
- Learn to communicate with litter mates
- Play fights with other animals
- Begin to eat soft foods
- Body temperature stabilizes at around 100 degrees
- Heart starts to beat a little slower at around 170 BPM
Beware of the Fear Period:
This phase is a critical period for German shepherds as they form social bonds. Beware of exposing your GSD to small children during this stage. Otherwise, your puppy may never truly tolerate them. This period typically lasts between 6-8 weeks.
At this point of a German shepherd’s growth, they tend to stretch into sexual maturity. Their motor skills continue to increase. However, they might easily get distracted, so you need to be very careful when they are around other people or animals.
Sexual Maturity Period:
If your dog is a female, they may reach their sexual maturity when they had their first heat or estrus period which typically occurs during their six months. For males, they start to reach their sexual maturity when they reach the age of 7 months.
- Decreased heart rate
- Full set of teeth begin to recognize
- Their ears start to stand up on their own
7- 12 months
- Male’s legs start to raise while urinating
14- 16 months
- ideal time to start obedience training
It is important for you to learn different dog body language too for you might need it during obedience training.
Transition to Adult Period:
The German Shepherd is a large breed dog, and they can continue to mature up until they reach 36 months. However, they can be fully considered as an adult GSD or a full grown GSD until the male is already 2 ½ years and the female reaches two years or more.
Do German Shepherds shed a lot?
Yes, it is true. German shepherds tend to shed all year. Especially during spring when they shed their winter coat for about 2 to 3 weeks. Also, they can have either short coarse or long hair. Most long haired German Shepherds tend to shed less than the short haired ones. It is because long haired GSD does not have an undercoat while the short haired ones do.When it comes to their dental care, daily brushing is required all year round. You can brush GSD's teeth while bathing.
Tip: Bathe your GSD only once per month for their coat to keep clean and healthy. You may also look for different pet dental care products and other pet care supplies available in the market today.
Do German Shepherds have common health problems?
Indiscriminate breeding of GSDs could potentially lead to hereditary diseases such as elbow and hip dysplasia, digestive problems, epilepsy, chronic eczema, dwarfism, flea allergies, blood disorders and keratitis or inflammation of the cornea. That is why proper dog breeding is a must. Also, German shepherd dogs are prone to splenic tumors, DM or degenerative myelitis, EPI or exocrine pancreatic insufficiency as well as perianal fistulas and Von Willebrand’s disease. For a complete list of GSD health problems.
What is the life expectancy of GSD?
Typically, German shepherd dog’s life expectancy can reach up to 13 years of age. For a complete list of all dog breeds and their life expectancies.
What is GSD’s temperament?
Since GSDs are used as working dogs, they can be courageous, alert and fearless. They are also considered to be cheerful and very much eager to learn. They also display tranquility, confidence, seriousness and bright. Though they can be wary of strangers, German Shepherds love to be close to their families. Be careful though in handling them because they can be aggressive when poorly trained or managed. Also, be careful not to allow your dog believe he is the leader of the pack. Most German shepherds do not listen to their owner if they sense that they are much stronger than their owner. This breed of dog is highly intelligent that is why owners or handlers need to be very careful while training them. Or else, they might be overwhelmed by their dog’s skills and abilities.
There you have it. I hope this information will help you a lot in considering a German shepherd in the future. If you already have one, I hope it helped you in dealing with your dog’s behavior as well as their growth change.
Do you have something to share about your German shepherd dog? We would love to hear your story. Write your comment below.