Understanding how your dog grows is an important factor in knowing whether he is on the right track for growth.
You might need to consult with a German Shepherd growth chart in order to see what growth curve your puppy is on to know whether he is growing at the right weight.
Keeping your German Shepherd happy goes beyond watching his growth chart. You will also need to know how much to feed him, how big he should be getting, and even know what you are watching out for as far as his growth concerns go.
Remember that these are high energy, large dogs, so if you are not prepared to exercise the energy out of them with glee, you might not want to adopt this breed.
Once you have committed to a dog, you have accepted him with his faults, so encourage the best of his behaviour to help him learn the right path. Here’s what you need to know about German Shepherd growth chart.
When Do German Shepherds Stop Growing?
If you have been raising your German Shepherd puppy since he was a young puppy, you might be asking yourself now whether he is finished growing or when he will finish growing, especially since the breed can get quite large.
The truth is that there is not one solid answer. The growth rates can vary from dog to dog. So when do German Shepherds stop growing?
Some German Shepherds will be finished growing when they are 18 months old. Others will keep growing until the age of 2 years old. There are even certain types of German Shepherds that will continue to grow until 3 years old.
Normally, the growth will slow down dramatically by 12 months and any kind of growth that happens after that period will be minimal and very gradual. At 18 months, your German Shepherd should have reached his full height, but it can take longer to reach his final weight.
German Shepherd Weight Chart
|Age||Male Weight Range||Female Weight Range|
|1 month||5.5 – 9 lbs / 2.5 – 4 kg||4.5 – 8 lbs / 2 – 3.5 kg|
|2 months||16 – 20 lbs / 6 – 9 kg||11 – 17 lbs / 5 – 7.5 kg|
|3 months||22 – 30 lbs / 10 – 14 kg||17 – 26 lbs / 8 – 12 kg|
|4 months||35 – 40 lbs / 16 – 18 kg||31 – 35 lbs / 14 – 16 kg|
|5 months||40 – 49 lbs / 18 – 22 kg||35 – 44 lbs / 16 – 20 kg|
|6 months||49 – 57 lbs / 22 – 26 kg||44 – 49 lbs / 20 – 22 kg|
|7 months||57 – 62 lbs / 26 – 28 kg||49 – 53 lbs / 22 – 24 kg|
|8 months||62 – 66 lbs / 28 – 30 kg||53 – 57 lbs / 24 – 26 kg|
|9 months||64 – 71 lbs / 29 – 32 kg||55 – 60 lbs / 25 – 27 kg|
|10 months||66 – 73 lbs / 30 – 33 kg||57 – 62 lbs / 26 – 28 kg|
|11 months||66 – 75 lbs / 30 – 34 kg||60 – 64 lbs / 27 – 29 kg|
|1 year||71 – 75 lbs / 32 – 34 kg||60 – 64 lbs / 27 – 29 kg|
|1 ½ years||71 – 79 lbs / 32 – 36 kg||60 – 66 lbs / 27 – 30 kg|
|2 years||71 – 84 lbs / 32 – 38 kg||62 – 66 lbs / 28 – 30 kg|
|3 years||79 – 88 lbs / 36 – 40 kg||66 – 70 lbs / 28 – 32 kg|
German Shepherd Growth Chart
Just like humans, German Shepherds have milestones that they should make as they grow. Some of these involve height and weight while others involve behaviour and socialization. See the German Shepherd weight chart above.
The stages can be divided into 5 primary categories: the neonatal period, the socialization period, the juvenile period, the sexual maturity period, and the transition into adulthood.
Stages Of GSD Development
Neonatal Period: Birth – 3 Weeks
Right after birth is when a German Shepherd puppy is going to be most vulnerable. In the first three weeks of life, puppies will open their eyes, develop their hearing abilities, learn to crawl and to walk, and learn to go to the bathroom away from the rest of the litter.
They are small and delicate at this point. Their mother is completely responsible for feeding them, helping them urinate and cleanup, as well as keeping them warm. It is best at this stage to let the mother do her part and allow her the space to mother without humans interfering with her.
Socialization Period: 3 Weeks – 12 Weeks
The period between 3 weeks of age and 12 weeks of age is known as the “socialization” period. During this phase of development, puppies will begin to interact with humans and the other dogs around them. It is important to their overall demeanour to get them accustomed to human interaction at this stage of life.
From weeks 3 to 8, the puppies should still be with their mother. They will become more coordinated and develop the skill of play. They can be weaned and housebroken at this time as well as developing the ability to bark when startled. Physically, you will see their ears now stand up.
Juvenile Period 3 Months – 6 Months
Between months 3 and 6, the puppies go through the “juvenile period.” The baby phase will have come to an end. They should be able to eat easily, interact with others, and should be on the brink of being housebroken. They will continue to grow steadily and are ready to be trained.
They will begin to lose their milk teeth during this period as well, so keep an eye out for the risk of chewing items that you might not approve of. Having dog-approved chew toys on hand can help both the puppies and the owners get through the teething phase without frustration.
Sexual Maturity Period: 6 Months – 16 Months
A German Shepherd puppy between the ages of 6 months and 16 months will reach sexual maturity. By 16 months, your dog should have reached close to his full height. If you have no intention of breeding your German Shepherd, it is during this phase that you will want to have your dog spayed or neutered.
Talk to your vet about what the right timing is for spaying and neutering as well as what the risk is of your dog inadvertently mating. It is dangerous for a puppy to get pregnant, because her bones will not have fully developed.
Transition To Adult Period: 16 Months – 36 Months
Between 16 and 36 months, your puppy will be transitioning to adulthood. Some puppy behaviours should have calmed down, making way for more mature behaviours. Some German Shepherds continue to grow until 36 months, though most are done by 24 months.
While you will take them off of puppy food at this point, switching to adult food, you must continue to monitor their nutrition well to ensure that they are developing normally and are at a healthy puppy weight.
While they should still have a lot of energy, they also should have stopped chewing random items and calmed down slightly.
Dangers Of Stunted Or Accelerated Growth
New dog owners might be concerned about whether their dog is growing too quickly or too slowly, especially when you are comparing your pup to the German Shepherd growth chart. The danger of stunted growth only arises in the case of malnutrition or extreme disease.
If your puppy has not had proper nutrition or is having another affliction, there is a risk that he will not grow properly. Likewise, diet can cause your pup to grow too quickly.
In this case, the growth is not related to their bones, but their weight. Excess weight can harm a puppy’s growth and cause other health issues.
Five Main Types of German Shepherds
There are five main types of German Shepherds that you will come across:
- American Show Line German Shepherds: These are tall and long dogs. They can be black, tan, saddle, solid black, solid white, or even saddle sable, which is the most recognized colouring.
- West Show Line German Shepherds: These GS are intelligent and considered to be the most beautiful. They are usually black and red, black and tan, black, or sable in colouring.
- West Working Line German Shepherds: These are a calmer type of GS and are easy to work with. They can be sable, black, tan, or bi-colour. They do have a higher risk of developing health issues.
- East Working Line DDR German Shepherds: This breed of GS are graceful and have very long coats. They are often used for search and rescue missions. They are the darkest breed of GS and are more usually just black and sable.
- Czech Working Line German Shepherds: This GS breed is incredibly loyal and they have broad shoulders and powerful jaws. They tend to have darker coats and their blacks do not slope. They are used for patrolling and make great police dogs.
Do German Shepherds Still Grow After Being Neutered?
A common question among puppy owners is whether your German Shepherd will continue to grow after being neutered or spayed. The question is not so simple to answer. If you neuter your puppy, your puppy will continue to grow until he is an adult.
However, new science has indicated that if you neuter your puppy before he is fully grown, there is a greater risk that your puppy will develop hip dysplasia, arthritis, and even cancer in some dogs. So, while neutering your German Shepherd when he’s young will not stop him from growing, it might harm them in other ways.
Average Adult German Shepherd Height
You measure a German Shepherd’s height from right above their shoulders (called the withers), which is the tallest spot on a German Shepherd’s back when he is standing up.
You never measure them by their head, because dogs cannot consistently keep their heads completely upright, so the shoulder is just easier.
Normally, male dogs are larger than female dogs, but that is not always the case. On average, a male German Shepherd will be 24 to 26 inches tall and a female German Shepherd would be 22 to 24 inches tall. The difference between the sexes is minimal when compared to other breeds.
It is important to remember as well that these are only averages. Your German Shepherd might be bigger or smaller, just as humans come in all shapes and sizes. Much of it will have to do with how large your dog’s parents were as well as the type of German Shepherd he is.
German Shepherd Height Chart
|Age||Male Height Range||Female Height Range|
|1 month||4 – 6” / 11 – 16 cm||3 – 6” / 8 – 14 cm|
|2 months||7 – 9” / 17 – 22 cm||6 – 9” / 14 – 22 cm|
|3 months||9 – 11” / 23 – 27 cm||8 – 10” / 20 – 25 cm|
|4 months||11 – 14” / 29 – 35 cm||10 – 12” / 26 – 31 cm|
|5 months||14 – 16” / 35 – 40 cm||12 – 14” / 31 – 36 cm|
|6 months||16 – 18” / 41 – 46 cm||15 – 17” / 37 – 42 cm|
|7 months||19 – 20” / 47 – 52 cm||17 – 19” / 43 – 48 cm|
|8 months||20 – 22” / 51 – 56 cm||18 – 20” / 45 – 50 cm|
|9 months||21 – 23” / 54 – 59 cm||19 – 21” / 48 – 53 cm|
|10 months||22 – 24” / 55 – 60 cm||19 – 21” / 49 – 54 cm|
|11 months||22 – 24” / 57 – 62 cm||20 – 22” / 51 – 56 cm|
|1 year||22 – 24” / 57 – 62 cm||20 – 22” / 51 – 56 cm|
|1 ½ years||23 – 25” / 59 – 64 cm||21 – 22” / 53 – 55 cm|
|2 years||23 – 25” / 59 – 64 cm||21 – 22” / 53 – 57 cm|
|3 years||24 – 26” / 60 – 65 cm||22 – 24” / 55 – 60 cm|
When looking at the German Shepherd height chart, you will get a good idea on how quickly they grow and what you can generally expect as far as their height goes.
Looking at the German Shepherd height chart, you will notice that the puppies double in height between months 1 and 3 and again between months 2 and 4. The first 4 months of your puppy’s life is when you will see the largest amount of growth.
The height growth rate will slow down by 6 months. While your dog is nowhere near his final size, the amount that he grows each month will gradually reduce, so he will be growly less dramatically, while still growing.
This will help especially with feeding since you will be able to get him on a fixed amount after he has done his largest growth periods. You will notice on the charts that they keep going up until 3 years, taking into account any last bit of growth.
Fun Facts About German Shepherds
- They were originally bred in Germany to shepherd sheep.
- They are considered to be the third most-intelligent dogs, behind the border collie and the poodle.
- The current President of the United States, Joe Biden, owns two German Shepherds, named Champ and Major.
- They were the first type of service dog.
A GS bite is 238 pounds per square inch. By comparison, a tiger shark has a force of 325 pounds per square inch.
How Long Are German Shepherds Pregnant?
German Shepherds are pregnant around 63 days on average, measuring from the time of conception to the time of birth. Since German Shepherds are a large breed, sometimes, their gestation will take a little bit longer than other breeds, but it depends on the dog.
You should be able to keep track of conception as long as you have knowingly bred your dog, so have an exact date of conception to work from to get a better idea for the due date.
How Many Puppies Do German Shepherds Have?
While it can vary greatly from dog to dog, on average, German Shepherds have about 8 puppies at a time. 8 is a common amount for large breeds, but your dog could have less or more than that. Beyond 8, you run the risk of puppies being too small or less healthy, since nutrient was being distributed thinly during gestation.
Generally, if you have kept your German Shepherd healthy and well-fed, you are likely to get more puppies. The number is also smaller if your dog gets pregnant on her first or second heat cycle.
German Shepherd Body Types
Just like with humans, there are various body types for German Shepherds. The ideal type is based on what humans decide is preferred and healthier for a German Shepherd’s needs.
To begin with, it is important to remember that German Shepherds are considered working breeds and need bodies that can perform their jobs well. A balanced frame will have a straight, flat spine with bones that are balanced between the front and back of the dog.
Dogs should be able to run and jump without any issue, which is true of most dog breeds.
For a German Shepherd, they need to be ready to hunt, guard, herd, and track. Their bodies need to help them complete their jobs without any physical limitation.
Show dogs will not be looked at for the work capabilities but based on the show standards. Unfortunately, often these standards of body types will not help your dog as active and healthy as he needs to be.
German Shepherds are prone to hip dysplasia as well as a roached back, which means a curved spine. Both of these conditions will affect the movement of your dog as he ages, making it difficult to run and walk well, let alone completing a job that they might attempt to do.
What If My German Shepherd Is Not The Right Weight?
The weight of any breed should be monitored well to make sure that they live the healthiest lives possible. German Shepherds are no exception. Looking at the German Shepherd weight chart, you should be able to get an idea of what your dog’s growth curve and see whether he is on or off of his curve.
If he drifts off of his curve, then you should do some investigation.
If your dog has been dropping low on the German Shepherd growth chart, not gaining enough weight or even losing weight, there are several reasons for this. One simple answer is that your dog might be burning more calories than he is consuming, especially during growth spurts.
If this isn’t the case, you should look for signs of diarrhea, loss of appetite, urination frequency, and generally confirm how his general mood is doing. Then, you should consult with your veterinarian to see if you can get to the root of the problem.
If your German Shepherd has a higher weight than his growth curve, you should look at your dog in general. Can you see his slim waist easily? How much does his stomach bulge?
If he still looks fit and trim, he might just be going through a growth spurt. Otherwise, confirm what and how much to feed a German Shepherd puppy.
How Big Should A German Shepherd Be?
The size that your German Shepherd should be will depend mostly on the dog himself. Looking at the size of his parents, you should have a general idea of how big you can expect him to get. If you don’t know how big his parents were, there are other factors to take into consideration.
When it comes down to it, you should be less focused on the averages and more focused on proportions. A German Shepherd should have a length to height ratio of 10:8.5 So if your German Shepherd is 28 inches long, he should be about 23.5 inches in height. You find this figure by multiplying his length by .85.
Weight-wise, you should be able to see his waist easily as well as find his ribs without trouble. If you can’t see the waist, he is overweight. If his ribs and spine are jutted out, he is underweight.
Do German Shepherds Have Common Health Problems?
All dog breeds have a tendency toward some kind of health problem. The severity and risk will vary, however. German Shepherds’ biggest issue is hip dysplasia.
This is when the hip bones do not sit well within the joint, making them easy to dislocate and injure. German Shepherds can also get elbow dysplasia, where the same thing happens, but with the elbow joint.
A major health concern that you will need to watch out for with German Shepherds is bloat. This is not like the type of bloating that humans experience and it can be life-threatening. It is where the dog’s stomach becomes distended to the point of cutting off air to the dog, causing trouble breathing.
It can be avoided by keeping your dog on a consistent schedule and not feeding him right before taking him out for vigorous exercise. You should also make sure your dog is not eating too quickly.
What Is The Life Expectancy Of German Shepherds?
Because German Shepherds are large-breed dogs, they do not live as long as smaller dogs. On average, you can expect your German Shepherd to live anywhere from 9 to 13 years.
This will be dependent on his tendency for health issues as well as the type of lifestyle he lives. His life can be prolonged with good food and exercise.
It is impossible to know for sure how long your German Shepherd will live for, but keeping him vaccinated from harmful diseases, taking him to the vet at least once a year, and keeping him on a good exercise routine can increase his life expectancy.
How Much Does It Cost To Own A German Shepherd?
Adopting a German Shepherd is an important commitment. You need to be prepared to financially care for your dog for the entirety of his life, including food and visits to the vet. Adopting a dog from a breeder will also cost more than adopting your German Shepherd from a rescue or shelter.
Initial costs of a dog are higher, because you need supplies. After that has been purchased, you can expect to pay about $1,000 a year for the best dog food for German Shepherds. Heartworm medicine is around $240 a year and a yearly visit of about $100, depending on the vet.
Additionally, you will need to factor in other costs for your dog. This means paying to have him microchipped if he wanders off as well as the spay/neutering surgery if that is what you would like to do.
You will also need to think about annual vaccinations, any tick medicine that you might want, as well as the cost of professional training if needed.
German Shepherd Genetics
German Shepherds were bred to achieve the desired physical characteristics. Unfortunately, as a result, there are some genetic concerns. German Shepherds are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, which are painful disorders that can restrict their mobility as they age. They also run the risk of epilepsy and digestive concerns, so be careful when choosing food.
German Shepherds also have been bred to reach the preferred colors. The standard is the well-known black and tan, but there are 13 recognized purebred varieties that are a result of genetics. The most common coloring is actually a recessive trait.
What If My German Shepherd Is Growing Too Fast
The most common cause of a puppy growing too fast is their diet. If you overfeed your puppy, your puppy will gain too much weight, but there is a bigger problem. Puppy food is so high in nutrition, that when you give a puppy too much, he will suffer from over-nutrition.
The puppies will take in too much protein, calcium, Vitamin D, and phosphorus and grow too quickly as a result. Since German Shepherds are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, growing too quickly is dangerous for them. Talk to your vet about getting your puppy back on track.
What If My German Shepherd Is Over Weight?
If your German Shepherd is overweight, he is at risk of developing serious health conditions, like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. It will also put too much pressure on his joints, causing arthritis and immobility. The heavier he is, the harder it will be to move, and to lose the weight.
Look at his food – It should be high in lean protein, low in fillers and fat. Then, exercise your dog. Do not over-exercise or starve him to get him to lose weight. It will take time and patience to get him to a healthy weight.
What Is A German Shepherd Temperament?
As one of the most popular breeds around, you should prepare yourself for what his temperament will be life. These dogs are incredibly intelligent. They will form deep bonds and loyalty with their owners and work hard to please you. This makes them fairly easy to train.
By nature, German Shepherds are high energy working dogs. They are happiest when given a task, which often includes guarding places and people. They can stay sharp through working on their mental and physical health. This means playing fetch, going on runs, or even playing at the dog park.
They are protective by nature, defending their families from anything that they feel is a risk, but are no more dangerous than any other dog. Their intelligence means that they should learn rules quickly and adapt to their surroundings without too much trouble.
Ultimately, give your German Shepherd an active lifestyle to keep him happy.
Working Dogs vs Show Dogs
When adopting a German Shepherd puppy, you will need to consider whether you are looking for a working dog or a show dog. While you might just be looking for a nice addition to your family, GS puppies have been bred for specific purposes for many years, resulting in dogs that are made to work and dogs that are not.
Working dogs need to have a lot more stamina and energy because they need to do a job. They do not have the same cosmetic attributes that you will find with show dogs, instead making up for it with incredibly athletic bodies that can move all day long.
Meanwhile, show GS are bigger and bulkier and a lot less energetic. They have thicker coats, more colour uniformity, and are bulkier in size. These make for better family pets, because they do not require the same level of work to keep them happy.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Age Does A German Shepherd Stop Growing?
Most German Shepherds will stop growing when they are 18 months old. However, some German Shepherds can keep growing until the age of 2 – 2.5 years.
How Big Should My German Shepherd Be?
Adult German Shepherds males grow to 24 – 26 inches tall and they can weight up to 79 – 88 pounds when they are 3 years old. Females are smaller and they are usually 22 – 24 inches tall and weight up to 70 pounds.
How Much Should I Be Feeding My German Shepherd Puppy?
You should be feeding your German Shepherd puppy 3 times a day starting with a mixture of ¾ water and ¼ puppy food and slowly decreasing the amount of water.