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How Long Do A German Shepherd Live

How Long Do German Shepherds Live Tips For A Long Life

German Shepherd Life Span: How Long Do Live and Ways To Make The Most of It

April 17, 2020 by Jennifer Nelson

German Shepherds are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States, second only to the Labrador Retriever. Theyre extremely intelligent and devoted to their families. Unfortunately, the breed is plagued by a lot of health problems that can affect their lifespan. So, how long do German Shepherds live?


  • Final Thoughts on German Shepherd Lifespans
  • Thoughts On How Long Do German Shepherds Live

  • ann steele

    Thank you,I just lost my 11yr. Old to cancer,I feel so bad.

  • Claudia| Reply

    Thanks for connecting to Please keep in mind that I, Claudia Bensimoun, do not write any of the blogs or reviews on this website, nor have I in the past. I only answer the comments section.Unfortunately,cancer affects so many dogs today, with the German Shepherd being particularly prone to canine cancer. Age is an important risk factor in the development of cancer. Some cancers are hereditary. More than half of dogs aged ten and over will die of cancer.Exposure to carcinogens contributes in the development of cancer. It is a chronic disease that is not curable. That said, it can be in remission. Treatments today include chemo, surgery, and radiation.Consult with your veterinarian for advice and treatment. It is very important to have your dog screened for cancer. This should be done routinely. Early screening can help diagnose cancer at an early stage with better treatment results. Always pay attention to any changes in your dog like lumps, swollen lymph nodes, dry coughs, loss of weight, and lack of interest in regular fun activities.

  • Eliot lincoln

    Thank you. This meant a lot to mee

  • Joy

    Cats live much longer than four to five years

  • Anna Sakila
  • Dee
  • What To Do If Your German Shepherd Is Near The End Of His Life

    When the end of the German Shepherds life span is near, you might want to start preparing yourselves for their eventual departure.

    Some owners choose to purchase another dog prior to the passing of their senior pet, to alleviate their grief. Some prefer not to be distracted as they grieve.

    Talk to your family members and see what is the most comfortable option for everyone.

    Some choose to cremate their pet or hold a memorial for them. You can also have a burial in your yard. Pet cemeteries have also gotten quite popular in recent years.

    But ultimately, the final decision lies with you and your family.

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    German Shepherd Life Span: How Long Do German Shepherds Live

    In comparison to many other breeds of dogs, German shepherds live a fairly long life. The average lifespan of a German shepherd is of 9 to 13 years. Mostly, a German shepherd lives for 12 years. You just have to make sure that you take care of your shepherd. Keep him active and pay attention to his health.

    Unfortunately, some German shepherds may live a short life if they face some health issues. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to your dogs health so that he can live a long and healthy life. If you pay special care and optimize your German shepherds health condition, he may live up to more than 13 years.

    According to the statistics, around 50% of this breed usually dies around the age of 12. So, we can say that the average lifespan of a German shepherd is about 12 years. The lifespan can be reduced due to some uncontrollable factors like genetically inherited diseases or severe injury. So as an owner, you must make sure that you try your best to provide a healthy and quality life to your German shepherd dog.

    Remember! That your German shepherd dog may live longer despite all the information present on the internet depending on how healthy your dog is.

    Issues That Negatively Affect The Gsds Lifespan

    How Long Do German Shepherds Live? 5 Signs Your GSD Life ...

    Well, your goofball may be the pride and joy of your life. However, that doesnt mean they are immune to anything that may come their way. In fact, there are issues that are known to affect dogs in the size and weight class the GSD falls in, as well as some that are frequent occurrences in them.

  • Hip Dysplasia.

  • In medical terms, this is a malformation of the hip socket. Whereas a normal one will cover entirely the ball joint of the thigh bone, a socket experiencing hip dysplasia will not cover the ball completely. What this means is that it is very easy for the dog to dislocate its hip.

    This is a congenital condition and most dogs live fine with them, but others arent so lucky. Age or rough play could cause the socket to degenerate further and the hip will dislocate. This is why its important to get the lineage of the puppy from a breeder before you get one.

    This is also a good explanation as to why the AKC puts the lifespan of the GSD at 7 to 10 years. There are two lines of the GSD breed the working line, and the show line. The rules for the show line demand for a GSD that has a sloped back. This increases the likelihood of the dog developing hip dysplasia.

    This will lead to mobility issues as the dog will be in pain. Many owners choose to euthanize the dog to save them from the pain. The dogs from the working line will tend to live longer, and have less issues with hip dysplasia.

  • Bloat.

  • Degenerative Myelopathy.
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    Regularly Visit Your Vet

    Regular check-ups and consultations with your vet from the time your German Shepherd is a puppy until it has reached old age can help you maintain your dog’s overall health.

    A vet can help you with nutritional decisions, check for underlying conditions, give advice, or catch an ailment early while it is still treatable. If the vet’s bills are daunting, consider taking out health insurance for your dog.

    The Oldest German Shepherd

    There are many factors that can affect this number. In fact, the oldest German shepherd recorded was able to celebrate its eighteenth birthday.

    There are many owners that claim their German shepherds to have lived longer than 20 years, so the real oldest German shepherd might be older.

    Regardless, you now know that theres really no 100% answer to the question how long do German shepherds live?

    However, it also means that some may have lived shorter, despite living a normal life. But why exactly is it possible?

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    Give Your German Shepherd A Job

    Genetically, German Shepherds are working dogs, and most of them thrive when given a task to do. Therefore, they excel in police and service work.

    A German Shepherd who has the instinct to work but is kept at home most of the day can suffer from a lack of purpose and display compulsive and destructive behaviors.

    Teaching your dog to carry your groceries, find lost items or toys, pull weights or carts, or track can all benefit a German Shepherd’s mental health and work drive.

    A Short History Of The German Shepherd

    How Long Do German Shepherds Live? (Signs Your GSD Life is Ending)

    As the name of the breed suggests, the German Shepherd originates from Germany. The history of the breed dates back to the late 1800s. In the 1850s, German dog breeders were trying to standardize dog breeds to preserve the best traits that assisted their job of herding sheep. This was practiced within small communities of people in Germany where shepherds bred dogs.

    German breeders wanted to have a dog that had the necessary skills for herding sheep such as intelligence, strength, speed, endurance, and a strong sense of smell. The breeders got results but the ability and the appearance of dogs differed from one community to another. As a result, the Phylax Society was formed in 1891 with the purpose of creating native dog breeds but it was disbanded in just a few of years due to internal disagreements on the traits of the dogs the organization should promote. Nevertheless, Germanys efforts to create a dog breed of the nations own continued.

    In 1899, Max von Stephanitz, an ex-member of the Phylax Society and a former student of the Berlin Veterinary College, was shown a dog during one of his visits to a dog show named Hektor Linksrhein. The dog was agile, loyal, fast, intelligent, and appeared pleasing to the eye. The dog satisfied his beliefs of what a working dog should be, and he purchased him.

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    Signs That Your German Shepherds Life Is Ending

    It can be difficult for any dog owner to dwell on the thought of losing a beloved friend, but eventually, that day will come, and you need to be prepared. If youve spent plenty of time with your dog, youll easily notice drastic changes with its behavior, yet some signs can be uncertain. So without further ado, we will be discussing 5 of the most prominent signs that your GSDs life is ending. Lets begin.

    Teach Them Something New

    Its not true that you cant teach an old dog new tricks. This might actually be the perfect time to teach them some new tricks. It will help keep their brain engaged something we all need as we progress into our elder years. Whether you just want to teach your German Shepherd to shake or you are going to refresh some of the tricks that he knew as a younger dog, spend some time each day teaching your dog and rewarding him for his progress and effort.

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    Quiet And Quickly Tired

    When a German Shepherd reaches its senior years, youll notice how theyll gradually lose their energy and even show disinterest in toys or walks they used to be so excited about. When your dogs life is nearing the end, youll often find it lying around in quiet places that would exclude itself from other pets or people. It wont also move as much as it would try to limit itself from feeling even more uncomfortably frail than it already is.

    Maintain Your German Shepherds Weight

    How Long Do German Shepherds Live?

    More than half of all pet dogs are overweight or obese, and dogs face many of the same obesity-related diseases as people. Additionally, any unnecessary weight can add more strain to already aching joints in dogs prone to hip dysplasia or arthritis.

    How can you tell if your German Shepherd is overweight? When viewed from the side or above while standing, they should have a tucked in waistline. You should also be able to feel your German Shepherds ribs.

    Making sure your dog has a complete and balanced diet can be trickier than you expect when reducing their food intake, so if your GSD is overweight, talk to your vet about the best way to help them lose weight safely.

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    Longest Living German Shepherd

    Of course, median German Shepherd Dogs lifespan isnt the only important figure when determining how long German Shepherds live. You may also be curious how long it is possible for a German Shepherd Dog to live under ideal circumstances.

    The oldest living German Shepherd in ONeills studies was 18, which also seems to be a pretty firm maximum among unconfirmed owner reporting.

    I did come across one owner who claimed their German Shepherd was 20, but I have no way of corroborating this.

    How To Take Better Care Of Your German Shepherd

    The best way to help lengthen the lifespan and increase the life quality for your German Shepherd dog is by taking good care of them. For the most part, the GSD breed is pretty low maintenance.

    You just need to understand their health and personality needs and ensure that you customize your care plan with that in mind. Here are a few tips on how to improve your GSDs health condition so that you know where to start.

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    Intense Shivering And Muscle Twitching

    German Shepherds are built to withstand cold weather with their thick, double coats. Therefore, if you notice your doggy shivering a lot, it could mean that they are not doing very well. This usually happens in the later stages of serious health issues where metabolism and the bodys heat regulation mechanisms start to fail?

    What Dog Has The Shortest Lifespan

    Can German Shepherd Dogs live in an Apartment?

    A study of two populations found that dogs living on mixed rural and suburban regions had an average life expectancy of 10 years compared to 13 years for purebreds.A dogs lifespan is largely influenced by environmental factors such as their living conditions, diet, and exercise regime. Conditions on the farm encourage a more active lifestyle while apartment living can lead to weight gain and reduced activity levels. Even though environment has a lot to do with lifespan, genetics also play a significant role in how long of a life your pup will have some breeds naturally live longer than others. Check out this infographic from Furry Babies about dog lifespans!.

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    Is There A Smaller German Shepherd

    First of all, its important to understand that there is no miniature German Shepherd breed. A standard German Shepherd can be crossed with a smaller dog breed. They can possess the gene for dwarfism. The final way to miniaturize is to breed two exceptionally small purebred German Shepherds together.

    Does Health Issues Change The Average Lifespan Of A German Shepherd

    Typically, there are many types of health issues common to German shepherds. However, the most prevalent health issues are skeletal problems.

    • Skeletal Problems: Many studies have already concluded that the German shepherds life span is not affected by skeletal problems.Such problems such as hip dysplasia, joint pain, and more only cause pain. However, this may lead to the decision of euthanizing dogs.So the answer to the question, How long can a dog live with hip dysplasia? may differ.
    • Dental Problems: German shepherds also take their fair share of dental issues. While its not exactly life-threatening, it does affect a German shepherds life span.This is because it may threaten their kidney, liver, heart, and more. This can then result in a shorter lifespan and can cut up to three years on your German shepherd.Some health issues are unpreventable, but there are those that can be avoided. The bad news is that breeders often doesnt care about this.

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    Common Health Issues Of German Shepherds

    German Shepherds can suffer from many diseases common to many other breeds. Some have a genetic origin that makes these dogs much more prone to suffering them than others. However, the conditions can have multiple origins, and some breeds are more prone to contracting them than others, but it does not mean that they are immune to this type of disease.

    The most common genetic diseases in German Shepherds are:

    Signs Of Aging In German Shepherds

    German Shepherd Lifespan

    There is no definite threshold through which a dog becomes elderly. The aging of the body begins at the age of 5-6 years, but this does not mean that signs of wilting will appear from this age.

    Usually, the age at which the old age stage begins for dogs is calculated by the formula: 2/3 × X, where X is the lifespan of an individual of a particular breed.

    This means that German Shepherds are considered elderly from the age of 8.

  • The main sign of aging in dogs is decreased activity. German Shepherds are not dogs that remain puppies for the rest of their lives. By the age of 2, the Germans have ceased to pester the owner with requests to leave the ball. From 5-7 years old, the pet no longer runs so fervently on walks, prefers to lie or sit. The older the shepherd, the less interested it is in other dogs and the opposite sex.
  • The dogs gait also changes: the shepherd waddles slowly, running and physical exercises are given to her with difficulty. Aging of the joints occurs, because of which walking becomes a burden, can bring pain .
  • The condition of the coat is deteriorating. Molting becomes protracted, bald patches appear places with a sparse nap. One can see gray hair on the beard, muzzle, brow ridges, later silvery hairs cover the back and tail.
  • Recently, more and more news about the cruelty of owners, leaving a sick old dog to die on the street or in the veterinary clinic.

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    The German Shepherds Life Expectancy


  • 7.1 You may also like:
  • German Shepherds usually have a life span that ranges from nine years to thirteen years, and even if their living conditions are adequate and they do not have any health problems, their life expectancy could exceed fifteen years. Of course, this can vary between some of the German sheepdog breeds or be conditioned by factors such as living conditions, genetics, medical and periodic care received, good nutrition, and, above all and more important, The amount of exercise you do.

    Responsible breeding can be the best way to extend the life of animals. If you give your pet the attention she needs, her health will be an oak, so her life span will probably be longer. When talking about breeding, it is important to know the origin and ancestry of your pet. If their ancestors have been dogs with serious illnesses, your pet probably does too. This is why breeders avoid crossing dogs with any health problems.

    Keep Up To Date With Vaccinations

    Keep to a regular vaccination schedule for your GermanShepherd so they dont catch preventable disease or illness. Any sickness ordisease increases your GSDs life span.

    Check what vaccines you need when enrolling in dog training classes. Ensure they are strict on checking other dogs records. When dogs are in close areas, theyre more likely to catch illnesses.

    Dogs can also catch viruses when around other dogs, even when not at a kennel or dog class. For example, at dog parks or when out on hikes and walks.

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