Purchase From A Responsible Breeder
Although it is always important to purchase from a responsible breeder, the health and sometimes behavioral issues that German Shepherds are prone to are so common in the breed that it is more important than ever to do your due diligence.
A reputable breeder should immediately be able to produce the hip and elbow screening results of both parents. Do not accept a puppy whose parent has dysplasia, as this can be passed on to your puppy.
A good breeder should also give you DNA testing results to check for any hereditary diseases lurking the genetics and never give you a puppy before it is eight weeks old.
One should also be aware of breeders who breed exaggerated features in German Shepherds, such as a sloping back or an over-angulated hind leg. This may increase the strain on the musculoskeletal system.
Finally, although it may not seem directly related to life expectancy, a prospective German Shepherd owner should be sure that the breeder is breeding dogs that will suit their lifestyle and experience.
Too often, overzealous German Shepherds from working lines, or fearful ones from show lines, may end up euthanized in a shelter if they end up with an owner who can’t manage extreme personalities.
How To Extend German Shepherd Dogs Lifespan
There is obviously a lot of time between the average 11 years and the maximum 18, so it is fair to wonder how you might help your German Shepherd live longer.
Of course, there is nothing you can do to ensure your German Shepherd Dog will make it to 18, but there are certainly things you can do to help increase your pups lifespan.
Weve already discussed the importance of health screenings. You can help your dog live much longer by catching any illnesses it may have early on, since this allows for more effective treatment.
There are plenty of other things you can do, as well.
How Long Do German Shepherds Live 5 Signs Your Gsd Life Is Ending
Welcoming a German Shepherd into your family can be an exciting decision to make, but it also comes with a couple of important thoughts and expectations. Some of which would be its lifespan, how you can lengthen it, and how you can make the most out of its life.
How Long Do German Shepherds Live? German Shepherds reach their seniority once they turn 7 years of age, and while most GSDs live as long as a decade, the average lifespan would range from 9-13 years. Many dog owners would consider this a reasonably long life, but if you wish to cherish more time with your buddy, increasing your awareness of what commonly affects a German Shepherds longevity may help you stretch out its lifespan.
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Is 11 Old For A German Shepherd
There is no set age for when a German Shepherd should retire. The best time to retire a dog of any breed is based on the health and happiness of the animal.If an 11-year old German Shepard has lost an eye, cant go up and down stairs without help, or has any other indication of poor health such as heart disease, arthritis or tumors it will be time for retirement. If they are still moving around okay on their own with 90%+ vision in both eyes theres no need to worry about retiring them yet! Dogs live longer nowadays than ever before so if your 11 year old GSD seems happy and healthy save retirement for the 15 year mark! After all, an 11 year old German.
Find A Reputable Breeder
Since German Shepherds are such a popular breed, many breeders are only looking to make money from breeding the dogs and arent interested in improving the breed.
A dog bred simply for looks or money is more likely to suffer from genetic problems like hip dysplasia or degenerative myelopathy than German Shepherds bred to work and be as healthy as possible.
Because GSDs from American lines may have shorter lifespans than those from German lines, it may be worth your while to search for reputable breeders who have added German dogs to their breeding programs to help strengthen the breed and reduce the likelihood of genetic problems.
How can you make sure you avoid a backyard breeder or puppy mill dog? Here are some tips for finding a reputable German Shepherd breeder:
- You should be able to visit the puppies on site
- In addition to answering your questions, the breeder should ask you questions to make sure youll provide a good home for a German Shepherd
- You wont find their puppies in a pet store
- The breeder does health testing on the parent dogs
- They will take the dog back if you cant keep it
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What Is A Working Line German Shepherd
When the German Shepherd breed was in development, the intended goal was to get a big, durable dog with high stamina and intuition for work. But while that did come about in the form of the early German Shepherd, the resultant dog had the capacity for breathtaking aesthetic beauty.
Soon, GSDs were bred for their visual appeal, which branched the show line and working line Shepherd dogs.
A working line German Shepherd is a GSD bred to have improved work ethic, better discipline, and excellent physical fitness. Unlike show line GSDs, working lines have a straighter topline, better limb-length consistency due to less angulation, are more athletic, and are prone to fewer diseases.
On the other hand, show line German Shepherds are bred to utilize the breeds potential for majestic visual appeal. This includes various fur colors , limb inconsistency that produces a lion-line posture, and better eye and face contrast that makes their pupils prominent.
Beauty isnt mutually exclusive with work, though. Other varieties of German Shepherds can have some utility as private property guards, just like a working line German Shepherd can be a beautiful addition to your family.
It is just that by dog pageant standards, the three types of working line GSDs wont match the snobbish standards of dog beauty. These are:
- East German Shepherd
- Czech German Shepherd
- West German Working Line
Problem #03 Chewing On Furniture Or Other Objects
Chewing furniture or other objects can become another frustrating issue with four month old german shepherds. This can occur when your pet becomes teething, which is a common problem for German shepherd pups before they reach five months of age .
Four month old german shepherds often chew on furniture or other objects to ease the pain from their developing teeth. Chewing also helps them remove excess baby teeth that may still be in their mouths. However, you should not let this become a habit as it can cause serious damage to your home and belongings over time.
Make sure you keep any furniture or other objects with teeth marks off-limits for your pets reach at all times . This will help discourage him from chewing on anything he is not supposed to. You can also give him toys that are designed for chewing, such as a rubber ball or bone-shaped chew toy.
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Some Fun Ways To Exercise Your Dog:
The more your dog exercises the less bored they will be. This translates into a healthier dog overall and should keep their mind sharp.
Give Them Plenty Of Exercise
Exercise is a great way to give your dog a long healthy life while at the same time keeping their mind active and on point.
Your German Shepherd should get at least two hours of exercise daily to maintain optimum health and longevity. This is according to the American Kennel Club. German Shepherds are very active dogs with plenty of energy that needs to be expelled.
Walking your dog every day will help to increase the life expectancy of your dog as well as yourself. According to the American Heart Association, health benefits rise the more people walk. This is a great way to benefit you and your German Shepherd.
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Hip Or Elbow Dysplasia
Hip and elbow dysplasia are genetic conditions where the hip or elbow joint doesnt form properly. Dysplasia is usually progressive and causes pain and lameness. In severe cases, the dog may eventually struggle to get up, and euthanasia becomes the only humane option.
Look for a premium dog food that contains glucosamine and chondroitin or give your dog a supplement. Glucosamine and chondroitin help protect joints and may reduce pain if your German Shepherd has hip or elbow dysplasia or develops arthritis, another common joint problem.
Its also crucial to keep your German Shepherd at a healthy weight. The heavier your German Shepherd is, the more strain is put on their joints. You should always be able to feel your German Shepherds ribs when theyre standing up.
How Long Do German Shepherds Live Facts You Need To Know
So your fur baby is a German Shepherd! Do you know that theyre called shepherds because they worked to guide sheep not to go astray from their herd long ago? They were so good at their job that they are called German Shepherds until now.
How long do German Shepherds live? Now, they are one of the favorite family pets along with Labradors and Huskies. To be able to take care of German Shepherds better, lets find out some facts about the breed.
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Complete And Prolonged Disinterest
Once your dog grows old, it loses its senses and would barely want to interact with anyone. When a German Shepherd is about to face death, it will no longer feel entertained with any toys or treats never confuse your dog for loving you any less during this time but rather understand that its hurting and would seek more of your care and comfort.
Hip Dysplasia In German Shepherds
Hip Dysplasia is the number one health issues that German Shepherds will experience in their lifetime. This is a common issue in larger dogs, but a good breeder will not breed dogs that exhibit this issue. This can be quite painful and hard to manage since it is a malformation of the joint, but you can help avoid this by feeding your dog the right amount and not exercising them too hard.
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German Shepherd Breed Characteristics
- German Shepherds stand around two feet tall. Males can reach 24 to 26 inches and females between 22 and 24 inches.
- A medium-to-large sized working dog, male German Shepherds weigh between 65 and 90 pounds and females between 50 and 70 pounds.
- German Shepherds have a double coat. The outer coat is dense and can be straight or a little wavy, whilst the undercoat is thick but soft.
- German Shepherds are one of the most common police dogs used for everyday duties. The trainability and intelligence of the breed make it the ideal candidate for police work.
- German Shepherds are considered one of the most intelligent dog breeds, along with the Border Collie and Poodle.
- Contrary to popular belief, German Shepherds are very loving and protective pets of their owners. However, they can display aggression if their aggressive tendencies arent kept in check.
How Can I Make My German Shepherd Live Longer
To help your GSD live longer do the following:
Create A Memorial For Your Gsd
Whether you decide to bury your German Shepherd at home or choose cremation, you can still create a memorial. Some dog owners and their families find comfort and peace when doing this type of tribute.
You can choose a small area in your home or your yard. Make a collage of pictures of your GSD that have been snapped during his exciting lifetime.
Try to choose pictures that are happy and inspiring and that will bring joy to your hearts instead of sorrow.
Choose an outdoor area for your memorial and place rocks or your dogs favorite toy in a special area in your outdoor garden.
You can choose to place any items you wish there that will bring you peace and serenity when thinking of your beloved dog. You can even choose to plant a tree in honor of your German Shepherd.
This is a wonderful way to honor his or her life. It is therapeutic to watch something grow and flourish after you have lost a loved one.
Many dog owners choose to fill the gap of their missing loved one by filling it with a new GSD.
This does not replace your beloved dog that you lost, but it helps fill the emptiness in the house after his or her passing. Also, a new dog gives you and your family something new to focus on and fill your hearts with.
Not every dog owner can handle welcoming a new dog into their life so soon after the passing of their GSD. This is something that is decided on individually. Some dog owners need time to heal before they can move forward with a new member of the family.
The Problem With Unethical Breeding
Recently, unethical breeding had been widespread. Due to the popularity of German shepherds, many breeders use unethical breeding methods to speed up production.
As a result, multitudes of serious health conditions to a German shepherd are developed.
As of recent, there have reports of musculoskeletal diseases. Some German shepherds arent even able to stand.
There are many more health conditions caused by this breeding method, 263 to be exact. Some of them include:
- Ear Inflammation
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Give Your German Shepherd Plenty Of Exercise
All dogs need exercise to prevent obesity and keep them in shape, but German Shepherds have high energy levels and can turn to destructive behaviors if they dont get enough exercise.
A bored German Shepherd could easily turn to eating things they shouldnt when left alone, and if they swallow something that doesnt pass through their digestive tract, it could kill them, so exercise really can directly impact their lifespan.
German Shepherds need at least an hour of exercise every day, and the more, the better. They were bred to work all day, so a tame 30-minute walk twice a day may not be enough to expend all their energy.
Some exercise options to consider with your German Shepherd include:
- Running around a dog park
- Playing fetch in the back yard
- Jogging with you on leash
- Running next to you as you bike
- Doggy daycare
How Long Do German Shepherds Live Is Lifespan Important When Choosing A Dog Breed
Potential dog owners may even overlook health and behavioral concerns of particular breeds in their quest to have a certain type of dog.
Dog owners worldwide recognize the health issues of the English Bulldog, French Bulldog, and pug, to name a few. Despite this, these snub-nosed dwarf dogs are still super popular.
The German Shepherds health problems arent as drastic, but the breed suffers alarming problems from the increasing demand for a particular look.
What leads to the increasingly poor health and correspondingly shorter lives of some of the most common dog breeds?
Irresponsible breeding, commonly through line-breeding and inbreeding, has led to a dramatic rise in detrimental diseases that are passed from one generation to the next.
Inbreeding drastically shrinks the gene pool. Diseases are often recessive traits, only showing up if a puppy receives two copies of that one gene.
The probability of expressing recessive characteristics skyrockets as the number of genes decreases.
Of course, breeders never sought to create crippled dogs or to promote pets who always gasp for their next breath.
These issues are attached to some of the same genes that would produce roached backs or wide heads.
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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.