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How Old Does German Shepherd Live

How Can We Keep Our Dogs Young

5 things to know before getting a female German Shepherd

An older dog might seem content just laying around the house, but if your dog is just middle-aged and not actually old, it is very important to keep them moving. If they are allowed to just hang out around the house, theyll probably age faster and definitely will not be as happy or as healthy as they continue to advance in life. Heres what you can do to make sure that your older German Shepherd stays as healthy as possible in his or her golden years.

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German Shepherd Life Span: What You Need To Know

German shepherds are the second most popular dog breed. They are beloved by people across the world and are well-known for their role as police dogs and watchdogs.

Despite their stereotypes as strong, mean dogs, they are very loving and loyal.

Certainly, they will protect you in a fight or a break-in and are strong enough to assist you, but they should not attack unprovoked.

Their loyal personalities may make them seem aloof at first, but they will quickly adapt and become loyal and trusting companions.

Although German Shepherddogs are extremely popular, their lifespans are relatively short compared toother dogs.

According to the American Kennel Club, the average lifespan of a German Shepherd is about 7 to 10 years in America.

However, research shows the worlds average lifespan may be closer to 10 years because breeding standards for German Shepherds in other countries are higher than the standards for American dogs.

Irresponsible breeding has shortened the lives of many types of dogs in the United States, not just German Shepherds.

Breeders want to make the most money they possibly can, so they use undesirable practices to maximize their profits and breed as many purebred dogs as they can as fast as possible.

To do this, breeders use practices such as inbreeding , which shrinks the available gene pool for the resulting dogs.

Breeders use inbreeding to attempt to manually select for traits such as eye color and shape that two related dogs share.

Restrict Calories To Maintain A Lean Physique

Research shows that limiting your dogs calorie intake increases their life span and decreases with age-related changes.

Dogs fed a calorie-restricted diet lived longer and experience less age-related chronic diseases.

Control your dogs calories so they neither gain nor loseweight once they achieve their ideal weight. Dont overfeed your adult dog,especially a large breed puppy like the GSD, as this can cause lifelongproblems.

56% of dogs in the United States are overweight and may experience life-altering health complications from this weight. Speak to your vet about calorie restriction for longer life.

Also Check: German Shepherd Puppy Feeding

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
  • Hiking
  • Doggy daycare

Is 10 Old For A German Shepherd

German Shepherd Lifespan Facts You Should Know

Yes, a 10 year old german shepherd is not only 70 years old in dog years, but it is old for that breed. At an average lifespan of 9-12 years, your 10 year old german shepherd has lived a long life! At this age paying attention to their health is extremely important. GSDs suffer from several health issues as they get older as described below.

While 12 years old is not the maximum age of a GSD it is the average age at which they tend to pass away. The oldest german shepherd on record is described below.

If you spayed or neutered your GSD they tend to live a few months to a few years longer. The study that covered that information did not look at elderly dogs that were recently spayed or neutered.

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Aggression And Behavioral Problems

Most of the dogs in the world are shot to death when they start behaving abnormally due to aggression or some hereditary or genetic behavioral and mental problems. In this condition, they start attacking people, biting human beings, and killing other animals. The only solution to deal with this problem when the dogs become uncontrollable is to shot the dog to death or euthanize it.

How To Know When Your Gsd May Be Near The End Of Life

Once your German Shepherd enters their senior years, you may begin to wonder how you will know that their end time is near. While some dogs will pass on their own, there is a chance that we will have to make that difficult decision for our beloved companions.;

If you are struggling with how to know when your German Shepherd is near the end, here are some things to look out for:

The most important part of having a senior German Shepherd is your attempt to keeping them comfortable in the last stage of their life. Make sure to stick to their normal routine as much as possible, allow them to decide what theyd like to participate in, let them rest, and talk to your vet about medical options to keep them comfortable.;

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Summing Up The German Shepherd Life Expectancy

Since conformation dogs are often riddled with health problems, working dogs should be more long-lived. Dont take their coloring for granted though, sable dogs can also be bred for the show ring!

Do your due diligence and research carefully when looking for your buddy. With luck and determination, youll have him for the next decade or more.;

Have an old German Shepherd? Tell us all about him in the comments!

German Shepherd Growth & Weight Chart

Why a German Shepherd is not for you

These numbers are estimates to give you an idea of how much a German Shepherd weighs month by month. Dont worry if your puppy is slightly behind or ahead; just be sure to take your pet to regular vet appointments to ensure they are healthy and happy!

Pro Tip: Want to get reimbursed for up to 100% of veterinary bills any time your dog gets sick or injured? Compare German Shepherd health insurance options before its too late.

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Back Hip And Other Joint Problems In German Shepherds

All large dog breeds are prone to hip and joint problems, but with the traditional sloped back of the German Shepherd, back, hip, and other joint problems are more common in German Shepherds than many other breeds.

While there is no way to prevent these problems, there are things you can do to help delay or lessen symptoms to help extend your German Shepherds quality of life.

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.

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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.;

Increasing Your German Shepherds Lifespan

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While German Shepherds can live 11 years on average, you can find a way to make your best dog buddies stay longer by your side. The key is in ensuring that they are getting the right amount of nutrition and exercise. Here are some tips on how to make that happen.

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is a big problem especially for large breeds; keep your dog on a healthy diet. For German Shepherds, calories should be greater than 1,700 but lower than 2,200.
  • Make time for exercise. German Shepherds are active dogs and skipping on exercise is bad for their health. Make sure your dog has a daily dose of exercise this could help you live a healthier lifestyle too.
  • Choose high quality dog food. What you feed your dog food will have an effect on their health and, ultimately, their lifespan. Its pretty similar in humans too lots of junk food could make you more susceptible to diseases.
  • Regular health exam. Yes! Your dogs need to visit the vet to be examined regularly. This could prevent the spread of diseases and allow you to make changes in your dogs lifestyle if the vet detects problems in the early stage.
  • German Shepherds are awesome dogs, and having these friends close by will only be possible if you take good care of their health.

    About the Author:

    My name is Diana Hutchinson. I am the founder of

    I am a pet lover, especially dogs and cats. A home without a pet is just a house.

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    Health Issues That May Have An Impact On The Lifespan Of German Shepherd Dogs

    There are number of health issues that are commonly seen in this breed and they can have an important impact on the life expectancy of German Shepherds. These include:

    • Hip and elbow dysplasia

    Some owners will also question the German Shepherd mix lifespan compared to that of the pure bred dog.

    There are some genetic issues that can have a big impact on the long-term health of the dog, such as spinal and hip issues.

    These issues could be more prevalent in pure-bred dogs. It is always best to look at the medical history of a puppy before buying to see what issues might occur down the line.

    Dogs bred for shows with exaggerated champion lines could have problems.

    ALSO READ:10 Tips on How to Keep Your German Shepherd Happy

    Final Thoughts On German Shepherd Lifespans

    Its sad that the regal German Shepherd has such a short average lifespan due to greedy breeders who dont care about the health of the breed. Hopefully, the suggestions weve included here will help give you plenty of healthy years with your German Shepherd.

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    How Long Do German Shepherds Live? Tips for a Long Life

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    How Long Do German Shepherds Live? Tips for a Long Life

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    How Often Do German Shepherds Need To Be Bathed Grooming Tips For German Shepherds

    German Shepherds are relatively low maintenance even when it comes to grooming.

    Whether you have a long or medium haired pooch, regular baths and brushing are important to keep them fresh and looking great.

    The most important secret to easy grooming care for a GSD is to find a routine that works for both you and the dog. Here is more about what needs to be done and intervals that should work for your pooch.

    Average Age For German Shepherds

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

    Most German Shepherds live in between ten and thirteen years. Owners of small breeds of dogs might see their animals live up to seventeen or twenty, but larger dogs put more strain on their bodies and simply do not live as long, no matter how well they are taken care of. A dog that is neglected or does not get proper exercise will actually die much earlier than age eleven.

    While some German Shepherds do live far beyond age thirteen, this is fairly uncommon and impossible to predict, especially if you do not know the lineage of your dog and what health problems they might encounter as they transition into old age.

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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 Long Does A German Shepherd Live

    The German Shepherd, is a large breed of dog. Strong and muscular in stature, they can be very imposing, and even aggressive at times. However many GSD owners will say their fearsome reputation is unwarranted, and they make beautiful family pets, that are great with children.

    Before we look into the likely lifespan for a German Shepherd, lets have a brief overview of the history of this breed.;

    Yes, a German Shepherd is what most people think about when they hear the term working dog. There is a very good reason for this. Most law enforcement dogs you will encounter are of this wonderful breed. Thats not what they were meant to do though.;

    The German Shepherd was initially bred for the express purpose of helping farmers keep their livestock in line while they were out grazing. They were also meant to help protect the livestock from wild animals. That is where they get the reputation of being a very protective breed of dog.;

    This is probably one of the reasons why most people would love to have the German Shepherd as a pet. And they do make wonderful pets. They can be goofy when they want to, but their obedient nature, especially when trained, means they wont be getting into too much trouble.;

    However, having a pet doesnt mean you get to have them for the rest of your life. You are more likely going to be the person that the pet has for most of its life. Thats the saddest part about having a pet in your life.;

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    Maintain Your German Shepherds Weight

    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.

    Decreased Mobility And Balance

    German Shepherd Life Span: How Long Do German Shepherds ...

    A loss in mobility and balance means that your dogs muscles are growing extremely weak upon old age, more so, the absence of its natural fun and outgoing behavior may only imply the nearing end of its life. Soon, youll notice that your dog will find it challenging to move from one place to another; it will only feel unsteady on its feet; hence, youll find it resting on the ground more often than not.;

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    How Long Can A German Shepherd Live

    Purebred German Shepherds typically live for 9-13 years. If your dog has been spayed or neutered they tend to live 10 17% longer .

    German Shepherd mixes can live longer than 9-13 years depending on the mix. Mix breeds with smaller dogs could increase how long your dog lives. According the American Kennel Club a study by TheAmerican Naturalist found that small dogs live longer and for every 4.4 extra pounds your dog weights it decreases their lifespan by one month .

    So, how do you know how long your GSD mix will live on average? Start by weighting them and comparing them to this chart. Since there are hundreds of possible mixed breeds with German Shepherds, this chart will allow you to estimate your dogs lifespan no matter the breed. The chart uses 4.4 pound rule from The American Naturalist .


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