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What Is The Lifespan Of A German Shepherd

What Traits Influence A Breeds Longevity

Day in the Life of a German Shepherd

So what is it about long-living breeds that allow for their outstanding health? According to science, several factors are likely to contribute.

It is true that smaller dogs usually live longer than large dogs. You can count on most small breeds of dog to live into their teens, with many living into mid-to-late teens. This is usually attributed to heart health, as large breeds hearts must work harder to circulate blood.

However, medium-small dogs such as Collies seem to have the longest maximum lifespan. The two oldest living dogs, according to Guinness World Records, were 24 and 29. Both were Australian cattle dogs.

Additionally, two out of three of the dogs with the highest median lifespan are Collies. These types of breeds have one major thing in common that likely contributes to their longevity: hardy breeding practices.

These breeds of mid-sized, lightweight herders and workers were bred to be smart, healthy and athletic. Their lineages were not bred for cuteness or other physical characteristics that are perceived as desirable but often result in health complications, such as snub noses and sloped backs.

Smaller mid-sized dogs also have less broad chest cavities which limits the risk of exercise-induced collapse and the collection of air between the outside of the lungs and chest wall known as pneumothorax.

So, the major contributing factors to a breeds longevity seem to be size, for circulation and heart-health, and breeding practices that avoid genetic disease.

Choosing The Right Breeder

Every good life starts with the search for the best breeder. Correct breeding is the very foundation of a healthy and well-tempered dog and genetics play a huge role in this.

To avoid all the possible inheriatble diseases, request health certificates of both parents that adhere to the standards of the German Shepherd breeding club of america.

Even if the parents are not affected by any disease, they could be carriers of recessive genes that will be passed onto the next generation.

Check the breeders knowledge on these breed-related health issues and make sure that no questions are left unanswered.

Read my guide on All 17 Questions You Need to Ask Your Potential Breeder which will help you determine a responsible breeder by asking the right questions.

Do your own research on the breed and acquire thorough knowledge on care, health, history and temperament of your chosen puppy.

Behavior issues are also among the top leading causes of death in dogs so temperament test any puppy before buying it. Good breeders will assist you with that and match you with the right puppy.

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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What Foods Are Poisonous To German Shepherds

What Foods are Poisonous to German Shepherds? Hidden Dangers!

  • Foods poisonous to German Shepherds include chocolate, grapes, avocados, garlic, onions, leeks, wild mushrooms, macadamia nuts, walnuts, alcohol, and salt.
  • The only nuts that are okay for German Shepherds to eat are peanuts, almonds, and cashews.

What Diseases Can A German Shepherd Have

What Is the Average Lifespan of a German Shepherd ...

German Shepherds are strong and resistant, but there are several specific health problems regarding this breed, in addition of the most common diseases of dogs.

German Shepherds tend to suffer arthritis at advanced ages, especially in the hip. This degenerative disease is a common ailment that produces varying degrees of limping, stiffness, and joint pain.

It can involve irritability and cold, and humid environments increase problems arising from this condition. Arthritis is incurable, but treatment relieves symptoms and improves the quality of life of the dog considerably.

Treatment includes physical therapy and weight management, use of painkillers and chondroprotective agents to repair cartilage.

Moderate exercise is beneficial because it maintains muscle mass, but excessive exercise is counterproductive. It is not advisable to have the dog rise on the hind legs or jump from a certain height or to elevated places.

Other inherited diseases range from:

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German Shepherds With Back Hip And Other Joint Issues

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All big dog breeds are prone to hip and joint issues, but the German Shepherds typical sloping back, back, hip, and other joint disorders are more frequent than in many other breeds. While there is no way to prevent these issues, there are things you can do to assist your German Shepherds quality of life by delaying or lessening symptoms.

Keep Stress Levels Down

According to the Ontario SPCA, stress increases a dogs chance of getting ill, not to mention displaying unwanted behaviors.

Avoid punishment, which contributes to stress and keep your training sessions upbeat. Offer plenty of calming massages to your dog, which is shown to decrease stress levels.

Some owners report changes in their GSDs personalities after daily massages. Work in times when you and your dog have quiet one-on-one calming sessions for both of your health.

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You Can Take Action To Help Your German Shepherd Live As Long And As Happy As Possible

German Shepherds are vulnerable to a host of problems that can prematurely shorten their lives, but not all is gloomy.

You can work proactively to help your German Shepherd live their life to the fullest with a reasonable expectation for optimal health.

Buying your dog from a reputable breeder may decrease the incidence of hip and elbow dysplasia. The AKC recommends screening X-rays for German Shepherds in breeding programs.

Conscientious breeders will also pay attention to the temperaments of their dogs.

Feed your Alsatian a high-quality dog food or raw diet under veterinary or nutritionist supervision. Optimizing nutritional value in your dogs food is one of the basic steps in preventing disease.

Many conditions arise from nutrient deficiencies if the dog cant absorb or digest the vitamins and minerals. The more balanced, high-quality, and natural a diet is, the more bioavailable the ingredients are.

Consider preventative nutraceuticals such as joint supplements, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants to delay the onset of degenerative diseases like arthritis.

Your German Shepherd should receive physical check-ups by a veterinarian multiple times per year. Remember how fast large-breed dogs can age compared to humans.

Frequent checks may catch some diseases early when you can still treat or manage them.

Limiting food intake and paying attention to how you time feeding with other activities is vital to preventing GDV.

Longest Living German Shepherd

Day in the Life of a 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.

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What To Do If Your Gsd Is Near The End Of His Life

Every dog reaches that moment when the end is coming. This is very difficult for dog owners and family members to accept and even think about.

If your veterinarian has advised you that the end is near, begin making plans right away. It is best to have plans in place, so you dont have to make harsh decisions when you are grieving.

Sit down with your loved ones and discuss what is best for your dog. If you choose an at-home burial make sure you inquire about the pet burial regulations in your city or town.

It usually involves burying your pet far away from water sources. Remember to follow all instructions provided to you by your community.

If you prefer to have your beloved GSD buried at a local pet cemetery, you will want to contact them and visit them to make arrangements ahead of time.

Some dog owners may prefer cremation and can seek information from the veterinarian on how to proceed with this request.

American Kennel Clubs Standards

To be more precise, there are over 3.5 million German shepherds in the USA. Of all these dogs, it is found that the average German shepherd life span is exactly 10.95 years.

However, according to kennel clubs, German shepherds can live from 9 years to 13 years. This applies to German shepherd life span for females as well.

But if you think this is how long do German shepherds live, you can be wrong.

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Do Dogs Know When They Are Being Put Down

Answer: Fortunately for us, dogs do not understand they are going to be put down and what happens after they are given the injection that puts them to sleep. Question: My dog was given a sedative before euthanasia. The vet said it would take 5-10 minutes to take effect and said theyd return after that.

What Are German Shepherds Afraid Of

German Shepherd Lifespan Facts You Should Know

They can be afraid of being left alone, afraid of the dark, the vacuum, other animals, etc. But our job as pet owners is to do our best to help them overcome them, or at least manage them so they dont have to become a crippling source of anxiety. And one German Shepherds owners managed to catch his fear on camera.

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Best Dog Food For A German Shepherd Puppy

We all know that Shepherds are well-known for being smart and very active dogs who have an insatiable desire to please their owners. So, since youre aware of just how much your German Shepherd loves you, would you even consider risking a shorter life span by giving him low-quality food? Of course not. And, your best friends diet is just as important as yours, so while youre watching what you eat, watch what your pup eats too.

Both adult dogs and puppies have nutrient needs that are different. Puppies require more carbs, protein, and micronutrients for helping them grow into adulthood. They also need high amounts of calories for growth. Thats why it so crucial that you purchase high-quality brands of puppy food for him or her. In addition, puppies have smaller mouths than their adult counterparts and, of course, thats why their food is in smaller and easier to eat. Remember, feeding your sweet little puppy any kind of adult dog food could easily be dangerous due to the harder texture and larger pieces. Giving your puppy adult dog food, could cause tooth and jaw damage, as well as affecting his overall health.

Can A German Shepherd Live To 15

The average life span of a German Shepherd is between 10 and 13 years. Some may live shorter lives if they encounter unusual health problems, while some might live beyond 13 years if theyre in good health. As we can see in the table below nearly 50% of this dog breed dies between the age of 10 and 13 years.

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German Shepherd Lifespan: 15 Tips To Increase Life Expectancy

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If you wish to know how to increase your German Shepherds lifespan, then congratulations, you have come to the right place. This blog provides scientifically proven methods for extending the lifespan of this lovely breed. So, to give your four-legged friend the best opportunity for a happy and healthy life with you, follow the tips!

So, how long do german shepherds live? German Shepherds live an average of 11 years, despite a defined age. In dog years, thats a 77-year-old average. Unfortunately, dogs do not live as long as we want. However, German Shepherds can have quite long lives compared to other large breeds, especially if they are kept active and receive proper veterinary treatment when necessary.


Other Factors Affecting German Shepherd Lifespan:

Day in the Life of a German Shepherd
  • Flatulence a condition in which the stomach is filled with air and turns on its axis, stopping the blood supply to the intestines. It is fatal in almost half of all cases.
  • Degenerative Myelopathy Degenerative spinal disease without any treatment can eventually lead to paralysis.
  • Hip Dysplasia A painful condition in which the femur does not fit properly in the hip socket. Often leads to arthritis and mobility problems.
  • Epilepsy Although treatable up to a point, seizures can eventually be fatal.

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How Much Does A German Shepherd Cost

How much is a German Shepherd? On average, a German Shepherd costs between $500 and $1,500 when purchased from a breeder. The cost can fluctuate depending on the location and reputation of the breeder. You can also consider getting a German Shepherd from a rescue organization. This option may be less expensive, but you may also have to wait until they have a dog available for you.

How To Boost Shepherds Lifespan

When knowing their average lifespan, you need to prolong this period of time by taking care them pretty much. The key method is paying attention to their nutrition and their physical activities on a regular basis. Here are a few things to undertake your want.

Keep a healthy weight for them

Obesity is not a serious problem for human beings but also a big trouble for pooches. It will cause other dangerous health issues that you are not sure in the present.

Thus, you should maintain a healthy weight for Shepherds by creating a healthy lifestyle and a wise schedule. You should design a real diet for your dog and imagine that you are going to do that for you. Estimate and calculate the number of calories and some nutrition diets.

In general, German Shepherds need more than 1,700 calories but it is lower than 2,200.

Arrange the time to do more physical activities

As Shepherds are dynamic breeds, you should not ignore some workout programs for them. This will make their health condition worse.

So, make time for exercise is a great solution, but be sure to consider the suitable dosage of exercise for your dog. You can have more fun workout activities with them at the same time. This is a good idea for owners and dogs to have good health conditions.

Select high-quality foods

Do you know that what you feed your dog will have an influence on their health and their lifespan? Tons of junk food will make dogs have various health issues and serious diseases in the upcoming time.

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Early Seeing Eye Dogs

Initially, the German Shepherd was almost exclusively the breed of choice as guide dogs for the visually impaired. Their formal guide dog training started back in the 1920s in Switzerland and was led by Dorothy Eustis. Every dog trained was a female German Shepherd. Later, a temperament testing experiment showed Labrador Retrievers were best suited for working as guide dogs while German Shepherds are best suited to police work. And, so it has been that way ever since.

German Shepherds Lifespan Is Also Affected By Factors Such As:

Average German Shepherd Life Expectancy


When the stomach fills with air and turns on its axis, the blood supply to the intestines is cut off. The majority of cases result in death.

Degenerative myelopathy

A degenerative spinal cord illness that leads to paralysis and has no cure. German Shepherds are more likely to suffer from it than other breeds.

Hip dysplasia

The thigh bone does not fit properly in the hip socket, causing pain. Arthritis and mobility problems are common side effects.


A type of cancer that attacks the cells that coat blood arteries and is very aggressive. In German Shepherds, this is a common occurrence.


Seizures are treated up to a limit, but they can be lethal in the long run.

Listed below are some health issues that may or may not affect a German Shepherds life but may have an impact on their quality of life:

  • Allergies
  • Vision problems

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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

Is 10 Old For A German Shepherd

10-year-old German Shepherd Unfortunately, a German Shepherds expected lifespan is between 9 and 13 years old, and their time left here is getting short. It is common for German Shepherds to face arthritis, skin problems, decreased activity, dental issues, weight gain or loss, or even cancer at this age and older.

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