German Shepherds are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. Today, I wanted to answer some of the most frequently asked questions like how big do german shepherds get. If you’re intrigued, then dive in and read the answers.
German Shepherds have a fascinating history. If you’re into historical facts, especially dog relates historical events, then check my German Shepherd Puppy Breed Profile blog post. It truly is an entertaining read, so grab a cup of coffee and learn a little bit more about the GSD breed.
Now, let’s start answering the most frequently asked questions about this amazing dog breed.
How Big Do German Shepherds Get – Height
GSD are medium to large sized dog breed. Like with most animals, their height and weight differ according to their gender. They were originally bred as working dogs, specifically as herding dogs. However, fate did its thing, and now GSD mostly works for the police, military, and the show business.
No wonder German Shepherd dogs are huge. After all, they were initially bred to guard and protect.
Think of bodyguards, what features pop into your mind when you think about them? They’re tall and strong, right? The same things go to German Shepherd dogs. They were bred as the four-legged version of bodyguards, so their body size really matters. All of the heights mentioned are those of adult German Shepherd Dogs.
The wither height of female German Shepherd dogs is between twenty-two and twenty-four inches. In cm, the range would be between fifty-six and sixty-one cm long. Where is the dog’s wither? This is the area of the back that is above their shoulders, right at the base of their necks.
The height is measured while they’re standing on all four legs.
- 22-24 in
- 56-61 cm
The wither height of a male German Shepherd dog is between twenty-four and twenty-six inches long. This converts to sixty-one to sixty-six cm. The standerd overall height is about seventy-four cm long.
- 24-26 in
- 61-66 cm
How Big Do German Shepherds Get -Weight
These are the weights of fully developed, adult German Shepherd Dogs.
Female German Shepherd dogs weight is in the range of fifty to seventy pounds; that is twenty-three to thirty-two kg.
- 50-70 lb
- 23-32 kg
Male German Shepherd weighs between sixty-five to ninety pounds. That converts to the range of thirty to forty-one kilograms.
- 65-90 lb
- 30-41 kg
Is a German Shepherd a good family pet?
Yes, but there are a couple of things that you should keep in mind.
Is the GSD good as a house pet?
Due to their nature, German Shepherd dogs require daily, vigorous exercises. It is optimal to have a big yard attached to your house. However, if you don’t, there are other solutions. No, moving isn’t one of them. If you can take your GSD on daily walks or hiking trips, then that should be good enough.
When a German Shepherd doesn’t get enough exercise, they throw bad fits. During those tantrums, they bark a lot and chew on anything and everything. So please don’t brush off your GSD’s daily exercising regime.
Is the GSD good with children?
German Shepherd Dogs have a very affectionate and protective nature, which is why they were bred as herding dogs in the first place. This makes them really good with children.
However, accidents might happen due to their big bodies. A GSD might accidentally push down a toddler, so don’t leave your little kids alone with them.
What are the common diseases that affect GSD?
The top four serious diseases that could affect your beloved German Shepherd dog are:
- Gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV); aka, bloating
- Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
- Hip Dysplasia
- Elbow Dysplasia
1) Gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV); aka, bloating
Bloating is a fetal condition that plagues the German Shepherd breed in the prime of their lifes. Bloating might be a minor inconvenience to us, but it is a serious condition in dogs and is a health emergency.
It is a health emergency because sometimes the entire stomach rotates, cutting off any blood supply from reaching the stomach.
GDV is mostly characterized by the abdomen getting swollen suddenly. If your German Shepherd dog shows any of the following symptoms, then take them to the vet immediately. The symptoms include:
- Abdomen enlargement
- Whining and being in pain when their bellies are touched
Although there isn’t any precise reason for why bloating happens, there are a few things that tend to kickstart it. Bloating often happens when your dogs:
- Eat a big meal.
- Drink a lot of water post eating their meal.
- Exercise vigorously after eating their food.
2) Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
The degenerative myelopathy condition is unfortunately not only incurable but also progressive. It affects the canine spinal. DM impacts the part of the spinal cord responsible for sending information to the brain about the dog’s hind legs.
The onset time for degenerative myelopathy is usually sometime after a dog turns seven years old. It first begins with the dog’s rear legs becoming weaker progressively, then escalates to complete paralysis.
A simple explanation of why this happens is due to the loss of communication between the brain and the nerves found in the dog’s lower body.
Usually, euthanasia is the only solution. However, on very rare occasions, the symptoms of degenerative myelopathy are due to a lack of vitamin-12 or vitamin E. In this scenario, giving the dog vitamin supplements will help stabilize the their case.
3) Hip Dysplasia
Hip Dysplasia is a hereditary condition where the femur fails to fit properly into the hip socket. Clinical signs don’t always appear, where some dogs display pain in one or both of the rear legs while others don’t.
4) Elbow Dysplasia
Elbow Dysplasia is another heritable illness. It is most common in large dog breeds, most likely due to the varying growth rates of the three bones that make up the elbow. Joint laxity develops, making it painful for the dog to walk.
The cases vary from one to another. The veterinarian could prescribe pain medication or recommend surgery.
What is the life expectancy of a German Shepherd?
Larger dogs tend to have shorter life expectancies. The life expectancy of German Shepherd dog averages between nine to thirteen years. However, some GSD makes it past their thirteenth birthday. A few celebrate their fifteenth birthday.
These were five of the most frequently asked questions about German Shepherds. If you have more questions about this fascinating breed, then leave them in the comments down below. And if you are interested in learning about other breeds, let us know which ones you want to read more about.