The German Shepherd is a relatively new dog breed which became quite popular as a working dog –they were mainly used for herding sheep. This canine is quite popular too.

German Shepherd is the fourth in the most-registered breed in the UK and it’s second in the American Kennel Club. These dogs are medium to large-sized and they are often associated with a healthy body. These dogs are certainly strong but it’s not the most valuable trait in these canines –it’s their intelligence.

German Shepherds can follow and obey pretty quickly that they are perfect search and rescue dogs, guard, and police dogs. These dogs can follow instructions perfectly!

German Shepherd Lifespan

There are a lot of positive things that you can say about German Shepherds, and the next most obvious question is how long these canines live. That’s actually an easy question.

This purebred dog has a short lifespan. Minimum lifespan is estimated at 10 years and maximum is about 13 years. When properly cared for, these dogs can live for over 13 years.

Estimated lifespan for canines is about the same -10 to 13 years. Dogs generally live longer compared to cats – the average lifespan of cats is four to five years.

Remember that one dog year is about 14 years in a human’s life. If a 10-year-old German Shepherd was a person, it would probably be around 66 human years.

Always remember that your pet can live longer than what most information says depending on the general health of your pet.

Health Issues

German Shepherds are very active dogs so you need to prepare yourself for some physical exercise when you are raising these canines. Without exercise, your dogs will not be in their best shape. If you have a German Shepherd -you are probably doing this already to train your companion.

German Shepherds often weigh between 75 and 95 pounds irrespective of gender. These dogs are heavyweights, and they are quite muscular. This is also part of the reason for some health issues plaguing this breed.

German Shepherds have been associated with several health issues in the past. Thanks to wise breeders who are always looking for ways to make sure dogs become stronger and healthier, hereditary diseases were eliminated by choosing breeders carefully.

Even with these precautions, there are still some health issues plaguing German Shepherds. Hip dysplasia and degenerative myelopathy are two of the most common problems German Shepherds suffer from.

Hip Dysplasia

About a fifth of the German Shepherd population suffers from hip dysplasia. This is actually a condition where there are abnormalities in the hip-joint of a dog –it could be due to the cartilage or the structures surrounding it.

This is mainly hereditary, and several genes are involved in the malformation of the ball and socket. This condition is pretty common in large dog breeds and quite rare in smaller breeds. This problem does not necessarily decrease a dog’s lifespan although it can make your canine more susceptible to arthritis later in life.

Related: Read our selection of best orthopedic dog beds by clicking here.

Degenerative Myelopathy

This is a health problem associated with the weakness of the rear limbs. This is an incurable disease which affects the spinal cord of the canine and is pretty similar to sclerosis in humans. The initial symptoms of this disease are usually seen in seven-year-old dogs.

This condition is common in German Shepherds and although there is no known cure, exercises can help prolong a dog’s ability to remain mobile. As the disease progresses, your canine can become completely paralyzed and at the same time, increase a dog’s survival rate.

Increasing Your German Shepherd’s Lifespan

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Choose high –quality dog food. What you feed your dog food will have an effect on their health and, ultimately, their lifespan. It’s pretty similar in humans too –lots of junk food could make you more susceptible to diseases.
  4. 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 dog’s 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”.