How long do German Shepherds live?

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 Tinpaw.com.

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

18 thoughts on “How long do German Shepherds live?”

    • Thanks for connecting to Mysweetpuppy.net. Please keep in mind that I, Claudia Bensimoun, do not write any of the blogs or reviews on this website, nor have I in the past. I only answer the comments section.Unfortunately,cancer affects so many dogs today, with the German Shepherd being particularly prone to canine cancer. Age is an important risk factor in the development of cancer. Some cancers are hereditary. More than half of dogs aged ten and over will die of cancer.Exposure to carcinogens contributes in the development of cancer. It is a chronic disease that is not curable. That said, it can be in remission. Treatments today include chemo, surgery, and radiation.Consult with your veterinarian for advice and treatment. It is very important to have your dog screened for cancer. This should be done routinely. Early screening can help diagnose cancer at an early stage with better treatment results. Always pay attention to any changes in your dog like lumps, swollen lymph nodes, dry coughs, loss of weight, and lack of interest in regular fun activities.

    • Thanks for connecting to Mysweetpuppy.net. Please keep in mind that I, Claudia Bensimoun, do not write any of the blogs or reviews on this website, nor have I in the past. I only answer the comments section.Shepherds are awesome dog breeds. Wish they lived a lot longer! With regular veterinary care, a high-quality dog food diet, and plenty of exercise and TLC, your German Shepherd can live a healthy life. Supplements help too.You probably realize that your dog’s physical well-being depends on what you feed him. Feeding your dogs the right foods will help him or her overcome certain diseases, live a longer and happier life, and even prevent many behavioral problems that may be linked to improper nutrition. As your German Shepherd ages, make sure that he or she is on the appropriate diet to help control any disease. Some Shepherds may need to be on a restricted diet like one that is high in soluble fiber, or grain-free. Always consult with your veterinarian for advice before changing your dog’s diet. Hope this helps!

    • Thanks for connecting to Mysweetpuppy.net. Please keep in mind that I, Claudia Bensimoun, do not write any of the blogs or reviews on this website, nor have I in the past. I only answer the comments section.
      According to the AKC, a German Shepherd’s life expectancy is between 7-10 years. The GSD may have possible health concerns like bloat,epilepsy,exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, panosteitis, and hip and elbow dysplasia. The GSD needs a high-quality diet with the correct amount of exercise, socialization, good veterinary care, and positive training. This dog breed does best with an active family that are dog savvy.This breed requires experienced dog parents that will appreciate this breed’s intelligence and courageousness.Many dog parents underestimate the importance of good nutrition for their furry best friends. It is important to feed German Shepherd puppies, puppy food and to be sure to feed a large breed puppy a large breed puppy diet.

      When it comes to dog foods, understanding your German Shepherd’s current health and nutritional needs is paramount. And always remember to ask your veterinarian for advice before changing your dog’s diet.Always ask yourself these questions: Is my dog suffering from any health problems? What life stage is he or she at? Veterinarians recommend that dog owners have a better understanding of their dog’s health issues and life stage before choosing a dog food. That said, feeding a high-quality dog food that is appropriate to your GSD’s life stage will allow for your dog to live a longer and healthier life.You may not realize that your dog’s physical well-being depends on what you feed him. Feeding your dogs the right foods will help him or her overcome certain diseases, live a longer and happier life, and even prevent many behavioral problems that may be linked to improper nutrition.

      While dehydrated dog food is an excellent option, canned and dry dog foods also provide high- quality nutrition. Dogs also enjoy variety when it comes to what they eat. With the huge selection of high- quality dog foods available, make sure to try different varieties in the same way that we try new foods. And as always, consult with your veterinarian for expert dietary advice.

      For more on German Shepherds, visit:https://booksforever1blog.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/844/

      For my article about personality consistency in dogs, visit USDAA:http://usdaa.com/article.cfm?newsID=2602

  1. After reading this post. I think the key to increasing German Shepherd life expectancy or any breed – is proper care both at the vet and at home. Thank you for your information.

  2. 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.

    Get a calculator.

    • I am in no way connected to the content written within this website, most especially the German Shepherd blog. This website hires other writers for their blogs.Please do not contact me regarding website content. I only write content within the comments section.
      And it’s 7 years not 10. I have no idea where this person got this information. Cats live way longer that 4-5 years and longer than. Most dogs.

      • Thanks for connecting to Mysweetpuppy.net. I, Claudia Bensimoun do not write any of the blogs or reviews on this website, nor have I in the past. I only answer the comments section. I am in no way connected to the content written within this website, most especially the German Shepherd blog. This website hires other writers for their blogs.Please do not contact me regarding website content.

  3. I have a Black german shepherd and he is aprox 12 yrs old with very little grey on him . I got him from a humane society as he came in as a stray, that was coming up 11 yrs ago in aug. but they thought he was about 1 yr old at the time. he is the best dog I have ever had, and i have had no problems with him up until this month . he has ruptured anterior(cranial) cruciate ligament which was diagnosed in 2011 but the cost of the procedure was close to 5000. and at the time I could not afford to do it so the vet just said to exercise him less and keep weight down, but lately he is having a very hard time but still wants to play catch to his mouth. there were other issues but that passed after a couple weeks . I am so scared of losing him as he has been my best friend and so good and loyal.

    • Thanks for connecting to Mysweetpuppy.net. Please keep in mind that I, Claudia Bensimoun, do not write any of the blogs or reviews on this website, nor have I in the past. I only answer the comments section.There is no dog breed like the German Shepherd. They are truly wonderful. This is a common problem. The cruciate ligament injury is a common knee injury in dogs. It is a painful and immobilizing injury. When this injury is not addressed right away, arthritic changes begin pretty fast. Has your vet provided you with anti-inflammatory meds? Have you tried applying for Care Credit, which is veterinary financing. Ask your vet about using Adequan, which is effective at reducing and preventing arthritis. It is very affordable. It is injected once a week for one to two months at around $45 a shot.

  4. My Germany shepeard is 12 year old he still acts like a puppy sometimes and jumps up and down when its walkies or runs up and down when kids play ball with him he’s just not hearing very well and doing things out of character recently going into rooms which he’s always known not to not barking or been alert when someone knocks on the door

    • Thanks for connecting to Mysweetpuppy.net. Please keep in mind that I, Claudia Bensimoun, do not write any of the blogs or reviews on this website, nor have I in the past. I only answer the comments section.
      Your best bet would be to first take him to your veterinarian for a check-up to make sure that there is nothing medically wrong with him.When Shepherds acts out of sorts they are usually sick, and he may be suffering from an ear infection or upset stomach. If everything is fine at the vet, your next step would be to make sure that he is getting the right amount of exercise, and that the children are not hyping him up. Shepherds enjoy play, long walks and lots of mental stimulation. Dog parks, the dog beach, and even dog training classes will allow for your Shepherd to socialize with other dogs and people, and to also have plenty of fun.

  5. My dog died this year at 17 years alive. We had him since i was still at the hospital as a baby. It still breaks my hearts when I think about him. This year is the first year that he want be here for Christmas. So everytime you yell at your dog remember how lucky you are to have him ❤️

    • Thanks for connecting to Mysweetpuppy.net. Please keep in mind that I, Claudia Bensimoun, do not write any of the blogs or reviews on this website, nor have I in the past. I only answer the comments section.Dogs are part of the family.Their presence in our lives make the world a better place! It really must be a hard time for you and your family.All interactions with our dogs need to be positive.Plenty of socialization and positive dog training, starting from puppyhood, ensure that we communicate with our dogs in the right way,and train them to be the most outstanding companions we know them to be.

    • Thanks for connecting to Mysweetpuppy.net. Please keep in mind that I, Claudia Bensimoun, do not write any of the blogs or reviews on this website, nor have I in the past. I only answer the comments section.
      The German Shepherd may be prone to a few health problems. These may include bloat,epilepsy,hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, and panostetis.In addition to regular veterinary care for vaccinations, parasite control, dental cleanings, the German Shepherd needs a diet that is appropriate for his age, energy level, and individual medical concerns.

      The diet needs to be complete and balanced, and dog parents should understand that some brands are better suited for certain dogs. Proper nutrition is important for longevity. German Shepherds need plenty of exercise and socialization starting from puppyhood. That said, glucosamine and chondroitin are important for hip and joint wellness in older Shepherds.

      Consult with your veterinarian for the best advice!

      For more on my favorite dog breed, visit:https://booksforever1blog.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/844/

Leave a Comment