How Long Do German Shepherds Live?

German Shepherds, also known as GSDs or Alsatians, are the second-most-popular breed in the United States. With their intelligence and ability to join you on all of your most active adventures, they can make the perfect addition to many families.

While some websites claim that German Shepherds have an average lifespan of 10 to 14 years, the American Kennel Club (AKC) , which registers the breed in the United States, lists their lifespan as only 7 to 10 years. In America, many German Shepherds are bred toward a dog show breed standard that calls for a sloped back.

Meanwhile, in Germany, GSDs must pass several tests to prove that they are physically and mentally sound before they can be bred. With more of an emphasis on working ability than looks, GSDs in Germany are more sound than American German Shepherds and likely have fewer mobility problems that could lead to a dog being euthanized at a younger age. Mobility issues like hip dysplasia, arthritis, and back problems are some of the biggest factors that affect a German Shepherds lifespan.

While mobility issues wont kill a dog directly, the decline in quality of life that they can cause can lead owners to euthanize their pets to save them from pain. Bloat A condition where the stomach fills with air and twists on its axis, cutting off the blood supply to the intestines. Hemangiosarcoma An aggressive form of cancers that affects the cells that line blood vessels.

Health problems that wont necessarily affect a German Shepherds lifespan but may impact their quality of life include: 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. Many health conditions are much easier to treat if they are caught early on, before your dog is showing symptoms.

Additionally, dogs tend to hide their pain, so your vet may catch something like hip dysplasia before you see your German Shepherd limping. Additionally, any unnecessary weight can add more strain to already aching joints in dogs prone to hip dysplasia or arthritis. 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.

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. 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 While most commercial dog foods are labeled nutritionally complete, that doesnt make them healthy.

Many dog foods include filler ingredients like corn or meat by-product that have little to no nutritional value. 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. If you dont care for your German Shepherds teeth, bacteria from under their gumline can enter your dogs bloodstream and affect their organs, including their heart.

Brushing your German Shepherds teeth every day with a toothpaste made for dogs is best, but if they wont allow you to do that, regular access to chew toys or bones can help remove plaque and tartar from their teeth. You should also get a professional dental cleaning from your vet any time they recommend it, and it must be the kind where your dog is anesthetized. Dog sports like agility, flyball, freestyle, and more Constantly training new tricks Obedience competitions Puzzle toys

As you can see, there are many things you can do to help improve your German Shepherds lifespan and quality of life. They still wont live forever, but with a little luck, youll have at least a dozen good years with them.

Can a German Shepherd live 20 years?

How old do German Shepherds live till? 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.

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 they’re 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.

Is 12 old for a German Shepherd?

12 years is quite old for a GSD, in general terms a GSD average lifespan is 10-13 years. Wishing the best for you in the situation, it’s never easy.

How long are German Shepherds supposed to live?

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.

Any dog lover will tell you that its such a shame that dogs dont live longer. This is especially true for larger dogs, because small breeds generally have longer life spans.

Image source Owners have reported their GSDs living well into their teens and beyond, with the oldest being between 18 to 20 years old. Considering that theres no GSD on the list of the worlds oldest dogs, we can conclude that no Alsatians have lived past the age of 20 .

The reason it stays so prevalent is because theres no easy way to calculate a dogs life. These popular dogs from Germany are considered adolescent between five to eight months of age. Look at Big Boy Bane grow from a little puppy to a one year old dog:

Human YearsDog Years 115225330435540645750855960106511701275138014851590169517100181051911020115This calculation cannot be applied to all dog breeds, which is why there isnt one universally accepted conversion rate. There are a multitude of factors that can affect the German Shepherd dogs lifespan. Large breed puppies should be fed a specially formulated kibble that supports joint health.

Senior dogs will need a different formulation to optimize their health, giving them a boost where necessary. According to experienced owners, GSD puppies should only be exercised for 5 minutes for every month of their life. Image source Care should also be given that they dont run down the stairs or play on hard surfaces.

Overexerting your dog from a young age can hurt their developing joints , which can lead to hip dysplasia. When your dog reaches two years of age, they should be exercised vigorously daily for an hour or two. Dogs that dont get enough stimulation often develop behavioral and health problems .

You can also engage them in hide and seek either with a kong filled with peanut butter or with your person. Parentage: How their family members make a difference Breeding also plays into their longevity. Dogs that are purely bred for functionality and temperament rather than desirable physical features are often healthier.

Some breeders practice in-breeding to keep certain traits, which can lead to many health problems as sickness and disease are often hidden in recessive genes. This helps prolong the German Shepherds average lifespan while retaining the traits that breeders hope to see in their purebred dogs. The founder of the breed, Max von Stephanitz has also practiced line-breeding to develop his idea of the best dog.

This meant that the desirable slight slope of the back has become overbred to the point of deformity . The American Kennel Club are complicit in affecting the overall health of an otherwise healthy breed. This is due to their stringent breed standards and ideas on what an ideal GSD should look, even if its at the cost of the dogs quality of life.

They also often suffer from mild conditions such as skin issues, stomach sensitivities, ear infections and eye problems. Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) which causes maldigestion is very common in German Shepherds. Regular screening and early detection of any health problems will help prevent your dog from a premature death.

Dogs that suffer from spinal cord or joint problems might have weak hind legs. Training can also be a key factor in deciding how long your dog will live. When faced with an aggressive dog, especially one as large and powerful as a German Shepherd, one of the most common solutions is to put them down.

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. They share the same life expectancy as Golden Retrievers , but they arent as prone to cancer.

Welcoming a German Shepherd into your family can be an exciting decision to make, but it also comes with a couple of important thoughts and expectations. Some of which would be its lifespan, how you can lengthen it, and how you can make the most out of its life.

This breed is considered a working type of dog; hence, unlike Pugs or Chihuahuas, they exert more physical effort that would cause their bodies to tire sooner. Moreover, some common ailments can be detrimental to a German Shepherds lifespan, and sadly, many of these issues are hereditary and are caused by improper breeding .

For German Shepherds, their long bones, such as their arms and legs, are most commonly affected by osteosarcoma and can be treated through amputation, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy, costly. Lastly, its best advised that you monitor your dog if you sense that its not feeling well; this would lead to an earlier diagnosis that would have you ready in providing it standard care. If youve spent plenty of time with your dog, youll easily notice drastic changes with its behavior, yet some signs can be uncertain.

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. This is because its digestive organs are slowly shutting down as death comes closer; your dog will no longer feel the need to eat nor drink at this time and would rather lie down to get some rest. When a German Shepherd is about to face death, it will no longer feel entertained with any toys or treats; never confuse your dog for loving you any less during this time but rather understand that its hurting and would seek more of your care and comfort.

German Shepherds dont live as long as humans do, so its crucial for every dog owner to be able to grant it years of happy and beautiful memories.

Overview: How long do German Shepherds live?

The life span of German Shepherds actuallyPuppy mill dogs don’t have the same luxury, and you’ll be lucky if they make it past 6 years old.On an average, you can expect your best friend to celebrate their 10th till 13th birthday with you.However, the AKC contradicts this information by listing their lifespan around 7 to 10 years. Why the discrepancy? American dogs often suffer from obesity.Breeders in the United States are also less regulated than Europe breeders, which contributes directly to their Alsatian breed’s overall health.

Longest Living German Shepherd

Owners have reported their GSDs living well into their teens and beyond, with the oldest being between 18 to 20 years old.However, there are no official records to go by, and these are all based on word of mouth.Considering that there’s no GSD on the list of the world’s oldest dogs, we can conclude that no Alsatians have lived past the age of 20.It does seem that females live 1.4 years longer on average, than males do. The general median for females is 11.1 years, whereas male GSDs don’t live past 9.7 years.

Factors affecting German Shepherd lifespan

There are a multitude of factors that can affect the German Shepherd dog’s lifespan. Many of which can be mitigated or prevented.To understand more about how to care for these large dogs, we must first understand the breed.Max von Stephanitz intended for this herding dog to be the best at what they do. They were meant to be hardy creatures that can also adapt to family life.Over time, the dog breed evolved and the German Shepherd became a popular breed as a police dog, family dog, working dog, and search and rescue dogs.

Diet: You are what you eat

Ensuring that your dog lives a long and fulfilled lifeLarge breed puppies should be fed a specially formulated kibble that supports joint health. Adult dogs also need their caloric requirements met, without going overboard.Overfeeding can contribute to obesity, which in turn, will affect their general health.Senior dogs will need a different formulation to optimize their health, giving them a boost where necessary.Unsure what is considered good dog food? We have a comprehensive guide for you here.

What do German Shepherds usually die from?

There are a few hereditary problems that GSDs might face, but the breed as a whole is considered quite healthy.The most common problems are epilepsy, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, and bloat.They also often suffer from mild conditions such as skin issues, stomach sensitivities, ear infections and eye problems.Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) which causes maldigestion is very common in German Shepherds. One of the key reasons why they should be fed a gentle kibble.When going for check-ups, your vet should also screen for cardiac evaluation and autoimmune thyroiditis.Regular screening andOther screenings you might want to be open to are hemangiosarcoma and bone cancer.

How to extend German Shepherd dogs lifespan

We’ve covered food and nutrition above, as well as veterinary care and exercise. What other things can you do to ensure that your dog lives a high-quality and fulfilled life?They will need to be mentally stimulated. While we’re not saying you should train your dog to be the next Rin Tin Tin, theyTraining can also be a key factor in deciding how long your dog will live. An untrained dog might run out into the road and ignore your calls.Similarly, puppies tend to chew on everything.Dogs that have been trained up know how to behave themselves and won’t feast on just about anything.Improper training or neglect can cause behavioral problems.When faced with an aggressive dog, especially one as large and powerful as a German Shepherd, one of the most common solutions is to put them down.Therefore, socialization is just as important, even if you’re training guard dogs.