I want a German Shepherd one day, and as I am 6’1″, I think it will be a perfectly sized dog for me. But I want to know for sure what age a German Shepherd stops growing at so that I could be prepared for it.
At What Age Do German Shepherds Stop Growing?
A German Shepherd’s growth rate starts to slow at about one year of age, and it stops completely between two and three years old. German Shepherds are not fully matured until roughly three years old, and they are considered puppies or adolescents before then.
There’s a lot to learn when it comes to the growth of a German Shepherd, and this article will attempt to help explain it all.
How Big Will A German Shepherd Grow to Be?
A German Shepherd is a medium-sized dog that can sometimes grow to be fairly large.
As far as weight goes, for a male German Shepherd, they will typically weigh between 65 to 90 pounds, or 30 to 40 kilograms, at the end of their growth. This could happen around 2 1/2 to 3 years of age.
For a female, her average weight will be from 46 to 70 pounds or around 22 to 32 kilograms.
As for their height, an adult male German Shepherd will usually be around 24 to 26 inches, or 60 to 65 centimeters tall. A female will be around 22 to 24 inches, or 55 to 60 centimeters tall.
For all of these measurements, their growth should be done by three years old. At a year old, the growing is actually mostly finished, but there will be about another 5% left to gain in both weight and height from the year to the three-year mark.
It is important to note that all of these numbers are averages. There may be some individual German Shepherds that are smaller or larger than these numbers indicate.
That is perfectly normal. As long as the dog is healthy, can still run around and play, and doesn’t have any noticeable issues, there is no need to worry, even if your dog’s numbers don’t seem to match these.
“If you get obsessed with the numbers… and think your GSD puppy must match them exactly, then you will probably never be completely happy because I can almost certainly assure you that your German Shepherd Dog puppy will never perfectly match the numbers.”-Total German Shepherd
Something important to note is that for a German Shepherd, their length to height ration is important. The ratio that most German Shepherds have is that of 10:8.5. Measuring length from the front of their chest to the base of their tail, and measuring their height from the withers, or in other words, from the bottom of their feet to the highest point of their shoulder blades.
The 10:8.5 ratio means that a German Shepherd should be a bit longer than it is tall. An example is a dog with a length of 26 inches, and a height of 22 inches.
You can find the ratio by multiplying the length by .85, which will give you the expected height, and if that number and your dog’s actual height are close or a match, then you know it has the proper ratio.
As German Shepherds are athletic and energetic dogs, they will typically be pretty thin. Still, their ribs should not be jutting out or too easily visible or felt.
Once a dog is fully grown, its weight will fill it’s body a bit better.
Stages of Maturity
There are some breeds of dogs that mature very quickly. German Shepherds are not one of those breeds. These dogs are playful and energetic for most of their lives but they are especially so in their early, puppy years.
There are a few stages of growth, and maturity, to be aware of when raising a German Shepherd from a puppy.
This stage consists of the first two weeks of a German Shepherd puppy’s life. Puppies are born blind and deaf and they are basically helpless in this stage. They won’t do much but eat and sleep during this stage. They may grow at a rate of about 65 to 90 grams per day.
“A healthy German Shepherd puppy will double his or her birth weight the first week of their life. Immediately following they will continue with a consistent weight gain of 5% to 10%.”-Shepped
This stage is from about 2 weeks old until 4 weeks old. The puppies have opened their eyes and are able to see, and are also able to hear. The puppy will be curious about the environment around it. It will also start to walk, though it may be a bit wobbly and unsure on its feet.
This stage lasts from around 3 weeks to about 3 months. During this stage, a German Shepherd can eat soft foods, it can communicate with others, and its body temperature stabilizes at around 100 degrees.
For a German Shepherd, with a history of being a guard dog, and of being wary of others, this stage is extremely important. During this stage, the puppy needs exposure to new people, animals, and environments, although this should be done in a safe way.
If this isn’t done properly, when the dog is older, it can be wary or even aggressive towards strangers and to new places.
At around 8 weeks old, you can begin housebreaking the puppy.
This stage lasts from about 3 to 6 months. During this stage, a German Shepherd puppy will become more independent and will try to explore their surroundings some more. They will be active and have a fairly short attention span still.
Their puppy teeth will be replaced by adult teeth in this stage, and their ears should be standing up at around 4 months. The puppy will also reach sexual maturity by the end of this stage, at around 6 months old.
At around 4 months old, the puppy will likely be at the halfway point when it comes to their growth in weight and size. 6 months will put them at around 70% on their growth scale.
During this stage, you can also work more on training the puppy. Just keep the sessions short, because it won’t have a super long attention span. German Shepherds will respond best to positive reinforcement when being trained.
This stage is rather long, lasting from about 6 months of age until around 2 years old. If not spayed, a female German Shepherd will go into heat between about 5 to 8 months old, and the male will start marking their territory and mounting if not neutered.
The puppy’s body will get rather large during this stage, almost reaching full growth by the end of the first year.
While their size may be close to adulthood, however, their mind and emotions are still developing, and they will have plenty of energy.
A German Shepherd will usually reach physical maturity around 2 to 2 1/2 years old, and mental maturity at around 3 years old. A female German Shepherd will typically mature faster than a male.
At the end of this stage, your dog should be fully grown in both size and weight. They should also be mature mentally and emotionally. If you’ve stuck with your dog this whole time, you will have an excellent companion to spend several more years with in the future.
BONUS TIPS: Is your German Shepherd a picky eater? In working with our breeder, we found our dog much preferred Royal Canin dog food over the brand we were giving her. They offer puppy food and adult food that is designed just for the German Shepherd. If you are considering a change of food, I would definitely give this one a try.
At what age do German Shepherds stop teething? German Shepherds will stop biting and chewing things as much when they are around 6 months old, as teething will finish around that time. However, unless trained well, some of this behavior may continue for longer, especially as German Shepherds don’t fully mature until 2 to 3 years old.
How long do German Shepherds live? The average lifespan of a German Shepherd is between 9 to 13 years old. Their lifespan can depend on factors such as diet, exercise, diseases, breeding, and other potential health issues. A vet may be able to give an estimated lifespan for a specific dog, although nothing is ever completely certain.
What’s the difference between male and female German Shepherds? Females are typically smaller and weigh less than males, and they also mature faster. Females also usually are more affectionate and easier to train than males. Male dogs are usually more protective of their surroundings, and females are more protective of their families.