Skip to Content

How Long do German Shepherds Live?

A lot of dog owners are interested in learning about a particular breed’s life expectancy to know what to expect. If you’re planning on adopting a German Shepherd, one thing you may want to know is “how long do German Shepherds live?

The average life expectancy of a German Shepherd is around 10 to 13 years. However, with good care, it is possible for a dog to live longer. On the same note, if the dog has a health concern or the owners are not properly taking care of it, the German Shepherd may not live as long.

Are you curious to know how long a German Shepherd will live? Keep in mind, that it’s impossible to predict how long a dog will live. However, there are some important facts you should know about German Shepherds and their life expectancy to help your dog live longer. Keep reading to learn more.

How Long Do German Shepherds Live?

German Shepherds have an average life expectancy for a big dog, which is 10 to 13 years. While it is possible to get an extra couple of years added to your dog’s life, there is no guaranteed way to make that happen. Unfortunately, large dog breeds don’t tend to live as long as small breeds because their bodies experience more strain.

Either way, proper care of your German Shepherd is critical to ensure that the dog lives a long and happy life. If the dog isn’t well-taken care of, there is a chance it may not live as long as the average German Shepherd does. 

German Shepherd owners can play a major part in how long their dog’s life expectancy is. This is because a dog that is receiving good care from its owners will have all its needs met. It will also ensure that any health problems are detected early. 

Keep Your German Shepherd Healthy

Good health is important to living a long life. One of the first steps you can take to ensure your dog lives longer is to take its nutrition seriously and arrange regular vet visits. Let’s take a look at why each one is crucial to your German Shepherd’s life expectancy. 

Proper Nutrition

Nutrition is one of the most important things to consider when keeping your dog healthy. It’s important that you feed your German Shepherd the right amount of nutrients so it can remain healthy. However, you don’t want to feed the dog too much because that could lead to obesity and other problems.

German Shepherds should eat between 2.5 and 3.5 cups of food per day. Always base the amount on your dog’s size and activity levels. You should also be specific about what food you’re giving to the dog. German Shepherds need a diet of quality dog food that features animal-based proteins as well as plant-based proteins.

Your German Shepherd can have treats once in a while, but they shouldn’t make up the majority of the dog’s diet. Follow the rule of thumb with treats, which is that they can only make up 10 % of a dog’s diet. 

Vet Visits

Vet visits are very important for your dog’s overall health. While German Shepherd puppies will need frequent visits to the vet to ensure they are growing into healthy dogs, full-grown dogs will need annual visits. Each year, it is important to take the German Shepherd to the vet for a full examination and keep the dog current on its vaccines.

One of the most important reasons annual vet visits are important is that your vet will be able to detect any signs of a health problem early. They will also be able to give you the best advice for your dog’s diet and exercise routine. If your German Shepherd has any pre-existing health problems, it may need to visit the vet more than once a year.

Keep Your German Shepherd Young

While you may love the idea of keeping your dog young forever, there’s no magic spell to make that happen. Instead, you can help your dog feel young throughout the years. The key to making sure that your German Shepherd feels good is to keep it moving.

It’s normal for a senior German Shepherd to lay around the house most of the day. Older dogs don’t have the same energy level that they used to and need to rest more. However, young dogs and middle-aged dogs should still live an active lifestyle to remain healthy. Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to keep your German Shepherd active.

Don’t Stop Training

The phrase “you can’t teach old dogs new tricks” is simply just a phrase. In reality, you should continue to teach your German Shepherd new tricks throughout its life. This is very important because it keeps the dog’s mind active. What a lot of people don’t realize is that mental activity is just as important to a dog’s health as physical activity.

One of the best ways to keep your German Shepherd’s mind sharp is to teach it new tricks and commands because it gives the dog something to focus on. 

Daily Walks

Going on daily walks is great for both your German Shepard’s health and your own. While it’s a great source of exercise for German Shepherds, it can also give you a better outlook on the dog’s mobility. Paying attention to the way the dog is walking and its energy levels can give you clues to how it’s feeling physically.

If your dog is in pain, it may be walking differently. Always pay attention to how it’s walking and don’t push it to walk if the dog seems to be in pain or uncomfortable.

Toys Are Fun

Toys are a win when it comes to German Shepherds. When your German Shepherd gets excited over a new toy, this can be very good for them. Taking a look at what toys are available for large dogs at the pet store can be very beneficial for your German Shepherd. 

What’s great about dog toys is that they are good for both physical and mental health. This is great news for dog owners when they have a busy day and may not be able to take their dogs for as long of a walk as usual.

German Shepherds Love Friends

You need to interact with other people for your own well-being. The same can be said for your German Shepherd with other dogs. Keep in mind, that your German Sheperd will have more fun playing with other dogs that are at a similar stage in maturity. A full-grown German Shepherd won’t enjoy playing with rowdy puppies because they have a much higher energy level.

When your dog has another playmate to enjoy running around with, it will be more enthusiastic about staying active. This can help the dog feel younger and happier. 

Only Adopt From Reputable Breeders

Genetics can play a major role in how long a German Shepherd lives. This is because many health problems that German Shepherds are prone to are passed down from their parents. A good breeder will have properly screened the dogs before breeding and will also be willing to share the medical records with you.

It’s also important that a German Shepherd isn’t overbreeding because it will have a higher risk of passing on genetic disorders and diseases along to the puppies. This is why you should always do a background check on the breeder you choose to adopt from. Speak up and ask as many questions as you need to because a reputable breeder will be prepared to answer them.

Don’t Ignore Old German Shepherds

When your German Shepherd gets older, it won’t be as energetic. This will cause the dog to be more comfortable laying around the house and less likely to be up for playing as much as it used to. However, this doesn’t mean you should give your dog less attention. Your dog may not be as energetic, but it still wants love and affection. 

Make sure you’re still giving the same level of attention to your older German Shepherd so it knows you still love it. While you may not be able to romp around like you did when the dog was young, it will still be happy to receive praise and affection.

Final Thoughts

How long do German Shepherds live? On average, a German Shepherd’s life expectancy is between 10 and 13 years. However, every dog needs to be judged on an individual basis. While your vet will not be able to give you an accurate prediction when you adopt a puppy of how long it will live, dog owners can do things to help their dog live longer.

If you want your dog to have a long and happy life, you need to ensure that it’s healthy. This means that you need to feed it good-quality food and proper portions. You should also ensure that the dog visits the vet on an annual basis for a check-up and to stay up-to-date on vaccines.