German Shepherds are known for their smartness, intelligence, and energy. They are also known to be the best dog breeds for police and the military because of their task-driven capabilities. German Shepherds are relatively larger compared to other dog breeds. As German Shepherd owners, we always wonder how large our pups can grow and when they stop growing? We need to understand their growth and development to ensure that our pups are safe, normal, and healthy. There are hundreds of questions dog owners have in their minds regarding their pet’s growth and health. After thorough research, we have gathered some fascinating facts about the German Shepherd’s growth and health for you to rely on.
The average weight and height of a German Shepherd can vary from dog to dog as genes, gender, and environment plays a great role.
Normal Size of a German Shepherd Pup
In general, a female German Shepherd gives birth to around six and eight puppies, but there can be exceptions as well. However, if a German Shepherd dam whelps (gives birth) to around 6 to 8 puppies at once, the puppies will most likely weigh around 1 percent of the mother’s pregnancy weight.
To have a better understanding, we have divided the development and growth pattern of a German Shepherd into several stages. These stages can help you determine whether your pup is healthy or at risk.
German Shepherd Growth Chart
|Age||Male Height||Male Weight||Female Height||Female Weight|
|1 month||4 – 6”||5.5 – 9 lbs.||3 – 6”||4.5 – 8 lbs.|
|2 months||7 – 9”||16 – 20 lbs.||6 – 9”||11 – 17 lbs.|
|3 months||9 – 11”||22 – 30 lbs.||8 – 10”||17 – 26 lbs.|
|4 months||11 – 14”||35 – 40 lbs.||10 – 12”||31 – 35 lbs.|
|5 months||14 – 16”||40 – 49 lbs.||12 – 14”||35 – 44 lbs.|
|6 months||16 – 18”||49 – 57 lbs.||15 – 17”||44 – 49 lbs.|
|7 months||19 – 20”||57 – 62 lbs.||17 – 19”||49 – 53 lbs.|
|8 months||20 – 22”||62 – 66 lbs.||18 – 20”||53 – 57 lbs.|
|9 months||21 – 23”||64 – 71 lbs.||19 – 21”||55 – 60 lbs.|
|10 months||22 – 24”||66 – 73 lbs.||19 – 21”||57 – 62 lbs.|
|11 months||22 – 24”||71 – 75 lbs.||20 – 22”||60 – 64 lbs.|
|1 year||22 – 24”||71 – 79 lbs.||20 – 22”||60 – 64 lbs.|
|1.5 years||23 – 25”||71 – 79 lbs.||21 – 22”||60 – 66 lbs.|
|2 years||23 – 23”||71 – 84 lbs.||21 – 22”||60 – 66 lbs.|
|3 years||24 – 26”||79 – 88 lbs.||22 – 24”||66 – 70 lbs.|
Stages of the German Shepherd’s Growth
The Neonatal stage
The first stage of a dog is the neonatal stage which starts from the second it is born till when it is 3 weeks old. It is the most vulnerable period for the German Shepherd, where the puppy needs a lot of care and pampering. At this stage, the German Shepherd puppy develops his sense, opens his eyes for the first time, listen to sounds, and learn how to walk and crawl. These little pups are completely dependent on their mothers, who keep them warm.
German Shepherd Puppyhood
The puppyhood of a dog lasts for about 5 to 6 months and includes the neonatal stage. Mostly, German Shepherds finish their puppyhood by six months, and in these six months, your Shepherd pup is going to experience stages like the neonatal stage, socialization stage, Juvenile period, etc.
A healthy German Shepherd puppy will gain a consistent weight of 5 – 10 % and will double its birth weight during the first week of its life. They reach physical maturity by 12 – 18 months, and their growth rate slows down at six months. Right after the neonatal stage which ends at the 3rd week, your pup will begin to discover the world with its newly developed senses.
The Socialization Stage
The socialization stage of the German Shepherd begins right after the 7th week of its birth and lasts till the 12th week. In this stage, the puppy introduces itself to different kinds of people and socializes away from their family. They will begin to interact with other humans and other dogs around them. At the same time, they will be developing the ability to bark, and their ears will stand up. They can even become prone to developing trauma, so make sure you keep them safe.
The Puppyhood Seniority Stage
This stage begins at the 12 weeks of the puppy’s life and lasts till 16 weeks. In this period, you need to train your puppy as they might try biting or nipping you during this stage. At the same time, they will play competitive games with other dogs.
The Juvenile Stage
The Juvenile stage is the last stage of puppyhood which starts from 3 months after the puppy’s birth and lasts till six months. In this stage, the puppy becomes stubborn. They might not listen to you, but be patient because only patience can help them become obedient dogs. The German Shepherd would easily eat and interact with others in this period and will also lose their milk teeth.
The Stage of Puberty
The stage of puberty, also known as the adolescence or the sexual maturity stage of a German Shepherd, begins from the 6th month and lasts till the 16th month. You would be able to see many physical changes during this period, but they will go through different hormonal changes. You can keep your dog spayed or neutered during this period. Your dog can also experience fear and breakdowns. For example, they might forget how to perform basic tasks. The German Shepherd may also become aggressive at this stage. However, these hormonal changes would get better with time.
The Stage of Adulthood
After the stage of puberty, the German Shepherd will enter adulthood. It begins from 1 year and lasts till three years. In this stage, your dog would be fully grown to a normal German Shepherd size. Your dog would adopt more matured and calmed behaviors and will continue to grow until 36 months, where most will be done by 24 months. The dog is going to be more active and will require more exercise. You can switch to adult food at this stage to fulfill their nutrition requirements as they will be moving towards seniority.
The Final Seniority Stage
The final seniority stage is the last stage of growth. It occurs after your German Shepherd has reached the age of 6 – 10 years. They are now no longer adult dogs and are now senior dogs. They will need a lot of care as senior dogs can develop different health issues like joint pain, hip dysplasia, etc.
When Is a German Shepherd Fully Grown?
Since German Shepherd is a large dog breed, they need more time to grow and fill in different spaces of their bodies like the chest and abdomen. It will take time to reach the full height. However, when a German Shepherd is fully grown varies from gender to gender.
A female German Shepherd is fully grown when it reaches the age of 2 years.
A male German Shepherd is fully grown till it reaches the age of 2 and a half years. Always remember that male German Shepherds are larger than females, and they tend to grow bigger. There can be exceptions, too, like some German Shepherds may continue to grow until they reach the age of 3 years.
When Does A German Shepherd Stop Growing?
Since it is a large breed, this question does not have a solid answer. However, in general, a German Shepherd finishes its growth until it is 18 months old, while some may continue to grow till the age of 2 years. At the same time, some exceptions will grow till they have reached the age of 3 years. But in normal circumstances, the growth of a German Shepherd becomes low and gradual when it reaches the age of 12 months. 18 months is the stage where your dog will reach its maximum height. However, there can be exceptions too.