how long do german shepherds live for

How long do German Shepherds live for?

German Shepherds are very loyal dogs and it’s quite normal that dog owners wonder about the lifespan of their canine companion. How long do German Shepherds live for? Find the answers below as well as tips to extend the life of your dog.

The loss of a dog is a huge blow to everyone in the family. After all, our German Shepherd friend has delighted us with his presence for a long time and has won our outmost respect. Shepherd dogs are not only faithful, but also wise, intelligent, wonderful guards and rescuers of people.

A huge number of publications are devoted to the exploits of these generous dogs. Undoubtedly, everyone wants such loyal dogs to live as long as possible and never stop to bring us quality companionship.

german shepherd on a farm

How long do German Shepherds live for?

The average lifespan of a dog, in general, is between 12 and 15 years old. However, it all depends on the size of the dog as the larger he is, the shorter the lifespan tends to be.

Unfortunately, German Shepherds fall in the larger dog breed category. Nevertheless, the normal life span of German Shepherds is between 10 13 years and in some cases it can can go up to 20 years, although this is certainly uncommon.

As an owner, you want to ensure your German Shepherd friend will live as long as possible. This means you will have to provide him with the best and most appropriate care throughout his life and in particular offer him a quality lifestyle, excellent nutrition and timely veterinary examination and vaccination. Therefore, the life span of a German Shepherd dog directly depends on the quality of …. the owner!

We realize that this is putting a lot of pressure on the dog owner but remember this: acquiring a canine companion comes with responsibilities. If you are not prepared to look after your dog, then don’t get one!

german shepherd sleeping

How long do German Shepherds live for? Influencing factors

Is it possible to extend the life of your dog and if so, how should you do it? Before acquiring a German Shepherd you should evaluate your resources and capabilities.


Think in advance of the kind of food you have to provide to your dog and the required budget because a dog’s diet plays a large role in extending his life span.

Every dog needs a proper diet containing all the vitamins and nutrients required for the proper functioning of his body. It is important to feed your dog with food of the highest quality, full of protein and other nutrients that contribute to keep joints, bones and ligaments in healthy condition. You should avoid cheap commercial food that contribute very little to the well-being of your dog. In that respect, it’s really important to dedicate an appropriate budget for your dog’s nutrition plan.

If you choose to give your German Shepherd natural food, then 70% of it should consist of raw meat. Boiled vegetables, cottage cheese, oatmeal can also be included in your dog’s menu. Up to two years old, a dog needs to consume vitamins as well. Get the advice of your veterinarian to confirm the type and dosage required.

german shepherd running

Physical activity

German Shepherds need a regular, active lifestyle with plenty of physical activity. In preceding paragraphs, I alluded to the need to evaluate your capabilities. I was not just referring to finacial resources but also time available.

Your German Shepherd is not a couch potatoe that can be taken outdoors just to relieve himself. If your dog lives in a small apartment, then you should pay attention to his training regimen. Quite frankly, whether you have a small or bigger home, it does not matter all that much because the genetics of a German Shepherd make him a very active and energetic dog. Therefore, you need to take him outside for walks, play, exploration, etc. on a regular basis, ideally twice a day.

Mental activity

German Shepherd males that are somewhat inactive and cannot burn the excess energy may become overly excited, anxious, nervous and even aggressive! Don’t take physical activity needs of your German Shepherd lightly. They need to burn energy and not only be stimulated physically but also mentally. Going out to explore the outdoors is the answer.

german shepherd playing with ball

Many dog breeds are easy to train to carry out different commands, but German Shepherds dogs have distinguished themselves by their mental acuity and ingenuity, so it is worth using the physical and mental resources of the dog for appropriate purposes. Got out and ask him to carry out tasks and give him responsibilities and challenges. German Shepherds love to take charge and accomplish things. Of course, don’t forget to appropriately reward your canine friend!

How long do German Shepherds live for? More thoughts on life expectancy

It has been proven that the life expectancy of German Shepherds living in a vast indoor and outdoor environment far exceeds that of those living in a small apartment. Again, we are not saying that German Shepherds should only be living on large properties but this highlights the fact that they need to go out for long walks, to run along a bike or play ball on a daily basis. They need the level of activity that will support a longer life expectancy.

If your dog lives on a farm or similar surroundings, please remember that he needs to go out for walks anyway. The sheer fact that the dog is living on a vast property and has to perform daily tasks does not eliminate the need for such physical activity.

The fact that German Shepherds are purebred dogs compounds the importance of providing him with a quality diet with vitamins and nutrients, appropriate care and proper physical activity. This will contribute to keep your four-legged friend German Shepherd away from diseases and of course extend his lifespan.

german shepherd life expectancy

However, the genetics of a purebred dog brings a set of potential health issues and German Shepherds are no exception to that rule. Some of the common health concerns in German Shepherds are allergic reactions and skin diseases. We bring it up because there are easy, simple and effective preventive measures to take with your German Shepherd friend.

Make sure the ongoing vaccination protocol for your dog is monitored and strictly adhered to and his nutrition plan is kept up to date. When only natural food is part of diet, there are times when volvulus is observed in mature dogs are faced with volvulus. This is something to watch for as it may develop in a serious condition, that may go as far as requiring surgical intervention. Regular check ups at the vet is really a must.

Also, do not forget that a dog is most active at a young age. As he is getting older, he will tend to be more sedentary but he nevertheless requires physical activity. As aging sets your dog will need more attention and being in a prevention mode as opposed to a reactive one is really key. A dog’s long life is a tremendous luxury that requires patience, discipline and strength. Follow the above recommendations that will help you enjoy a longer time with your German Shepherd friend.


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