how long does a german shepherd live?

How Long Does a German Shepherd Live – Everything You Need to Know

Our human instincts drive us to care and provide love for the creatures around us. That too, not just any creature but our cute furry animals. Especially dogs, and most probably the German Shepherd Dog (GSD). German Shepherds form one of the most faithful and loving pets, and they are known for their protection. 

For this reason, people start adopting little puppies to raise them as service dogs. Being sensitive and getting too attached to your pet is completely normal. Just like anyone else, you might find yourself thinking of losing your dog before even having one. We understand if that is the case with you, this article is specifically for you.

Related: Best Collar for German Shepherds

We have compiled all the necessary information to help you take good care of your dog. Before you regret it, it is better to follow and abide by these guidelines to provide a healthy lifestyle for your German Shepherd. This article offers what to avoid, what to follow, and how to cope with symptoms of illness. So, without any further delay, let us get to the point.

Average Age of a German Shepherd

average life expectancy of a german shepherd is 10 to 14 years
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Most dog breeds have a life expectancy of around 10 to 14 years. However, German Shepherds have a much shorter one, approximately 7 to 11 years. This value too depends on several factors such as breeding, environment, diet, etc.

For instance, the American German Shepherds registered have a 7 to 10 years lifespan. Whereas, in Germany, the average lifespan of a German Shepherd ranges from 10 to 14 years. Usually, large dogs do not live long as they carry a significant load on their bodies.

Moreover, the average life expectancy factor is also somehow related to the gender of the German Shepherd. According to research, a female GSD lives longer than a male GSD about 1.4 years on average. Therefore, there is no exact estimate officially known. However, you can not make it an eternal life but prolong it as much as possible with proper care.

Factors Affecting a German Shepherd’s Lifespan

factors affecting a german shepherd's lifespan
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It is vital to note down the factors that play a part in reducing the lifespan of a German Shepherd. Keeping them moderated and overcoming a few negative ones can help lead a balanced lifestyle. So, let us have a look at them one by one.


German Shepherds need a constant check and balance in their diet, and they need specific foodstuffs for joint health. A slight instability may lead to caloric conditions in the larger dog breeds. Likewise, complete their vaccination and booster dosages on time to avoid future issues. Chocolates and other citric products are not to be fed to dogs as they might lead to upset stomachs and allergies.

Related: Best Dog Food for German Shepherds


Exercise and training significantly impact animals. A lazy pup will not be so active, take more time to digest food, and have a lower metabolic level. Consequently, an energetic dog would have higher immunity and will be able to defend itself for longer. Like any other animal, give time to your GSDs and play with them as they deserve it.


Freedom is one of the necessities of life. No matter who it is, every living creature enjoys and requires space. The same is the case for dogs. Some people keep dogs restricted to cages, and that is so wrong. Dogs are born to roam around and explore to live a content and healthy life.

Signs that your German Shepherd’s Life Is Ending

loss of appetite is one of the signs that german shepherd's life is ending
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Are you afraid that you might be on the verge of losing your dog? We have some significant symptoms mentioned below that would clear your thoughts. However, getting your dog checked up by a vet is essential before trying or believing anything.


The most apparent sign is weariness. If you have spent much time with your German Shepherd, you would know whether it seems drained. Sometimes dogs show exhaustion after playing or running several meters. However, if your dog shows signs of fatigue without much activity, then take it as a sign.

Loss of appetite

When an animal is on the verge of death, it will lose its appetite. Sometimes it might happen from minimal eating to almost eating nothing at all. This case usually occurs due to the organs shutting down. You will see clear signs of weakness when the body starts to lose control. Please do not ignore this. Get it checked up at the earliest.

Odd breathing

Breathing difficulties may be evident when an animal or human is so close to death. When the breathing becomes shorter and shorter, it usually is time to say goodbye to your best friend. However, it might just be an illness, so there is no need to rush to grim conclusions. Remember to book an appointment with your vet and see it through.

Help Your German Shepherd Live Longer

help your german shepherd live longer
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It is better to keep an eye on your dog’s daily routine and add a few activities to keep them moving. As long as your dog is middle-aged, it needs daily playful activities and a suitable environment. So, it’s time that you take good care of your German Shepherd, and here is how you can ensure this.


The first step is grooming. Apart from your daily routine, your dog deserves to feel good and look good. You need to make sure that you give GSDs the proper care they require from their owners. A German Shepherd does not shed like most other furry creatures. Nevertheless, it needs brushing every 3 to 4 times a week.


Choosing the right breeder is crucial, as breeding can lead to a healthy lifestyle and might destroy life as well. We all know genetics come to play whenever there is breeding involved. Plus, even if you take good care of your dog, you never know about the other one. Hence, take this step carefully and after thorough knowledge.


Mobility is the key, and this part comes linked to the exercises and walks. Do not let them spend all the time lying in the house. Even if your dog is old enough, it still needs to go out and see the world. Likewise, for middle-aged dogs, add a few exercises to their daily routine. This way, it keeps them fit and helps maintain a healthy living.


Like humans, dogs are social animals and prefer friends. However, it does not mean leaving them to stray dogs. Let your dog go to dog parties and make some new buddies spend quality time with. Also, ensure that you let it hang around with mature dogs to help lighten the mood and keep them happy.

Accepting That Your Dog Is Getting Older

german shepherd dog is getting older

Death is inevitable, and you can not keep your dog alive forever. This feeling may break your heart, but you can not overlook it entirely. All you can do is maintain a happy lifestyle for your dog to enjoy while it can. You will have to accept this bitter reality to prepare for that grave moment before it comes to pass.

Accepting this fact is as just hard as if it were your fellow human leaving you. But no matter what you do, this will not change the harsh truth of the world. Hence, it is best to prepare yourself and make up your mind mentally beforehand.

Your Dog Needs Your Time and Attention

help your german shepherd live longer by giving them attention
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Like humans, dogs have feelings too. When we get older, we start feeling lonely and distant, thinking no one needs us. The same is the case with animals and as they get older, they require the most attention.

Hence, never leave your pet dog alone when you think it needs rest and sleep. Give your German Shepherd all the love and time you give to any human since they deserve that. Most people usually neglect this stage and regret it later. So never miss this opportunity to spend some golden days with your beloved dog, no matter how old it gets.


People have been keeping German Shepherds as pets since the 19th century. However, not everyone can provide the proper love and care. Therefore, it is essential to research the type and breed you plan to adopt as a pet beforehand.

This article covers all the crucial aspects that a German Shepherd (GSD) owner needs to check on. From the right diet to proper grooming and health check-ups, we have explained everything in quite a bit of detail. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle for the dog is crucial not only for the dog itself but for you too.

However, do not feel discouraged. With proper care and health checks for your dog’s diet, you can have it for a longer time. Thus, track the guidelines carefully so you can spend some joyful days together. 

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