Are you the proud owner of a German Shepherd pup? Are you wondering when your beloved pet will reach its full size and stop growing?
Many owners have this same question, especially as they watch their pup’s rapid growth in the first year of life. Understanding how quickly or slowly your German Shepherd pup will grow is key to providing them with proper care and nutrition.
In this blog post, we’ll explore all there is to know about when a German Shepherd stops growing so that you can provide your pet with everything they need for a healthy life!
So, when do German Shepherds stop growing?
German Shepherd dogs typically reach their full adult size at around 18 to 24 months. However, this can vary depending on the individual dog and the nutrition they receive. Female German Shepherds grow faster than males and reach their full height by 12-14 months. Males may take up to 18 months to reach their full size.
In addition to age, nutrition is an important factor in a German Shepherd’s growth. Without adequate nutrient intake and regular exercise, a German Shepherd puppy may be slow in reaching their full size or may not reach it at all.
If you're concerned about the growth of your German Shepherd dog, then it's time to relax! With the proper guidance and care, these moments of your life will become your favorite, and you'll remember them for the rest of your life!
Let's see how you can maximize the growth potential of your German Shepherd in the right way and grow your GSD puppy into a healthy adult German Shepherd dog.
German Shepherd growth stages
German Shepherd puppies grow rapidly in the first year of life, but their growth rate decreases afterward. The German Shepherd's growth can be divided into six stages: newborn, transitional, socialization, juvenile, adolescent, and adult. During each stage, their physical and mental development requires proper nutrition, exercise, and socialization for a healthy life.
Before discussing different growth stages, we want to remind you that genes are the most important thing in German Shepherd puppy development.
Genes are vital to your German Shepherd pup's physical structure and size. Generally speaking, purebred German Shepherds tend to grow faster than mixed breeds, as they have predictable growth patterns.
The best way to predict the size of your German Shepherd dog is to see his mother and father. If you have a female German Shepherd, there is a good chance that her size will be the same as her mother's.
On the other hand, if you have a male German Shepherd, there is a good chance that his size will be the same as his father's.
Here are the 7 different stages of German Shepherd growth:
1. Neonatal stage (0-2 weeks)
2. Transitional stage (3-4 weeks)
3. Socialization period (5-12 weeks)
4. Juvenile stage (3-6 months)
5. Adolescent stage (6-24 months)
6. Maturity/ Adult Stage (2-8 years)
7. Senior (8+ years)
The neonatal stage in German Shepherds is the period of growth and development right after birth. It generally spans 0-2 weeks, although this can vary depending on the dog breed. During this stage, puppies rely heavily on their mother’s milk to meet their nutritional requirements, as they cannot eat solid foods.
They also require a lot of sleep and warmth as their organs are still maturing. To prevent diseases, they must avoid extreme temperatures and environments during the early neonatal stage. As puppies grow out of this phase, they explore their environment more and become accustomed to social interactions with other animals.
This is an important time for German Shepherds to build up their immune system, as they are most susceptible to diseases and illnesses during this period. Regular vet check-ups can help identify potential health issues before they become serious.
The neonatal stage in dogs typically lasts from 0-2 weeks and is a crucial period of growth and development for puppies.
The transitional stage in dogs is the period of growth between 2 and 4 weeks old. During this stage, puppies need more food than their mother's milk. They will start to eat solid foods and explore their environment more.
During this period, the eyes of a German Shepherd puppy will open, and the teeth will start coming out.
Also, your German Shepherd puppy will show his personality for the first time. At this moment, you can already guess what kind of personality that puppy will have.
The socialization period in German Shepherds is the period of growth between 5 and 12 weeks old. During this stage, puppies must be exposed to new environments and people as it helps them become comfortable with unfamiliar sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches.
Puppies should also be provided with lots of positive reinforcement during this time so that they can learn basic commands such as "sit", "stay," or "come".
This period is important for developing a bond between owners and their dogs and helping puppies develop socially acceptable behaviors around other people. For example, puppies should be taught not to jump up on strangers or bark incessantly at other animals they encounter in public.
During the socialization period, puppies will also start exploring more independently from their mother - though it's still important for owners to provide gentle guidance when needed. This stage is also a good time for crate training so your puppy can learn to sleep in his own space without feeling anxious or afraid.
Socialization is essential in helping your German Shepherd become an emotionally healthy adult dog who knows how to interact appropriately with humans and animals; however, owners must remain consistent when implementing these lessons.
The juvenile stage in German Shepherds is the period of growth between 3 and 6 months old. During this stage, puppies will continue to explore their environment more independently and start exhibiting behaviors that indicate their breed's characteristics.
Now, puppies are usually ready for basic obedience training, such as learning commands, housebreaking, and leash training.
Owners must continue providing positive reinforcement so puppies can learn these behaviors properly and develop trust in their owners. This is also a great time to introduce activities such as agility or tracking, which can help promote physical and mental stimulation in German Shepherds.
At this stage, German Shepherds should receive all the necessary vaccinations to protect them from dangerous diseases.
The adolescent stage in German Shepherds is the period of growth between 6 and 24 months old. During this stage, puppies become young adults and begin to exhibit more adult characteristics both physically and behaviorally. True breed-specific qualities develop during this period, and physical growth slows down.
In German Shepherds, the adolescent growth stage can start later (for example, when your GSD is 8 months old) and finish sooner (when your GSD is 18 months old). During this period, your German Shepherd will experience a dramatic hormonal change, and genes will play a major role in the adolescent growth period.
During adolescence, it's important to keep up with routine medical visits and vaccinations. It is also important for owners to continue providing positive reinforcement and consistent training so that their German Shepherds can learn proper behaviors.
At this stage, puppies will start to become more independent and may challenge authority. They may require more patience from owners as they transition, but staying firm and consistent in their training is important so their German Shepherds can develop the necessary life skills for adulthood.
If owners remain diligent, they will have a confident, well-mannered adult dog who is a pleasure to be around.
The adult stage in German Shepherds is the period of growth between two to eight years old. During this stage, a German Shepherd's physical growth will slow down, and they will reach maturity.
This is an important time for owners to reinforce essential behaviors they taught during puppyhood and provide plenty of mental and physical stimulation to keep their German Shepherd alert and healthy.
At this stage, owners can introduce more advanced obedience training such as drug or armament detection, search and rescue operations, protection sports, herding activities, or scenting games.
The senior stage in German Shepherds is when they are 8 or older. They usually do not grow much more during this time and become mature. Owners should keep their dogs less active during this period and provide them with all necessary supplements since their immune systems and body are weaker.
At this stage, German Shepherds may require additional medical care due to age-related ailments such as arthritis and cognitive decline. They may also suffer from hearing or vision loss.
Owners should continue providing their German Shepherds love and attention, visit their veterinarian regularly, and keep their dogs moderately active.
📝 Related blog post: How to care for a Senior German Shepherd?
At what stage do German Shepherds grow the most?
During the Adolescent stage (6-24 months), you can expect the fastest growth of your German Shepherd. Their breed-specific characteristics will develop during this period, and physical growth will reach the maximum and eventually slow down.
Their bones and muscles will grow quickly during this period, so keeping up with routine vet visits and a proper diet will be crucial for their development.
Also, you should aim to keep your German Shepherd active every day. Regular exercise will help them become stronger and healthier.
Related blog post: The best things to do with your German Shepherd
Related blog post: How many times a day should you walk a German Shepherd?
German Shepherd growth chart
Now that we know all the different growth stages of a German Shepherd dog and what we can expect from them in each stage, let's see their progress and how fast they grow from day one!
Male German Shepherd growth chart
Male German Shepherds grow at an impressive rate, with most achieving their full adult size by the time they are 18 to 24 months old. During the adolescent stage, from 6 to 24 months, male German Shepherd growth is particularly rapid and noticeable - when their bones and muscles grow the fastest.
Male German Shepherds can grow up to 4 inches in height and 30 pounds in weight between 12 and 24 months of age!
Here’s a chart depicting the growth rate of male German Shepherd puppies:
|1 month||4 - 6" (10 - 15 cm)||5.5 - 9 lbs (2.5 - 4 kg)|
|2 months||7 - 9" (18 - 23 cm)||16 - 20 lbs (7 - 9 kg)|
|3 months||9 - 11" (23 - 28 cm)||22 - 30 lbs (10 - 13.5 kg)|
|4 months||11 - 14" (28 - 35 cm)||35 - 40 lbs (16 - 18 kg)|
|5 months||14 - 16" (35 - 40 cm)||40 - 49 lbs (18 - 22 kg)|
|6 months||16 - 18" (40 - 46cm)||49 - 57 lbs (22 - 26 kg)|
|7 months||18 - 20" (46 - 51 cm)||57 - 62 lbs (26 - 28 kg)|
|8 months||20 - 22" (51 - 56 cm)||62 - 66 lbs (28 - 30 kg)|
|9 months||21 - 23" (53 - 58 cm)||64 - 71 lbs (29 - 32 kg)|
|10 months||22 - 24" (55 - 61 cm)||66 - 73 lbs (30 - 33 kg)|
|11 moths||22 - 24" (55 - 61 cm)||71 - 75 lbs (32 - 34 kg)|
|1 year||22 - 24" (55 - 61 cm)||71 - 79 lbs (32 - 36 kg)|
|1.5 years||23 - 25" (58 - 64 cm)||71 - 79 lbs (32 - 36 kg)|
|2 years||23 - 25" (58 - 64 cm)||71 - 84 lbs (32 - 38 kg)|
|3 years||24 - 26" (61 - 66 cm)||79 - 88 lbs (36 - 39 kg)|
Female German Shepherd growth chart
Female German Shepherds reach full adult size even earlier than their male counterparts - usually 18 to 20 months old. Female German Shepherds may not reach the same size as their male counterparts, but they often have equally impressive growth rates during their adolescent stage - from 6 to 18 months old.
During this period, female German Shepherds can grow up to 3 inches in height and 22 pounds in weight!
Here’s a chart depicting the growth rate of female German Shepherd puppies:
|1 month||3 - 6" (7.5 - 15 cm)||4.5 - 8 lbs (2 - 3.5 kg)|
|2 months||6 - 9" (15 - 23 cm)||11 - 17 lbs (5 - 8 kg)|
|3 months||8 - 10" (20 - 25.5 cm)||17 - 26 lbs (8 - 12 kg)|
|4 months||10 - 12" (25.5 - 30 cm)||31 - 35 lbs (14 - 16 kg)|
|5 months||12 - 14" (30 - 35.5 cm)||35 - 44 lbs (16 - 20 kg)|
|6 months||15 - 17" (38 - 43 cm)||44 - 49 lbs (20 - 22 kg)|
|7 months||17 - 19" (43 - 48 cm)||49 - 53 lbs (22 - 24 kg)|
|8 months||18 - 20" (45.5 - 51 cm)||53 - 57 lbs (24 - 26 kg)|
|9 months||19 - 21" (48 - 53.5 cm)||55 - 60 lbs (25 - 27 kg)|
|10 months||19 - 21" (48 - 53.5 cm)||57 - 62 lbs (26 - 28 kg)|
|11 moths||20 - 22" (51 - 56 cm)||60 - 64 lbs (27 - 29 kg)|
|1 year||20 - 22" (51 - 56 cm)||60 - 64 lbs (27 - 29 kg)|
|1.5 years||21 - 22" (53.5 - 56 cm)||60 - 66 lbs (27 - 30 kg)|
|2 years||21 - 22" (53.5 - 56 cm)||60 - 66 lbs (27 - 30 kg)|
|3 years||22 - 24" (56 - 61 cm)||66 - 70 lbs (27 - 32 kg)|
How can you predict a German Shepherd's future size?
The best way to predict how big a German Shepherd will get is to look at their parents' size and weight. If both of the parents are larger than average, then chances are that their puppy will be large as well.
You can also look at the breed standards for adult German Shepherds to get an idea of what size they should be as adults.
Below you can find a breed standard:
|Male German Shepherd||24-26" (61 - 66 cm)||65-90 lbs (30 - 40 kg)|
|Female German Shepherd||22-24" (56 - 61cm)||50-70 lbs (23 - 32 kg)|
But what other factors affect the growth and development of a dog? Here is a list of some things that can also affect your German Shepherd's growth.
1. Diet and Nutrition
6. Training & Obedience Classes
7. Mental Stimulation and Engagement
8. Age Appropriate Enrichment Toys
9. Medical Care/Grooming
10. Environment/Stress Levels
11. Professional Grooming
Diet and nutrition
Diet and nutrition are essential to a German Shepherd's health and growth. A poor diet can lead to various health issues, including obesity, skeletal problems, low energy levels, and nutrient deficiencies.
Proper nutrition is essential for providing the necessary proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals for healthy growth and development. An appropriate diet for a growing German Shepherd puppy should consist of high-quality, nutrient-dense protein-rich food.
Related blog post: Fueling Your German Shepherd: Proper Diet Tips
The size and shape of a German Shepherd will be determined by its genetics. While proper nutrition and exercise will help improve any pup's health and quality of life, genetics will play a major role in the growth of each puppy.
Researching a breeder's bloodline and knowing the parents' size and health history is a great way to understand your pup's appearance as they grow.
Regular exercise is essential for all dogs, especially German Shepherds. Regular activities like walking and playing help keep them fit, healthy, and mentally stimulated. Exercise also helps keep their bones strong, joints flexible, muscles toned, and the heart healthy.
German Shepherds' dog breed is developed to be active and has a strong herding instinct, so ensure you provide enough physical activity to keep them healthy.
In addition to diet and exercise, vaccinations are important to protect your German Shepherd from preventable diseases. The vaccines your vet recommends will depend on the pup's age, lifestyle, and overall health.
Here are five good reasons to vaccinate your dog, according to the AVMA:
- Vaccinations prevent many pet illnesses.
- Vaccinations can help avoid costly treatments for diseases that can be prevented.
- Vaccinations prevent diseases that can be passed between animals and from animals to people.
- Diseases prevalent in wildlife, such as rabies and distemper, can infect unvaccinated pets.
- In many areas, local or state ordinances require certain vaccinations of household pets.
The vaccinations every puppy should receive at a minimum include distemper, parvovirus, adenovirus, rabies, and parainfluenza.
The veterinarian is the only person who should decide which vaccines your dog will receive. Always visit and talk to certified and trusted veterinarians with a proven history.
Socialization is vital to a pup's development and helps shape the dog's behavior around other animals, people, and new environments. Socialization teaches puppies to accept, interact with, and respond appropriately to others.
It is important to start socializing your German Shepherd puppy early. Inviting friends over for puppy playdates and taking him for walks in public places are great ways to socialize your pup.
So you may now wonder, "how can socialization affect the growth of my dog?".
We're glad that you ask.
The unsocialized dog can develop depression and fear issues. Having a fearful or aggressive dog can make life difficult for the pet, its owner, and those around them.
Extreme fear and depression can damage your dog's hormones, and because of that, your dog may lag in development.
Fear and depression can lead to various health issues in dogs, including gastrointestinal disorders, immunosuppression, and endocrine abnormalities. A lack of socialization can also increase susceptibility to certain infectious agents such as parvovirus, distemper, or rabies.
Training & Obedience Classes
German Shepherds can be difficult to train, but they can become loyal and obedient companions with the right guidance. Training classes are a great way to learn how to communicate effectively with your dog while teaching them basic commands such as sit, stay, and come.
Dog training can positively impact the dog's body and development in several ways. First, it helps build a strong bond between the dog and its owner, which benefits both parties. A strong bond encourages better communication between the dog and its owner, leading to more effective commands that are easier for the dog to understand.
Second, training can help prevent problem behaviors such as barking, chewing, and aggression. With proper obedience training, dogs learn how to respond properly in different situations. This helps them become better-behaved citizens of their communities.
It is important to keep training sessions short and positive. Dogs learn best when rewarded for good behavior, so use treats or toys as rewards for a job well done!
Mental Stimulation and Engagement
German Shepherds are smart dogs with a lot of energy, so providing them with mental stimulation and physical exercise is important. Mental stimulation helps keep your dog’s brain active and can help prevent problem behaviors from developing.
There are lots of ways to give your pup some mental stimulation. Puzzle toys are great for stimulating your pup’s problem-solving skills. Hide-and-seek games are also fun for your dog and teach them to fetch or play tug of war.
Age-Appropriate Enrichment Toys
When searching for enrichment toys, make sure to look for age-appropriate choices. Puppies should have chew toys that are soft and safe so they can explore without risk of injury.
Kongs and hollow bones filled with treats or peanut butter are great choices that keep your pup entertained and helped them focus on chewing instead of destructive behaviors like chewing on furniture.
It's important to keep up with regular medical care and grooming for your German Shepherd puppy. This includes scheduling annual checkups with a trusted veterinarian and updating their shots and vaccines.
When medical care is not updated, dogs are more susceptible to various health issues that can negatively impact their development. For example, dogs may become infected with infectious agents such as parvovirus, distemper, or rabies without regular check-ups and vaccinations.
These illnesses can lead to severe physical symptoms such as dehydration, vomiting, and diarrhea.
It's important to keep your German Shepherd's environment free of stress. Dogs can be sensitive creatures and may pick up on tension in their home environment.
Create a calm atmosphere by providing ample resting areas and other stimuli that can help reduce the dog's overall stress levels. If you are away for extended periods, ensure someone else is available to check in on your pup.
German Shepherds need regular grooming just like any other breed of dog. This includes regular brushing, bathing, and trimming of nails.
Regular grooming helps to keep your pup's coat clean and healthy and prevents mats from forming. It also helps detect any skin conditions that may develop on the dog, such as cuts or scrapes.
Regular grooming is not only important for keeping your pup looking his best, but it also promotes healthy skin and coat. Grooming stimulates the natural oils in a pet's fur, which helps to keep it soft, glossy, and healthy. It can also help prevent the buildup of excess dander or allergens.
How big will my German Shepherd get? (Calculator)
Do you want to know how big can get your German Shepherd puppy? Then this tool is perfect for you!
Just enter the age of your German Shepherd puppy (weeks or months) and his current weight, and this calculator will they you how approximately big will get your German Shepherd dog!
Will spraying my German Shepherd too early affect his growth?
Spraying (neuter) your German Shepherd too early can impact its growth and development. Since the hormones from the spray replicate those naturally released in their body, this can affect their growth rate and overall size.
This is because the body won't produce as much of its hormones, which can lead to a slower growth rate. Additionally, spraying too early can cause an imbalance in the dog’s hormones, leading to unwanted behavioral issues. It is important to consult your veterinarian before spraying any young dog.
Does this mean your German Shepherd will not grow after spraying? Of course not. He may not reach his full potential size due to hormonal changes, but he will continue to grow.
When does a male German Shepherd stop growing?
A male German Shepherd typically stops growing when it reaches its full adult size, usually between 24 and 36 months old. During these two years of growth, they physically develop into larger, more muscular dogs.
They may continue to gain weight and muscle mass beyond this point but will not grow in height or length. Growth hormones naturally decrease as the dog ages, contributing to a slower growth rate.
When does a female German Shepherd stop growing?
Female German Shepherds typically stop growing at around 20 to 30 months old. This is slightly earlier than their male counterparts, who usually reach their full adult size between 24 and 36 months old.
While this is the case for most German Shepherd dogs, some may continue to grow for a few months longer or shorter depending on their genetics and diet.
Watch how German Shepherd dogs grow up!
We have prepared for you some special videos on how fast can German Shepherd puppy grow into on big and adult German Shepherd Dog!
From Puppy to 2 Years old German Shepherd Dog
German Shepherd Puppy Growing Up (from 8 weeks to 1 year old dog)
German Shepherd Growing (from day 1 to 1 year old German Shepherd)
German Shepherds are an incredibly loyal and intelligent breed of dog. While they can reach their full height by 18 months, most will continue to grow until around three years old (36 months old).
So, what are the most important things that you should do consistently to transform your German Shepherd puppy into a healthy, strong, and good-looking adult German Shepherd dog?
If you want to transform your German Shepherd puppy into a healthy, strong, and good-looking adult German Shepherd dog, you should provide him a good food and add the right supplements to his diet.
Training and exercise with him daily, socialize your dog with other people and animals, and never skip vet checks!
All these things will help your German Shepherd puppy to grow into a good-looking adult German Shepherd dog and increase his lifespan!
Frequently asked questions
Do you still have questions? Check our FAQ section, and you can find your answer here!
❓What should I do if my German Shepherd is growing too fast?
If your German Shepherd is growing too fast, it is important to take steps to ensure its growth and development are monitored closely. Your veterinarian can provide you with specific advice on what to do and the necessary diet changes that may need to be made.
It's important to remember that German Shepherds have a high metabolism, so you may need to adjust their diet accordingly. Also, include calcium in your dog's diet from the first day.
❓At what age does a German Shepherd stop being a puppy?
German Shepherds typically reach their adult size by the time they are 18 months old, and most growth occurs in the first year. Although, depending on diet and exercise, some may continue to grow into their second year.
German Shepherds reach emotional and psychological maturity between two and three years of age. During this time, their temperament and attitude may settle down and become more consistent.
❓What is the life expectancy of German Shepherds?
The typical life expectancy of a German Shepherd is between 10 and 13 years. However, this can vary depending on genetics, diet, exercise, and overall health. Regular veterinary checkups are essential to maintain the health of your German Shepherd and extend its lifespan.
❓What is the biggest German Shepherd?
This is false information if someone says that King Shepherds are the biggest German Shepherds.
There are officially recognizable 5 different types of German Shepherds:
1. East German Working Line
2. West German Working Line
3. Czech German Shepherd
4. American/Canadian Show Line
5. West German Show Line (European Showline)
As you can see, no King Shepherd is on this list since a King Shepherd is a different dog breed. They're not German Shepherds.
But if you wonder how big German Shepherds really can get, here is your answer:
The maximum size of a German Shepherd dog can vary depending on the breed. Generally, however, adult German Shepherds can reach up to 24 inches in height and weigh between 65-90 lbs. Males usually grow larger than females, with some weighing upwards of 100 lbs. Some German Shepherds may have longer legs or a more slender frame, while others may have broader shoulders and heavier weight.
Suggestion: Different types of German Shepherds
❓What to do if my German Shepherd is over or underweight?
If you notice that your German Shepherd is under or overweight, immediately addressing the issue is important. Weight issues can cause various health problems, so working with your veterinarian to assess your dog's condition and develop an appropriate plan is important.
First, your vet will need to check for underlying medical issues that could be causing the weight gain or loss. If no medical issues exist, they can work with you to develop a diet and exercise plan tailored to your dog's needs.
You may need to alter your German Shepherd’s caloric intake and exercise routine to promote healthy weight gain or loss.
❓Why is my German shepherd so tiny?
Several factors can influence a German Shepherd's size, and some dogs may be smaller than average due to genetic predisposition.
If your dog is tiny, it could mean they were born with dwarfism, a condition where the growth plates in their bones close early. This results in stunted growth and reduced height. Other causes can include malnutrition and physical deformities.
If your German Shepherd is smaller than average, it's important to consult your veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
❓What is the healthy weight of a full-grown German Shepherd?
The healthy weight of a full-grown German Shepherd will depend on its body type and build. Generally, German Shepherds should weigh between 65 and 90 lbs, with males typically larger than females.
❓When does a German Shepherd stop growing in height?
German Shepherds can reach their full height by the time they are 18 months old, but most Shepherds stop growing in height when they age three.
❓Do German Shepherds grow after 1 year?
Absolutely! Most German Shepherds will continue to grow and reach their full size by the time they are two or three years old. During this time, you should expect an increase in height and weight. After reaching two years of age, German Shepherds will usually stop growing in stature but can continue to fill out and gain muscle mass until around three years of age.