The German shepherd is one of the most popular dog breeds – and for good reason.
Originated in Germany, this is a working dog breed that is extremely loyal, friendly, and approachable.
These medium to large-sized dogs may come off reserved at first, but as they get to spend time with their owner, they become exceedingly attached to them and protect them from threats with all their might. Because they are strong and courageous, they make for excellent watchdogs.
German shepherd dogs are quite energetic and easy to train. They like to exercise a lot and play outdoors with children and other pets. This dog breed grows up to 25 inches tall, weighs up to 90 pounds, and typically lives up to 9-12 years.
At this point, you may wonder, when do German shepherds stop growing? Find out that and more information about these faithful companions in this blog post.
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The Difference Between Male and Female German Shepherds
Male German shepherds are taller and bigger than female German shepherds. They also tend to be more emotionally stable and stronger than their female counterparts. However, female German shepherds are more affectionate, obedient, and easier to train. They are the perfect candidate for family protection, while male GSDs are best for personal protection.
German Shepherd Development Stages
1. Newborn Period
The neonatal stage lasts about 14 days. Compared to an adult dog, a German shepherd’s body temperature is lower during its neonatal period. When the puppy is two weeks old, its eyes and ears start to open fully, and the central front tooth on the lower jaw develops. The puppy also learns to crawl and take its first baby steps.
2. Socialization Period
Generally, the socialization period lasts from two weeks to two months. In this stage, puppies learn to explore the world around them and interact with their littermates. It is during this period that they begin to develop various social and emotional abilities.
A few skills that puppies learn are – identifying their species, how to play, fight, and communicate with their friends, biting and chewing soft foods, etc.
3. Juvenile Period
This stage usually lasts from 3 to 6 months, and during this time period, the puppy goes through many development changes. It becomes slightly larger and more active, but still has a short attention span; therefore, you have to be cautious of bringing strangers or new pets around your puppy. You should also keep the training sessions short and precise because small puppies may easily get bored and distracted.
Between the fourth and sixth months, the puppy’s teeth are replaced with permanent adult teeth, and their floppy ears become straight and upright.
4. Sexual Maturity and Reproductive Period
In this stage, German shepherds reach the period of sexual maturity. This lasts from the 7th month to until they are about 2 years old. Females typically become sexually mature when they have their first estrus (heat) period, which happens in the sixth month. However, males reach their sexual maturity when they are 7 months old.
In this period, the body of German shepherds becomes large, especially that of the male GSDs. While they are close to reaching full growth, the dog breed is still developing mentally and emotionally. In their adolescent age, German shepherds are full of energy and love to run and play around.
5. Maturity Stage
At this point, German shepherds enter adulthood. Female German Shepherds mature faster than male GSDs. The females aren’t considered fully grown until they turn 2 to 2 ½ years old while the males take time to mature and aren’t regarded as adults until they are 2 ½ or 3 years old.
After this, there isn’t any developmental milestone for a German shepherd to cross. They are fully formed and are ready to perform activities that they are expected to.
Some FAQs Related to German Shepherd Dogs
1. When Do German Shepherds Stop Growing in Height?
German shepherds usually grow in stages, depending on their age. Male German shepherds stop growing in height when they turn 9 months old, while female GDs reach their maximum height when they are 8 months old. That being said, they may grow a half-inch or an inch more as they grow up, but they will fully stop growing once males are 2 to 2 ½ years old, and females are 2 ½ to 3 years old. Males typically reach a total height of 5 – 5.4 feet while females grow 4.5 – 5 feet tall.
2. What’s the Average Adult German Shepherd Weight?
The average weight of German shepherds varies by gender. Males usually end up weighing 66 – 88 pounds while females 48 to 70 pounds. This is the ideal weight that adult German shepherds should have. In case a German shepherd is not gaining weight, they may show signs, such as loss of appetite, lethargy, dull fur, loss of muscle mass, etc.
3. Do German Shepherds Shed a Lot?
This is true. German shepherds shed in every season, but more so in spring when they get rid of their winter coat for 14 to 20 days. GSDs with long, coarse hair tend to shed less than those with a short coat. They also need bathing once a month to keep their coat clean and healthy.
4. What’s the Life Expectancy of German Shepherds?
An average healthy German shepherd enjoys a long life of up to 9 – 13 years. That being said, some may surprise by outliving their standard life expectancy.
German Shepherds have a slow growth rate that starts to decline when they reach their adulthood. As they grow older, their height increases, but once they are fully mature (physically and mentally), they stop growing altogether.