When Do German Shepherds Stop Growing?

Categorized as Appearance and Size
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So you’ve welcomed an adorable German Shepherd puppy into your home. At first, they seem tiny, fitting into your hands and melting your heart with cuteness. But soon, you realize your pup is growing rapidly. Before you know it, your dog has gone from a lap puppy to a large, powerful adult dog.

As a German Shepherd owner, the question “when do German Shepherds stop growing” is common. These large breed dogs reach their full adult size around 36 months or 3 years old. However, the bulk of their growth happens in the first year. Understanding the GSD growth timeline helps you care for them at each stage.

German Shepherd Puppy Growth Timeline

German Shepherd pups go through a rapid growth phase, especially in months 1-12. Here is an overview of their growth rate by age:

Newborn1-5 lbs3-6 inches
3 months11-30 lbs10-11 inches
6 months44-57 lbs15-18 inches
1 year50-75 lbs20-24 inches
2 years66-88 lbs22-26 inches
3 yearsFull adult size reached

As you can see, German Shepherd puppies grow incredibly fast. Let’s break down GSD development in more detail week-by-week and month-by-month.

Newborn Stage (0-2 weeks)

When first born, German Shepherd puppies weigh just 1 to 5 pounds. They spend all their time eating and sleeping, relying fully on their mother.

During this phase, GSD pups gain 2 to 3 ounces per day, quickly doubling or tripling their body weight. Enjoy holding your tiny furball while you can!

Transitional Stage (2-4 weeks)

In the transitional stage from 2-4 weeks, GSD puppies open their eyes and start to crawl and walk around. They interact more with their littermates and build strength and coordination.

Puppies now weigh 4 to 9 pounds and stand about 3 to 6 inches tall. Their rapid growth continues as they gain ounces per day.

Socialization Period (4-12 weeks)

The key socialization period spans from 4 weeks to 12 weeks old. This is a crucial developmental stage for your German Shepherd.

Expose your puppy gently to new sights, sounds, people, animals, and situations. This builds their confidence and prevents future behavior issues.

Around 6-8 weeks, German Shepherd puppies experience a major growth spurt. By 3 months old, they weigh 11 to 30 pounds and stand about 10 to 11 inches tall.

Juvenile Period (3-6 months)

From 3-6 months is the juvenile phase. German Shepherd puppies seem to transform overnight, getting leggy, losing their puppy fluff, and showing their adult colors.

During this time, their height reaches about 50% of adult size. By 6 months old, they weigh 44 to 57 pounds and stand 15 to 18 inches tall.

Puppies also become sexually mature during this stage. So be sure to spay or neuter by 5-6 months old.

Adolescent Phase (6 months – 2 years)

The adolescent phase lasts from 6 months to 2 years old. Growth starts to slow down, but your German Shepherd still has some filling out to do.

At 1 year old, German Shepherds reach about 70% of their adult size. Females weigh 50 to 75 pounds and males weigh 60 to 90 pounds at this age.

Their growth rate continues to decline during year two. But they won’t reach their full height and weight until approximately age three.

Full Grown (3 years old)

Most German Shepherds hit full physical maturity around 36 months old (3 years). At this point, your dog is fully grown and will maintain a stable adult size.

Adult female German Shepherds stand 22 to 24 inches tall and weigh 60 to 70 pounds.

Adult male German Shepherds stand 24 to 26 inches tall and weigh 75 to 90 pounds.

Your GSD may fill out a bit more between years 2-3 but won’t get much taller. Now you can finally say your German Shepherd has stopped growing!

Factors That Affect German Shepherd Growth

While the above timeline provides general guidelines for German Shepherd growth, several factors impact your pup’s full grown size:

  • Genetics – The genetic size potential passed down from parents plays a major role. Talk to your breeder about the parents’ size.
  • Nutrition – Feed a high-quality diet with appropriate protein and calorie amounts for growth needs.
  • Spay/neuter – Altering too early can slightly limit growth plate closure.
  • Exercise – Appropriate exercise supports healthy bone, joint, and muscle development.
  • Health issues – Illness or orthopedic issues may restrict reaching full growth potential.

Following your veterinarian’s nutritional and healthcare recommendations gives your GSD the best odds of reaching their optimal adult dimensions.

Caring for Your Rapidly Growing GSD

Raising a rapidly growing German Shepherd puppy comes with responsibilities. As your dog’s caregiver, focus on:

  • Getting exercise: Take them on short, positive walks & play sessions. This prevents obesity and supports joint health.
  • Training: Use reward-based training to build good manners and habits. Consider puppy kindergarten classes for socialization.
  • Veterinary visits: Maintain your puppy vaccine and deworming schedule. Discuss spay/neuter timing with your vet.
  • Gear: Invest in high-quality food dishes, toys, treats, beds and collars suited to a growing large breed puppy. Upgrade as they grow.
  • Puppy proofing: GSDs grow fast! Continually puppy proof your home by removing hazards and securing doors/gates as your dog gets bigger.

While raising a rapidly expanding fur baby keeps you on your toes, it’s extremely rewarding! In no time at all, your tiny pup will transform into a loyal, devoted adult German Shepherd by your side.

Frequently Asked Questions

How fast do German Shepherds grow?

German Shepherd puppies grow very quickly, especially in the first year when they put on most of their adult weight. They reach their full height and weight by around 3 years old.

Do female or male German Shepherds get bigger?

Male German Shepherds grow taller and heavier than females. Adult male GSDs stand 24-26 inches tall and weigh 75-90 pounds. Females stand 22-24 inches tall and weigh 60-70 pounds.

What causes variation in German Shepherds size?

Genetics and the size of the parents mainly determines the puppy’s grown size. Other factors like nutrition, exercise, and health also impact growth.

Should I worry about my German Shepherd growing too fast?

Rapid growth is normal for the breed, but excess weight gain creates risks. Follow your veterinarian’s feeding guidelines to fuel healthy expansion, not obesity.

How can I help my German Shepherd puppy grow properly?

Supply age-appropriate nutrition, vet care, training, socialization and exercise. Prevent obesity and joint stress. Let growth plates close before spay/neuter, usually at 12-18 months old.

By Andrew Garf

Andrew Garf has loved dogs, especially German Shepherds, since he was 10 years old. Though he also loves burgers, training dogs is his real passion. That's why he created the website TrainYourGSD.com - to help dog owners learn how to properly train, care for, and bond with their German Shepherd dogs.