Most German Shepherds breeds are at full growth by about 18 months and reach their full weight when they are two years of age.
There was even one video at YouTube where one German Shepherd owner documented the growth spurt of his female German Shepherd from 5 weeks to the end of the second year.
As you can see from a video above, German Shepherds dogs can grow so fast, so big in a matter of months.
By the time they reach their full weight, the average male German Shepherds will weigh between 65-90 pounds, and the female ones will weigh between 50-70 pounds.
When pregnant, female GSDs can double their birth weight just in the first seven days.
Here I only talk about the classic German Shepherds.
There are other German Shepherds breeds that have a much large weight and height such as the King Shepherds. The King Shepherds are a cross-breed between the regular German Shepherds and a Shiloh Shepherd.
They can grow up 29″ long (male) and 27″ long (female), and weigh around 130 to 150 pounds (male) and 90 to 100 pounds (female).
Male vs. Female German Shepherds
The female German Shepherds are slightly shorter and smaller than the male GSD. They are also more sensitive than male GSDs and easier to train.
Because of their easiness to train combined with their smaller built, female German Shepherds are an ideal candidate if you’re looking for a dog to train in agility, rally obedience, or other related dog sports.
It’s worth noting that the male German Shepherds are generally better for personal protection while the female ones are better suited for family protection.
When do Male German Shepherds Stop Growing?
When I asked the opinion of German Shepherd’s parents in the forum, many said their male GSDs stop growing when they reached 2 1/2 to 3 years old of age.
Few even said that their GSDs filled out to 105 lbs!
So if you have male German Shepherds, you need to be prepared for all the extra costs that you may incur as he keeps growing.
It’s vital during the growing period that you supply them with a well-balanced diet and arrange regular veterinary visits.
When do Female German Shepherds Stop Growing?
According to the experiences of many German Shepherds owners, their female GSDs stopped growing by the time their dogs reached 2 to 2 1/2 years of age.
When do German Shepherds Stop Growing in Height?
Adult male German Shepherds can grow up to 25 inches long. As for female German Shepherds, they are a little shorter than the male GSD, with a height from 20-21 inches tall.
How Much Does it Cost to Own German Shepherds?
According to BrightStartGSD, the average cost of ownership for German Shepherds is $1,200 to $1,500 a year.
Meanwhile, referring to MoneyUnder30, the average first-year cost of medium dog ownership is around $1,270, factoring in several things: one-time dog expenses and an annual dog expenses.
The one-time dog expenses consist of spaying or neutering, initial medical exam, collar or leash, litter box, scratching post, carrying crate, and training dog.
The annual dog expenses include food, medical yearly exams, litter, toys and treats, license, dog health insurance, and other miscellaneous costs.
German Shepherd not Gaining Weight
As a German Shepherd parent, it can be quiet alarming if your dog doesn’t seem to gain weight. Here’re several symptoms that show signs that your puppy has an underweight issue:
- Loss of appetite
- Dull coat
- Loss of muscle mass
- Visible rib cage
- Gastrointestinal problems
The easiest way to determine if your German Shepherd puppy is underweight or not is by running your hands along their sides and over the rib cage.
In a healthy puppy, you should be able to feel their ribs below a thin layer of fat. But if you feel like you’re just touching skin and bone, then this is the sign that your dog is underweight and should be brought to the vet.
Possible Reasons Why Your Puppy Isn’t Gaining Weight
There are several possible causes of why your puppy is not gaining weight. The first and common causes are poor nutrition and underfeeding.
Much like human children during their growth period, your GSD puppy also needs a variety of nutrients to gain and maintain a healthy weight.
Underfeeding can be another possible cause too. Medium to large dog breeds, such as German Shepherds, need more feedings than the average dog breeds.
Make sure to follow the recommended feeding portion from your vet or from the bag of food to ensure you are not underfeeding or overfeeding your puppy.
The other common causes include gum disease, parasites, disease, and diabetes.
Gum disease is one of the most common health problems found in dogs. In fact, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 80 percent of dogs in the US suffer a stage of gum disease before they reach three years old.
Since gum disease can be painful, if your dog suffers from it, this disease can make them difficult to eat. If you suspect that your dog suffers from dental disease, bring them to your vet immediately.
Look out for the following symptoms:
- Bad breath
- Difficulty in picking up food
- Loose teeth
- Red gums
- Blood found in saliva, chew toys, or bowls
- Pawing at mouth/face
- Making unusual noises when eating
Almost all dogs suffer from parasitic worm infection at some point in their lives. The most common worm found in dogs are Roundworms or Toxocara Canis.
When these worms infect your dog, they can lose their appetite and ultimately weight quickly. Some symptoms to watch out are scooting, distended abdomen, vomiting, and diarrhea.
In some cases, however, your dog can have worms without showing any visible symptoms. This shows you the importance of having a regular visit to your vet.
Your vet can perform a fecal examination which will show whether your dog has a worm or not.
Many diseases can cause weight loss in dogs. A regular visit to your vet will keep your dog in check for any possible illness and the proper treatment.
It’s highly unlikely for German Shepherds up to two years old to get diabetes, but I’ll still cover this topic briefly here because it is one of the fatal diseases in German Shepherd dogs, which has symptoms such as loss of appetite, vomiting, and weight loss.
If left untreated, diabetes mellitus can lead to cataracts, liver and bladder problems, seizure, kidney failure, ketoacidosis, and coma.
German Shepherd is one of those dog breeds that are prone to suffer from diabetes mellitus, the average age when German Shepherds likely to get diabetes mellitus is in the six-to-nine-year-olds.
Female German Shepherds are three times more likely to get diabetes mellitus than the male GSDs.
So by the time your GSD reach six-to-nine year range, watch out for the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Excessive thirst
- Increased urination
- Lack of energy
- Depressed attitude
What Can I Feed my German Shepherd to Gain Weight?
To gaining and maintaining your GSD’s ideal weight, it’s recommended to feed your dog with foods that are around 30% of protein and 20% of fat if they are eating dry kibble.
If you’re feeding your GSD with wet food, you should get dog foods that are around 7% protein and 5% fat. Try feeding your dog multiple servings a day instead of one. In this way, your dog will get more opportunities to eat more calories. It’s also a good idea to supplement your dog’s diet with vitamin complex or multivitamin. Vitamin will help your dog to regain the essential nutrients that they need.
Read also: Best Dog Foods for German Shepherds