German Shepherd Life Span – How Long Do German Shepherds Live

photo by artofk9sg

The worst part of being a dog owner is that you’ll eventually have to say goodbye to them. Sure, it’s unpreventable, but can you really do nothing about it?

Actually, you can. Dogs can go beyond the average lifespan of a German shepherd. Regular exercise, proper diet, constant veterinary care. There are countless remedies.

Unfortunately, many dog owners don’t know about this. That’s why they don’t bother doing something to change their German shepherd’s lifestyle.

That’s why I created this blog post to inform owners of the German shepherd’s life expectancy. Understanding this aspect of their dogs better will give you a sense of urgency. That way, you’ll become much more eager to prolong your German shepherd’s life span.

The German Shepherd’s Life Expectancy

It’s already an established fact that the average lifespan of a German shepherd is 11 years. So you might be looking at a long journey with your dog.

American Kennel Club’s Standards

To be more precise, there are over 3.5 million German shepherds in the USA. Of all these dogs, it is found that the average German shepherd life span is exactly 10.95 years.

However, according to kennel clubs, German shepherds can live from 9 years to 13 years. This applies to German shepherd life span for females as well.

But if you think this is how long do German shepherds live, you can be wrong.

The Oldest German Shepherd

There are many factors that can affect this number. In fact, the oldest German shepherd recorded was able to celebrate its eighteenth birthday.

See also  Do German Shepherds Shed a Lot?

There are many owners that claim their German shepherds to have lived longer than 20 years, so the real oldest German shepherd  might be older.

Regardless, you now know that there’s really no 100% answer to the question – how long do German shepherds live?

However, it also means that some may have lived shorter, despite living a normal life. But why exactly is it possible?

How Long Do German Shepherds Live with Health Issues?

German shepherds Health issues are unavoidable. Fortunately, some health issues aren’t life-threatening.

This is especially true with skeletal problems. They are unavoidable, but they aren’t going to affect how long German shepherds live.

So that answers your question of how long can a dog live with hip dysplasia. But alas, there are many other health issues faced by German shepherds.

Common Health Issues of German Shepherds

Some of the most common health issues faced by German shepherds include:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Panosteitis,
  • Elbow Dysplasia,
  • Skin Problems,
  • Pancreatitis,
  • And more.

As previously said, some are critical while others are not. So what are those that can affect a German shepherd’s life span?

Does Health Issues Change The Average Lifespan of a German Shepherd?

Typically, there are many types of health issues common to German shepherds. However, the most prevalent health issues are skeletal problems.

  • Skeletal Problems: Many studies have already concluded that the German shepherd’s life span is not affected by skeletal problems.
    Such problems such as hip dysplasia, joint pain, and more only cause pain. However, this may lead to the decision of euthanizing dogs.
    So the answer to the question, “How long can a dog live with hip dysplasia?” may differ.
  • Dental Problems: German shepherds also take their fair share of dental issues. While it’s not exactly “life-threatening”, it does affect a German shepherd’s life span.
    This is because it may threaten their kidney, liver, heart, and more. This can then result in a shorter lifespan and can cut up to three years on your German shepherd.
    Some health issues are unpreventable, but there are those that can be avoided. The bad news is that breeders often doesn’t care about this.
See also  German Shepherd Growth Chart - Size & Weight Chart

The Problem with Unethical Breeding

Recently, unethical breeding had been widespread. Due to the popularity of German shepherds, many breeders use unethical breeding methods to speed up production.

As a result, multitudes of serious health conditions to a German shepherd are developed.

As of recent, there have reports of musculoskeletal diseases. Some German shepherds aren’t even able to stand.

There are many more health conditions caused by this breeding method, 263 to be exact. Some of them include:

  • Ear Inflammation
  • Aggression
  • Obesity
  • Diarrhea
  • Osteoarthritis

How Can You Extend German Shepherd’s Life Span?

As more health issues cotinue to pop up, so are countermeasures. It’s important to understand that you can prolong your German shepherd’s life span in many ways.

  • Brushing the Teeth: For one, you can regularly brush the teeth of your German shepherd, since it may become a threat to the dog’s internal organs if not taken care of.
  • Healthy Weight: Another way to extend a German shepherd’s life span is to keep their weight healthy. This is because obesity can lead to many problems.
  • Regular Exercise: One way to avoid obesity is having regular exercise. It will also increase the stamina of your German shepherd, which may prepare them for any unpreventable health conditions in the future.
  • Veterinary Care: It’s important to see the vet regularly since you might be missing out on obscure health conditions of your German shepherd. Give them vaccinations, checkups, and so on.
  • Relax Time: They might be energetic and active, but they also need some time off.
See also  German Shepherd Seizure

These ways can help prolong a German shepherd’s life span, female or male. Just make sure you don’t go overboard since it might do the opposite of what you intended.


Whether German shepherds have health issues or not, they are still lovable dogs. So there’s no reason for you to not prolong their life.

After knowing the result of shorter German shepherd life span, you should now understand that you need to make some changes in their lifestyle.

You should maintain their dental health. Provide them with constant veterinary care. Watch their diet. There are many ways to prolong a German shepherd’s life expectancy.

The bottom line is that you don’t have to wait until the last day of your German shepherd’s life span. You can do something to help them, and in turn, help yourself spend more time with your beloved friend.

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