Unleashing the Truth: How Big Does a German Shepherd Get?

From puppy to adult, how big does a german shepherd get? Understanding their size journey will help you prepare for every stage.


German Shepherds are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world, known for their intelligence, loyalty, and versatility. Originally bred in Germany as a herding and guarding dog, German Shepherds have since become a favorite choice among families as a companion pet and working dog. One common question that prospective owners may have about this breed is how big they can get. The answer to this question is not simple, as there are many factors that can affect a German Shepherd’s size. In this article, we’ll explore the various elements that contribute to a German Shepherd’s growth and ultimate size. German Shepherds are known for their impressive physical appearance. They have strong muscles and an overall athletic build that makes them appear both elegant and powerful. Their fur is typically black and tan or sable in color, with medium-length hair that requires regular grooming. Aside from their physical appearance, German Shepherds are also renowned for their intelligence and trainability. They excel at tasks such as obedience training, search-and-rescue operations, and even law enforcement work. Because of their versatility in different areas of expertise, it’s no wonder why they hold such high esteem among dog lovers all around the world. So without further ado – let’s dive into the topic of how big German Shepherds can get!

General Size Range

When considering adding a German Shepherd to your household, it is important to understand that they are a large breed of dog. They can grow to be quite tall and can weigh anywhere from 50-90 pounds. Females are typically smaller than males, both in height and weight. German Shepherds generally stand at about 22-26 inches tall at the shoulder. It is essential to note that the size of a German Shepherd can vary depending on factors such as genetics, nutrition, and exercise. Male German Shepherds are larger than females and can weigh up to 90 pounds or more. The average weight of a female German Shepherd tends to be around 50-70 pounds. This means that they are still considered a big breed, even though they may not be as massive as their male counterparts. It’s essential to keep in mind that while these measurements provide an excellent estimate for adult size range, there will always be exceptions. Some dogs may fall outside of this range due to genetic factors or other environmental variables like diet and exercise. In general, the bigger size of the German Shepherd means they require more space than smaller breeds. They require ample room to move around comfortably and run off their energy. Before deciding on owning a German Shepherd, ensure you have enough space in your home, yard or living environment for them to thrive happily without feeling cramped.

Males vs Females

As mentioned earlier, males tend towards being larger than females when it comes to German Shepherds’ physical characteristics. The difference between male and female size is substantial enough that it’s easy for most people to tell them apart solely based on their appearance. Male German Shepherds weigh considerably more than their female counterparts; on average, they weigh between 66-88 pounds when fully grown. Their height ranges from approximately 24-26 inches tall measured at the shoulder. Female German Shepherds, on the other hand, typically weigh between 49-71 pounds, with a height range of about 22-24 inches tall at the shoulder. It’s important to note that while male German Shepherds tend to be larger than females, it doesn’t mean that all males are bigger than all females. As mentioned earlier, genetics plays a significant role in determining your dog’s size.

Size and Temperament

The size of a dog can often contribute to its temperament. As German Shepherds are considered large dogs, it is essential to ensure they receive appropriate socialization and training from an early age. Despite their size making them naturally intimidating or imposing, they can still make great family pets when trained correctly. It’s also important to keep up regular exercise routines to help them manage their energy levels and prevent boredom-related behavioral issues.

Average Size for Working Dogs

German Shepherds have long been used as working dogs in various fields such as law enforcement and military service. Size considerations may vary depending on their working roles. In general, working lines breed for more substantial bone structure and musculature that allows them to perform tasks like running faster or pulling heavier loads effectively. These dogs tend towards being at the higher end of the typical weight range for their sex. Conversely, show lines breed for a more refined appearance such as a leaner head shape and slimmer or lighter body type. They favor maintaining closer adherence to the general standard weight ranges.


When considering owning a German Shepherd dog breed, it is vital first to understand how big these animals grow up to be fully prepared for this responsibility. German Shepherds are considered large breeds with males being bigger than females; however, it’s critical not only just looking at those numbers but how exercise routines will affect your dog’s growth and overall temperament. Ensure you’re providing the right environment and socialization for your German Shepherd to reach their full potential and be a happy member of your household.

Factors Affecting Size

German Shepherds are known for their impressive size, but the reality is that there are a number of factors that can impact how large they grow. In addition to genetics, which play a significant role in determining a dog’s ultimate size and stature, environmental factors such as nutrition and exercise can also have an impact on growth and overall size.


One of the most important factors affecting German Shepherd size is genetics. Like with any breed, the size of a German Shepherd puppy will be influenced by the size of its parents and ancestors. Breeders selectively breed dogs to promote certain traits such as temperament, coat color, and physical features like height or weight. While there is no hard-and-fast rule for predicting adult German Shepherd size based on parentage or ancestry alone, it can be useful to take into account both sides of the family tree when thinking about how big your puppy may get. Generally speaking, if both parents are large, then it’s more likely that their offspring will also be large; likewise if both parents are on the smaller side. It’s worth noting that some breeders will intentionally breed larger dogs in order to produce puppies that meet certain show standards or working dog requirements. This can result in larger-than-average adults within a given litter or bloodline.

Environmental Factors

In addition to genetics, there are several environmental factors that can impact how big a German Shepherd gets. For example: – Nutrition: Proper nutrition is essential for healthy growth and development in puppies. If your dog isn’t getting enough calories or nutrients from its food, it may not reach its full potential when it comes to size. – Exercise: Adequate exercise is important for maintaining muscle mass and bone density. A lack of exercise or too much rest/relaxation time may stunt growth. – Health conditions: Illness or injury can impact a dog’s growth and size. Certain health conditions may hinder growth, while others may cause excessive weight gain. Overall, it’s important to provide your German Shepherd with a healthy, balanced diet and plenty of opportunities to exercise in order to promote optimal growth and development. While genetics will ultimately play a large role in determining how big your dog gets, there are still things you can do as an owner to ensure that your pup reaches its full potential.

Male vs Female Size Differences

German Shepherds are generally a large breed of dog, with males typically being larger in height and weight than females. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), male German Shepherds stand between 24-26 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 65-90 pounds, while females stand between 22-24 inches tall and weigh between 50-70 pounds. This means that male German Shepherds can be up to 10 pounds heavier than females. While males are generally larger, females may have more proportional body shapes compared to males. Females tend to have narrower heads, smaller chests, and more streamlined bodies. This may make them appear less bulky than their male counterparts. However, female German Shepherds still possess the same physical traits as males such as strong jaws and powerful legs. It is important to note that size differences can vary greatly among individual dogs, regardless of gender. Genetics play a significant role in determining a dog’s size, including the size of their parents and ancestors. Environmental factors such as nutrition and exercise also impact growth and overall size. Owners should also keep in mind that certain lines of German Shepherds may be bred for specific purposes which could affect their size. For example, show line German Shepherds may be bred for appearance rather than working ability which could lead to smaller overall body sizes. While male German Shepherds are typically larger in height and weight than females, individual variation exists within each gender. Factors such as genetics and purposeful breeding can also play a role in determining a dog’s size. Ultimately, owners should focus on providing proper nutrition and exercise to promote healthy growth in their furry companions regardless of their size or gender.

Growth StagesFrom birth to adulthood

The growth stages of a German Shepherd puppy are critical in determining their overall size and development. German Shepherds have a typical growth pattern, with certain milestones marking their transition from one stage to another. The first stage is the neonatal phase, which lasts from birth until two weeks old. During this stage, the puppy is completely dependent on its mother for food and warmth. Puppies are born with their eyes and ears closed but can sense touch, smell, and taste. The second stage is known as the transitional phase, which lasts from weeks two to four. Puppies begin to open their eyes and ears during this stage and start exploring their surroundings. They also start developing teeth and learning how to play with their littermates. During the third phase – the socialization period – puppies begin to interact more with humans and other animals outside of their littermates. This period starts at around four weeks old and ends at around twelve weeks old when they leave for new homes. Socialization during this period is critical in shaping a dog’s temperament and behavior later in life. There’s adolescence – from 12 months old until about 18 months old – when dogs fill out physically but still have some growing to do psychologically as they test boundaries. Weight gain & height increase German Shepherds are expected to grow rapidly during the first year of life, eventually reaching adult height by six to eight months old. At one month old, German Shepherd puppies typically weigh between three to five pounds; by six months old that weight can reach 60-70 pounds or even more depending on genetics. Height-wise, male German Shepherds typically reach a height of 24-26 inches while females stand at about 22-24 inches tall at maturity (around two years old). During adolescence however it’s not uncommon for them to have uneven growth and look a bit uncoordinated. It’s also important to note that nutrition plays an important role in the growth and development of a German Shepherd puppy. A balanced diet with good quality protein is essential for muscle development, while calcium aids in bone growth. Overfeeding can lead to obesity and other health problems, so it’s crucial to follow feeding guidelines appropriate for their age. Proper exercise is also essential during each stage of growth as it helps maintain optimal weight, strengthen bones and muscles, and supports overall physical health. Understanding the different growth stages of a German Shepherd puppy can help owners provide the necessary care required at each stage of development. Providing adequate nutrition and exercise combined with regular veterinary check-ups ensures that the dog grows into a healthy adult with an ideal weight and muscular build.

Large or Small for Breed?

Address common concerns about whether

Many people who own or are considering owning a German Shepherd often express doubts about the size of their dog. Some owners may worry their dog is too small or too large for the breed. However, when it comes to German Shepherds, there is a wide range of acceptable sizes. One concern that some German Shepherd owners have is that their dog may be too small for the breed. It’s important to remember that not all German Shepherds will grow to be the same size. While there are average height and weight ranges, individual dogs may fall outside these ranges and still be perfectly healthy and within breed standards. On the other hand, some owners may worry that their dog is too large for the breed. It’s true that male German Shepherds can weigh up to 90 pounds and stand at 26 inches tall at the shoulder, but this is just an average range. Some male dogs may weigh even more or stand taller than this and still be considered healthy and within breed standards. It’s important for owners to focus less on meeting exact size standards and more on ensuring their dog is healthy overall. Regular vet check-ups, proper nutrition, exercise, and mental stimulation are all key components of a happy and healthy German Shepherd.

Avoiding Health Issues Related to Size

While there isn’t necessarily an ideal size for a German Shepherd as long as they fall within general breed standards, it’s important not to let them get too big or too small as it could lead to health problems in your pet. Overfeeding a German Shepherd can lead to obesity which puts stress on joints potentially leading towards hip dysplasia with age. Obesity can also cause other health issues such as diabetes and heart disease. Alternatively underfeeding your pet will stunt its growth which puts stress on their bones and can lead to other physical and mental problems. Malnutrition leads to a weak immune system that is unable to fight off diseases leading to various infections. The key here is balance where you should feed your pet a healthy and adequate amount of nutrition, provide sufficient exercise, socialization, trainings and mental stimulation.

When Should You Worry About Size?

While it’s important not to worry too much about the exact size of your German Shepherd, there are times when you should be concerned. If your dog falls well outside the average height or weight ranges for their age and sex, it’s important to talk with your vet. Unusual growth patterns could be an indication of underlying health issues such as malnutrition or certain genetic disorders that stunt growth. Your vet can help determine if there is cause for concern or if your dog is just a unique individual. If you are purchasing a puppy from a breeder, make sure they are reputable and perform health screening tests on their breeding dogs. This will help ensure that any puppies produced will be healthy in terms of both size and overall physical condition.


Overall, when it comes to German Shepherds, size isn’t everything. While there are general height and weight ranges for the breed, individual dogs may fall outside these ranges while still being perfectly healthy. As long as owners focus on providing their pets with proper nutrition, exercise, training and care for their overall health needs rather than just worrying about meeting exact breed standards for size; they should have no problem raising happy healthy dogs without any major issues arising from size concerns. German Shepherds remain one of the most beloved family pets because of their loyalty but also due to their intelligence making them great assistance animals which helps children cope with certain disabilities such as autism spectrum disorder.

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