What age do German Shepherds Stop Growing is a question that most GSD owners have. German Shepherds are big, strong, and powerful animals. Their natural guarding, herding and protective instincts have catapulted their need in both homes and work environments.
They are the chosen military, police, guard, guide, and search and rescue dog, wielding a lot of power, intelligence, and energy by the time they reach full maturity.
When you bring home a German Shepherd puppy, it may not look like the furry baby will become all these things listed above, but as your German Shepherd clocks 1 year 6 months to 3 years, it will have attained its adult body.
As a German Shepherd owner, you may have an idea of how your cute and cuddly puppy will grow up to be, but, it is important to gauge just how quickly it will reach its full adult size and when the German Shepherd will stop growing.
If you are looking for information on whether your German Shepherd has the right weight and height, is passing the right milestones, when it becomes an adult, and ultimately, when the German Shepherd stops growing altogether, then you have come to the right place.
What is the growth process for a German Shepherd puppy?
Stages of a German Shepherds Development
When you first get a German Shepherd puppy, it is small, furry, cuddly, and very fragile. The puppy is yet to start growing out to become the powerful, strong, and energetic German Shepherd that many people are accustomed to.
To ensure that the puppy makes it to that stage, it is important to understand the growth path (developmental stages) the puppy will undertake and what is expected at each stage (milestones). Alexandra Animalso gives five stages of puppy growth as explained below:
STAGE 1: Neonatal Period (0-3 weeks)
At this stage, the puppy has just been born. It is completely helpless and fully depends on the mother to feed, warm, and help them get rid of their waste. As a German Shepherd owner, look out for the following milestones:
- By the end of the first week, the puppy will begin to arch its back when picked up and also crawl.
- After 10 days, their eyes and ears will open up
- As 14 days lapse their eyes and ears are fully open, the first baby teeth come out, they begin getting rid of their waste and start walking.
STAGE 2: Socialization Period (3-12 Weeks)
After all milestones in stage one have been accomplished, the puppy moves on to stage two which takes place between the third and twelfth weeks of their life. At this stage, they begin to discover the world around them and become fascinated with what lies beyond their comfortable home.
To ensure the puppies become sociable in the future, make sure they are introduced to humans and other pets at this stage of their growth. Also, make sure that they are still being weaned by their mother. If they are separated at such an early age, they may have problems socializing with other dogs in the future.
What do you expect the puppies will achieve at this stage?
- By the start of the third week, they will be pro walkers
- By week 4, they will begin playing with their littermates and take an interest in playing with humans. They will also have most, if not all of their teeth and can start eating soft foods. At this stage, the puppy’s body temperature will also stabilize at around 100 degrees and their heart will beat at 170 BPM.
- By week 6, the puppies will start showing some adult behaviors such as mounting and greeting by sniffing tails
- Important!!!! Between the 6th and 8th week, they may have a period where they fear everything, do not be alarmed. Try to keep children away from the puppies during this period.
- By the 7th week, they may begin housebreaking
By the end of the 12th week, their ears will begin to stand upright
STAGE 3: Juvenile Period (3-6 Months)
Mentally, the puppies will not show any further signs of development. By this time, they have attained most of what they need to survive the world. But, if you want to train your puppy, then ensure you start puppy classes near the end of this period.
On the other hand, they still have a long way to go physically, so this stage is marked by physical growth. Expect the puppy:
- To have all their puppy teeth and have improved motor skills by the end of the third month
- By the end of the 4th month, start getting adult teeth
- Grow larger in size and become easily distracted.
STAGE 4: Sexual Maturity (6-16 Months)
By this point, the German Shepherd has started looking like they are just on the cusp of adulthood. As the name suggests, they reach sexual maturity between the 6th and 16th months of their lives.
They mostly look like adults, but the path for the German Shepherds to stop growing is still a long way away. The milestones to be attained include:
- By the end of the 6th month, all adult teeth are present
- The German Shepherd puppy ears will stand upright on their own and the females start having their heat cycles by the end of the 6th month
- By the 7th month, the intact males reach sexual maturity
- Between the 7th and 12th month, the puppies start urinating with their legs raised
At the end of the 16th month, the German Shepherd puppies will have developed strong pack bonds
At this stage of their development, a German Shepherd owner should consider spaying or neutering the puppies; otherwise, they will start mating. The female German Shepherds start having heat cycles.
Therefore, if you intend to keep the dogs for breeding, ensure that they maintain good hips and overall body form so that the breed is improved.
STAGE 5: Transition to Adult Period (16-36 Months)
When your puppy makes it to this point, then they have completed all the major milestones. However, do not be shocked if they continue growing physically, they are yet to attain their full adult body. By the end of the third year, however, the German Shepherd will have attained full maturity.
The German Shepherd will stop growing from 36 months moving forward. When your German Shepherd reaches this stage, ensure its diet is well maintained to foster a proper growth rate allowing the puppy to reach its adult weight by the end of the 36th month.
How do I know if my German Shepherd is healthy and growing well?
One of the reasons German shepherds are such a delight is their unique size. Many German Shepherd owners are keen to see that their puppy meets all the milestones at each stage until the German Shepherd stops growing, so how can you tell if your German Shepherd’s size is not over or underweight?
Moreover, Les Anges Gardiens states that some of the frequently asked questions of German Shepherd growth and health are, “how big will my German Shepherd grow”, “when will my German Shepherd stop growing” and “how can I tell whether my German Shepherd is healthy?”. The answer to these questions lies in the study of the German Shepherds’ weight.
According to Alexandra Animalso, studying the weight a German Shepherd puppy should attain by the time they reach a certain age gives you a better understanding of whether your German Shepherd is healthy and still growing.
From this, a German Shepherd owner can tell when exactly their German Shepherd will stop growing completely and what weight they will have attained by that point.
How do I know what weight is appropriate? . . . Study the German Shepherd Weight Chart
Sometimes, the weight of a baby determines whether they are healthy or not. Similarly, the weight of German Shepherd at different stages of their development gives a rough overview of the puppy’s health state.
Ensuring that your German Shepherd is a certain weight by a certain age is a good indication that your puppy is growing up healthy and well. Below, we have provided a weight chart, which shows the exact age and weight a German Shepherd should have on their path to adulthood.
Remember . . .
Both male and female German Shepherds do not grow at the same rate. Typically, male German Shepherds will grow faster than females. However, females are normally not too far behind. As long as the weight difference remains close, then do not worry. Also, ensure to study the right chart based on the gender of your dog.
How heavy are Male German Shepherds? . . . With a Weight Chart Guide
Male German Shepherds typically grow faster and gain more weight than female German Shepherds. By the third year of their life, male German Shepherds will have attained all weight milestones gaining their full adult weight weighed between 75-95 pounds. In some instances, the dogs will even surpass the 95-pound mark. The Weight Chart below shows the average weight distribution in male German Shepherds from birth to adulthood.
Male German Shepherd Weight Chart
|Age||Weight Range||Percentage of Adult Weight|
|Pounds (Lbs)||Kilograms (Kgs)|
|1 ½ years||71-79||32-36||98%|
How heavy are Female German Shepherds? . . . With a Weight Chart Guide
The female German Shepherd grows at a much slower pace than the Male German Shepherd. Even from birth, the male German Shepherd carries more weight than the female. However, they both attain their full adult weight by the end of the third year. The weight chart below shows the weight range of the Female German Shepherd from birth to adulthood.
Female German Shepherd Weight Chart
|Age||Weight Range||Percentage of Adult Weight|
|Pounds (Lbs)||Kilograms (Kgs)|
|1 ½ years||60-66||27-30||98%|
Other ways to check your dog’s growth?
Using the weight of the German Shepherd is one way of checking whether your German Shepherded is growing well and attaining all the milestones. The second method is by using the German Shepherd’s height.
Scholars have come up with both Weight and Height Charts which provide milestones that the German Shepherd should meet at different ages. By analyzing these two factors, the owners can determine whether it is healthy and at what point the German Shepherd stops growing.
When does a Male German Shepherd stop growing tall? . . . How tall are Male German Shepherds?
A male German Shepherd will stop growing tall when they are three years of age. Before this point, they will have attained certain milestones of height growth till they reach the adult height of between 24-26 inches. You can check their growth track and the milestones they should be accomplishing at each growth stage using the following height chart.
Male German shepherd Height Chart
|Age||Height Range||Percentage of Adult Height|
|1 ½ years||23-25||59-64||98%|
When does a Female German Shepherd Stop Growing tall?.. How tall are Female German Shepherds?
Female Germans Shepherds are typically shorter than male German Shepherds throughout their growth cycle. Just like their male counterparts, female German Shepherds stop growing at the age of three after attaining a height of between 22-24 inches. You can track height milestones from birth to when your German Shepherd stops growing using the chart below
Female German Shepherd Height Chart
|Age||Height Range||Percentage of Adult Height|
|1 ½ years||21-22||53-55||98%|
The figures above show an overview of the weight and height range guiding the development of your German Shepherd puppy, this does not mean that you go over and above to ensure that your puppy matches the figures exactly. The figures shared are based on averages and no German Shepherd matches them exactly.
Sometimes they go above, sometimes they are under, but the key is to ensure that the disparity is not too low or too high indicating that the dog is under, overweight, or has height complications. If you notice such a disparity, consider seeking help from a certified vet.
Again, as the owner of the pet, you are in the best position to determine whether your pup needs additional assistance or not, so make decisions wisely.
When does a German Shepherd stop Growing?
The comparison between the growth of a German Shepherd puppy and that of a baby is eerily similar. A German Shepherd typically attains its full adult body at 18 months, but its growth process does not stop there. The German Shepherd stops growing past the age of 3.
Why does a German Shepherd stop growing?
For German Shepherd puppies, growth is determined by the bones. Just like an infant, the growth rate is determined by the growth plate. The growth plates are located at the end of each long bone.
They contain cartilaginous regions where new tissue, which is flexible and pliable, can be created. As your German Shepherd grows, the growth plates create new tissues that harden to become bone once the German shepherd reaches maturity.
These growth plates start closing by the time 18 months elapse and fully close by the third year of the German Shepherds life. At this point, you can confidently state that your German Shepherd stopped growing because the bones are no longer being created.
When do German Shepherd teeth Stop Growing?
German Shepherds start growing their milk teeth between the 4th and 5th months of their lives. However, by the 6th month, German Shepherds stop growing teeth after their adult teeth have settled in.
German Shepherds are beautiful creatures who make lovely house pets. Growing up with one is a delight and can bring immense joy to the family.
However, learning the growth patterns and understanding when your German Shepherd stops growing helps you better determine how best to handle different situations, from the management of the German Shepherds height and weight to maintain their health, to ensuring the German Shepherd is meeting growth milestones.
Clearly, by the time your German Shepherd stops growing at the age of three it has surpassed tremendous physical and mental milestones to get there, so congratulate the pup and celebrate it for the patience and effort it has taken to go from childhood to adulthood.
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