German Shepherd Lifespan: Best Ways to Increase Life Expectancy

by David
German shepherd lifespan

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When we think of a dog breed that is active, adaptive, and loyal, there is one breed that makes it to the top, i.e., German Shepherd. Also known as Alsatians or GSDs, they are one of the most popular dog breeds among Americans.

If you are thinking about having a pet who can join you in all your adventures, then a German Shepherd is the right choice. But as much as we want our dogs to live longer, they do not, and the same is the case with German shepherds.

What Is The Average German Shepherd Lifespan?

According to some sites, the average life span of a German shepherd is 10 to 14 years. But according to the AKC-American Kennel Club, on average, a German shepherd may live for 7 to 10 years. But there is a discrepancy? Are the German Shepherds in other countries live more than the ones in America?

Sadly, it is true that the American German Shepherds are bred according to the standards of a dog show. So they have more sloped back, causing them to develop issues like arthritis, hip dysplasia, and other joint problems. In contrast, Germany has strict standards for breeding German Shepherd and its focus on physical health rather than appearance.

Factors Affecting The Life Expectancy Of German Shepherd:

Here are the few factors that impact the life span of a german shepherd, including:

Mobility: one of the significant issues in german Shepherd is mobility. They are prone to joints and bone issues that lead to hip dysplasia, back issues, and arthritis. Although these issues won’t endanger the life of your canine, they indeed decreased the quality of life.

  • Bloating:

Bloating is the primary cause of death in the german shepherd breed. In this condition, the air gets filled in the stomach and twist on the axis, thus cutting the blood supply to the intestines.

  • Degenerative myelopathy:

it is A relatively common disease in german Shepherd that affects the spinal cord and leads to permanent paralysis.

  • Hip dysplasia:

It is a condition where the hip bone doesn’t fit into the socket anymore, leading to arthritis and, ultimately, mobility issues. Get your FREE copy of ‘Experts Guide To Avoiding German Shepherd Joint Problems here’.

  • Epilepsy:

Although it is treatable, the seizures can be fatal.

German Shepherd Lifespan – Tips to enhance their expectancy 

Although you can make sure that your dog will live a long healthy life, few things might enhance the quality of life for your pet.

  • Regular vet visits:

If you have a pet, then a regular vet visit is a must. The routine checkup ensures that your canine is healthy, and there is no medical complexity rising so far. You can take your pet to the vet once a year when they are young and twice as they age.

  • Watch the weight:

Obesity is one of the main concerns across all dog breeds, and most pet dogs face weight issues as most of the owners are not available to fulfill their pet’s exercise requirements resulting in them gaining weight. The increased weight is the leading cause of arthritis and hip dysplasia.

Make sure your German Shepherd is having a balanced diet and is regularly exercising to burn calories.

  • Reputable breeder:

To enhance the likelihood of your german Shepherd living more, you need a good breeder. Avoid the breeders who breed for the sake of the physical beauty of a canine; instead, find someone interested in improving the gene makeup of dogs.

  • High-quality diet:

Choose the best dog food for your canine to improve their lifespan. Here are a few tips to ensure the food you choose is of high quality.

Similar to humans, supplements are vital for German Shepherds as well. As they are prone to various joints and bone issues, it is prudent to provide the necessary supplements, including chondroitin and glucosamine.

Another fantastic supplement for your canine is Fish oil. It is an excellent source for treating spinal problems, intestinal inflammation, arthritis, higher cholesterol levels, itchy skin, and high blood pressure.

  • Regular exercise:

Exercise is crucial for a healthy lifestyle, especially in dogs who are naturally active and energetic. Regular exercise helps them stay fit and allows them to consume the excess energy that can otherwise transform into destructive behavior.

Adopt a daily exercise routine of an hour or more. You can try the following exercise ideas to keep your dog engage.

  • Running
  • Play fetch
  • Jogging
  • Running while you bike
  • Hiking
  • Dental hygiene:

Dental hygiene is mandatory in canines, especially in German shepherds. Teeth, if left unattended, may build bacteria which can then enter the bloodstream and harm the organs.

Dog experts recommend regular brushing to keep their teeth free from plaque, tartar, and bacteria. Also, a routine visit to the vet to get their teeth thoroughly clean is a must.

Check out our article on How to correctly maintain your German Shepherd dental hygiene here.

  • Mental activities:

German shepherds are an intelligent and highly energetic breed that may get bored quite quickly. So you have to craft few activities of games to keep your pet engaged. Boredom is dogs lead to undesirable behaviors that ultimately force their owners to choose rehoming.

  • Engage your pet with games like freestyle, flyball, etc.
  • Obedience exercise
  • Constant training
  • Puzzles
  • Give them a proper job:

German Shepherds are bred to be active breed, and they could not be happier if you assign them a job. It could be anything from a therapy dog to a rescuer to kids. Your pet would be healthy and happy while getting engaged in routine activities.

Check out some brain training solutions here to keep them mentally active. 


Your darling pet won’t live forever, but there are certain things you can do to improve their health and lifespan. If you follow the guidelines mentioned above, we are certain you have some quality years with your companion together. How do you like this article on enhancing your German Shepherd lifespan, do let us know in the comment section below.

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