The German Shepherd dog (GSD) is a large breed, and their size can be influenced by their environment. Genetics also play a significant role in determining your GSD’s final adult size.
Monitoring your German Shepherd’s weight gain and growth allows you to ensure that they are on the right track and also minimize the risk of health issues like hip dysplasia.
Dog owners who find themselves asking what is the ideal weight for their German Shepherd breed at 6 months of age or 12 weeks of age will definitely find the GSD growth chart below useful.
Overview: A Few Fun Facts about the German Shepherd
Developed by Captain Max Von Stephanitz, German Shepherds were originally meant to be herding dogs before being appropriated as militants.
Their loyalty and trainability have ensured them a top spot on the American Kennel Club’s list of most popular breeds.
Despite their popularity, many dog lovers don’t know that there are five different types of German Shepherds:
- American Show Line German Shepherds: Possibly the most suitable as companion pets, these dogs are also known as Canadian Show Lines. As they are bred for conformation, they have the most pronounced slopes.
- West Show Line German Shepherds: Considered the fairest of them all, these GSDs have large heads, and dense coats often found in Black and Red.
- West Working Line German Shepherds: With a less pronounced slope-back, these dogs are more built for performance than beauty. These dogs are closest in conformation to what Captain Max Von Stephanitz had in mind.
- East Working Line DDR German Shepherds: Probably the type with the least health problems due to extremely strict standards of breeding. They often have longer and darker coats.
- Czech Working Line German Shepherds: A working dog through and through, this Alsatian type is usually black or sable (agouti) with straight backs.
The Alsatian also comes in different shades, and the classic Black and Tan isn’t the most common color! To find out what it is, head over to the full article on all German Shepherd colors.
What is the average size of a German Shepherd?
According to the AKC’s breed standard for German Shepherds, females should reach 22 – 24” (55 – 60 cm) in height when fully grown. Male German Shepherds should stand around 24 – 26” (60 – 66 cm).
Dogs are measured from their withers because it’s much easier to get a consistent reading from their shoulders.
How much should a GSD weigh?
A male adult German Shepherd should weigh around 79 – 88 lbs (36 – 40 kg) when fully grown, whereas females will be about 66 – 70 lbs (29 – 31 kg).
These are just an estimation of the GSD’s average weight which means that there’s room for some variation.
The Ultimate German Shepherd Puppy Growth Chart by Height and Weight
Is your purebred puppy meeting all of his milestones? We have a GSD’s weight and height chart for both genders, from their first month all the way to their third birthday.
German Shepherd Female Puppy Growth Chart – Height & Weight
It’s interesting to note that female GSDs usually reach their adult weight at three, but male dogs fill out when they are four years of age.
Female GSD Age
|4.5 – 8 lbs / 2 – 3.5 kg||3 – 6” / 8 – 14 cm|
|2 months||11 – 17 lbs / 5 – 7.5 kg||
6 – 9” / 14 – 22 cm
|17 – 26 lbs / 8 – 12 kg||8 – 10” / 20 – 25 cm|
31 – 35 lbs / 14 – 16 kg
10 – 12” / 26 – 31 cm
|35 – 44 lbs / 16 – 20 kg||12 – 14” / 31 – 36 cm|
|44 – 49 lbs / 20 – 22 kg||
15 – 17” / 37 – 42 cm
|49 – 53 lbs / 22 – 24 kg||17 – 19” / 43 – 48 cm|
|53 – 57 lbs / 24 – 26 kg||
18 – 20” / 45 – 50 cm
|9 months||55 – 60 lbs / 25 – 27 kg||
19 – 21” / 48 – 53 cm
|57 – 62 lbs / 26 – 28 kg||19 – 21” / 48 – 53 cm|
|60 – 64 lbs / 27 – 29 kg||
20 – 22” / 51 – 56 cm
|1 year||60 – 64 lbs / 27 – 29 kg||
20 – 22” / 51 – 56 cm
|60 – 66 lbs / 27 – 30 kg||21 – 22” / 53 – 55 cm|
|2 years||62 – 66 lbs / 28 – 30 kg||
21 – 22” / 53 – 55 cm
|3 years||66 – 70 lbs / 28 – 32 kg||
22 – 24” / 55 – 60 cm
German Shepherd Male Puppy Growth Chart – Height & Weight
Adult male GSDs are usually bigger than females because German Shepherds are sexually dimorphic.
This size disparity is often present at birth, but don’t be alarmed if your male pup is smaller than his female littermate. He should soon catch up.
Male GSD Age
|Weight Range||Height Range|
|1 month||5.5 – 9 lbs / 2.5 – 4 kg||
4 – 6” / 11 – 16 cm
|16 – 20 lbs / 6 – 9 kg||7 – 9” / 17 – 22 cm|
|3 months||22 – 30 lbs / 10 – 14 kg||
9 – 11” / 23 – 27 cm
|35 – 40 lbs / 16 – 18 kg||11 – 14” / 29 – 35 cm|
|5 months||40 – 49 lbs / 18 – 22 kg||
14 – 16” / 35 – 40 cm
|49 – 57 lbs / 22 – 26 kg||16 – 18” / 41 – 46 cm|
|7 months||57 – 62 lbs / 26 – 28 kg||
19 – 20” / 47 – 52 cm
|62 – 66 lbs / 28 – 30 kg||20 – 22” / 51 – 56 cm|
|9 months||64 – 71 lbs / 29 – 32 kg||
21 – 23” / 54 – 59 cm
|66 – 73 lbs / 30 – 33 kg||22 – 24” / 55 – 60 cm|
|11 months||66 – 75 lbs / 30 – 34 kg||
22 – 24” / 55 – 60 cm
|71 – 75 lbs / 32 – 34 kg||22 – 24” / 55 – 60 cm|
|1.5 years||71 – 79 lbs / 32 – 36 kg||
23 – 25” / 59 – 64 cm
|71 – 84 lbs / 32 – 38 kg||23 – 25” / 59 – 64 cm|
|3 years||79 – 88 lbs / 36 – 40 kg||
24 – 26” / 60 – 65 cm
GSD Puppy Growth and Development (with Pictures)
Aside from reaching a certain height and weight, GSD puppies have various developmental milestones that they need to reach.
Making sure your puppy achieves these milestones can also ensure better care and training for your dog.
Watch Eiko Bear as he goes from a tiny puppy to a full-sized adult!
0 to 2 Weeks Old German Shepherd
A GSD puppy at this age needs its mother. They can rarely survive without her because she will provide nutrition, help them defecate, and keep them warm.
Those that breed dogs know that it’s best to leave the dam to it and support her with quality sustenance. It is also crucial to keep the whelping box clean.
2 to 4 Weeks Old German Shepherd
At this age, your GSD puppy should have doubled their birth weight. Your puppy’s senses will slowly start developing, and they will open their eyes.
They will still rely heavily on their mother, but puppies abandoned at this age have a better chance of survival.
4 to 8 Weeks Old German Shepherd (1-2 Months)
Over the next month, your GSD puppy will learn to crawl and get into mom’s food. It’s a good idea to introduce some puppy food to the little puppies.
They will have more developed motor control and will have learned to bark. Mom will be crucial in teaching the pups some manners.
8 to 12 Weeks Old German Shepherd (3 Months)
Some GSD puppies have erect ears by this age, but some dogs retain their floppy puppy ears until they finish teething at 5 or 6 months old.
This age is known as the socialization period and should be handled frequently by their human family.
Exposing them to various sights and sounds will also help greatly by desensitizing them to things they would come across in their life.
3 to 4 Months Old German Shepherd
Considered the juvenile period, you can expect GSD puppies to be boisterous and more inquisitive. If they are still with their littermates at this point, they will begin asserting their position in the pack.
As most dogs will have gone to their new homes at this age, expect some nipping to establish their role in the family and because they will start teething at this age.
Ensure you give them some age-appropriate chew toys and teethers to keep them from chewing shoes and furniture.
6 Months Old German Shepherd
Your German Shepherd puppy’s growth will start to decelerate at this age, and they will begin looking like miniature GSDs with their erect ears and proportionate body.
Some dogs go through a fearful stage where they become afraid of things that they weren’t before. Some may even exhibit signs of confusion at your commands.
Coddling them will reinforce these habits, so it’s best to ignore or divert them.
Female GSDs might also go into heat, but it’s important not to let her fall pregnant at this age as it could hinder her growth.
9 Months Old German Shepherd
Around this age, your GSD puppy might go through a rebellious phase where they try to push the boundaries. You should ignore their teenager-like attitude and encourage obedience.
This doesn’t mean to coerce them into submission but consistently reinforces positive behavior.
12 Months Old German Shepherd (1 Year)
At a year old, your GSD should be very much adult-like. You should be able to train them easily as they are becoming more attentive. Their personalities should also be starting to show.
Male German Shepherds may begin exhibiting signs of dominance or lift their legs to mark at this age.
14 – 16 Months Old German Shepherd
GSDs can sometimes be hyperactive but will have mostly calmed down at this age. It’s the perfect age to include obedience training or something more serious. Some pups will have reached their full size at this age.
You can make the transition to adult food because puppy food will be too high in calories and nutrition for their adult bodies.
Things you should know about your German Shepherd’s growth
You need to know a few other things about your dog’s growth, such as determining whether they are at an ideal weight and what affects their physical development.
Do German Shepherd types have different growth rates?
Since every dog’s growth is dependent on the individual dog, it’s safe to say that all German Shepherds have different growth rates. However, working lines are often slower to mature than show lines.
Don’t miss out: 43 Most Popular German Shepherd mixes
How can you tell how big a German Shepherd will get?
The best way to determine if your GSD will be a large dog is to look at his parents. If his parents are smaller than average, it would be rare to get a puppy that becomes larger than average.
Is your German Shepherd at a healthy weight?
Instead of looking at the scale to determine whether your dog is at a healthy weight, you should look at your dog.
Can you see his ribs? If so, your dog is underweight. If you can’t see nor touch his ribs, he’s overweight. The ideal weight will let you feel his ribs easily, but they shouldn’t be obviously visible.
How to evaluate your German Shepherd’s weight
As mentioned above, there are three categories your GSD dog may fall into:
Underweight: Malnourished and in need of vet care, most underweight GSD dogs have underlying health problems. This is when you can see prominent bones along their backs and sides.
Their heads will also look disproportionately large. Feed them a high-calorie diet such as puppy food.
Ideal weight: The picture of health. German Shepherds at an ideal weight should be at their peak and performing accordingly. You should be able to feel their ribs but not see them. Continue with your regular meals and exercise.
Overweight: These GSD dogs will need to be put on a strict diet and be encouraged to exercise gently. Overweight dogs are at risk for many health issues that can cause premature death.
Factors that can affect German Shepherd puppy’s growth
Aside from genetics, some external factors can hamper or support your German Shepherd’s growth and development.
Before you bring home a puppy, you might be tempted to go on an Amazon shopping spree, buying all sorts of treats and snacks for your pup. However, nutrition plays a crucial role in your GSD’s growth.
You want to optimize your dog’s caloric intake to give them a better head start in life. The best dog food should be catered explicitly to dog breeds and life stages.
We have a guide to the best dog food for German Shepherds that you might want to consider.
Basically, puppies should be fed a controlled portion of phosphorus to calcium ratio, whereas adult dogs need to have high protein and reduced fat.
Older dogs require the least amount of calories but benefit best from food fortified with health and joint supplements.
Neutering or Spaying your German Shepherd
Sterilization early may cause dogs to grow slightly bigger than they would if left intact. This is due to the production of a hormone that halts physical growth when dogs reach sexual maturity.
According to new research, this could increase the potential for hip dysplasia.
Aside from that, if you spay or neuter your dog too young, you may increase certain cancers and arthritis, another joint-related problem.
However, dogs sterilized at an older age may also come with risks for other health problems.
Some vets would recommend fixing your dog at a young age, but recent studies show that females should not be spayed until they complete a heat cycle, and males should wait until they are two.
However, this is up for debate because dogs that start to mark won’t stop even after they are neutered.
Your best bet is to talk to your vet and decide what risks you’re willing to take.
Parasites or Worm infection
Some GSD dogs may experience stunted growth due to parasites. For example, dogs with hookworms or roundworms will have a poor coat or diarrhea, but once you get them on a dewormer, they should perk right up.
The dangers lie in accelerated growth caused by overfeeding and spaying or neutering at an early age.
Growing too quickly can put pressure on your GSD dog’s joints and increase the risk of hip dysplasia, especially in breeds with a predisposition to weak joints.
German Shepherds Genetics
Your dog’s growth is dependent on his genetics. For example, most GSDs stop growing around 18 months old, whereas some might continue to grow till they are three.
If you want to know whether your dog is done growing, you can opt for an x-ray. The pliancy of your dog’s cartilage will tell your vet whether your dog will continue to grow.
When your dog is done growing, you can increase the intensity of his exercise.
Other Health Issues
German Shepherds are at risk for pituitary dwarfism, but it’s a rare condition that leaves your puppy slightly deformed with short legs and an oversized head.
What to do if your German Shepherd is not the right weight
Whether you have a male or female German Shepherd, they go through growth spurts occasionally, which can hamper weight gain. Giving them additional calories can help you get to an ideal German Shepherd weight.
If your dog’s low weight is accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite, you should consult with your vet ASAP. He might have an intestinal blockage or a heavy infestation of parasites.
Puppies on the heavier side should be appraised. Is he growing too quickly?
What should you do if your German Shepherd is growing too fast?
Overfeeding your puppy, especially a breed that’s prone to joint problems, can be dangerous. Hip or elbow dysplasia is a painful disorder that can greatly reduce your dog’s quality of life.
Feeding a high-quality diet with balanced nutrition can help them grow at a steadier pace.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
How big do white German Shepherds get?
Are there German Shepherds that stay small?
You can almost find a miniature version of any dog breed, and the Alsation is no exception. Breeders have been spurred by dog owners who want a smaller dog that embodies the same great qualities of a German Shepherd.
Do note that many miniature breeds are designer dogs and crossed with other dog breeds. For example, in the case of Miniature German Shepherds, they are commonly Collie-mixes or dogs crossed with a Toy Poodle.
Do you have everything you need about your GSD’s growth?
There’s so much to learn when it comes to your GSD’s development in terms of physical and mental growth.
Always bear in mind that the weight charts or height charts you come across are just guides. As long as your German Shepherd puppy is growing at a steady pace, you shouldn’t worry too much.
We hope we’ve provided you with the information you need to care for your puppy. When in doubt, you should always speak to a vet.