Everyone has a guardian angel but the lucky ones have a German shepherd”
German shepherd (Deutscher Schäferhund) is a loyal and intelligent breed of dogs. They are very popular because of their guarding instinct.
Because of their protecting behavior, they are called military dogs, police dogs, rescue dogs, etc.
They are also considered as the reliable family companions, but this can only be achieved with proper training.
Here we will discuss the growth chart of German shepherds under the light of scientific literature.
WEIGHT AND HEIGHT OF GERMAN SHEPHERD:
German shepherd is a medium to large sized dog breed.
Below, average size has been given for both male and female GS:
Male: 66-68 pounds ( 29-30 Kg) * Average size of an adult male GS
Female: 48-71 pounds ( 21-32 Kg) * Average size of an adult female GS
Male: 24-26 inches ( 60-65 cm) —-62.5cm
Females: 22-24 inches ( 55-60 cm) —— 57.5cm
Note: These parameters have been coded purely based upon average measurements. Although, there can be some variations in these variables (weight/height) depending upon the genetic makeup, parental history, environment and other factors.
STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT AND GROWTH:
For a better understanding of normal growth and development pattern of German shepherd, we have divided the life of a German shepherd dog into the following important stages:
INITIAL PERIOD FROM BIRTH TO 21 DAYS (NEONATAL PERIOD)
This is the initial period of the growth of a German shepherd. It begins from the birth and extends up to 21 days (3 weeks) of age.
During this period, the puppy (neonate) is totally dependent on his mother for protection and feeding.
Note: After birth, the neonate contains a sufficient amount of antibodies (protective body proteins) which it gains from mother. These antibodies protect the neonate from various environmental challenges. But as puppy starts growing progressively, these antibodies start going down.
Note: 0-13 days of GS puppy is one of the very critical periods. They can’t even adjust their body temperature and are perfectly helpless creatures. They can’t sense anything (due to poorly developed sense).
Important developmental changes:
During this neonatal period, the following developmental changes occur in the GS puppy:
|1) GS starts to crawl and start eliminating on their own||7-14 days (usually at the end of first week & start of second week)|
|2) Eyes and ears open up (You can clearly see)||After the end of 2nd week ( 19-21 days approx)|
|3) Development of senses (Smell, touch, taste, hearing)||These senses start developing during the 13-21 days|
|4) Milk teeth eruption (deciduous teeth)||Approx. 2 weeks of age (14-18 days, first baby teeth erupts)|
|5) Start walking||Usually at the end of 3rd week (21days) but roughly between 14-21 days)|
3 WEEKS – 7WEEKS (SOCIALIZATION PERIOD)
The period from 21 days to 49 days is considered as the socialization period. During this period, the GS puppy tries to interact with the environment via its newly developed senses. This is the period during which the puppy gets socialized and learns new experiences and disciplines. Note: Mother teaches new skills and disciplines to her puppy during this period.
Important developmental changes:
The following are the important developmental changes which occur during this period of growth and development:
|1) Puppy starts walking well||21-28 days (better walk starts usually at the end of 4th month)|
|2) Social interaction such as playing with humans and mates.||At the end of 4th week ( usually on 35 days to onward)|
|3) Initiation of sexual behaviors such as tail sniffing/mounting||At the end of 42 weeks (6-7 weeks of age normally)|
|4) Fear response and housebreaking begins||6-7 weeks of age (usually at the end of 7th week)|
|5) Puppy begins to show nearly all teeth||At the end of 4th week (4-6 week usually)|
7 WEEKS TO 16 WEEKS
Puppies develop further social interactions during 7 weeks to 12 weeks. During these weeks, puppies are also susceptible to a number of traumas.
Additionally, they learn new experiences and store them in memory. If they had a bad experience/fear of anything, they would keep it stored in their memories for the rest of their life.
Moreover, 14-16 weeks are very crucial and also termed as seniority period. During these weeks, the puppy can develop vicious habits like fighting with other mates, biting, etc.
This is why; they need special attention and good training during these critical weeks.
16 WEEKS TO 24 WEEKS ( JUVENILE PERIOD)
16 weeks to 24 weeks (4-6 months) are very much important in the overall growth and development of German shepherd’s life.
According to some pet experts, you can start doing training of German shepherd at the end of 6 months of age.
Important developmental changes:
|Developmental changes||Age (days/weeks/months)|
|1) Completed teeth||At the start of 4th month usually|
|2) Development in the motor skills (better coordination and movement of body parts etc)||3-4 months (usually at the end of the 4th month)|
|3) Start developing permanent teeth.||4months to onwards|
Important note: 4-6 months is the last stage of puppyhood. During these months, you can observe abrupt stubborn/ bad behaviors in your GS.
They can ignore your calls and show disobedience. Now, ball is in your court, with proper training and expert suggestions, you can correct their improper behaviors and make them learn good things.
WELCOME TO ALDOLESCENE STAGE:
This stage usually starts at the end of 6th month and extends up to 24 months of age. This is important to know that during adolescence stage, no more developmental things take place because most of the developmental activities already have occurred during puppyhood.
7-14 MONTHS OF AGE:
At the end of 6th month, many pet experts recommend spaying/neutering the dog. This is an idea age for these surgical interventions. Remember, there are a lot of health benefits which are associated with spaying/neutering. Additionally, you can take a suggestion from your vet as well.
14-24 MONTHS OF AGE:
During these months, the dog prepares to get into the early stage of adulthood. From 14 months to 18 months, dog becomes more aggressive. Remember the sexual maturity starts at the age of 24 months (at this age, the dog becomes physically mature). German shepherds become perfectly matured (mentally) at the age of 3 years approximately.
WELCOME TO ADULTHOOD:
Adulthood period starts at the end of 24months 36 months (1-3 years). There are many critical things which you have to manage during the period of adulthood.
1) Provide a high-quality diet (nutrient dense) because of the higher requirements of the GS during this period. NOTE: German shepherd becomes active and energetic during adulthood.
2) Take care of the overall body condition of your German shepherd. Go for a walk (manage exercise schedule according to your routine).
WELCOME TO SENIORITY:
This is the final stage of growth of German shepherd. It starts from the end of 5th year of life and can extend up to ten years.
Lifespan of German shepherd: This totally depends upon the way you take care of your GS. Better nutrition, enrichment activities, a healthy lifestyle can favor the lifespan. Talking broadly, A German shepherd can live up to 9- 13 years.
WEIGHT & HEIGHT CHART OF GERMAN SHEPHERD (growth chart of German Shepherd):
This chart is going to help the German shepherd breeders and owners to compare the weight and
height of German shepherd at different stages of life.
|Age (months)||Average weight (kg)||Average height (cm)|
|I month||4.2-4.4 Kg(M) : 3.3-3.6 kg (F)||15.5 cm (M) : 14.18 cm (F)|
|2 months||9.0 kg (M) : 5-7.5 kg (F)||16.5-22 cm (M): 14-22 cm (F)|
|3months||14.5 kg (M) : 8-12.6 kg (F)||23.5-27 cm (M): 20-25 cm (F)|
|4months||18.5-19 kg (M): 13.5-16kg (F)||28-35 cm (M): 26-31 cm (F)|
|5months||22.9 Kg (M) ; 16.5-20kg (F)||35.5-40 cm(M): 31-36 cm (F)|
|6months||23.2-26 kg (M) ; 20-22 kg (F)||41-45.5 cm (M): 37-42 cm (F)|
|7months||25.5-28 kg(M) ; 22-24 kg(F)||47-52 cm (M): 43-38 cm (F)|
|8months||28.1-30 kg (M) ; 24-26 kg( F)||53-56 cm (M): 45-50 cm (F)|
|9months||29.5-32 kg(M) ; 26-27 kg(F)||54-59 cm (M): 48-53 cm (F)|
|10months||33 kg(M) ; 27-28 kg( F)||55-60 cm (M): 49-54 cm (F)|
|11months||34 kg( M) ; 28-29 kg (F)||57-62 cm (M): 51-56 cm (F)|
|12months||34 kg (M) ; 28-29kg (F)||57-62 cm (M): 51-56 cm (F)|
M-stands for male
F-stands for female
Disclaimer: These given figures are totally based upon average measurements of weight (kg) and height (cm). There can be variations according to the genetic, environment, nutrition, health status of German shepherd.
S. K. Helmink, S. L. Rodriguez-Zas, R. D. Shanks, E. A. Leighton, Estimated genetic parameters for growth traits of German shepherd dog and Labrador retriever dog guides, Journal of Animal Science, Volume 79, Issue 6, June 2001, Pages 1450–1456
K. Helmink, R. D. Shanks, E. A. Leighton, Breed and sex differences in growth curves for two breeds of dog guides, Journal of Animal Science, Volume 78, Issue 1, January 2000, Pages 27–32.