When do German Shepherds Stop Growing? GSD Stages You Must Know

When do German Shepherds Stop Growing

Here we will be discussing precisely at what age will German Shepherds stop growing, GSD’s growth phases, ways you can predict your own dog’s adult size, the factors that influence GSD’s growth, and GSD’s usual adult size. 

At what age do German Shepherds stop growing? German Shepherds would reach physical maturity in about 1 ½ to 2 years of age, although they may continue to grow until they’re 3 years old. Of course, the size would differ for male and female German Shepherds and to acknowledge that, German Shepherd males would grow a height of 24-26 inches (60-65 cm) while females would grow 22-24 inches (55-60 cm), both with a weight range of 77-85 pounds (35-40 kg)

A GSD’s average size is but a range of its common measurements. Every German Shepherd can grow outside these ranges. 

There’s still many to know when it comes to the growth of German Shepherds, and you might want to assess it better, so go ahead and read on! 

Phases Every GSD Puppy Goes Through 

For many clear reasons, every dog breed grows differently. From raising a German Shepherd, you have to understand that your pup would naturally go through various stages before it finally reaches its full maturity. 

Below is a list of these following phases you might want to scan through: 

Neonatal Phase 

This stage is better known as the Newborn Stage, where you can expect that your GSD puppy is still unable to see or hear. It won’t do as much but to sleep and just to be in the total comfort of its dog mum; often, you’d witness nursing. This stage would typically last for about 2 weeks until the eyes start to open and it can finally react to sound; it’s a beautiful occurrence you probably won’t want to miss, so it’s a good idea to track the days and to check your pup from time to time. 

A 2-week old GSDs would generally weigh around 4 pounds or 1.8 kilograms.

Transitional Phase 

During this period, your German Shepherd puppy would be from 2 to 4 weeks old, and by then again, it would be able to see and hear. You can watch how it would curiously look around the place and even try to walk a little, although because it’s still in the process of developing enough strength on its muscles, sometimes it would fall down or wobble while it stands and moves. Just be patient, and soon enough, it will be as playful and vigorous as you’d hope for! 

Socialization Phase 

It happens between 3 to 12 weeks of age, and it merely denotes that your puppy is ready to socialize with other dogs and human friends. Make sure to initiate and give an impression of a safe and loving environment for your German Shepherd; it’s your responsibility to make your pet feel comfortable at home and be well taken care of. Disregarding this would leave your puppy uncertain, frightened, or aggressive towards strangers and you. 

German Shepherds are naturally friendly animals, but if you don’t create a good bond with them or expose them appropriately to their surroundings, it’s possible that they won’t. It’s suggested you try training them as early as this age. Establish a good relationship, and let it know that it can trust and follow you. 

At 2 months of age, GSD’s weight would usually range from 16 to 20 pounds or 6 to 9 kilograms. 

Juvenile Phase 

The Juvenile period takes place from 3 months of age to 6 months as your puppy would then reach its sexual maturity and would seemingly be more fond of exploring on its own. Perhaps you only wish to know your dog’s size once it gets older, but apparently, the body language is what you need to look out for. Managing a German Shepherd can be a handful, and clearly it’s not just because of the physical maintenance, but more so because it’s very full of energy and athletic – this will manifest greatly during this stage.

Because of its great physical strength, it can be challenging to control. 

Adolescent Phase 

At this point, your German Shepherd would be 6-months old and it would start to experience the usual effects of sexual maturity. For females, they tend to go into heat around the ages 6 to 8 months and they do mature faster compared to males. Moreover, GSD males would start to become territorial and frequently aroused, so don’t be too surprised if it begins marking and mounting. You might want to consider spaying or neutering your dog at this age so that you could keep it in a calm and proper behavior. 

Once your GSD reaches 9 months, about 90% of its adult weight is gained, with a range of 64 to 71 pounds or 29 to 32 kilograms. 

Adult Phase 

A fully grown German Shepherd is usually 2 to 3 years of age and, for most cases, would stop growing from then; this doesn’t only pertain on its physical side, but also its mental and emotional side. GSD females would be smaller and lighter than males, but like what was aforementioned, they mature faster. 

If you’re thinking about considering a German Shepherd into your home, its size would really matter, given its maintenance and the space it needs. It’s a wise choice to learn more about GSD pups, in fact, it can be challenging to manage once it gets older! 

Estimate Your Puppy’s Adult Size 

From 2 to 3 years, your German Shepherd will finally turn into its peak physical maturity, although you don’t have to wait that long to know how big it will get, right? If you plan to own this big fur baby, you better prepare ahead! Contemplate how you can manage to provide your German Shepherd a spacious place to play and sleep and provide the right portion of meals it needs in the future! 

Knowing the average size of an adult German Shepherd may not be enough in giving you a heads-up, in fact, dimensions will totally depend on each and every dog. So if you want to make a more accurate assessment, here are some fantastic ways to help you estimate your GSD puppy’s adult size:

Check your puppy’s genetic background

This may be the easiest and most basic way to figure out how big your puppy will get. You can have its parents’ height, and weight averaged out to get a nearly accurate estimate of your puppy’s size once it reaches adulthood. 

Track 16 weeks from its puppyhood

This method is very simple but make sure to have it tracked carefully to have a more precise guess. Beginning from your puppy’s birth, track 16 weeks of its growth and have its height and weight measured from there. Multiply the measurement by 2 and it will give you a fairly probable estimate. 

Study the growth charts

Charts can help give you a range of GSD’s average size, but it’s only as good as your general idea of how big a German Shepherd can get. The ideal size for male and female would have some slight differences, so it’s good to browse what’s in reference to your dog’s gender. 

Factors that Influence German Shepherds’ Growth 

If you’ve reached this part of the article, then you’ve most certainly learned a lot about the ending phase of a GSD’s growth as well as how you can discover the potential adult size of your own pup. Indeed, there are some factors that could affect the development of your German Shepherd; so without further ado, below is a quick list of some of the most common influences of your GSD’s growth: 

Neutering or spaying

Having your dog neutered or spayed will cause it to grow a bit taller than usual since the chemicals would delay its bone growth plate; this would also result in gaining more weight. 

Worm infestations

This is a more serious case that could affect your dog’s growth. Worms would feed off of your dog’s essential nutrients and would cause its malnutrition; you might want to prevent this from happening through having it checked at the vet at least once a year and keeping your German Shepherd free from fleas. 

Strenuous exercises during puppyhood

Dogs’ bones are very delicate at a young age, so taking your GSD for a long jog or run could really damage its growth plates. Thus, it would result in a growth stunt. It’s always better to wait a year and help your dog build up its strength and stamina through time. 

Final and Additional Thoughts 

You can expect that German Shepherds will stop growing for a maximum of 3 years of age; a full-grown GSD’s size would depend on its line and gender. While we already know that male German Shepherds are more likely to have bigger structures than females, a different GSD line would also dictate this to be untrue.

Many German Shepherds are bred either to be show dogs or to be working dogs that would clearly make a difference with their measurements. Show dogs would appear thinner and with an awkwardly angled back since their hindquarters are much shorter than those at the front, while working dogs have thicker and straighter body structures. GSD show dogs can either be American/Canadian or West German; they are bred to fit as a family dog while West/East German or Czech GSD working dogs are bred to fit for police/military or heavy work ethic.

Either way, these German Shepherds are hyperactive and would need constant exercise and an engaging environment to live their best lives. If you wish for a miniature GSD, mixed breeds with a toy poodle are the most common; German Shepherd Corgis has also become a real thing for medium-sized pooch lovers. Nonetheless, all pure German Shepherd dogs fall under the large-sized dog group, so if you think you can take care and meet the basic needs of a big dog’s basic needs, you can rightfully own a German Shepherd.

Scroll to Top