Average Lifespan of a German Shepherd: What Controls and How to Prolong an Average Lifespan

German Shepherd lifespan


Sooner or later, every dog owner begins to wonder: ‘How long do dogs live?’ Different dog breeds have various average lifespan, but today we will speak about such a popular breed as German Shepherd.

Life Expectancy

As a rule, the bigger is dog, the shorter life it will have. This deplorable regularity is accounted for metabolic activity that is faster with smaller dogs.

German Shepherd Lab mix lifespan

It is well known, that all dogs have the same ancestor, and, in “wild” life an average lifespan of a dog or a wolf amounts to 5-6 years. Those dogs, who dwell in a household, live much longer.

The average lifespan of a German shepherd is from 9 to 13 years. There are cases of longevity: 16, 18 and even 20 years.

What Controls Life Span?

There is a number of factors, that influence a life span of a dog. The first factor is housing conditions. If a shepherd lives in a house with a fairly big yard that a dog can chase around, it will definitely contribute to a longer lifespan. On the contrary, if a shepherd is reposes on a chain or lives in a crate all year round, all these constrained conditions will not add some years to your dog’s lifespan.

Great dane German Shepherd mix lifespan

The second important factor is your dog’s activity. If a shepherd has the opportunity to release its everyday energy and gets sufficient physical exercises, it will have a positive effect on your shepherd’s health.

Then goes a diet and it should be healthy and well-balanced, with necessary amount of protein, starches, vitamins and microelements.

Be careful! It is not recommended to overfeed your dog, especially, if it has insufficient activity level. Excess weight affect the heart and vessels of a dog that can seriously reduce a lifespan.
Recommendation: there are debates whether to feed dogs with natural food or with dry food. To prepare a natural food for a dog will take you time, considering the fact, that a German shepherd will need at least 700 – 800 grams of meat porridge a day, for example.

However, homemade food can not affect a health of a dog as dry food does. Regular consumption of a dry food (especially, cheap one) can lead to serious problems with urogenital system (urine calculus, etc.) and with other systems.

On the other side, dry food has all necessary vitamins and microelements, also, a big dog will need only 300-400 grams of this food a day. It is just a personal preference of a dog owner what type of food to choose, but natural food (meat porridges with vegetables, fresh meat) leads in a way of a healthy diet for a dog.

How to Prolong an Average Lifespan?

A foundation of your dog’s longevity is its state of health. A dog owner should not neglect annual immunization of a dog, along with preventive vet examinations.

Warning! Only a vet doctor can recognize an illness in its primary stage by means of exterior examination and analysis data. Forehanded aid in case of disease can substantially prolong a lifespan of your dog.

It is highly recommended to pay attention to annual anti-parasite treatment. Do not forget to treat your shepherd against tapeworm before immunization.

A dog owner should protect his or her dog against ixodic ticks during warm season. Piroplsamosis (a fatal disease that ixodic tick can carry) can cause serious impairment from the side of liver, heart and other systems.

Advice: always choose anti-tick protection of a high quality. Luckily, today there is a huge variety of anti-tick protection measures as collars, drops and sprays.


To prolong an average lifespan of a dog is a duty of every dog owner. Health life of a German shepherd directly depend on its life quality.

Once there is a German shepherd, a dog owner should bear in mind, that this dog need to be active, eat healthy food and be protected against diseases to live a long life. Any dog is a great responsibility.

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Noah Sanchez
Written by Noah Sanchez
Hi, there. I graduated Bergin College of Canine Studies I loved Animal Grooming there. So it's my passion and sometimes I write articles about dogs, and also love to train dogs. I have 2 amazing friends: German Shepherds

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