The German Shepherd breed is known for a number of desirable characteristics. Because of this, they…
German Shepherds are loyal, obedient, and fun dogs to keep as pets. They go through different stages of growth before they actually reach their full size.
This article will discuss when German Shepherds stop growing as well as their stages of growth.
What Age Does A German Shepherd Stop Growing?
Male German Shepherds stop growing when they reach 2 ½ to 3 years of age. Females, on the other hand, tend to stop growing at around 2 to 2 ½ years of age.
German Shepherd Sizing and Physical Characteristics
The German Shepherd is considered a large breed. According to the American Kennel Club, GSDs should be 22 to 26 inches tall and weigh 50 to 90 pounds when fully grown (on average). They’re larger and heavier than the common Labrador Retriever which, when fully grown, are 21.5 to 24.5 inches tall and weigh 55 to 80 pounds.
While dogs don’t all grow at the same rate, the table below describes height and weight milestones by age that is typical of the breed.
|Weight (lbs.)||Height (in.)||Weight (lbs)||Height (in.)|
|1 month||5.5 – 9||4 – 6||4.5 – 8||3 – 6|
|2 months||16 – 20||7 – 9||11 – 17||6 – 9|
|3 months||22 – 30||9 – 11||17 – 26||8 – 10|
|4 months||35 – 40||11 – 14||31 – 35||10 – 12|
|5 months||40 – 49||14 – 16||35 – 44||12 – 14|
|6 months||49 – 57||16 – 18||44 – 49||15 – 17|
|7 months||57 – 62||19 – 20||49 – 53||17 – 19|
|8 months||62 – 66||20 – 22||53 – 57||18 – 20|
|9 months||64 – 71||21 – 23||55 – 60||19 – 21|
|10 months||66 – 73||22 – 24||57 – 62||19 – 21|
|11 months||66 – 75||22 – 24||60 – 64||20 – 22|
|1 year||71 – 75||22 – 24||60 – 64||20 – 22|
|2 years||71 – 84||23 – 25||62 – 66||21 – 22|
|3 years||79 – 88||24 – 26||66 – 70||22 – 24|
Note: The height is measured from the pads of their foot to their withers (the base of the neck) while standing.
The German Shepherd is a breed that has been maintained through very specific standards. Based on these standards, meeting a specific length-to-height ratio is more important than meeting the typical height and weight milestones. Generally, GSDs are expected to have a length-to-height ratio of 10:8.5 where length is measured from the chest to the base of the tail and height is measured from the withers to the pad of the foot.
Different German Shepherd Growth Stages
If you’re planning on buying or adopting a German Shepherd puppy learning about German Shepherd growth stages is an important step to knowing what to expect for the first few years.
Here is a basic guide to German Shepherd growth stages.
The first two weeks of the puppy’s life are called the newborn or neonatal stage. At this stage of their lives, the puppies are deaf and blind.
They are dependent on their mother to survive. The puppies can’t eliminate or even regulate their body temperature without the help of their mother. About 10% of their life is spent being nursed, and 90% is spent sleeping.
Puppies steadily grow at a rate of 65-90 grams a day, depending on their size and the size of their mother.
The transitional stage is the second German Shepherd growth stage. It starts when they are 2 weeks old and ends when they turn 4 weeks old.
During this stage, their first milk teeth start to come in. They can also see and hear during this period. They will start to wag their tails and walk around, even though it may seem wobbly and unsteady at first. They will also start to eliminate on their own.
During the transitional stage, puppies become more independent and begin to explore their surrounding area on their own.
At this stage, socialization is critical for puppies. The socialization period takes place between 3 weeks and 12 weeks.
During this stage, it is important to introduce them to as many loving, friendly humans and animals as possible so they learn how to socialize properly. Dogs who aren’t socialized enough during this stage can sometimes become leary of new people or surroundings instead of confident and friendly in any situation.
The socialization aspect is crucial at this stage, as German Shepherds are social animals. Exposure your dog to as many new objects, locations, people of different ages/sizes, and dogs and animals of different sizes as you can manage as soon as your pup comes home.
The juvenile stage lasts from 3 months to 6 months of age. This is the time when your German Shepherd will become even more independent.
They will like to explore their surroundings and wander around. They start to lose their puppy teeth during this stage and grow adult teeth. The dog’s ears may also stand up between the 4-6 month mark. The stage usually ends when the dogs start to reach sexual maturity.
The adolescent age starts when the German Shepherd is about 6 months old. This is when certain hormonal changes that are associated with sexual maturity begin to occur in the dog.
This stage lasts for a longer period since it usually ends when the dog is 2 years old or around that time. Females usually go into heat between 6-8 months of age. Males will begin roaming, mounting, and marking during this time.
Typically, your GSD will have their adult teeth around 6 months of age.
German shepherds take some time to reach full adult maturity Females do mature a little faster than males as mentioned above.
Generally, German Shepherds usually reach mental maturity at around three years of age and physical maturity around 2-2 ½.
At the end of this stage, your German shepherd is fully grown. Do keep in mind that every individual dog can be different from the average. They may develop differently at each stage.
Being mindful of the growth stage your German Shepherd is in is helpful when dealing with a young pup.
For example, you should never remove a newborn pup from their mother’s care too early since they are dependent on them. Similarly, during the socialization period, they may need different care since they should be exposed to more things.
Additionally, German Shepherds seem to grow overnight as puppies. So if you have ever wondered when does a German Shepherd stop growing, I hope this article provided you with some insight.