German Shepherd Size
There are definitive guidelines for the size of German shepherd dogs. The standard is the length of the dog’s body must be larger than her height. The desirable proportion is to have the length 10% to 17% larger than the height at her wither, which translates to 10:8.5 to 10:9.
- Height : 23.62 inches – 25.59 inches at the wither
- Weight: 66.14 pounds – 88.18 pounds; midrange is 77 pounds
- Height: 21.65 inches – 23.62 inches at the wither
- Weight: 48.5 pounds – 70.55 pounds; midrange is 59.5 pounds
To qualify for competitions, male and female German shepherds must be no more than 1 cm over or under the standard proportions. Oversized, undersized, and heavy boned dogs are eliminated from the group.
The average German shepherd is a compact medium-large dog with well-built muscles and a unique combination of intelligence, strength, courage, and self-confidence. Dogs that are oversized are disqualified because they exhaust their energy supplies much quicker and, thus, are not able to work as long. Despite having the mental abilities and strength to do the work, their larger size means they cannot shepherd the sheep or cattle for as long as their normal sized brethren. It is the same with dogs that are undersized. Their shorter limbs means they must work harder to keep up which leads to quickly exhausting their supply of energy.
German shepherds have a good degree of power. Though they are not as fast as the light-weight Greyhound, they are strong enough to take down a man and protect their property. He has enough speed to run around sheep and cattle, and the endurance to maintain a steady pace far longer than other breeds. However, this is only possible if the dog’s height and size are within the set standards.
In general, a German shepherd puppy from a typical litter of 6 to 8 puppies should weigh about 1% of the mother’s pre-pregnancy weight. A number of factors can affect how much the puppy weighs, so this rule is not set in stone. Litter size, puppy gender, genetics, environmental conditions, and mother’s health all affect how big a German shepherd puppy will be when he is born. Healthy, well-bred puppies should double in size by the time they are 10 days old, and gain about 5% to 10% of weight each day afterwards.
A German shepherd male is considered an adult at 18 months while a female reaches adulthood at 24 months. The growth of these dogs typically slows down around 6 months of age. Here is a chart that provides a general idea of how much the dog should weigh at different ages.
- 1 year: male 4.2 kg/female 3.3kg
- 2 years: male 9.0 kg/female 7.5kg
- 3 years: male 14.2 kg/female 12.0kg
- 4 years: male 19.0 kg/female 16.3 kg
- 5 years: male 23.0 kg/female 20.1 kg
- 6 years: male 26.0 kg/female 22.7 kg
- 7 years: male 28.5 kg/female 24.6 kg
- 8 years: male 30.0 kg/female 26.0 kg
- 9 years: male 31.5 kg/female 27.0 kg
- 10 years: male 32.6 kg/female 27.9 kg
- 11 years: male 33.7 kg/female 28.6 kg
- 12 years: male 34.6 kg/female 29.2 kg