What You Should Know About German Shepherd Life Expectancy
German Shepherd life expectancy varies greatly depending upon the genetic predisposition and medical history of each dog. Although most dogs live up to ten years on average, others have been reported to live as little as two years. Some dogs may even have no life expectancy at all.
It is difficult to generalize breed characteristics and general health problems because each dog is different. The German Shepherd, as with many other dogs of similar size and build, is known for its dependability, calm temperament, and willingness to please. The German Shepherd is also a very hardy breed, which makes it ideal for active or outdoor dogs. Because of these traits, the German Shepherd has become a popular breed among people from all walks of life. These attributes have led to a relative increase in the German Shepherd breed popularity throughout the United States and Europe.
Because the German Shepherd requires regular exercise, much care is given to the proper nutritional and exercise needs of the breed. Because of their size and strength, German shepherd life expectancy can be expected to increase just slightly when considered in terms of health issues. The following list details the typical lifespan of this breed:
Average lifespan. This lifespan is based on information from the American Kennel Club (AKC).
The average German shepherd life expectancy for the full-blooded breed is between eight to ten years. As with any breed, this can vary significantly from puppy to pup, although it is not uncommon for the full bloodline to live longer than this.
German Shepherd health issues and illnesses are relatively rare compared to other breeds. Although the German shepherd does carry some inheritable health issues such as non-degenerative myelopathy, they are actually quite rare. German Shepherds have even been known to develop congenital causes of some conditions. In comparison, however, there are an estimated five to eight times more cases of genetic diseases in the German shepherd that are caused by non-genetic factors. Because many of these genetic diseases are extremely rare in other breeds, German shepherd owners must be especially careful to avoid breeding their dogs to cause a genetic disease.
Most German shepherd life expectancy estimates put the overall lifespan of the breed at around seven years.
Some experts place the figure at as high as nine years. While this may seem extremely low, it is important to remember that these dogs are very healthy and rarely suffer from disease or illness. It is far more likely that problems will arise in older dogs than in German shepherds like the Miniature Schnauzer which carry many different genetic problems.
When researchers factor in aspects such as grooming, exercise, proper diet, and health testing, they come up with an average lifespan for the American German shepherd at around seven to ten years. Some experts suggest that dogs can live longer than this if certain genetic factors are favored.
They suggest that these dogs should be kept on a strict diet that contains no extra vitamins and is low in carbohydrates because this can lead to a shortened life span. The average lifespan of this dog is far shorter than the claimed fourteen years claimed by some breeders. This also leads many people to believe that the claim is made out to fool consumers.
Overall, a German shepherd’s life expectancy is a little over eight years on average. The key traits to look for when choosing a German Shepherd puppy are temperament, grooming, temperament, and health testing. A well-socialized German Shepherd combined with a good diet and regular exercise is likely to live the longest. With these key traits, you should be able to select a healthy, happy German Shepherd to add to your family.