If you’re looking for a loving, loyal, intelligent dog to enjoy long walks and plenty of games of fetch with, then look no further than the German Shepherd. These pups make excellent companions for active, outdoor-loving owners. However, if you are thinking about adopting a larger sized dog, you may worry about having sufficient space in your home. For that reason, you are likely wondering just how big a German Shepherd can get. Here we give you everything needed for answering the German Shepherd size question and more.
Our handy interactive puppy growth chart and calculator takes all the hard work out of predicting your puppy’s potential adult size. This helps you to know exactly what you are in for.
Psst! Check Out These Awesome Puppy Things!
German Shepherd Size Predictions by Age
Confident, courageous, and smart, German Shepherds, as their name suggests, were traditionally herders, but they make great general working dogs. They are the preferred breed for police and military dogs, as well as being invaluable in search and rescue and for disability assistance.
These wolf-like canines also make great pets and have consistently ranked second place in the American Kennel Club’s list of most popular breeds, just behind the beloved Labrador Retriever.
However, the German Shepherd size is large and can be quite demanding. Newbie owners who take on these dogs need to be aware of how to properly care for them. Having an idea of their potential adult size can help with this.
As the breed dates back to around 1899, experts have had plenty of time to gather information about them. As such, we know a fair bit about how they grow and have quite precise size details for these dogs across their entire growth-span period.
Yet, it’s important to remember that these figures are just averages and don’t account for every individual dog.
|Age||3 months||6 months||1 year||Adult|
|Weight||17 – 30 lbs||44 – 57 lbs||60 – 75 lbs||66 – 88 lbs|
|Height||8 – 11 inches||15 – 18 inches||20 – 24 inches||22 – 26 inches|
*When looking at these measurements, keep in mind that a dog’s height is not measured from the top of its head but from its withers. This is the point between their shoulder blades.
As you can see, a German Shepherd reaches around 40% of its adult size and weight at 3 months, 70% by 6 months, and 95% at a year old. They are likely to continue to increase in size and weight until they are around 2-3 years of age.
Are There Different Sizes of German Shepherd?
Unlike other pure breeds, there are some quite considerable variations within the German Shepherd family. These are due to the particular heritage of the dog – the ‘line’ which it comes from. This can have an impact on their color, pattern, and body style, as well as their size and rate of maturation.
The most significant distinction of German Shepherd size is between those that were bred for showing as opposed to working. With the former, there was a focus on the look and gait of the dog over its personality and general health. In some countries, including the States, these dogs have exaggerated rear angulation, which can lead to hip problems – not ideal for a working breed.
Of the two, the working dogs tend to be larger with bigger bones, heads, and an all-round more athletic build. Although again, there are variations between these depending on the country they were bred in and the tasks they were required to do.
Sex also plays a crucial role in size. Female dogs will be at the lower end of the scale of the dimensions given in the above chart (22 – 24 inches), while males will be closer to the upper limits (24 – 26 inches).
German Shepherd Size Charts and Growth Patterns
Like most other dogs, German Shepherds have their most significant growth period in the first 6 months of their lives, achieving more than two-thirds of their adult height by this time.
As is common to larger breeds, their growth will significantly slow after that. They will reach their adult height a little before their adult weight. Our interactive puppy growth chart and calculator has more information on that.
Additionally, this is why it’s particularly important that your German Shepherd puppy gets the correct nourishment he needs to grow that adorable little body into a healthy adult one. Check out these guides on best dog food for puppies here.
How Big is a Full-Grown German Shepherd?
While there are some variations depending on the gender of the animal, generally speaking, a full-grown German Shepherd will stand somewhere between 22 – 26 inches and weigh around 50 to 90 pounds. This is the average German Shepherd size.
German Shepherds usually get to half their full weight between 4.5 and 6 months, and their adult weight between 12.5-16 months.
You can calculate their potential adult weight at 23 weeks by taking what they weigh at that age and multiplying it by two.
A different formula you could use is:
- Growth = current weight / current age in weeks
- Adult weight = Growth x 52 (number of weeks in one year)
So, for example, if your 12-week old pup weighs 18 pounds. You simply divide the current weight by their age in weeks and multiply the result with 52:
18/ 12 = 1.5
1.5 x 52= 78 pounds
78 pounds would be the expected weight of your adult-sized German Shepherd.
What Age is a German Shepherd Fully Grown By?
Your German Shepherd will have acquired much of their adult size and weight by the time they have hit their first year. However, they will continue to grow, usually reaching their full adult size somewhere between 18 months to 2 years of age.
The age of maturity, though, is somewhat dependent on the specific type of German Shepherd that you have. Eastern European varieties, for instance, are particularly late bloomers and are unlikely to reach their full size much before the age of three.
Larger dogs will also naturally take longer to achieve their full size. A female German Shepherd might be expected to get there at 24 months, whereas for a male, it could be closer to 30.
How Much Do German Shepherds Grow After Six Months?
German Shepherds tend to be at around 70% of their adult size and weight at six months, which means they don’t have much more growing to do.
At this age, they are reaching the end of their rapid growth period, and you will notice their growth slows down significantly after this milestone.
If you are considering adding a larger breed dog to your family, it’s good to have an understanding of how big they could potentially get. With German Shepherd size, there is quite a bit of variation depending on the type you have and what they were initially bred for. All this information can help you to anticipate their adult size, and our calculator can get you the rest of the way there.