Sam Shephard is an experienced German Shepherd owner and has learned throughout the years how to optimize the breed's health and wellness.
If you’re a German Shepherd owner or are thinking of adopting one, you want to know how much this breed should weigh. Although many people think of German Shepherds as large dogs, they’re actually of a medium build. It’s important to their health that they aren’t overfed and that they stay trim.
Male German Shepherd Height and Weight
An adult male weighs, on average, between 66 and 88 pounds, or 30 and 40 kilograms. To measure a shepherd’s height, measure to the top of their withers or right at their shoulders. Males are typically between 24 and 26 inches, or 60 and 65 centimeters tall.
For the average person, a male German Shepherd will come up to at least their hip. If one of these dogs were to jump up, they would be at least as tall as the average person. They are not so large that they cannot also be fast. Their size supports their bite strength and gives them enough speed to effectively chase down criminals or fend off wolves and other predators.
Female German Shepherd Height and Weight
An average female weighs between 48 and 70 pounds, or 22 and 32 kilograms—a little less than the average male. At the shoulder, the average female German Shepherd is 22 to 24 inches, or 55 to 60 centimeters tall.
While your dog might appear to be fully grown at one-year-old, the truth is that he or she will still be an adolescent dog at this point, and you might start to experience behavioral problems that you never saw when your dog was a puppy. Don’t let your dog’s size fool you—at a year old, they are still fairly young and need discipline and structure in order to grow into well-adjusted adult dogs.
How Quickly Do Puppies Grow?
You may want to get a sense of how quickly your German Shepherd puppy will grow. The following lists give estimates for male and female puppies’ weight over their first year; these are the higher ends of the range.
For a more in-depth correlation between height and weight, it is worth it to read the book: Your German Shepherd Puppy Month by Month, 2nd Edition: Everything You Need to Know at Each State to Ensure Your Cute and Playful Puppy by Liz Palika and Terry Albert.
The exact weight will vary between different breed types and for each individual dog, but the general pattern will remain the same—German Shepherd puppies grow explosively over the first few months and then start to slow down between 6 and 8 months old. Stay in touch with your vet about monitoring this growth and adjusting their food accordingly. To go from pounds to kilogram: 1 pound is 0.453592 kilogram.
Male German Shepherd Puppies
|Age||Weight in Pounds||Weight in Kilos|
Female German Shepherd Puppies
|Age||Weight in Pounds||Weight in Kilos|
How to Tell If Your Dog Is Overweight
The Alsatian has a naturally trim shape, featuring a deep rib cage and a pronounced taper to the waist. This defined shape will start to disappear if your dog is overweight. If you press gently through their coat, you should be able to feel your dog’s ribs. If the ribs jut out, they may be underweight. If you can’t feel them at all, they may be overweight. If you notice your dog panting regularly, this can be another sign that they are out of shape.
How to Get Your German Shepherd to a Healthy Weight
Being overweight is very dangerous for this breed; it increases their risk of heart disease and other diseases, and it places extra strain on their joints, particularly the hips; this is important to note, because this breed is very prone to hip dysplasia. Dogs usually become overweight from a combination of overfeeding and under-exercising, just like humans.
Instead of free-feeding your dog, divide their food into multiple small meals a day. You can use a slow feeder bowl or toy to help them eat more gradually. As your dog ages, its metabolism will slow down. So you may need to adjust its food as it grows from a puppy to an adult, and then from an adult to a senior. Make sure that you give minimal amounts of people food and keep treats to a reasonable level.
When training or playing, you can reward your German Shepherd with small training treats or simply with toys. It’s also important to give your them regular exercise—they don’t do well as couch dogs!
These dogs should be getting at least an hour of exercise every day. So go for a walk, take a jog, or simply play fetch in the yard. It will be good for your health too.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2019 Sam Shepards
Sam Shepards (author) from Europe on May 12, 2020:
Mostly, healthy food for active, high protein, low carb. Be playful with them so they have a good healthy condition. Don't overfeed them either, fat dogs can get health problems (back/hips/joints, etc.) A lot is genetics so you can't "make" your dog taller. Just support healthy growth. You rather have a dog that is a couple of cm less tall, agile and healthy than the biggest dog and unhealthy. I wish you all the best and enjoy your time with your German Shepherd and maybe read up on what is decent dog food, it's more about ingredients than specific dog food brands. High protein, low carb etc.
subhendu on May 12, 2020:
how to make my german shepherd taller and healthier...
my german shepherd dog is only 6months old...i want to know sir,..
i love my dog more than me and i want to make my dog taller and healthier in my locality...
Sam Shepards (author) from Europe on July 16, 2019:
@Tori or Renee
Nice to hear you have a German Shepherd. They can indeed become fairly large, but remain athletic dogs. I'm from Europe so it's easier for me to say that my GSD's have been in the range 64 - 66.5 cm. We had our first shepherd when I was about 10-11 years old, when you are that age these dogs look massive, luckily he was my best friend and fairly powerful and confident fellah. Never had any trouble and good times, a powerful beast that reached 14 years of age.
The other one we got when that one was 2 years of age, only became 10 years old and was a little weaker in general. We've now had 3 in the past 23 years with some overlap. Next year around march we will have a new pup I think.
Tori Leumas on July 09, 2019:
Cool hub. I have a German Shepherd. He's a pretty big dog. His back comes up to the top of my knee, and I'm not short. I'm 5'9" He eats 4 cups of dog food a day and he's definitely not fat at all.