When Exactly Does The German Shepherd Dog Stop Growing?

The German Shepherd dog (GSD) is definitely one of the most loved dogs in the world, and there are several things about this dog breed that most people don’t know. For the most part, the rate at which the breed grows makes many wonder if and when the GSD stops growing. In this piece, we will delve into knowing more about how the GSD puppy develops into the best adult working dog ever known to man.

Different Stages Of Maturity For The German Shepherds

There are several stages of growth and development which are common among dogs in general but the GSD has some peculiarities that make them stand out. We examine these stages in more detail below:

Neonatal Stage

This stage begins from the very first day that the puppy is born and lasts through the first 2 weeks of its life. In this stage, the puppy is very vulnerable as it is born deaf and blind, thus, it needs to huddle together with its siblings to regulate body temperature.

The puppy relies solely on the mother’s milk for all of its nourishment and will grow by 65 to 90 grams daily. The mother has to help the puppy eliminate its waste as well.

Transitional Stage

At this stage which lasts between the second and fourth week, the puppy will begin to hear, see and grow significantly. Very tiny (but sharp) milk teeth will begin to emerge. The puppy will begin to make its first attempts at walking and will start to eliminate waste by itself.

Socialization Stage

This stage is very crucial to having a well-balanced adult GSD, and it lasts from the first to the third month of the puppy’s life. At this stage, the owner has to introduce the puppy to other dogs, members of the family, other humans, and the different environments as well. The puppy has to learn how to behave around other people and dogs, so as not to get overprotective and territorial as an adult. At this stage also, the puppy is introduced to semi-solid foods, as the mother’s milk production will begin to decline.

German Shepherd Dog
German Shepherd puppies source

Juvenile Stage

This stage lasts from between the third to sixth months of the puppy’s life. Here, the puppy will begin to assert its independence from the mother and thrive to get more adventurous around its surroundings. The puppy will lose its milk teeth at this stage, to be replaced by permanent teeth. Puppy food can still be eaten at this stage – treats and safe human food and fruits as well.

Adolescent Stage

This Is the coming of age stage for the German Shepherd dog and lasts from the sixth month to about 2 years of age. Hormonal changes in the dog would begin and it would develop all of its adult teeth at this time. The female GSD will go into her first heat (sexual maturity) at about 8 months or thereabout, while the male would begin marking its territory and attempt mounting any female around it. The personality of the dog will be evident at this stage which makes training almost impossible. Anything good behavior the GSD has not learned at this stage might be difficult to instill.

Maturity Stage

Here, the adult dog emerges, and it begins from about 2 years of age to the third year. The dog will attain physical maturity between two to two and a half years, while mental maturity will last until the third year. The dog will reach its full adult dog potential at this stage, and may not grow any further after 3 years.

So, At What Age Does The German Shepherd Dog Stop Growing In Size And Height?

German Shepherd Dog Breed
Adult German Shepherd dog – source

There is no one-size-fits-all or definite age at which your GSD will stop growing, it basically depends on your particular dog and some other factors, but the period where growth “stops” would be between 18 and 36 months of age.

From about 12 months old, your GSD’s rapid growth rate will begin to noticeably slow down, but if your dog is receiving a great diet, and exercise and is completely healthy, its growth will continue for quite a while, before reaching its peak.

The Standard Size Of A Grown German Shepherd Dog

The American Kennel Club (AKC) – an organization that helps register purebred dog pedigrees and is based in the United States, helps define what the standard size of a German Shepherd dog (GSD) should be.

The height of an adult GSD should be between 24 and 26 inches for the male, while that of the female should be between 22 and 24 inches. The male is expected to weigh between 65 and 90 pounds, while the acceptable weight for the female is between 50 and 70 pounds.

Read Also: French Bulldog Pug Mix: Breed Features and Facts You Need To Know

What Is The Best Age To Begin Training For The German Shepherd Dog?

The GSD is a dog that loves to be trained by its owner or handler, but it is very important to begin this training very early. By 8 weeks after its birth, your German Shepherd dog is ready to begin its training, and this should continue consistently until about 26 weeks – though there are special cases where they would be trained for a longer period.

During training routines, call your dog’s name to get its attention, then use a relaxed tone to give your command once and show it what to do a few times. You can then ask your dog to execute your command thereafter, reward your dog with positive praise or treats when it gets your command right, and keep it interested in the training.

The training regime should be made specifically for the job and life your dog is expected to live; that is to say that training for a family dog and a police K9 will be different. Patience, consistency, and innovation are some of the attributes to have in dog training.

Read Also: 10 Most Dangerous Dogs In The World

How Long Does The Breed Live?

All things being equal, and barring any health complications during the life of your German Shepherd dog, your beloved canine companion is expected to live between 7 to 10 years. As expected, some of the dogs in this class have been known to live much longer than the average age range. In all, it all depends on how well they are taken care of.

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