How long do German Shepherds Live? (Avg 11 Years)

German Shepherds have been one of the best work and protection dogs, that’s why they are a favorite for many who wish to own a dog. One of the common questions that most people who are about to buy one ask is how long do German Shepherds live? Well, the simple answer is that they typically live between 8 to 16 years. I say typically because your German shepherd’s life expectancy is determined by several factors, some of which are determined by you. In that regard, let us look at factors that may shorten or prolong your German shepherd’s life.

German Shepherds typically live between 8 to 16 years


Getting a Long Life Out of Your German Shepherd

You can’t control a dog’s genetics. You can however control the quality of their life. Giving them the best life possible during the time that they are here with us is the best thing that we can do for them. The steps listed below can help you increase the lifespan of a German Shepherd, as well life quality.


Regular Vet Checkups

German Shepherd Life Expectancy

It is standard procedure to get your dog into the veterinarian annually. They can look over the dog and make sure that it is healthy. The vet can spot life threatening issues while they are still treatable. They will also keep a record of your dog’s height and weight every year, as well as give them a rabies shot to protect them when bitten by a rabid animal.

Taking your German Shepherd to the vet will typically cost between $100 to $150 dollars. For this you should expect at a minimum:

  • Routine Heartworm Test
  • Rabies Vaccination
  • Health Examination


Your vet may want to check other things on your dog as well, depending on how the exam goes. This can increase the cost of your visit, but can also prolong the life of your German Shepherd.



Just like humans, an overweight dog is not going to live the longest life that they possibly can. Make sure that you are buying the right food for your dog. Avoid feeding them from the table.

If the dog is overweight and not being fed from the table, you’ll need to start a weight loss regiment. This involves cutting the amount of food that thy consume. Talk to your vet and come up with the amount of food that your German Shepherd can have in a day. Stick with it no matter how much they beg and the weight will fall off.



German Shepherds like to run. Even if they are at a healthy weight, you can increase the quality and length of their life by letting them go out and run. Also, a dog that has exercised is less likely to get bored and into mischief.



Spaying or neutering is a choice that most dog owners have to make. There do seem to be some life expectancy gains associated with spaying or neutering your dog. The study showed that an additional 1.5 years was added to the life of the fixed dogs vs the control group.


Heartworms Preventative

Heartworms are diagnosed in a quarter million dogs a year in the United States each year. They can do irreversible damage to a dog’s heart, and if left untreated for long enough they can even kill your German Shepherd. Your veterinarian can prescribe medication to prevent heartworms.

Heartworms can be transferred via mosquito bites, so don’t discount them because your dog hasn’t had exposure to other dogs.


Use Tick and Flea Prevention

Fleas and ticks carry disease. Using a flea and tick preventer can reduce the odds that a disease will end your dog’s life early.



German Shepherd Life Factors Out of Your Control

There are a lot of things that can lead to your German Shepherd living a long life. Some of them are in your control while others are not. Let’s start by focusing on the ones that you can control.



German Shepherd Life Expectancy

Genetics play a large factor in the life of a dog. Getting your German Shepherd from a good breeder can reduce your risk of any genetic abnormality.



Are you trying to raise a perfect breed? Well, that could be risky if you do too much inbreeding. Just like humans, dogs get affected by inbreeding. It leads to some bad genes being passed down the family tree and becoming dominant. The negative effects are greater if inbreeding happened on both sides of the family tree. While you may not be a dog breeder, it’s possible you bought your dog from someone who claims to be an expert in breeding perfect German shepherds, only for you to release later that you bought a dog that was inbred.

How long do German Shepherds Live



Conclusion: How long is a German Shepherds Life?

Overall, proper care will ensure that they don’t fall victim to “opportunistic diseases” and succumb to an early death. We hope that you found this article on how long do German Shepherds Live to be informative and engaging. All the best as you help your work to give your German shepherd a long and fulfilling life.