Press ESC to close

When Does A German Shepherd Stop Growing

The article titled “When Does A German Shepherd Stop Growing” explores the question of when exactly these popular dog breeds reach their full size. Shedding light on this topic, the article provides valuable insights into the growth patterns of German Shepherds, highlighting the factors that influence their development. From nutrition to genetics, readers will discover the key information they need to understand when their furry companions will stop growing.

When Does A German Shepherd Stop Growing

Physical Growth


One of the key aspects of a German Shepherd’s physical growth is their height. German Shepherds typically go through a growth spurt during their first year of life. They start off as tiny and adorable puppies, but quickly begin to increase in size. On average, a German Shepherd will reach their full height by the time they are around 1 year old. However, it’s important to note that individual dogs may have slightly different growth patterns, so some German Shepherds may reach their full height earlier or later than this timeframe.


In addition to height, weight is another important aspect of a German Shepherd’s physical growth. The weight of a German Shepherd puppy is influenced by various factors such as genetics, nutrition, and exercise. During the first year, a German Shepherd puppy can gain weight rapidly, with most of their growth occurring within this period. It’s not uncommon for a German Shepherd to double or even triple its weight from birth to around 1 year old. After the first year, the dog’s weight will continue to increase gradually until it reaches its full adult weight, which is usually between 70 and 90 pounds for males and between 50 and 70 pounds for females.

Factors Affecting Growth


Genetics play a significant role in a German Shepherd’s growth. The characteristics and growth patterns of a German Shepherd are largely determined by its parents. If both parents are of average height and weight for the breed, it’s likely that their offspring will follow a similar growth pattern. However, if one or both parents are larger or smaller than average, their puppies may also deviate from the typical growth curve.


Proper nutrition is crucial for the healthy growth and development of a German Shepherd. A well-balanced diet that is rich in essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals is essential for their bone and muscle growth. It’s important to provide them with high-quality dog food that is specifically formulated for large breeds during their growth stages. Additionally, feeding them at regular intervals and avoiding overfeeding can help prevent excessive weight gain or growth complications.


Regular exercise is vital for a German Shepherd’s growth and overall well-being. Engaging in physical activities helps to stimulate their muscles, joints, and bones. It’s recommended to provide them with daily exercise, including walks, playtime, and training sessions. However, it’s important to avoid overexertion, especially during their growth stages. Too much intense exercise can potentially put excessive strain on their developing joints and potentially lead to long-term issues.


Maintaining good overall health is essential for a German Shepherd’s growth. Regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and preventive care are important to ensure they are growing properly. Any underlying health conditions or illnesses can negatively impact their growth and development. It’s crucial to address any health concerns as early as possible to minimize the potential impact on their growth rate.

When Does A German Shepherd Stop Growing

Growth Rate

First 6 Months

During the first 6 months of a German Shepherd’s life, they experience significant growth and development. They are born with their eyes closed and are completely dependent on their mother for nourishment. In the early weeks, they rely on their mother’s milk for all their nutritional needs, and their growth is remarkable during this time. By 6 months, most German Shepherd puppies would have tripled their birth weight and significantly increased in height.

6 Months to 1 Year

Between 6 months and 1 year, the growth rate of a German Shepherd starts to slow down. They will continue to gain weight and height, but at a more gradual pace compared to their earlier months. During this time, it’s important to provide them with a balanced diet and regular exercise to support their ongoing growth and development.

1 Year to 2 Years

From 1 year to 2 years old, a German Shepherd will continue to grow, although at a much slower rate compared to their earlier stages of development. Most German Shepherds will reach their full adult height by the time they are around 1 year old, but their bodies may continue to fill out and gain muscle mass over the next year.

2 Years to Maturity

Between 2 years and full maturity, German Shepherds will reach their adult weight and muscle mass. At this point, their growth plates will have closed, and they will have attained their full physical potential. It’s important to note that individual dogs may reach their full physical maturity slightly earlier or later than the average timeframe, depending on various factors.


Maturity Signs

Physical Appearance

Several physical appearance signs indicate that a German Shepherd has reached maturity. These include a fully developed and proportionate body, with well-defined muscles and a sturdy frame. Their coat will also have reached its full length and texture, and they will have a fully developed facial structure. Additionally, their ears may have fully stood up if they are of the upright breed standard. The physical appearance of a mature German Shepherd exudes strength, agility, and elegance.

Behavioral Changes

In addition to physical signs, there may also be behavioral changes that indicate a German Shepherd has reached maturity. As they become adults, they tend to become more confident, independent, and less prone to certain puppy behaviors such as chewing and biting. However, it’s important to note that individual dogs may vary in their behavior and maturity levels, so it’s essential to provide consistent training and socialization throughout their development stages.

Development Stages

Birth to 2 Weeks

From birth to around 2 weeks old, German Shepherd puppies are entirely dependent on their mother for survival. They spend most of their time sleeping, nursing, and growing. Their eyes and ears remain closed, and their primary focus is on gaining weight and strength.

2 Weeks to 3 Weeks

Around 2 weeks old, German Shepherd puppies begin to open their eyes and ears, allowing them to explore the world around them. They start to show more mobility, attempting to crawl and walk. It’s during this period that they become more aware of their littermates and slowly begin to develop social behaviors.

3 Weeks to 4 Weeks

Between 3 weeks and 4 weeks old, German Shepherd puppies go through significant developmental changes. They start to interact more with their littermates and mother, engaging in play and exploration. Their coordination and motor skills improve, and they become more curious about their surroundings.

4 Weeks to 6 Weeks

From 4 weeks to 6 weeks old, German Shepherd puppies become more active and adventurous. They are fully weaned from their mother’s milk and start to transition to solid food. Their teeth will gradually start to emerge, leading them to explore various objects through chewing. It’s crucial to introduce them to gentle handling and socialize them with humans and other animals during this stage.

6 Weeks to 8 Weeks

Between 6 weeks and 8 weeks old, German Shepherd puppies continue to grow in size and strength. They become more coordinated and agile, engaging in play and increasingly interactive with their littermates. This is a critical period for continued socialization and basic training, as they are highly receptive to learning and forming relationships with humans.

8 Weeks to 12 Weeks

From 8 weeks to 12 weeks old, German Shepherd puppies enter the phase of rapid learning and development. They have developed their primary teeth, and their energy levels are high. This period is ideal for introducing them to basic obedience training, crate training, and various environmental stimuli. Consistent and positive reinforcement during this stage will lay the foundation for their future behavior and training.

12 Weeks to 16 Weeks

Between 12 weeks and 16 weeks old, German Shepherd puppies continue to grow physically and mentally. They may go through a stage of increased confidence and independence, which can be accompanied by some challenging behaviors. Continued socialization, exposure to different environments, and ongoing training are crucial during this period to shape their behavior and ensure they grow into well-adjusted adult dogs.

4 Months to 6 Months

From 4 months to 6 months old, German Shepherds continue to develop their physical and mental capabilities. They may go through another growth spurt during this time, but at a slower rate compared to their earlier months. Their adult teeth start to replace their baby teeth, which may result in some discomfort and increased chewing behavior. Patients and consistent training are important during this stage to address any potential behavioral challenges.

6 Months to 12 Months

Between 6 months and 12 months old, German Shepherds go through the final stages of their physical growth. Their skeletal structure and muscle mass continue to develop, and their adult coat starts to fully grow. During this period, it’s important to provide them with a balanced diet and regular exercise to support their ongoing growth and ensure they reach their full potential.

12 Months to 18 Months

From 12 months to 18 months old, German Shepherds are approaching their full physical maturity. By this stage, they have reached their adult height and weight and are now focusing on filling out their bodies and gaining muscle mass. Continued exercise, mental stimulation, and proper nutrition are essential to support their ongoing development and maintain their overall health.

18 Months to 24 Months

Between 18 months and 24 months old, German Shepherds can be considered fully mature. They have attained their adult height, weight, and physical appearance. At this stage, they are typically confident, well-rounded dogs who are ready to take on various activities such as advanced training, sports, or even working roles. It’s important to continue providing them with stimulation, training, and attention to ensure their ongoing happiness and well-being.


Growth FAQs

1. When do German Shepherds stop growing? German Shepherds typically stop their major growth phase between 12 to 18 months of age. However, they may continue to fill out and develop muscle tone until they are around 2 to 2.5 years old.

2. How fast do German Shepherds grow? German Shepherds experience rapid growth during their first few months. They can gain 2 to 4 pounds per week during this time. By around 6 months of age, they might have reached about half of their adult weight.

3. What affects the growth of a German Shepherd? Several factors can influence the growth of a German Shepherd:

  • Genetics: The dog’s lineage and genetics play a significant role in determining its growth rate and size.
  • Nutrition: Proper nutrition is crucial during the growth phase. Feeding a high-quality puppy food with the right balance of nutrients is important for healthy development.
  • Exercise: Appropriate exercise helps in building strong muscles and bones. However, excessive exercise in puppies can lead to joint and bone problems, so it’s important to strike a balance.
  • Health: Overall health and any underlying medical conditions can impact growth. Regular veterinary check-ups are important to monitor your dog’s health.

4. How much will a German Shepherd weigh when fully grown? The average weight range for an adult German Shepherd is between 50 to 90 pounds (22.5 to 40.8 kg), with males generally being larger and heavier than females.

5. Are there different types of German Shepherds with different growth patterns? Yes, there are two main lines of German Shepherds: working line and show line. Working line German Shepherds are often bred for their working abilities, such as herding or police work, and tend to have a leaner build. Show line German Shepherds are bred for their appearance and conform to breed standards, which can result in a more robust build. The growth patterns can differ slightly between these lines.

6. When should I transition my German Shepherd from puppy food to adult food? The transition from puppy food to adult food usually occurs around 12 months of age for German Shepherds. Consult with your veterinarian for specific recommendations based on your dog’s growth and health.

7. How can I ensure my German Shepherd grows up healthy? To ensure your German Shepherd grows up healthy, consider the following:

  • Provide a balanced and high-quality diet tailored to your dog’s age and size.
  • Avoid overfeeding to prevent excessive weight gain, which can stress growing joints.
  • Provide appropriate exercise, avoiding high-impact activities until the dog’s growth plates are closed.
  • Regular veterinary check-ups to monitor growth and address any health concerns promptly.

Remember that every dog is unique, so it’s important to consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice regarding your German Shepherd’s growth and development.

Is My German Shepherd Growing Normally?

It is important to assess whether your German Shepherd is growing normally by monitoring their growth rate, physical appearance, and overall health. Compare their growth to standard breed guidelines, taking into consideration any individual variations. Regular veterinary check-ups can also provide valuable insights into their growth progress and ensure they are on the right track.

Should I Be Concerned If My German Shepherd Is Not Growing?

If you notice that your German Shepherd is not growing as expected or is experiencing significant delays in their growth, it is important to consult with a veterinarian. There may be underlying health issues or nutritional deficiencies that need to be addressed. Identifying any growth-related concerns early on can help prevent potential long-term complications.

When Should I Start Adjusting My German Shepherd’s Diet?

As your German Shepherd grows, their nutritional needs will change. It’s important to transition them from puppy food to adult food according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Typically, this transition occurs at around 12 months of age. However, consult with your veterinarian to determine the best timing and adjust their diet accordingly.

Why Is It Important to Monitor My German Shepherd’s Growth?

Monitoring your German Shepherd’s growth is crucial for several reasons. It allows you to identify any potential health issues or growth abnormalities early on, ensuring prompt intervention and treatment. Additionally, monitoring their growth can help you ensure they are receiving proper nutrition and exercise, promoting their overall health and well-being.

Can Overfeeding Stunt a German Shepherd’s Growth?

Overfeeding a German Shepherd can have negative effects on their growth and overall health. Excessive weight gain can potentially put strain on their joints and skeletal structure, impacting their growth and development. It’s important to provide them with a balanced diet and feed them according to their specific nutritional needs to prevent overfeeding and potential complications. Consulting with a veterinarian can provide specific guidance on portion control and feeding practices.


I am Crownstar, the passionate author behind DogBreedWorld. Welcome to a realm where we delve into the enchanting universe of dogs and explore different breeds. At DogBreedWorld, I am dedicated to sharing valuable information, tips, and tricks on raising and training healthy dogs. With a profound love and understanding for our furry friends, I aim to provide dog enthusiasts with insights into the world of various dog breeds, unravel their unique traits, and offer guidance on how to care for them. Join me on this delightful journey as we celebrate the beauty and wonder of our four-legged companions.