What is the Life Expectancy of a German Shepherd Dog?

On average, healthy German Shepherd Dogs live approximately 9 – 13 years. Some make it longer and many others pass before they are 9.

My last German Shepherd, Fina, lived to 8.5 years of age when one day a tumor cut her life short. She was in otherwise excellent physical condition. Tragically, nothing could be done to help her. The veterinarian and vet tech cried with me when she passed; they knew she was a family member. I don’t think they do that with every dog as they see dogs daily in all stages of life, but many tears were shed when Fina died.

Fina squirming around on her back.

Prolonging the life span of your German Shepherd Dog

Every German Shepherd owner wants to keep their canine companion around as long as possible. Luck is definitely a factor, no matter what the background is on your dog.

A few problems which can cut a German Shepherd’s life short include:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Organ Failure
  • Bloat
  • Cancer

It may sound like common sense but key tips for prolonging the life of your German Shepherd include:

  • Regular blood tests
  • Good diet and exercise
  • Healthy teeth (this is the most commonly overlooked factor to a long, healthy life)

Mixed breeds

It is worth pointing out that if a GSD is mixed with a longer-living dog such as a Labrador Retriever, they could live longer (or die sooner). Sable and white-hair dogs do not necessarily live longer than traditional black and tan or black and red German Shepherds though.

How long did your German Shepherd live

If you are reading this and your German Shepherd has passed, please feel free to comment below and let us know how long your German Shepherd lived for. We’d also love to hear your dog’s story, so feel free to email us.


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