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German Shepherd life expectancy and aging

the life expectancy of the aging german shepherd

The German shepherd has a life expectancy between 9 and 13 years , although we will find cases of specimens that live much less and some that have lived 15 years or more.

The difference in life expectancy in specimens of the German sheep breed can be given for different reasons, the most common being: living conditions, diet, state of health, medical care received or exercise performed.

Responsible breeding can be one of the main factors that can prolong the lifespan of a German shepherd, sick specimens or dogs with a hereditary predisposition to diseases should not be used for breeding.

Therefore, selection is a vital factor and demonstrates the importance of serious and controlled breeding in the constant improvement of the German Shepherd breed.

Life expectancy of the German Shepherd compared to other breeds

The Shepherd has a slightly higher life expectancy compared to other breeds.
Despite the fact that it is a fairly large and heavy breed of dog, it reaches a lifespan of up to 13 years, and sometimes even longer.

The highest life expectancy in dogs is generally found in the smallest and lightest breeds, such as terriers, Maltese, and Chihuahua.

However, large dog breeds and especially vigorous dogs often have fewer years to live.

This is a table of the life expectancy of various breeds:

  • Chihuahua: 15-18 years
  • Irish Terrier: 13-15 years
  • Cocker Spaniel: 12-15 years
  • Labrador: 12-13 years
  • Malta: 12-15 years
  • Irish Setter: 12-15 years
  • English Springer Spaniel: 12-14 years
  • German Shepherd: 10-13 years
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: 9-13 years
  • Weimaraner: 10-12 years
  • German Boxer: 10-12 years
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback: 10-12 years
  • Basset Hound: 10-12 years
  • Airedale Terrier: 10-12 years
  • Bullmastiff: 8-10 years
  • Irish Wolfhound: 6-10 years

The aging of the German Shepherd

Our German shepherd will show different signs that will tell us that he is getting old.

Of course, not all signs of aging occur at the same time, but the process is gradual and usually begins with a reduction in performance. The dog tires more easily, perhaps he no longer recovers with full enthusiasm the ball that we throw at him or he is very tired after long walks.

In general the German Shepherd as he gets older sleeps more than normal and is less active in general. They also tend to experience decreased vision and hearing. Sometimes older dogs are less patient with other pets or with children.

Other common problems that appear with the aging of the German Shepherd are disorders of the musculoskeletal system, either with stiffness of the joints or the appearance of lameness. In the same way, it is common for the dog to tend to eat less and in some cases lose weight.

Cancer and other diseases in elderly German Shepherds

Unfortunately, the German Shepherd is one of the breeds that are particularly predisposed to developing cancer later in life.

Females are at higher risk of cancer than males. This is partly due to the fact that very adult female German Sheepdogs often suffer from tumors of the mammary glands.

Other common cancers, which can significantly reduce the life expectancy of our German shepherd, are lymphatic glands and skin cancer. These occur equally in males and females.

In addition, many German Shepherds suffer from joint diseases such as osteoarthritis or the dreaded hip dysplasia.

Other diseases such as cataracts or eye inflammation due to decreased tear irrigation, skin diseases or various organic disorders also occur with some frequency.

Another problem that can occur is urinary incontinence.

How do I prepare my German Shepherd for good aging?

We must pay special attention to the health of the dog not only in its most adult stage but throughout its life since it is a puppy .

This begins with the selection of our German Shepherd in the breeder , looking for one that is trustworthy and can give us accurate information about the parents of the puppies and their health conditions.

The chance of having a healthy German Shepherd is much higher if the puppy comes from a line without inherited diseases and healthy parents

When the dog is young, you must pay attention to a good development , with adequate exercise and a balanced diet. For the prevention of joint disease in the more adult stage, it is advisable not to let the German Shepherd jump big or do very demanding exercises. Of course, exercise and diet are important in old age, but they must be adapted to the needs of an older dog.

The walks can be shortened , but still they should continue to be done regularly and if it can be several times a day. As for food, it is normal for the dog to eat less than before but we must continue to offer quality feed and food. If the German Shepherd is still very active and eats with an appetite, it is advisable to follow a reduced calorie diet.

Other conditions to keep a dog healthy and extend its life

Veterinary medicine today offers ways to prevent and cure diseases that were not possible in the past. Early detection during routine check-ups can cure or delay the onset of the most common diseases that occur in the aging of our German Shepherd.

Carry out veterinary checks with some frequency , take advantage of the annual vaccination appointment to carry out a general health check-up. Do not forget about the teeth, since tartar, although not painful, can be responsible for certain diseases of the heart, as well as the liver and kidneys.

Spaying or neutering your shepherd is something worth considering, as neutered dogs live an average of 1 to 2 years longer, and females have a significantly lower risk of mammary gland cancer.

In addition to adequate exercise for the adult German Shepherd, he must continue to be mentally stimulated. Even older or older dogs can learn new tricks and get excited about new little games.

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I love the animals. Reading and writing about them, their customs, their peculiarities or the attention they require is exciting, and I also believe that it makes us better people. I share articles that solve the questions that dog caregivers face on a daily basis.

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