Information about German Shepherds

German Shepherds are easily recognisable thanks to their wolf-like appearance and radar-like ears. These dogs are often associated with guarding and protection tasks as guard dogs, police dogs, or service dogs, but they were originally bred as herding dogs, as their name suggests. Australia saw its first German Shepherds arrive around 1925. German Shepherds are usually one of the most loved and gentle pet animals for active households, with the right training and socialisation. 

Want to learn more about this breed? Read our guide below to see if German Shepherds are the pet for you.

German Shepherd breed information

If you’d like to get to know the breed a little more closely, here are a few key traits and facts about the German Shepherd:

How long do German Shepherds live?

German Shepherds usually live for up to 9-13 years.

How big do German Shepherds get?

A male German Shepherd stands at 60 to 65cm in height and weigh between 30 and 40kg. Female German Shepherds stand between 55 and 60cm in height and weigh between 22 and 32kg.

Do German Shepherds shed?

German Shepherds shed all year round. Most of their fur will fall off naturally, so make sure you’re prepared to tidy up after them.

Should I get a German Shepherd?

Should I get a German Shepherd?

German Shepherds make great additions to the family, but they generally require a lot of love, care, and training.

When threatened, German Shepherds can be strong and protective, which can make them good watchdogs. Whilst German Shepherds, as adults and puppies, are usually child-friendly and playful, they should not be left alone with young children due to their large size and energetic nature.

German Shepherd personality

The German Shepherd doesn't usually make friends right away, but once they do develop relationships, they can be very loyal and protective. It's important to put in the time and effort to get to know your German Shepherd. They also need mental stimulation as they are extremely intelligent dogs.

German Shepherds are generally enthusiastic about learning and respond very well to training, especially voice commands with varied intonations.

Taking care of a German Shepherd


A German Shepherd’s coat can be a mixture of black, fawn and gold, however, the final colour of its coat is only revealed after the puppy's coat has shed and the full adult coat has grown. Since they shed all year round, you can help them maintain their coat with regular brushing.


German Shepherd puppies and adolescents should exercise moderately: a few walks, a game of fetch, or playing with another dog will keep them fit and healthy. An adult German Shepherd’s exercise needs will depend on their energy level. Daily walks and the occasional run in a safe and enclosed environment will help this dog breed stay happy and healthy.


When choosing food for your German Shepherd, select food appropriate to your dog’s age and life stage. To help avoid them becoming overweight, ensure that you follow the recommended feeding guides on the food appropriate to your pet's size. A joint supplement can make a good addition, as German Shepherds can develop arthritis.

Common German Shepherd health conditions

Like most dog breeds, German Shepherds are susceptible to certain health conditions. Here are some examples:

Hip Dysplasia

Dysplasia & Degenerative Myelopathy

Responsible and reputable breeders make sure to check for health conditions such as elbow and hip dysplasia and degenerative myelopathy. Degenerative myelopathy is a progressive disease of the spinal cord, especially the part of the spinal cord that transmits information to the brain through the hind limbs.

Elbow Dysplasia

Skin Conditions 

German Shepherds can be prone to dry flaky skin, dermatitis wounds, bacterial skin infections and scabies. They can also suffer from various skin allergies such as hotspots caused by flea bites, allergens, and food allergies. Environmental allergies can cause seasonal or year-round allergic symptoms in younger dogs, including itching, ear infections, rashes, hair loss, and redness.

The cost of insuring a German Shepherd

If you’re thinking about getting pet insurance for your German Shepherd, factors like age and location could affect the cost of your premium. Everyday Pet Insurance offers Basic, Standard, Comprehensive and Comprehensive Plus cover that helps protect you and your furry friend. Check what each insurance cover includes.

Need Pet Insurance for your German Shepherd?

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