The German Shepherd is famously known for its large size, being obedient and very strong. It is commonly used as police dog, guard and defense dog, dog-guide, or rescue dog. The purpose of this article is to explore the average lifespan of a German Shepherd mix.
They can be an excellent dog for families that can provide it abundant physical activities. Dog toys are the most effective for German Shepherds because it causes them to discharge all their energy.
It is an exceptional dog but requires an owner who establishes his leadership well and can train him properly. This is because although it is an affectionate and very balanced dog, if he is not educated well, it can be aggressive or dominant. It tends to be a great protector of its family.
- 1 Origins of the German Shepherd
- 2 General characteristics including Life Expectancy of German Shepherd Mix
- 3 The Gestation and Pregnancy of a German Shepherd
- 4 Average Lifespan of a German Shepherd Mix and Extra Information
- 5 What Diseases can a German Shepherd Have
- 6 How to choose the most suitable toys for my German Shepherd
- 7 Average Lifespan of a German Shepherd Mix – Conclusion
Origins of the German Shepherd
German Shepherds were born in the late nineteenth century in Germany. Its origin comes from the crossing of several shepherd dogs, always seeking to maintain the qualities of resistance, intelligence and working capacity of their predecessors.
The captain of the German army at the time named Maximilian von Stephanitz (considered the father of the breed), discovered a lobuno-looking dog called Hektor Linksrhein, who fulfilled his ideals of strong, noble, and intelligent dog. He bought it and had its name changed to “Horand von Grafrath”. This is eventually identified as the first German Shepherd ever to be registered.
From then on, and through careful selective cross breeding, the German shepherd we know today was created. In addition to its use as a grazing dog, it began working in cities as a police dog.
During the first World War, the participation of German Shepherds as patrol dogs led to the mass purchase of them. This is also when German Shepherds started arriving in England. It was called Alsatian, as at the time it did not seem appropriate to use the word “German”.
In 1971 the English Kennel Club agreed to call it German Shepherd.
General characteristics including Life Expectancy of German Shepherd Mix
- It is very strong and agile, vital, and of great temperament.
- It is tall, with a highly developed chest and a straight top line with drop from the back.
- Its weight is between 30 and 40 kg for males and between 22 and 32 for females.
- The average lifespan of a German Shepherd mix is 9 to 13 years.
- They are black with a mixture of brown, reddish, and black edges.
- It is a dog with strong jaw and medium-sized ears, straight and finished at tip.
- Its tail is thick and hairy.
The Gestation and Pregnancy of a German Shepherd
The first gestation of a German Shepherd takes place between 6 months and a year of age, repeating itself every 5 or 6 months. It goes into heat 2 times a year.
It is not recommended to mate it until the third gestation, which takes place around one and a half years of age. Before this, her reproductive channel is not fully developed, and it may have problems.
The maximum age to cross a German Shepherd is at 7 years, as fertility begins to decrease at this age, although this is an overall estimate.
Consult your veterinarian to determine the optimal ages to cross your dog.
Average Lifespan of a German Shepherd Mix and Extra Information
- The German Shepherd is an extremely intelligent dog capable of memorizing basic orders from a very young age. It is convenient to start your education from the beginning to be active and to explore your environment.
- From the moment the puppy has its first vaccinations and can take to the streets, we must teach it to do its nature calls away from home.
- In the first two months of age, they are already able to understand several orders. If we incorporate games, it will be a fun process and they will learn faster.
- Do not use games that involve biting people, even if it is a puppy.
- At four months or more, you can start to train it more thoroughly.
- It is very important to socialize it well, as it is an animal with a lot of temperament that can be aggressive in the face of strangers.
- Your puppy must exercise. Take it for a walk and as it grows and gets strong, lengthen its walk and intensity of the exercise. For a better experience, use a good dog harness designed for German Shepherd mix breeds.
What Diseases can a German Shepherd Have
German Shepherds are strong and resistant, but there are several specific health problems regarding this breed, in addition of the most common diseases of dogs.
German Shepherds tend to suffer arthritis at advanced ages, especially in the hip. This degenerative disease is a common ailment that produces varying degrees of limping, stiffness, and joint pain.
It can involve irritability and cold, and humid environments increase problems arising from this condition. Arthritis is incurable, but treatment relieves symptoms and improves the quality of life of the dog considerably.
Treatment includes physical therapy and weight management, use of painkillers and chondroprotective agents to repair cartilage.
Moderate exercise is beneficial because it maintains muscle mass, but excessive exercise is counterproductive. It is not advisable to have the dog rise on the hind legs or jump from a certain height or to elevated places.
Other inherited diseases range from:
- Elbow or hip dysplasia. A cause of limp of the hind legs. Offering the dog a very high calorie diet during parenting can aggravate this ailment, as rapid weight gain increases stress on the hips. Inadequate exercise during the period of bone growth can also aggravate the problem, so it is not advisable to encourage dogs to stand on their hind legs or jump from a certain height or to elevated places.
- Chronic superficial keratitis. Inflammation of the cornea in which it becomes cloudy, with the consequent loss of transparency. It can cause potential blindness, including abnormal growth of tissue around the cornea.
- Stomach problems, so it is important to provide them with a well-balanced diet, using quality feed suitable for this breed.
- Von Willebrand disease. Haemorrhagic disorder is the most common in dogs. It is caused by a deficit of a plasma protein called von Willebrand factor, which is very important for the normal functioning of platelets in the early stages of clotting. Most of the time, these are mild bleeding and decrease with the age of the dog. In severe cases, prolonged nosebleeds appear, under the skin and inside the muscles, as well as blood in the stool and urine. Treatment involves plasma administration or blood transfusions. Specimens with hereditary bleeding disorders and those that may be carriers should not be used for breeding.
- Cyclic limp. It is a fast-growing large puppy disease between 5 and 12 months of age. The cause is unknown but is suspected to be caused by a polygenic hereditary trait. Males are affected four times more than females. The puppy has intermittent limp on one or more legs, not related to any trauma. Pain and limping changes from one limb to another over a period of several weeks or months. The disease is self-limiting, the limp can persist for several months and symptoms usually go away when the dog is 20 months old. The veterinarian may prescribe painkillers and if the dog is severely affected, restrict exercise.
- Equine Cauda syndrome. Equine Cauda is made up of nerves that form the terminal extension of the spinal cord. Injuries to it may be caused by herniated discs, spina bifida, infections or tumours, and stenosis of the lumbosacral vertebral canal (lower spine). Symptoms include pain, difficulty getting up, and recurrent limping on one or both hind legs.
How to choose the most suitable toys for my German Shepherd
German Shepherds have very powerful jaws that can bite and chew toys, so you will have to choose tough materials.
- Hard rubber toys are suitable for German Shepherds. Choose them in size suitable for them and that are resistant.
- Do not use tennis balls. Its fiberglass will wear out your dog’s teeth, causing occlusion problems.
- There are very strong nylon bones specific to aggressive chewing dogs, such as the German Shepherd. Choose one that is non-toxic, so that it can expel it through its stool in case of accidental ingestion.
Average Lifespan of a German Shepherd Mix – Conclusion
- The German Shepherd is an intelligent dog.
- It is a large-sized dog, able to live an average of 12-13 years.
- It should not be crossed-bred until its third gestation, which takes place around one and a half years of age.
- The maximum age to cross a German Shepherd is 7 years old.
- It is important to start your training when they are puppies.
- Games that involve biting and chasing people can lead to problems when the dog grows.
- They can memorize basic orders from the time they begin to explore their surroundings.
- There are some typical diseases you should know of to prevent, and if necessary, treat properly.
- This type of dog can be aggressive chewers capable of destroying almost any toy.
- Choose toys of resistant materials that are not toxic or dangerous to your dog and avoid tennis balls.