Bigger is not better when it comes to your German shepherd. The overall size of your shepherd is mainly determined by genetics, however the diet and exercise your pet receives can have an effect on the mature size of your shepherd, as well. A healthy diet is crucial to the development of your German shepherd.

The Schäferhundeverein, SV (Club for German Shepherd Dogs), has determined the breed standard of the German Shepherd Dog.

  • Overfeeding your shepherd will not make it big and tall, just fatter.
  • An overweight shepherd may develop hip and elbow issues later on in its life, especially if overweight during the developmental stages.
  • A little chunkiness is normal, but as your puppy grows up, it should also slim down.
  • Do not allow your puppy to free feed.
  • Excess weight in a developing GSD puppy puts extra stress and pressure on its developing skeletal system.


Height: 21.6 to 23.6 inches/ 55 cm to 60 cm

Weight: 48 to 70 lbs/ 22 kg to 32 kg


Height: 23.6 to 25.6 inches/ 60 cm to 65 cm

Weight: 66 to 88 lbs/ 30 kg to 40 kg

Any departure from the above characteristics should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog. Dogs with oversize or undersize by more than 1 cm are considered serious faults, according to the SV.

Do you have any tips on the healthy development of the German shepherd? How do you feel when you see an overweight shepherd? Share your knowledge of the breed in the comment section below.