Fat German Shepherd – Everything You Need To Know

Fat German Shepherd is not a separate breed but German Shepherd dogs that are overweight. German Shepherd dogs are large breed dogs. German Shepherds belong to Germany which originated in late 1800. They are one of the most intelligent and responsive breeds among dogs. They were created from the local shepherd dogs for herding sheep and protecting flocks from predators. Also, these dogs have dome-shaped heads with a long, square muzzle. That’s how this breed ended up with the name German Shepherd. German Shepherds are known for their loyalty, kind-heartedness, bravery, and confidence. In addition, they are loving, affectionate, and very protective of those they love. Notably, German shepherds are one of the most intelligent dog breeds globally. 

German Shepherds are one of the most loved dogs globally and among families. Unfortunately, people who love their dogs tend to overfeed them to reflect their love. As a result, the dog looks healthy, but on the contrary, it is obese. Unfortunately, most dog owners are unaware of the causes and effects of obese German Shepherds. According to a study, 50% of all German Shepherds are obese or fat or overweight in the United States. A little research and education about obesity in dogs will add to the love for their dog in the long run.

German Shepherd Basic Information

  • Name: German Shepherd
  • Size: Large
  • Height: Males: 24 to 26 inches & Females: 22 to 24 inches
  • Weight: Males: 65 to 90 pounds & Females: 50 to 70 pounds
  • Coat: Medium
  • Lifespan: 9 to 13 years
  • Color: Black, tan, solid black, and solid sable
  • Energy: Medium
  • Origin: Germany
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Activities: Agility, herding, conformation, obedience, rally, tracking
  • Barking Level: Frequent
  • Shedding Level: Normal
  • Litter Size: 6 to 10 puppies
  • Group: Herding Group
  • Other Names: Alsatian, Deutscher Schaeferhund
  • Breed’s Original Pastime: Herding, Guarding

German Shepherd Personality

The male German Shepherd has a height of 24 to 26 inches, while females stand about 22 to 24 inches. German Shepherds share the same weight. The male dogs weigh about 65 to 90 pounds, and the female dogs weigh about 50-70 pounds. German shepherds are large and belong to the herding and working group. The German Shepherd either has a medium coat or a long coat. However, they have a double coat with a dense underlayer, soft under the skin, which keeps warm as they are primarily out as working dogs. German shepherds are most commonly a mix of black and tan colors but rarely seen in variations like all-black, black with red, sable, and even the rare white German Shepherd. German Shepherds have lighter-colored eyes, usually light blue, golden brown, or yellow. They have dome-shaped heads with long, square muzzles. Like any other dog breed, they also have a pointy head, called the occiput, protecting the dog’s skull. Their ears are long and erect. They are also said to resemble their wolf ancestors. 

German Shepherd Temperament

Germans Shepherds are one of the most intelligent dog breeds globally. They make great family pets with proper training, given their kind-hearted and protective nature. Male German Shepherds are more territorial than females. They are very cautious about their environment, making them the perfect guard dog. Best suited as police dogs, they carry out the instructions perfectly. Male German shepherds are more severe than females. The female German shepherds are more affectionate and good with human babies. Also, they are more independent than the male Blue German shepherds. One should always note that the male and female Blue Germans shepherds are wary of strangers. The barking levels of these dogs are frequently loud. For example, according to a study, the German shepherd was louder than a moving truck that emitted 86 decibels of sound. German shepherds shed throughout the year. Still, especially during the spring and fall, you can find a handful of hair. It is impossible to live without hair all around you with a German shepherd guardian at home.

What Causes Weight Gain in German Shepherds?

German Shepherds are naturally healthy dogs but are prone to obesity and are overweight. The common causes of obesity are lack of proper exercise, poor diet, too many treats, and health conditions like thyroid abnormality. Obesity also leads to health problems, puts more stress on hips, and sometimes leads to death. Therefore, it is always important to look out for any signs of being overweight and take the necessary steps to slim down your German Shepherd.

  • Improper Diet: Lack of proper diet leads to obesity in German Shepherds. Depending on weight, age, and activity, they need about 1740 and 2100 caloric intake per day, on average. Therefore, it is recommendable to use the calorie calculator tool.
  • Overfeeding: German Shepherds gain weight from feeding large meals. Lack of proper routine in feeding causes the dog to gain unnecessary weight.
  • Feeding human food: Provide German Shepherds with high-quality protein-rich dog food. Feeding human food leads to obesity and other health problems. The puppies need 22% of the protein in their food, whereas the adults need about 18% of protein. German Shepherd puppies need 8% fat for growing puppies and 5% for maintenance. Protein-filled diets like chicken, lamb, and fish help the dog’s brain and muscles work correctly. Also, omega-3 DHA fats from food like fish oil and vitamin E add to the good fat value for brain development.
  • Lack of proper Exercise: German shepherds need exercises of 90 minutes per day. The training can vary, including walking, running, and playing. German Shepherds fall out of shape without an appropriate exercise routine and gain weight.
  • Spaying/Neutering: Spaying and neutering slow down the metabolism and thus causes weight gain in dogs. Follow a proper exercise routine to avoid obesity.

Medical Conditions that lead to a Fat German Shepherd

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which a dog’s metabolism is slowed due to the lack of thyroid hormone production. This leads to weight gain in German Shepherds. Again, being overweight leads to the following conditions:

  • Lethargy 
  • Reluctance to work out 
  • Hair Loss 

Cushing Disease: Cushing Disease causes overproduction of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is responsible for controlling body weight. Any abnormality in the production of the hormone leads to weight gain.

Genetics: The gene type they inherit is another major cause of obesity and weight gain in German Shepherds. It is highly recommended to watch their weight as they age.

Signs to look out for Obesity

  • One of the common signs is when you cannot feel the ribs. However, despite their thick double coat, you should be able to feel the ribs while running the hand over their middle.
  • Another vital sign is panting. When a German Shepherd starts panting after walking a few blocks, it’s time for a strict exercise routine.
  • German Shepherd bodies are defined in a certain way with a deep rib cage inclined to the waist at the hips. Your dog is overweight when the hip is larger than the back hock joint. Also, the German Shepherd’s side and abdomen appear even with the chest.

Other signs of Obesity in German Shepherd

  • Arthritis
  • Skin problems
  • Pain while walking and running
  • Challenging to play as before
  • Difficulty in breathing

Note: Obesity has the side effects mentioned above and, as a result, decreases your pet’s life span by 3 years. 

What is meant by Overweight in a German Shepherd?

A German Shepherd’s average weight should be 65 – 90 pounds in males and 50 – 70 pounds in females. Apart from the weight, other factors that determine whether a German Shepherd is overweight are:

  • Muscle mass
  • Size
  • Activity
  • Gender

The amount of fat in a body is more critical than the dog’s weight. For example, a German Shepherd is considered overweight with a body mass of over 20% fat. German Shepherds, being purebreds, are easily noticeable when they gain weight than usual.

 Tips for weight loss in Fat German Shepherd

Healthy Diet: A healthy diet is a significant factor in a weight loss program. They should be fed high-quality dog food that includes proteins, omega-3, fiber, and carbohydrates. A healthy diet to shed those extra fats may include:

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Hills’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food
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Put your dog on a routine diet plan to maintain good shape and prevent obesity.

Proper Exercise Routine: Proper exercise helps lose weight and stimulates them mentally. A daily walk of 10-20 minutes is ideal. The routine may also include outdoor activities, hiking, and adventures.

Diet Plan: Invest time in charting a diet plan with the help of your vet that helps your dog lose weight without any hassle. Make sure to track the progress of weight loss and the followed diet. A low-calorie food rich in fiber is highly recommended.

Health Problems faced by a Fat German Shepherd

Being overweight can appear to be a minor problem, but it leads to fatal health conditions in German Shepherd. The health problems faced by a fat German Shepherd are:

  • Cardiac Problems
  • Diabetes
  • Skin Disease
  • Joint Problem
  • Breathing Problem
  • Cancer
  • Mobility problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney disease
  • Inflammation
  • Metabolic and endocrine disorders

Fat German Shepherd Videos

How To Tell if your German Shepherd is Overweight

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Is My German Shepherd Overweight


Final Thoughts

When you own a German Shepherd, always be aware of the dog’s weight and diet plan. Follow a proper exercise routine which helps in physical and mental stimulation. Activities and exercise keep your dog fit and healthy. The diet should include needed nutrients, and care should be taken not to overfeed them. Be in touch with your vet for consultation regarding any signs of obesity and overweight in your German Shepherd.

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