How Stress and Anxiety Decrease the German Shepherd Lifespan

German Shepherd dog with stick

General Information About German Shepherds

Dogs are among the most popular pets found in almost all homesteads across the United States. A recent study found that about 40% of U.S households own a dog. German shepherds are becoming popular not only in the U.S but globally and account for 6.3% of the total dog population in the U.S. it is a good family dog and offers great companionship to its owners.

The German shepherd dog originated from Germany in the late 1800s. German shepherd owners trained them to become working dogs, hunting dogs, herding dogs, and guide dogs. Due to their strong sense of smell, they helped in search and rescue activities. The German shepherd's physique and athleticism make them the best choice for both police and military when performing their duties. The long German shepherd lifespan also makes it the best choice for most security companies.

German shepherds also offer great companionship; hence you can keep them as pets. However, there are essential factors that one should consider before bringing a puppy into your home to help increase the German shepherd lifespan.

German shepherds are among the sharpest and intelligent dogs, making them excel when assigned to perform any task. It enjoys training activities and has a strong desire to please even though they are evenly temperamental. They require a lot of mental and physical stimulation to keep sharp.

When raising it as a pet, don't let it sit on the couch all day. Provide mental stimulation by teaching them new tricks, purchasing balls and toys, and playing the fetch game. It will help increase the German shepherd lifespan. They have a high trainability character that makes them suitable for obedience training. Most of these dogs express their high intelligence at a young age.

Temperament Nature of a German Shepherd

 Many dog owners praise this breed as a fast learner. Proper mental and physical stimulation helps put their energy levels on point and increases the German shepherd lifespan. Providing these stimulation exercises makes them excellent pets at home. As a German shepherd owner, you should consider buying a nylon leash and take your German shepherd out for a walk each day. 

The general physique of the German shepherd makes it a good watchdog. It gives a stern look, and intruders will rarely walk into your compound knowing you own a brave German shepherd. They offer an excellent companion to kids and remain loyal to the owners. They will constantly bark to keep strangers away. Therefore, proper socialization is essential to avoid overreaction when meeting new people or other dogs. 

Health Conditions of a German Shepherd

German shepherds are healthy dogs with a solid immune system. When purchasing a puppy, it is essential to do it from a reputable breeder who values its health. A mature German shepherd will range from 24-26 for males and 22-24 for females. A fully grown male German shepherd will attain a weight of 65-90lbs, while females will vary between 50-70lbs when mature. Most German shepherds are long coats making them the heaviest shedders among all dog breeds. It is essential to purchase a grooming brush and brush the fur every week.

 The German shepherd lifespan is about 14 years. As it grows old, it is prone to contracting dysplasia due to its body shape. To avoid this condition, one should provide supplements to help improve joint health promote healthy tissues, enhance the dog's mobility and increase the German shepherd lifespan.  Some of the common health issues this breed suffers from include elbow dysplasia, bleeding disorder, exocrine pancreatic deficiency, bloat, and hip dysplasia. 

Do stress and anxiety reduce the German shepherd lifespan? Yes, stress and anxiety affect the normal functioning of the dog's body, which adversely affects the dog's health hence reducing the German shepherd lifespan. 

Major Causes of Stress and Anxiety in German Shepherds

German shepherds are active dogs hence require proper stimulation both mentally and physically. Poor or no stimulation leads to the build-up of stress, which makes the pet destructive. It also contributes to reducing the German shepherd lifespan.

Like all other dog breeds, German shepherds love to stay close to humans. This breed also suffers from separation anxiety when left alone for long hours, especially when leaving the house. A dog that suffers from separation anxiety will destroy things such as furniture or relieve itself anywhere in the house. The primary cause of separation anxiety is loneliness and boredom, and past negative experiences may aggravate the situation. 

German shepherds are very alert to unfamiliar sounds. They can sense slight sounds such as footsteps at a distance. They become anxious about these sounds and will bark to alert you about any imminent danger. Loud noise can also trigger stress in German shepherds.  Loud noises such as gunshots and thunderstorms can make your pet stressed and anxious, especially when left alone.

Sometimes you may have to move to a new home due to a job transfer. It will force you to carry your pet along to your new home. The unfamiliar environment will trigger an increase in the stress levels of your dog. The dog will constantly bark at strange objects as it gets used to the new environment.

The German shepherd dog is intelligent and will quickly adapt to a standard daily routine. The dog can notice a slight change in the usual practice, such as delayed feeding time, raising the dog's stress and anxiety levels.

Post-traumatic stress disorder reduces the German shepherd lifespan. Most German shepherds, especially those raised by abusive owners, will experience post-traumatic stress disorders. Exposing the dogs to similar conditions may make them nervous, which leads to increased stress levels and reduces the German shepherd lifespan. 

How High Stress and Anxiety Levels Affect German Shepherd Lifespan

Prolonged stress can harm the general well-being of the dog and reduce the German shepherd lifespan. From the previous section, it is easy to note that most German shepherd owners may not know what causes stress on their pets, therefore, letting them get through these periods alone. German shepherds with high-stress levels may exhibit certain behaviors that may lead to serious health problems and reduce the German shepherd lifespan if not addressed appropriately.

Reduced Appetite

Generally, all dogs love to eat. German shepherds are heavy eaters and will eat a sizeable amount of food at each serving. A stressed German shepherd will suffer from reduced appetite hence decreased food intake. Prolonged exposure to stressful factors will aggravate the loss of appetite, which will lead to reduced body weight and which will reduce the German shepherd lifespan.

Underweight dogs are generally unhealthy since they become prone to infections as their body's immune system becomes weak.   A German shepherd dog with underlying medical conditions dies quickly due to poor eating habits. Stressed dogs might also start chewing on objects around the house. Chewing non-food things causes injuries to their dental cavity and may lead to infections, reducing the German shepherd lifespan if left untreated.


Stressful situations make the German shepherd release adrenaline which most people refer to as the fight or flight hormone. Adrenaline has several positive impacts and can help the dog pull out from a stressful situation. It does this by increasing the animal's heart rate and lowering blood pressure. However, these effects harm the dog and reduce the German shepherd lifespan.

The hormone reduces the amount of blood flowing to the digestive system, especially the intestines and stomach. The reduction in the blood causes stress-induced diarrhea, which often comes with no other symptoms such as fever. Prolonged stress causes the German shepherd to have diarrhea, making it lose a lot of water, reducing the German shepherd lifespan.

Prolonged Illness

High stress and anxiety levels prolong the healing process, especially on sick dogs. Cortisol, a hormone produced when the dog is stressed, has anti-healing effects. Sick dogs exposed to stressful conditions may fail to heal, which reduces the German shepherd lifespan. Most animal experts avoid using corticosteroids on sick animals since they inhibit the dog's healing process even though they give it the ability to fight.

Diseases also cause stress in dogs hence creating a repetitive cycle that becomes hard to break.

Behavioral Changes

Stress and anxiety trigger behavioral change in all dogs, including the German shepherd dog. One can quickly notice a stressed dog due to changes in the behavioral pattern. As a pet owner, it is essential to be keen on your pet's behavior to notice any slight difference in the typical behavior.

German shepherds quickly change their normal functions as a coping mechanism towards stressful situations. Since this breed has medium aggression levels, you will notice a sudden increase in aggression levels. They will constantly bark or growl towards family members, you as the owner, or other pets at home. In most cases, it will raise its lips and produce a growling sound. If left unattended, these dogs can harm people around them by biting.

Some will whine or whimper as a sign of anxiety. However, stressed dogs will whine accompanied by trembling. In addition to that, anxious dogs will repeatedly lick their lips, especially around strangers or a more dominant dog.

The sleeping habit of the dog is likely to change. Although these dogs are vigilant, they love taking naps during the day and sleep tight at night. Stressed dogs will rarely sleep comfortably, and this affects their mental capability. Stress may also make them sleep a lot which can impact their energy levels and make them sluggish. A German shepherd dog exhibiting lethargy has an underlying medical condition.

When stressed, German shepherds will chew furniture in your home as a coping mechanism. Separation anxiety is the leading cause of this problem and can lead to injuries reducing the German shepherd lifespan.

Uncontrolled Urination

Stress causes German shepherds to urinate inappropriately. It means that they will pee on undesignated areas in the house. High anxiety levels lead to stress hormones that relax the bladder muscles, making the dog unable to hold the urine.

Low Immunity Levels

Weak immune reduces the German shepherd lifespan. Cortisol, the hormone released in stressful situations, directs more blood to the muscle to help the dog fight through the stressful situation. In chronic conditions, cortisol weakens the immune system of your pet. A depressed dog cannot resist any infection due to a weak immune system making it vulnerable to any disease hence reducing the German shepherd lifespan.

Relieving Stress and Anxiety on your German Shepherd

As seen earlier, stress reduces the German shepherd lifespan. You can put several options in place to help your dog recover from stress or anxiety to increase the general German shepherd lifespan. Some of these natural procedures include:

Giving Your Dog Some Time Alone

Showing too much affection towards a stressed dog can lead to bites. Therefore, it is essential to leave the dog alone as it recovers from stressful events. Stressed dogs often exhibit high aggression levels; hence it is best to let the signs disappear. Most dog rescuers start treating the dog at the place where they find it without changing its environment. This action helps lower the dog's stress level before taking it to a new environment.

Help the Dog Out Of the Stressful Situations

Many people assume that dogs can face stressful situations and become stronger than before or get used to it. Prolonged exposure to stressful situations harms the dog's health and reduces the German shepherd lifespan. It is essential to help the dog recover by providing enough care and mental support throughout this period.

Provide Enough Stimulation

It is essential to provide enough physical and mental stimulation to increase the German shepherd lifespan.  Stimulation helps the dogs relieve any built-up stress. Take the dog through some training series, walk the dog out on a leash, and visit dog parks to allow it to interact with other people and dogs.  

Avoid Certain Areas When Taking Your Dog Out

Certain areas might increase the stress levels of your dog. Avoid crowded parks or noisy neighborhoods, or places with other dominant dogs.

Learn Your Pet's Behavior

Studying and learning your pet will help identify any slight change in the dog's behavior. It is also easy to identify what triggers a particular behavior in the dog. Once you place these scenarios, you can choose to get rid of the triggering factor or remove the dog for such a situation.

Minimize Personal Stress

Dogs can easily read one's feelings. As a pet owner, avoid getting close to your pet while stressed. German shepherds can mimic the energy and become stressed too. Approach your pet with a smile to prevent transferring any stress element to the dog.

Purchase Stress-Relieving Products for Your German shepherd

Different products in the market can help your pet get rid of stress quicker. A U.S-based company, the Calming dog, has provided some of the best stress-reducing accessories for your pet. The company owners are dog lovers; hence they understand the importance of minimizing your pet's stress levels and increase the German shepherd lifespan.

Some of the best products found in the store that can help lower your German shepherd's stress level include:

Calming cuddle blanket mainly helps the dog get through separation anxiety. German shepherds are prone to suffer from separation anxiety. The blanket offers a calm, extra cozy, and relaxed feeling. It makes them less naughty hence will not destroy property around the house. It makes the dog feel more comfortable when you are absent. It is ideal for dogs of any age or size and is foldable.

The calming fountain plus offers the dog cold and crispy water throughout the day. It encourages the dog to drink a lot of water hence ideal for multi-dog homes. The accessory contains an attractive LED light with a 2.4-liter capacity. It ensures that the dog drinks clean water even when you are away.

It uses triple filtration technology to ensure that the dog drinks the safest water and avoids contracting water-borne diseases. The LED light makes it visible even in the dark. Enough water intake helps reduce the stress levels of the pet and also increases the German shepherd lifespan.

Pet owners should consider their pets as family members hence provide a comfortable sleeping area. You must work hard to ensure that your dog can live the best life similar to your child. Most times, German shepherds will jump on our beds and take a nap. It would be best if you considered purchasing the calming cuddle bed pus to provide an extra cozy and relaxed spot for your pet to rest.

The bed offers enough comfort, which helps remove naughty thoughts from your pet when left alone in the house. It comes in various sizes hence ideal for any dog regardless of the size.

Why Choose Calming Dog 

We produce premium and scientifically approved products that improve your pet's life quality. The products undergo a series of tests by qualified vets to ensure that they are safe for your pet.  In addition, the products from Calming Dog are eco-friendly and come in different luxurious designs and contain no harmful chemicals making them safe for your pet.


German shepherds are great family dogs. On top of that, they offer protection to their owners, making them suitable for security purposes. They are sharp hence easy to train. It is essential to take good care of it to increase the German shepherd lifespan. You can show affection to your pet by purchasing premium products from calming Dog online store at affordable prices to keep the dog's stress levels at bay.

Back to Blog