Active, friendly, and excellent guard dogs are the terms that come in one’s mind while discussing German Shepherd. They are one of the most active dog breeds. They are loyal, intelligent, athletic, and full of energy. Their life expectancy ranges between 9-13 years. They can grow as much as 26 inches in height and 42 kgs in weight.
German Shepherds grow till 2 to 3 years of age. Female German Shepherds experience the first reproduction cycle, what we generally call ‘heat’ at 6 months of age. But it is recommended not to start reproducing at that age. Male German Shepherds can reproduce after 2 years of age and can last up to 8 years. After this, their sperm count starts decreasing. German Shepherds should start reproducing at 2 years of age and stop at 8 years of age. After this age dogs enter their final stages of life where reproduction can be toxic for their health.
In this article, we will focus on what are the reproduction age of German Shepherds and how as an owner you can help them to reproduce well.
When does the reproduction cycle start?
The first heat that is the reproduction cycle starts at the age of 6 months in females whereas males can reproduce once they are fully grown. But the actual time when your German Shepherd should reproduce is 2 years.
A fully grown German Shepherd can bear the pain of pregnancy and can produce a healthy litter. Till the age of 8 years, reproduction can be done in German Shepherds. After getting 8 years old the heat cycle becomes irregular and males suffer sperm loss. Although dogs are never too old for getting pregnant, it is suggested not to get them to reproduce after this age.
The following are some of the effective measures that you need to take to keep your German Shepherd healthy and to avoid any life taking risk.
Know the right age of reproduction
It is said that the ideal age for both male and female German Shepherd is after 2 years of age. One should not be bred before 2 years of age because then a lot of complications arise in both males and females. The best and most healthy parenting skills in dogs themselves come after the age of 3. At this age, they are mentally, physically, and emotionally ready to become parents.
It is recommended that you should not breed after they are 8 years old because at that age, they start aging and breeding is not recommended. By the age of 2-2.5 years, they become sexually mature, and on the other hand, female dogs are also ready for reproducing.
Estrus or heat cycle in female dogs
Female dogs will have their first estrous when they will reach the age of puberty. It is also known as being in the heat or season. This means they can reproduce when they are in heat. According to the study, it is proved that female German Shepherd becomes sexually mature when they are 6 months old. But one should never breed them until they are 2-3 years old because that can risk the lives of both the mother and puppies.
Although they are sexually mature, their body is not ready for pregnancy. The early sign of estrus is swelling or expansion of the vagina, but this swelling varies from female to female.
Best time for reproduction
In females, 3 years is the perfect age of reproduction, as before this age most of the females have not finished filling out and developed muscles. For male German Shepherd, it is 2 years of age because till that age you are done with all the tests related to their health and genetics.
If the female is becoming a mother at the right age, you will have more chances of the puppies being healthy. It is advisable that after the age of 8, you should not breed because in male German Shepherd they lose their DNA potency and in females, they get irregular estrus which can lead to abnormalities in the puppies.
In a few cases, it is also found that if a male German Shepherd is under regular checkup by the veterinary, they can produce until the age of 10 years. It is very important for both male and female German Shepherds to go through a regular diagnosis by the veterinary, for maintaining good health.
Benefits of reproducing at the right age
The most common benefits of breeding at the right age are completely applicable to the health of males, females, and puppies. If you are breeding your German Shepherd at a young age then, the litter quantity and quality, both would be satisfying. In female German Shepherds, in most cases, they are unable to carry babies and hence it leads to miscarriage or abnormal puppies.
If we talk about male German Shepherds, the right quality of sperm or the best genetics is formed at a certain age, and the puppies which the female gives birth are also healthy and happy.
We have already discussed above, it is recommended and proved as well that females are ready for reproduction once they are 3 years old and coming to the males, they can reproduce after they are 2 years old.
In female German Shepherds, estrus or the heat cycle begins to happen once they are 6 months old. The early signs of estrus the owners can see are that they will find out a bloody vaginal discharge. After the age of 8 years, both male and female faces change in their body. In males, sperm level decreases whereas in females estrus takes place irregularly. Hence, it is advisable that after this age, female German Shepherds should not conceive.
A regular checkup by the veterinarian is a must for both female and male German Shepherds. Follow these simple tips and carry out happy breeding. After all, taking proper care is the key to the good health of pets.