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Do German Shepherd Puppies Have Big Paws?

Last Updated: December 10, 2023

If you’ve ever seen a German Shepherd puppy, you’ve likely been entranced by their overwhelming cuteness that never seems to wear off as they grow up. Floppy ears, bushy tails, and clumsy mannerisms overwhelm us with joy. And not to mention those adorable paws. Do German Shepherd puppies have big paws?

German Shepherd puppies have big paws because of their large-bodied nature. While they will grow into them, the paws can grow faster than the rest of them to support their rapid growth. Big paws can be an indicator of size, but it is not a foolproof method to determine the final size of the dog.

German Shepherds are undeniably known for their loyalty, brilliance, and cuteness, but they are also known for their relatively large size. When a new German Shepherd owner gets a puppy, they likely want to know how large the puppy will grow.

I will share the ins and outs of German Shepherd puppy size prediction and other fun puppy facts.

German Shepherd Puppy Paws. Do German Shepherd Puppies Have Big Paws?

Let’s get started!

German Shepherd Puppy Proportions

Newborn German Shepherd pups weigh about a pound, and they are the cutest pound of fluff you’ve ever seen. Despite their tiny newborn size, German Shepherd puppies grow big quickly, doubling their weight in the first week.

The puppies will then grow to around 10% of their adult weight within the first month, and by six months, they will weigh approximately 70% of their adult weight. Before you know it, you have a full-grown German Shepherd on your hands!

You might notice right off the bat that your German Shepherd puppy seems to have paws that are far too large for him – and that’s okay. Larger paws are necessary to offer support to your German Shepherd as he grows rapidly over the next 18 months. 

At around 18 months, your puppy will be at the full-grown stage. From this point, he will gain a few more pounds with age but will remain the size height from here on out. Larger breeds take a lot longer to reach adulthood than smaller breeds:

“A larger dog takes a bit more time than a smaller one to reach full adult size because those bigger bones need more time to grow.”

Dr. Jerry Klein, DVM and Chief Veterinary Officer at AKC

How Fast do German Shepherd Puppies Grow?

German Shepherds grow from about a pound at birth up to around 90 pounds. As with any breed, there are variations to their eventual adult size as every dog is unique.

But how big are German Shepherd puppies at six weeks? Six months? And how fast do they grow? German Shepherds grow exponentially for the first few months and then slow down between 6 and 9 months old. I have a complete guide on this topic here; When Do German Shepherds Stop Growing? GSD Growth Chart.

Watch This GSD Puppy Grow From 7 Weeks to 2 Years Old…

Here’s a helpful chart to help you visualize approximately how much GSD puppies will weigh at various stages of their lives:

Age of GSD PupWeight
1 Month5.5 to 9 Pounds
2 Months16 to 20 Pounds
3 Months22 to 30 Pounds
6 Months49 to 57 Pounds
9 Months64 to 71 Pounds
12 Months71 to 75 Pounds
18 Months71 to 79 Pounds
2 Years79 to 90 Pounds
Weight of German Shepherds from 1 month to 2 years

After the one-year mark, German Shepherds will vary more in weight once they are fully grown. Depending on their genetics, diet, and environment, among a variety of other things, German Shepherds will be around 71 to 90 pounds.

It’s a good idea to have your German Shepherd weighed regularly at the vets to ensure he remains healthy. I used to have my dog checked over every month as a puppy.

If you are looking to learn more about the best diet for German Shepherds, you can check out my monster article that contains loads of nutritional advice, different types of diet, and exactly what they can and can’t eat.

According to the German Shepherd Dog Council of Australia, weight also varies considerably between German Shepherd sexes: 

“It is noteworthy that with the end weight of the GSD, there is up to 25% difference in weight between males and females.”

GSD Council of Australia

The general adult range for male German Shepherds is 71-90 lbs, whereas adult females will be between 50-70 lbs.

Your puppy’s nutrition is essential and even more so during the growing stages. They mustn’t put on too much weight as German Shepherds are genetically predisposed to hip dysplasia, so overfeeding them strains their skeletal development in ways that can cause or encourage bad hips. 

Suppose you are feeding your GSD dry kibble. In that case, experts recommend choosing a high-quality brand suitable for large breeds as these contain more protein and less calcium and phosphorous to help your puppy’s bones grow correctly and at the correct rate.

To learn more about this topic, check out this article, Do German Shepherds need large breed food?

Are Puppy Paws an Indicator of Adult Weight?

Your German Shepherd’s paws can be a good indicator of his adult size and weight, but it’s not entirely accurate. However, for the most part, large paws mean that your dog will be higher in weight and height. This is simply because your larger-sized dog – such as a German Shepherd – needs paws that are large enough to support him. 

German Shepherd Puppy With Big Paws. Do German Shepherd Puppies Have Big Paws?

Think about it this way – could you imagine your German Shepherd’s puppy feet on a Greyhound? They would look ridiculous, right? Could you also imagine Chihuahua-sized feet on your German Shepherd puppy? I guess not – he would be falling all over the place!

However, you have to keep in mind that this method of guessing your dog’s adult weight and height is not entirely foolproof. Dogs can grow at different speeds, and sometimes their paws may look disproportionate. Does that mean he’s going to be a smaller, leaner German Shepherd? Certainly not, as he may be about to go through a significant growth spurt.

My female German Shepherd is a classic example of this. As an adult, she weighs a massive 88 pounds, and she is exceptionally tall, standing at 27 inches – she is therefore nicely proportioned. However, as you can see from the below pictures, her paws at both 8 and 11 weeks certainly do not appear overly big!

Remember, though, that you shouldn’t look at your puppy’s paws as an indicator until at least 14 to 16 weeks old. At this time, they should be more proportionate and may give a bit more accuracy.

Other Ways to Indicate Adult Size and Weight

A straightforward way to predict how big your German Shepherd will be is to double his size once he has hit the 16-week mark. Of course, your German Shepherd could be a bit larger than that actual calculation, seeing how many of them continue growing at a slower rate – between 18 months and sometimes up to 2 years old.

Here are a few tips and tricks for guessing how big your German Shepherd puppy will end up as an adult:

  • Look at the mom and dad. If your German Shepherd puppy’s parents were both large, then you can feel confident that your pup will follow suit. Even then, the puppy may end up with smaller-sized paws. Paws should not be the only thing to look at as an indicator of height and weight.
  • Look at the skin and how loose it is. Generally, a puppy that has a lot of excess loose skin will have more room to grow. So, if your German Shepherd is a bit on the saggy side, it simply means he will be able to grow into his skin. Lots of loose skin can certainly mean you will have a larger German Shepherd.
  • Use a calculator. Yes, it’s true – puppy calculators are available online to help you guess how big your puppy is going to be. They will ask a few simple questions, such as type of breed, how old they are, and how much they weighed at birth.

So, are any of these methods accurate? You will need to go to the final paragraph to find the answer!

Other Puppy Proportions

Some breeds have pretty different proportions. Take Corgis, for example, their bodies grow almost as rapidly as a German Shepherd, but they don’t get nearly as big as their puppy size implies. At three months, the corgi pup weighs around 15 pounds. Then, at one year, they are about 25 pounds. These proportions are attributed to their short legs!

While the paws of a Corgi don’t grow very big at first, they don’t get much bigger than they are at around six months of age. The Corgi puppy has a lot less body to grow into than a German Shepherd puppy and a lot less leg, too! Because German Shepherds grow very quickly, their paws must adapt early to support them in their growth journey.

Final Thoughts

German Shepherd puppies have big paws because they are necessary to support this large breed as they grow older. However, although your puppy’s paws may appear to be larger-than-life, it’s not necessarily an indicator of how large they will be. Unfortunately, there is no reliable method that has proven to be 100% accurate.

You will need to use a combination of different methods to obtain a better estimate of how large your German Shepherd puppy will eventually be. These are:

  • Look at your puppy’s paws between 14 – 16 weeks
  • Double your GSD’s weight at 16 weeks
  • Consider the size of your German Shepherd’s parents
  • See how much extra loose skin he has
  • Use a puppy calculator

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Sharon Waddington
Sharon Waddington is the founder of World of Dogz. With over 30 years of experience working with dogs, this former Police Officer has seen it all. But it’s her trusty German Shepherd, Willow, who steals the show as the inspiration behind this website. As Sharon’s constant companion Willow has played a pivotal role in shaping her passion for dogs. Recently, Sharon has become deeply passionate about the plight of rescue dogs and is an active advocate for dog rescue, striving to make a difference in the lives of dogs in need.

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