German Shepherd Breed Standards | Measurements | Size and Features | Height | Weight | AKC and SV
German Shepherd breed standards are provided by both the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde (SV), the official club for the German Shepherd dog in Germany. According to the AKC, the German Shepherd male should exhibit a "desired" height of 24 to 26 inches, while females (i.e., bitches) should generally measure between 22 to 24 inches. The AKC, however, does not provide any actual numbers for suggested weight for the German Shepherd, rather, stated the dog should have "depth and solidity without bulkiness".
As for the SV, male German Shepherds are to be between 60-65 cm (23.6 to 25.6 inches) in height, while females are to measure between 55-60 cm (21.6 to 23.6 inches) in height. Furthermore, the SV, unlike the AKC, provides weight guidelines, which are 30-40 kg (66 -88 pounds) for male German Shepherds and 22 - 32 kg (48.5 to 70.5 pounds) for females. The SV German Shepherd breed standard is only marginally smaller from that of the AKC, and many other aspects of the breed standard expressed by both organizations is quite similar.
Remember that these are merely breed standards, and unless your German Shepherd dog is a "show" or "ring" dog, then it's important to note that owners should not be overly concerned if one's animal falls slightly outside that of the breed standard. Please keep in mind that these standards have been in place for quite some time and do not necessarily reflect the changes in breeding structure (from a physical perspective) that result in marginal deviations from the breed standard. For example, its common to see many North American German Shepherd to be taller than the stated AKC height (but hopefully not much), while its also common to see European lines be heaver that the stated SV weight for the breed standard.
However, the breed standards expressed by the AKC and SV are still highly relevant in that they both call for a sound, stable temperament and demeanor in the breed, which are without question some of the most important traits necessary for maintaining the quality of the German Shepherd dog.
If there is a concern with breeding, it's that of the North American German Shepherd lines continuing evolution into that of rather large dogs, with a roundish and softer frame when compared to their European bloodline counterparts. This heavier framed dog does have a tendency to exhibit additional health issues, particularly that of hip and elbow dysplasia, which are two common health issues and problems for the German Shepherd dog.