How To Measure Your German Shepherd’s Neck Size

Whether you’re looking to buy a new collar or need to ensure the current one fits correctly, having accurate measurements is crucial. In this guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of accurately measuring your German Shepherd’s neck size.

By following these simple instructions, you’ll be able to find the perfect collar that provides a snug and secure fit for your canine companion. So, let’s dive in and learn how to measure your German Shepherd neck size like a pro!

How to Measure Your German Shepherd’s Neck Size

Measuring your German Shepherd’s neck size accurately is essential to ensure the proper fit of collars, harnesses, and other neck accessories. In addition, it’s essential to measure their neck size correctly to provide them with comfort, safety, and freedom of movement. Follow these step-by-step instructions to measure your German Shepherd’s neck size accurately:

1. Preparation

Choose a calm and quiet environment where your German Shepherd feels relaxed. This will make the measuring process easier and more accurate. Have a flexible measuring tape, a piece of string, and a ruler ready.

2. Positioning

Stand or have your German Shepherd stand in a natural, upright position. Keep them still but relaxed, avoiding any tension or pulling on the neck.

3. Locate the Base of the Neck

Identify the base of your German Shepherd’s neck. It is the point where the neck meets the shoulder blades. This is the spot where you will measure the circumference of their neck.

4. Measurement

Wrap the measuring tape or string around the base of your German Shepherd’s neck. Position it just below the ears and ensure it sits snugly without being too tight. It should be placed high enough on the neck to ensure the collar sits properly and comfortably.

5. Snugness and Space

The tape or string should fit comfortably around the neck without causing any discomfort or restriction. You should be able to slide two fingers between the measuring tape and your dog’s neck. This allows for the proper fit of collars while ensuring your German Shepherd’s comfort and mobility.

6. Record the Measurement

Once the measuring tape or string is in place and snugly wrapped around the neck, take note of the measurement. Record it in inches or centimetres for future reference when selecting the appropriate collar size.

The Anatomy of a German Shepherd’s Neck

German Shepherd's Neck

The neck makes up a large portion of the dog’s body, and it carries a lot of weight. It needs to be strong and sturdy to support the dog’s head, which can weigh up to 30 pounds!

The neck is made up of different parts:

  • The upper third of the neck is called the cervical vertebrae. These bones are stacked on top of each other and form a curved shape that allows for flexibility and movement. They also help protect your dog’s spinal cord from damage.
  • The middle third of your dog’s neck contains all of your dog’s muscles, ligaments, tendons, blood vessels, nerves and cartilage. This area is responsible for giving your dog the ability to move its head sideways as well as up and down (flexion).
  • The lower third forms part of your dog’s chest wall, which helps protect its organs as well as providing strength during movements such as running or jumping up into small spaces like crates or cars.

German shepherd neck size by age

The neck size of a German Shepherd is an important consideration when it comes to choosing the right collar and ensuring the comfort and safety of the dog. The neck size can vary depending on whether you are measuring an adult German Shepherd or a puppy.

What neck Size does a full-grown GSD have?

size of german shepherd neck

For adult German Shepherds, the average neck size typically ranges between 18 to 24 inches (46 to 61 centimetres). However, it’s important to note that individual dogs may have slightly different measurements based on their size, build, and overall body structure. For example, some larger males may have neck sizes reaching up to 26 inches (66 centimetres) or more, while smaller females may have neck sizes closer to 18 inches (46 centimetres).

German shepherd puppy neck size

German shepherd puppy neck size

In the case of German Shepherd puppies, their neck size will be considerably smaller compared to adults. The neck size of a German Shepherd puppy will depend on their age and growth stage. It is recommended to measure their neck size regularly as they grow rapidly during their early months.

For newborn German Shepherd puppies, their neck size may be around 5 to 8 inches (13 to 20 centimetres). As they reach 8 to 12 weeks of age, their neck size may increase to approximately 10 to 14 inches (25 to 36 centimetres). It’s important to note that these measurements are approximate, and individual puppies may have slightly different sizes based on their development.

What size collar does a German Shepherd need?

A German Shepherd’s collar should be about two inches larger than your dog’s neck since it will stretch out a little over time. The best thing to do is to try on a few sizes and see what feels comfortable for your dog.

Tips for choosing a collar for a German Shepherd

Choosing the right collar or harness for your German Shepherd can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some things you should consider when choosing a collar or harness:

The Size and Style of Your Dog’s Neck

If you have a German Shepherd with a thick neck, you may want to look into harnesses instead of collars. Harnesses sit across the chest and over the shoulders, which makes them great for dogs with thicker necks. They also distribute weight evenly across the body, so your dog won’t feel as much pressure on his neck.

The Material Your Collar or Harness Is Made Of

Collars should be made of strong material like leather or nylon so that they don’t break if your dog pulls on them too hard (which they will do). Harnesses are typically made from nylon webbing or mesh fabric because they allow more breathing room than leather.

The Functionality of Your Collar or Harness

Collars are great for smaller dogs who don’t need much control over their movement—they’re basically just there to keep your pet from going too far away from you! But you might want to opt in for harness if you have a larger dog who likes to pull hard on his leash.


What is the average size of a German shepherd’s neck?

The average size of a German Shepherd’s neck is about 20 inches.

Final Thoughts

If you have ever seen a German Shepherd or even just pictures or engravings of a German Shepherd, you probably noticed their great necks. Well, the truth be told, a German Shepherd’s collar will never hit their neck because of how they are built.