German Shepherd Vaccinations Guide

German Shepherd Vaccinations Guide

Just like humans, dogs are also prone to certain diseases and health problems. For this reason, as owners of an animal of this type, we must make sure to provide it with a good lifestyle that includes an excellent diet, exercise routine, etc. In addition to all this, it is important not to overlook the vaccination of our pets.

Most dog breeds should be vaccinated against the same diseases. In this case, it is important to know the vaccination schedule of a German Shepherd.

Keep in mind that vaccines are essential for both people and dogs as they help strengthen the immune system against certain diseases.

Vaccine antigens mimic disease-causing organisms, allowing the canine’s immune system to recognize these organisms to fight off the disease.

Why Are Vaccinations Important For German Shepherds?

German Shepherds are dogs designed to perform a wide variety of activities. While some people only keep them around the house as pets, most use them for a few tasks.

Because of that, it is normal for this breed to be exposed to certain environments where bacteria or disease-causing organisms can easily attack it.

That is why it is vital to administer the necessary vaccinations to a German Shepherd and thus help it to prevent or fight these diseases without taking too much risk.

What Vaccinations Are Necessary for German Shepherds?

We have said above that almost all dogs should receive the same vaccinations. In this case, adult German Shepherds usually require vaccinations against Canine Distemper and Canine Parvovirus.

However, it is recommended to vaccinate your puppy against these diseases in addition to Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza, Hepatitis, Bordetella, Canine Influenza, Lyme disease, and Rabies.

Not all of them are 100% necessary. The most important are Canine Parvovirus, Canine Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Rabies, and Leptospirosis, while the rest are optional.

In fact, there are certain vaccines that you can buy which are usually useful for several diseases at the same time. These are known as combined vaccines or DHPP and are intended to combat Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, and Parainfluenza.

Should We Vaccinate Our German Shepherd Against All the Diseases Mentioned?

It depends. We have mentioned some important vaccines and some optional ones. When deciding which vaccines to administer to a dog of this breed, it is very important to consider some factors such as its age, lifestyle, places it travels to with its owners, medical history, and the environment where it usually spends time.

When Is It Necessary to Vaccinate a German Shepherd?

The following table will serve as a guide to know when you should vaccinate your German Shepherd and against what diseases:

6-8DHPP, Bordetella
9-12DHPP, Bordetella, Leptospirosis, Canine Influenza, Lyme Disease
13-17DHPP, Rabies, Leptospirosis, Canine Influenza, Lyme Disease

Between 1 and 3 years of age, your German Shepherd dog should receive certain vaccinations as needed. Therefore, you must know the amount of time during which each vaccine is effective:

DiseaseTime (Year)
Lyme Disease1
Canine Influenza1

When your German Shepherd is an adult, your vet will likely create a vaccination schedule for you since vaccinating a puppy is different than an adult.

Generally, the vaccination of an adult German Shepherd consists of the periodic administration of the DHPP vaccine and also the Rabies vaccine. The doctor will tell you if another vaccine is necessary or not.

Steps to Administer Vaccines to a German Shepherd

Vaccinating a dog is the job of the vet and his assistants. It is better not to try it if you are not trained for that, although it is not usually a difficult process to carry out. The way to do it correctly is as follows:

  • The first thing you should do is mix the vaccines. You must do this by extracting the corresponding liquid from the vial.
  • Now, you must put the liquid you have extracted from the vial into the vial containing the vaccine. Once you do that, shake the vial to mix the vaccine.
  • Use the needle to extract the vaccine liquid that we have mixed.
  • The last step is to administer the vaccine to our German Shepherd by holding an area of ​​his skin, forming a small lump, and inserting the needle there (under the skin).


  • Use a new needle when you go to inject another vaccine into your German Shepherd. You can also clean the one you have already used.
  • Do not use the needle and syringe you have used for your German Shepherd on another animal.
  • Ask your vet for help if you have any questions about how to vaccinate your German Shepherd on your own.

What Are the Side Effects That Vaccines Can Cause in a German Shepherd?

Although vaccines are beneficial to protect a German Shepherd against certain diseases, it is also important to take into account some side effects which will depend on the body of each dog.

Some of the side effects that vaccinations can cause in German Shepherds are:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Facial or paw swelling 
  • Fever
  • Hives
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain around the injection site
  • Seizures
  • Sluggishness
  • Vomiting

After vaccinating your German Shepherd, it is important to monitor it for a few hours to rule out any of these symptoms. If you notice any unusual reactions after vaccination, take your pet to the vet immediately.

When Should We Create the Vaccination Program for Our German Shepherds?

If you get your German Shepherd from an early age, you should plan the vaccination schedule during the first visit to the vet.

The veterinarian will be in charge of telling you which are the mandatory vaccines you must administer to your dog and which are the optional ones. In addition to that, it will specify how often you should vaccinate your puppy.

When your German Shepherd becomes an adult, the veterinarian will be in charge of informing you of the changes in the vaccination program.