How Hot Is Too Hot For German Shepherds?

Looking to learn how hot is too hot for German Shepherds?

Great! We’ve got you covered.

Playing out in the heat is fun for dogs but when not careful can result in irreparable organ damage in a matter of minutes.

image of german shepherd running in hot summers day on the beach

In this guide, you will discover:

  • What air temperature is already considered dangerous for your GSD
  • Why German Shepherds tend to tolerate heat better than other breeds
  • Signs your GSD is on the verge of getting heatstroke

And much more!

What's In This Guide?

      How Hot Is Too Hot For German Shepherds?

      If the body temperature of your German Shepherd rises above 106 F, there could be tissue swelling and abnormal blood clotting potentially leading to multiple organ damage – all in a matter of minutes!

      The breed can tolerate the heat better than most canines because its snout is long enough to use effective convection cooling.

      What’s more, the GSD coat serves as an excellent insulator, thus keeping cool air trapped.

      However, that doesn’t imply that you should let your furry pal play outdoors unsupervised.

      I recommend installing an outdoor thermometer as I am pretty sure Doggo will bare his fangs if you try to get his rectal temperature!

      Note: Beyond 95 F air temperature is too hot for German Shepherds.

      Be sure to provide shaded areas for your pooch to relax. If a large tree is unavailable, put up a small canvas canopy on your patio. Better yet, buy him a dog house.

      How Do German Shepherds Regulate Body Temperature?

      As with humans, our canine companions thermoregulate but to a different degree and in distinct ways.

      While German Shepherds may sweat on areas uncovered with fur (ears, nose, and paw pads), these secretions are not enough to cool them down.

      So how do dogs cool off?


      When the summer heat is in full swing, your GSD may prefer to lie on the cool kitchen tiles than his favorite couch.

      That is because dogs can transfer internal heat to surfaces that are cooler than their body temperature.


      Jumping into the pool or lake is the most enjoyable way for your GSD to cool down, especially when you are involved.

      This process is of cooling down is called convection, the transfer of heat from the animal through cooler air or water.


      When the summer weather arrives, you want to do everything you can to keep your furry pal cool. So you might feel tempted to give your doggo a serious buzz cut.

      But believe it or not, your dog’s coat serves as a fantastic insulator.

      A lot of a dog’s heat tolerance is attributed to its coat.

      Fur acts as a thermal regulator, thus slowing down the process of heat absorption. As the cool air is trapped, doggo feels comfortable.


      Panting has been a canine’s main method of cooling. With an open mouth, a dog takes quick, shallow breaths with its tongue sticking out.

      What Should You Know About German Shepherds On Hot Weather?

      Although the GSD coat provides insulation, there is a limit to tolerating the heat.

      The coat’s insulation loses strength if your dog remains exposed to the sun for extended hours. Subsequently, you will need to provide cooling solutions to prevent heat buildup.

      Panting can also speed up overheating if your dog is inside a parked vehicle.

      A dog’s body heat and expired air in its breath will serve as a heater inside the enclosed space of a car, thus making it hotter, more humid, and more difficult for the animal to breathe.

      Moreover, panting in distress leads to more activity that further raises the dog’s temperature and this generates more heat inside the car.

      What Are The Signs That Your German Shepherd Is Too Hot?

      The most common and easily detectable signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke are:

      • Excessive panting
      • Dehydration
      • Foaming at the mouth
      • Muscle tremors
      • Lethargy or weakness
      • Dizziness

      Keep an eye out for these symptoms. If your GSD is lightheaded from heat exhaustion, the first thing you’ll need to do is turn the air condition in the room to help him cool down.

      Having Doggo drink cold water can offer a primary aid but only if he shows readiness to drink.

      Don’t submerge his head in the water to prevent aspiration pneumonia.

      When in doubt, call your vet. Get to a veterinary hospital immediately if your GSD loses consciousness.

      What Affects The Heat Tolerance Of German Shepherds?


      Puppies and seniors can’t regulate their temperature the way an adult dog can.

      Not only are the young and elderly are susceptible to heatstroke, but they are also at great risk for developing hypothermia.

      Coat Length

      The second factor that influences the heat tolerance of a German Shepherd is the dog’s coat type.

      As a rule, the German Shepherd is considered to be a double-coated breed but did you know that not all of their coats are the same length?

      German Shepherds come in five different types:

      • West German show lines
      • West German working lines
      • East German working lines
      • Czech working lines
      • American show lines

      GSDs from West German show lines pride themselves on their full, long coats. These canines look incredibly luxurious!

      American show lines also have lustrous although not quite as long and fluffy as compared to the GSDs from West German show lines.

      European working lines often sport shorter, coarser coats but there are also double-coated ones albeit rarely.

      So when you do get a German Shepherd puppy, consider the environment you live.

      A long, double-coated German Shepherd looks elegant and imposing — a classic GSD.

      However, doggo’s fur would shed like a blizzard during the warm months and he would hate the hot weather without a doubt.

      Whereas, a German Shepherd sporting a coarser, shorter coat may shed less come spring and summer. Single and medium coats can take the heat better.

      Single Coats vs. Double Coats

      A German Shepherd lacking an undercoat is considered to be genetically defective.

      While doggo may be disqualified in entering the show ring, he is nevertheless an amazing companion and his temperament shall not be affected by his coat type.

      On the bright side, a single-coated German Shepherd may be able to tolerate warm temperatures better as long as he remains in a shaded area.

      How Does A German Shepherds Tolerance to heat Compare With Other Breeds?

      Heat tolerance in the German Shepherd breed is moderate to good, thanks to its long snout. Regardless, that does not imply that this working canine will not fall prey to heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

      But in comparison to brachycephalic canines, such as the Pug and Boxer, the GSD can tolerate hot temperatures longer and remain more active under the heat sun.

      And although German Shepherds sport thick lustrous coats, they shed ungodly amounts of their undercoat during the springtime. These dogs weren’t called German Shedders for nothing!

      What is left of their coat provides them enough thermal protection, so don’t even think of shaving your pooch.

      Final Thoughts On The Temperatures a german Shepherd Can Tolerate 

      The German Shepherd can live and thrive in just about any weather, but anything above 95 F is too hot.

      If your GSD is older or has conditions such as heart disease, obesity, or breathing problems, then it is even more imperative to stay keep him cool and closely monitor him for symptoms of heatstroke.

      Summer can be a lot of fun for you and your canine companion regardless of age. All it takes is a little extra attention and care.

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      Lara Writes

      Lara, a.k.a Alpha Mama, is a great dancer and belter singer, although the world tells her otherwise. However, her greatest pleasure is working with animals. If the Alpha Mama is not being delusional, she manages to create informative articles and clear-cut buying guides. She also likes to share her personal experiences that may ignite your soul or possibly change your life!

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