Those must be some sick, sad, and messed up GSD's if they are only living four years.
My mom's German German Shepherd lived til he was 12. He was from a breeder and had no health problems until he got in the double digits.
Our American German Shepherd only lived til 8. He had hip D, and some liver problem.
American German Shepherds have far more problems than GGSD's do. AGSD's have more eye, and joint problems and are more prone to epilepsy and cancer (but what american dog isn't!?) IMO America's version of the beautiful German Shepherd is nauseating. They are extremely poorly bred.
Orion is a GGSD and he has no problems what so ever....and I to own both purebreds and mutts...mutts are better