German Shepherds are dogs that have a high level of energy. If not appropriately channeled, their energy can turn into frustration and end up becoming a destructive behavior — scratching furniture, chewing shoes, gnawing their paws, etc.
There are many ways you can do to release their pent-up energy from a quick walk or long jog to a tug o’ war or fetching game.
Other favorite ways include:
- Setting up an agility training course in the backyard.
- Setting up a flirt pole.
- Taking them to the dog park to play with other dogs.
- Going to a bicycle ride together.
One of the best ways to channel their energy is through letting them play with their favorite toys.
The best German Shepherd toys not only should be able to stimulate their body, but also to stimulate their brain. For this reason, many German Shepherds often have several toys.
Let’s take a look at different types of German Shepherd dog toys available on the market before we take a look at my recommendation for best toys for German Shepherd.
Different Types of German Shepherd Dog Toys
These are different types of German Shepherd toys, each with its own purpose:
1. Chew Toys
Chew toys are best for German Shepherd puppies. When puppies begin teething, they will need something to chew to alleviate the painful and uncomfortable sensation around their gum.
Chewing on toys is also beneficial to clean and help their teeth growing sharp and robust.
2. Tug Toys
Debates are surrounding the tug of war game. Many German Shepherds parents still believe that playing tug of war game can make their dogs more aggressive.
According to the study, there is no correlation at all between the tug of war and dominance and aggression.
In fact, playing the tug of war can provide many benefits for your dog:
- This game can keep them exercised mentally and physically.
- This game is a great way to build a bond between the two of you.
- This game can be used as positive reinforcement. Many German Shepherds find playing tug is more enjoyable and rewarding than dog treats. When your dog is doing something right in their training session, you can reward them with a quick game of tug.
- This game can be used to redirect your dog from destructive chewing behavior.
- This game can be helpful to build your dog’s confidence level.
3. Puzzle Toys
Puzzle toys provide great mental stimulation for your dog. These toys challenge your dog to think and use their sense of smell to solve the puzzle and gain a reward in forms of their favorite treats.
Some toys require your dog to pull out a small drawer or flip over bone-shaped cover.
Each play can last between 30 minutes to 2 hours, which is another excellent way to alleviate your dog’s boredom and prevent anxiety. You can let your dog play on their own while you’re doing your chores.
If you have German Shepherd with digestive or weight issues, you can use these puzzle toys as well to force them to eat slowly.
4. Training Toys
Training toys such as agility toys or obstacle course are my favorite toys for training my German Shepherds. They are a great way to keep my dogs stay sharp and in shape.
German Shepherds are natural guard dogs. And these training toys can help satisfy their basic instincts to chase and run.
There are a number of exercises that training toys provide such as jumping, climbing, and running. All of them are beneficial, which makes your dog’s activity and training routine interesting.
5. Plush Toys
For most dogs, plush toys can be a great cuddle buddy when they want to curl up or sleep at night but not for German Shepherds!
These toys won’t last a minute under the powerful jaws of strong chewers. So I wouldn’t recommend this type of toys for GSDs.
What to Look for When Buying the Best German Shepherds Toys?
In my experience, it is true that some dog toys are more durable than others, but there is no single dog toy that is really indestructible.
Whether you like it or not, you need to set aside a budget for buying toys regularly for your German Shepherd. The first clue to finding the best German Shepherd toys for your dog is to look for the specific purpose that they provide.
As I have mentioned above, there are five different dog toys available on the market.
For example, let’s say you have a puppy, the best toys for them are the chew or puzzle toys geared toward puppies. Don’t play tug of war with your puppy because their teeth and jaw are still growing.
If you have eight to nine months old German Shepherd, then it’s the right time to start playing tug of war with them. The game will help them exercising and develop good behavior.
If you have German Shepherd between the ages of four and five months, then it’s about the time to introduce them with agility training or other dog sports that you like.
At ages one and two, your dog can start competing in the local agility event. Make sure to talk with your vet first before you begin training your dog.
What are The Best German Shepherd Toys?
1. Benebone Dog Chew Toy
- Dog-Friendly Design - Last time we checked, dogs don't have thumbs. Our wishbone chew is cleverly designed so your pup can get a good chew going.
- Real Flavor - We use only 100% real food ingredients for irresistible flavor and scent. We fuse 100% USA-sourced REAL BACON all the way through the chew. Dogs can tell the difference.
Benebone Dog Chew Toy is my choice for the best chew toys for German Shepherd puppies. They come in three different flavors that will make your dog salivate: real beacon, real chicken, and real peanut; and made of real food ingredients.
Many German Shepherds owners found this toy was quite durable.
One review at Amazon even said that this toy could survive the destructive power of his 15-month old Czech-line working-line German Shepherd, which is probably the most destructive dog out of all German Shepherd breeds.
The curved style also makes it easy for your pup to grasp and chew it.
2. KONG Treat Dispensing Dog Toy
- Made of food-grade, high-strength polymer
- Dishwasher safe
KONG is probably the most popular brand name when it comes to durable dog toys. And the KONG Treat Dispensing Dog Toy is my top pick for the best puzzle toys for German Shepherds.
This toy is perfect for dogs who have never been playing with a treat-dispensing toy before since it is easier to knock the treats out.
Some people might prefer an IQ ball for their puppies, but I would prefer to get this toy because, unlike the IQ ball, it won’t constantly be stuck under or behind the furniture since the toy has a weight at the bottom of it.
This means your pup can play alone without you having to keep checking them every minute.
3. Goughnuts Tug Dog Toy
- Orange ring 9" long, 5" wide, with a 1.4" cross-section
- Virtually indestructible!
If you’re looking for something to play the tug of war with your dog, the Goughnuts Tug Dog Toy is the best tug toy for German Shepherds.
This toy is made from a tough rubber material, and this tug toy had been tested and approved by many dog parents from Pitbulls to German Shepherds owners.
Many people found this toy lasted more than a year against their fierce chewers.
4. Affordable Agility Set- Best Training Toys for German Shepherds
- Features a 36" wide adjustable bar jump, 6 Weave Poles, Tire jump, pvc Pause Box and 3 ft tunnel with closed chute. Lightweight, adjustable, pvc obstacles.
- Bar jump is 36" wide w/adjustable jump height up to 26". Weave poles are spaced at 24" and the poles are 33" tall. Tire jump has a 22" diameter with adjustable height. Tunnel is 3 ft long with 22" diameter. Removable chute is 8 ft long. Pause Box is a 36" pvc square frame.
If you’re ready to start agility training with your German Shepherd, the Affordable Agility Toy is the best buy. This complete set is the best deal I’ve seen out there for actual agility competition level equipment.
The kit includes five different types of agility obstacles: bar jump, weave poles, tire jump, PVC pause box, and tunnel with closed chute.
That are enough obstacles to build an entire agility course in your backyard.
This product is easy to set up. Many people found it took no more than 20-25 minutes to set everything together.
5. Squishy Face Studio Flirt Pole
- New and improved V2 developed using customer feedback from extremely popular original Flirt Pole
- Comes with durable braided Fleece Lure pre-attached
Squishy Face Studio is the best flirt pole for German Shepherds. This is my favorite toy for training my German Shepherds.
Basically, a flirt pole is a pole with a rope attached on one end with your dog’s favorite toy tied to it.
There are numbers of benefits that your dog can get from playing with a flirt pole. Aside from getting a good exercise, this toy can also teach coordination, impulse control, and a proper release.
You don’t need a lot of space for your dog to play with it. You can either play it in your living room or your backyard.
1. KONG Extreme Goodie Bone is another great chew toys for German Shepherds. It can also be used as a puzzle toy since you can stuff small treats inside to make the play more challenging for your dog.
2. IQ treat balls are probably the most popular puzzle toys in the US. This Ourpets IQ Treat Ball helps to keep your GSD pup busy and works out some of that excess energy.
This toy is the slowest treat-dispensing toy out of other puzzle toys that I’ve ever tried. It’s a good thing if your dog has become pretty good with other dispensing toys such as KONG wobbler or buster cube.
There is a different difficulty level that you can set from the lowest to the highest.
3. LECHONG Dog Rope Toy is another great tug toy for German Shepherds. This toy is safe for your dog to chew since it’s made from natural cotton fiber. This toy, however, doesn’t last very long if your dog is an extremely aggressive chewer.
4. The Lord Anson Agility Set is more budget-friendly than the Affordable Agility Set. Though with Lord Anson, you’ll only get cones and rods, which is perfect if you’re just looking to train your dog to jump, weave, or cross over.
The toys are made from good quality plastic with adjustable height that you can set in four variations.
5. The Hyper Pet Frisbee is another great addition if you’re looking to playing fetch and catch with your dog. This frisbee is soft for your dog’s teeth and mouth, and yet durable.
Many dog owners found this frisbee lasted for months, even when they were playing every day with their dogs. It’s lightweight and comes in four different colors to choose from.