The German Shepherd is an energetic and strong dog with loads of stamina. It is necessary to engage German Shepherd dogs in activities that quickly burn their extra energy.
High-intensity games and muscle training exercises are good for them. Strong muscles will help their tendons and joints that will keep injuries at bay. Giving your German Shepherd the right type of toys is another way to make them do a physical and mental exercise. Here is a list of exercise ideas (in no particular order) that will keep your German shepherd fit and energetic.
1. Jolly Ball
A Jolly Ball is a big-size indestructible ball that dogs can play with — pushing and chasing it around. These balls are available in many sizes and styles. You and your dog can play tug of war with the Jolly Ball having a rope or handle attached to it.
The German Shepherd is a herding dog, and it enjoys playing outdoor games. The Jolly Ball offers your dog a great way to keep itself playfully engaged, which would also offer it some necessary workout for the whole body.
2. Frisbee Toss
Chasing and catching a ball is an easy feat for most pet dogs — the German Shepherds are only too good at it. But playing it with Frisbee is a lot more fun as it requires both you and your dog to exhibit better coordination and timing for your dog to develop the necessary skills.
It is a spectacular sight to see the dog do all the running and chasing and trying to catch the Frisbee by its mouth. You should train the dog slowly by first rolling it along the ground, then by tossing it a little in the air, and then gradually throwing it further and further up in the air — while your dog tries to catch it in its mouth.
As you go about doing this, and your dog trying to be a perfect match not ready to allow the Frisbee to touch the ground, you can’t stop marveling at your dog’s acrobatic skills and agility.
3. Backyard Agility
Use your creativity to set up an obstacle or agility course in an isolated corner of your backyard. This will both enliven that remote corner in your house as well as create a playground for your dog to indulge in some useful twists and turns.
You may take help from the children and use discarded items in your home to build your own agility course. Alternatively, you can buy a reasonably priced agility and obstruction course from Amazon.
You can make provisions for tasks such as hurdle jumps, weave, jumping through hoops, tunnels, and a narrow platform to stay after jumping onto it.
4. Flirt Pole
A flirt pole is akin to a cat tickler, with the only distinction that it is much bigger. It has a long handle and a rope tied to it. To the rope, an indestructible toy is attached that hangs at the end as a lure.
Now, make the dog chase the lure as you move it around in different directions or in circles along the ground. This activity offers a workout for the whole body of your dog besides toning up their muscles. Also if your dog has self-control issues, the flirt pole can be a great tool to teach them to be calm. Be careful that the dog does not destroy the toy and follow your “leave it” command.
Our top picks: Best Flirt Poles for German Shepherds
Playing Fetch with your dog is one of the great German Shepherd exercises ideas. It will help burn the extra calories stored in its body. Generally speaking, German Shepherds are fond of the balls and toys.
They can run and fetch the ball for up to hundreds of throws. Instead of throwing the ball yourself, you can use a Ball Launcher to give a twist to the game. It will make your dog play Fetch all by itself.
German Shepherds are easy to train, which can be done by focusing their attention on the activity you want it to learn. Seeing your German Shepherd using the Ball Launcher all by itself can be a satisfying experience.
6. Stair Exercise
Using the stairs to give your dog a workout is a good idea. For this, bring your dog to the bottom of the stairs and, from there, throw the ball to the top of the stairs. Ask your dog to go for it quickly and allow it to come down slowly so that it does not injure itself.
Repeat this as long as your dog enjoys the game. This is a great energy burner, and your dog will soon exhaust all its pent-up energy. Running up and down the stairs is a good weight training exercise for the dog in which the dog’s rear legs get worked while climbing up the stairs and the forward legs on its return journey.
7. Run with Your Dog in Two
If you go for jogging or biking, take your German Shepherd along for the company. It will allow your pet to burn some calories that it may have accumulated sitting idle at home.
You can determine the speed and distance as per the stamina and convenience of both of you. If you love skating, you can show your dog your skills on such trips and make him proud of you.
German Shepherd dogs are strong and full of stamina. They can give you company on the jogging trails as well as walk for long distances. While running or walking, teach your pet to keep a distance from you so that it does not collide with you.
Swimming is a great calorie burner as well as a low impact workout that does not strain your dog’s joints or tendons. Swimming is particularly more useful for your dogs when it is recovering from an injury because it uses all muscle groups in the activity.
The good thing is that most German Shepherds love swimming. Therefore, among the great German Shepherd exercise ideas, swimming must figure prominently.
Also read: Can German Shepherds Swim
9. Tug of War
Playing the tug-of-war with your dog or allowing it to play it with other dogs can be another playful yet very effective way to give your dog some workout.
Let the dog crouch and use all its energy. This will help him build muscles as well as strength. But make sure it’s a controlled game, and when you ask your dog to stop and release the tug, it follows your command.
10. Playing with Puzzle Toys
Your German Shepherd, like most other breed types, is an intelligent dog, and it needs adequate mental stimulation to feel better. If they are not engaged in games that make them use more of their mind, they start expressing mental fatigue in destructive behaviors like escaping, digging, and barking.
Puzzle toys are a great way to engage your German Shepherd in problem-solving mental exercises. German Shepherd dogs are usually more intelligent and can solve the puzzles more easily and quickly than other dogs. So, try and find puzzle toys with higher difficulty levels for them.
11. Scenting and Nose Games
German Shepherds have highly evolved sensory organs that help it to trace out things by its smell. This attribute of German Shepherd makes it an ideal working dog for military, police, and spy jobs.
You can figure out some nose and scenting games for your dog and keep it engaged for some time.
12. Give them Chew Toys
Chewing is an excellent pastime for dogs. They can simply chew about anything for hours and hours. Chewing helps relax their jaws where much of their stress is held. Besides, chewing releases endorphins in dogs, which calms and relaxes the dog. You can help your dog by bringing home some strong chew toys.
13. Make Them Learn Names
Dogs can learn words and names. So, they can be taught the names of their toys, which can give them a vigorous mental stimulation.
14. Allow Your Dog to Play with Other Dogs
Not all German Shepherd knows how to behave with other dogs, and this can give rise to dog fights when you take your dog out for a walk. Allowing it to play with other dogs in your neighborhood or during the walk can give it some natural workout as well as enliven its mood.
Such social interaction will keep it physically and mentally more in tune with its surroundings. At the same time, your pet will learn some necessary social skills.
15. Enroll Him in A Canine Club
There are many dog clubs that organize regular dog sports events, including competitions and tournaments. Your German Shepherd may enjoy taking part in such events, which will be physically vigorous and mentally stimulating for him.
This way, your pet will get to see more of their world and be feeling more grounded and better about it. So, enrolling your dog in a canine club is undoubtedly one of the cutest German Shepherd exercise ideas.
Here are some of my favorite German Shepherd supplies
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful and useful as you raise and train your German Shepherd.
Here are some of my favorite reviews for German Shepherd supplies that I personally use and recommend. If you do decide to purchase them, please remember that I’ll earn a small commission which helps me maintain this website.
- Food: All of the different dog food brands out there can be confusing, and it’s hard to know which one is best for your GSD. Here is my recommendation for the best dog food for German Shepherds.
- Collar: A lot of people think that all dog collars are created equal, but this just isn’t true. If you have a German Shepherd, you need a special collar that is designed for their breed’s fur and neck size. Here I’ve reviewed some of the best collars for German Shepherds out there.
- Leash: A leash is a must-have for any German Shepherd owner. With a good leash, you can give your dog the freedom they need while keeping them safe and under control. Here are my top picks for the best leashes for German Shepherds.
- Harness: If you’re thinking about getting a German Shepherd, or you’ve just brought home your new pup, it’s important to know how to harness them correctly. A harness that is improperly fitted or used can cause serious injury to your dog. Read my review of the best harnesses for German Shepherds here.
- Bowl: A lot of people think that all dog bowls are pretty much the same, but this simply isn’t true. Different bowls serve different purposes, and the bowl that you need will depend on a number of factors. See my recommendation for the best dog bowl for German Shepherds here.
- Crate: You want to buy a dog crate for your German Shepherd, but you’re not sure which one is the best. There are a ton of different factors to consider when choosing a crate. Here’s my review of the best dog crates for German Shepherds and what you should know before buying one.
- Beds: German Shepherds need a bed that is comfortable, supportive, and durable. This breed is known for being high energy, so you need a bed that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. Here’s my review of the best beds for German Shepherds.
- House: It can be tough to find the best dog house for German Shepherds. Agitate: Not only do you have to worry about finding a good-sized dog house, but you also need to make sure it’s well-insulated and weatherproof. Here’s the house I recommend for German Shepherds.
- Shampoo: You want to find a shampoo that is specifically designed for German Shepherds. This breed has a lot of furs, and you need a shampoo that will be gentle on their skin and coat. Here’s my review of the best shampoo for German Shepherds.
- Shock Collar: A shock collar is a training tool that can be used on German Shepherds. It delivers an electric shock to the dog when they exhibit certain behaviors. While some people are against the use of shock collars, I believe that they can be helpful in certain situations. Read my review of the best shock collar for German Shepherds here.
- Vacuum: If you have a German Shepherd, you need a vacuum that is specifically designed to deal with all of the furs they shed. Shedding is a natural process for dogs, but it can be hard to keep up with. The right vacuum will make your life much easier. Here’s my review of the best vacuums for German Shepherds.