How Often Should I Walk My German Shepherd? (Explained)

Categorized as Sport & Exercise
How Often Should I Walk My German Shepherd

Walking is essential for German Shepherds. Not only does it provide them with much-needed exercise, but it also helps to socialize them and prevent boredom. Walking also has a number of health benefits.

It helps to improve joint mobility, increase muscle tone, and maintain a healthy weight. In addition, regular walking can help to reduce the risk of developing obesity, heart disease, and other health problems.

And one of the most common questions we get asked by German Shepherd owners is, “how often should I walk my dog?”.

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How Often Should You Walk Your German Shepherd?

The amount of exercise your German Shepherd needs will depend on a number of factors, including their age, size, health, and living conditions.

However, as a general rule of thumb, healthy adult German Shepherds should be walked for at least 30 minutes to two hours each day. Puppies will need less exercise, while senior dogs may need the same 30 minutes walk but at a slower pace.

Let’s break it down a bit further according to each stage of your German Shepherd’s life.


Puppies up to five months old should be walked for around five minutes per day for every month of their age. For example, a three-month-old puppy would need to be walked for 15 minutes each day.

After six months, most German Shepherds will be able to handle a longer walk of around 30 minutes. However, some puppies may need a few shorter walks throughout the day until they build up their stamina.

Most adult shepherds will benefit from 30 minutes to 2 hours of walking every day. But depending on your dog’s energy levels, they may need more or less exercise.

Senior dogs may not have the energy for long walks, but they still need to stay active. Most senior German shepherds will still be able to handle a daily 30-minute walk but at a slower pace.


Another factor that will affect how much walking your German Shepherd needs is their weight.

Heavier dogs will naturally need to walk more in order to maintain a healthy weight, while lighter dogs may be able to get by with less exercise.

However, all German Shepherds will need at least some daily exercise in order to stay fit and healthy.


German shepherds can be prone to health problems. One of the most common issues is obesity, which can lead to a host of other problems, including diabetes and joint pain.

When German shepherds are overweight, they may have difficulty walking for long periods of time without taking breaks. In these cases, it is best to take your Shepherd on shorter walks.

If the dog can’t walk for long periods of time without stopping, start with 15-minute excursions and gradually increase their length as they get into better shape!

Living conditions

Last but not least, your German Shepherd’s living conditions will also affect how much walking they need.

Dogs who live in apartments or small homes may need more walking than those who have a large backyard to run around in.

This is because smaller living spaces can lead to boredom and frustration, which can be alleviated by getting out and about on walks.

On the other hand, if you live in a rural area with plenty of space to roam, you can probably get away with walking your dog less often.

When Is It Safe to Walk Your German Shepherd Puppy?

Most people know that puppies need to be taken on walks regularly in order to get the exercise they need. But what many people don’t realize is that there are specific times when it’s unsafe to walk a puppy.

So when is the best time to start walking your German Shepherd pup?

When they have all their vaccinations

It’s important to wait until they are fully vaccinated before taking them out in public.

Though it may be tempting to take your new puppy out for a walk as soon as you bring them home, it’s important to wait until they have completed their vaccinations.

Puppies are vulnerable to a number of diseases, and exposure to other dogs can increase the risk of infection. Without the full complement of vaccinations, puppies are also at risk of developing severe health problems or even death.

For example, parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and severe dehydration. It is particularly dangerous for young puppies, and since there is no cure, prevention is essential.

Most vaccines are given in a series of three shots, with the final dose given around 16 weeks of age. Once your puppy has completed their vaccinations, they can safely walk in public places.

When the weather is good

You should also be mindful of the weather when walking your German shepherd puppy. Puppies aren’t very good at regulating their body temperature, so they can easily get too cold or too hot.

If it’s a chilly day, make sure to dress your puppy in a warm coat or sweater. If it’s a hot day, try to avoid walking during the midday sun and stick to shady areas. And always make sure you have plenty of water for both of you to stay hydrated.

3 Signs That Your German Shepherd Isn’t Getting Enough Exercise

If you’re ever unsure about how much exercise your dog needs, there are a few telltale signs that they need more walks.

Here are four signs that your German Shepherd isn’t getting enough exercise:

1. They have a lot of energy and are constantly bouncing off the walls.

If you find yourself constantly telling your dog to “sit” or “stay,” it may be time to up their exercise regime.

A good long walk or hike will help to tire them out and give them the mental stimulation they need. In addition, some interactive toys can help to keep their minds challenged.

2. They start to get into trouble when they’re left alone, such as chewing on furniture or getting into the trash.

If your German shepherd seems depressed or anxious, it might be because they’re not getting enough exercise. Just like humans, dogs need regular physical activity to stay healthy both physically and mentally.

A lack of exercise can lead to boredom, which can quickly turn into destructive behaviors like chewing on furniture or digging holes in the yard.

3. They start to gain weight, even though their diet hasn’t changed.

If your dog is eating the same amount of food but starting to gain weight, it’s a sign that they’re not getting enough exercise.

Extra weight can put a strain on their joints and lead to other health problems, so it’s important to make sure they’re getting enough exercise to maintain a healthy weight.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s a good idea to start walking your German Shepherd more often.

Tips for Walking Your German Shepherd

Walking your German shepherd is a great way to bond with them and give them the exercise they need. But it’s important to do it safely, so here are a few tips to keep in mind.

1. Make sure your shepherd is wearing a collar and ID tag.

Even if your German shepherd is well-behaved, it’s important to make sure they’re wearing a collar and ID tag in case they ever get lost.

2. Bring plenty of water for both you and your shepherd to stay hydrated.

Dogs can get dehydrated quickly, especially in hot weather, so it’s crucial to have plenty of water on hand.

Pack a water bottle for yourself, and make sure to bring along your dog’s water bottle to keep them hydrated on the go. If you’re planning on going on a long walk or hike, pack an extra water bottle for your dog just in case.

3. Avoid walking in bad weather conditions.

Rain, snow, and extreme heat can be dangerous for both you and your dog, so it’s best to avoid walking in bad weather conditions. If you do have to walk in rough weather, make sure you take extra precautions to keep both of you safe.

4. Bring along some treats to reward your GSD for good behavior.

Treats can be a great way to motivate your dog to walk nicely on a leash and listen to your commands. Make sure to bring along enough treats for the entire walk, as well as a few extra in case you run into any distractions along the way.

5. Be aware of your shepherd’s body language.

Dogs communicate through their body language, so it’s important to be aware of what they’re trying to tell you. If your dog starts to slow down or lag behind, it may be a sign that they’re getting tired and need a break.

Pay attention to your dog’s cues and adjust the walk accordingly to make sure they’re comfortable. If you’re ever in doubt, always err on the side of caution and take a break.

6. Make sure your dog has mastered basic obedience commands before walking them off the leash.

Before walking your GSD off the leash, make sure they have a good understanding of basic obedience commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” This will help to keep them safe and under control.

7. Be alert for signs that your dog needs to go to the bathroom and have a potty break.

Be on the lookout for signs that your dog needs to go to the bathroom, such as sniffing around or circling. If you see these signs, take them to a nearby grassy area so they can relieve themselves. and don’t forget to bring along some bags to clean up after them.

8. Be cautious when walking near traffic and other potential hazards.

Walking near traffic can be dangerous for both you and your dog, so it’s important to take precautions when walking near busy roads. If possible, try to find a route that has less traffic and is more secluded.

Also, be aware of other potential hazards like construction sites, open manholes, and bodies of water. Avoid these areas if possible, or keep a close eye on your dog if you can’t avoid them.

9. Be respectful of other people and animals when walking your German shepherd in public.

Keep your dog under control and be respectful of other people and animals when walking in public. If your dog is getting too close to someone or seems like they’re going to jump on them, have them sit or lie down until the person has passed.

10. Know all the local laws and regulations regarding walking your dog in public.

Before taking your GSD out for a walk, make sure you’re familiar with all the local laws and regulations regarding walking dogs in public. This includes leash laws, noise ordinances, and any other rules that may apply in your area.

What Are Other Good Exercise Options for German Shepherds?

In addition to walking, there are a number of other exercise options that are good for German Shepherds. Here are a few ideas:

1. Hiking

Hiking is a great way to get your dog some exercise while also taking in some beautiful scenery. Just make sure you’re prepared for the hike, and be aware of any potential hazards along the way.

2. Swimming

Swimming is a great low-impact exercise for German Shepherds. If your dog is new to swimming, start slow and let them get used to the water before going too far.

3. Frisbee

Playing Frisbee is a great way to exercise both you and your dog. Just make sure you use a Frisbee that’s designed for dogs, as regular Frisbees can be too hard on their teeth.

4. Agility training

Agility training is a great way to exercise your German Shepherd’s mind and body. There are a number of agility courses available, or you can even set up your own course in your backyard.

5. Treasure hunt

A treasure hunt is a great way to keep your German Shepherd’s mind active. Hide some treats around the house or backyard, and let your dog find them. You can even make it more challenging by hiding the treats in hard-to-reach places.

6. Playing fetch

Playing fetch is a classic dog game that’s also a great exercise for your German Shepherd. You can play fetch with a number of different objects, such as a tennis ball, Frisbee, or stick. Just make sure the object is safe for your dog to chew on.

7. Herding

If you live on a farm or have access to some open space, herding is a great exercise option for German Shepherds. This is an instinctual activity for them, and it’s a great way to wear them out.


As a general rule of thumb, German Shepherds need around 30 minutes to two hours of walking each day. However, the amount of exercise they need will depend on factors such as their age, weight, health, and living conditions.

When walking your German Shepherd, there are a few things you should keep in mind, such as making sure they’re on a leash, being aware of potential hazards, and knowing all the local laws and regulations.

For a complete list of things to keep in mind when walking your German Shepherd, check out our tips above.

In addition to walking, there are a number of other exercise options that are good for German Shepherds. These include hiking, swimming, Frisbee, agility training, and playing fetch.

Regardless of which activity you choose, making sure your German Shepherd gets enough exercise is important for their health and well-being. So don’t wait, get out there and start exercising with your furry friend today!

By Andrew Garf

Andrew Garf has loved dogs, especially German Shepherds, since he was 10 years old. Though he also loves burgers, training dogs is his real passion. That's why he created the website - to help dog owners learn how to properly train, care for, and bond with their German Shepherd dogs.