When looking at German Shepherds, it is easy to see that they are bred for a multitude of jobs. From police work to search and rescue, there’s no task too big or small for these amazing dogs. But what about German Shepherds at home? What jobs can you give your German Shepherd that will challenge them and make them feel wanted?
Why Give Your German Shepherd a Job?
Nowadays, most dog owners will stop at food and water bowls. That is considered enough for dogs, but it really isn’t. Dogs need something to do with their time to feel useful and loved, just like us humans.
Having a job will give your German Shepherd that love of feeling needed as well as make them more mentally stimulated. In turn, this makes a dog happier and less likely to develop depression or anxiety. Consider having your German Shepherd do some sort of job around the house in exchange for treats.
What jobs Can I Give My German Shepherd?
Here are twenty-five jobs that you can do with your German Shepherd. Keep in mind that some of these may require training beforehand, so don’t give up if it seems like it’s hard at first! Also, make sure to consult your dog’s trainer or behaviorist if they seem stressed while doing any of these tasks.
1. Turning Off Lights
This is an excellent introduction to giving your dog some sort of task. Start with just one light in the house and have them turn it on or off for a treat! Then move on to two lights, three lights, etc.
When teaching this task, it is a good idea to start with light switches that have very distinctive clicks so your dog can understand when they’ve turned it on or off.
2. Scent Detection
If you have a German Shepherd that has been trained to track different scents, then they can be hired out for a job like this! A scent detection dog is used to find evidence or spot certain materials by their smell. Using dogs for these purposes proves beneficial in police and criminal cases where a person may be trying to hide evidence.
3. Fetch Keys
This is a great way to have your German Shepherd feel needed when you are trying to get to your car in a hurry! Of course, they will need to know how to fetch keys first! This can be taught as an easy trick by luring them with treats towards the set of keys and saying their name before tossing it over for them to get.
4. Fetch Mail
Feeling lazy to get the mail? How about having your German Shepherd fetch your mail from the mailbox! That way, you can go inside with your hands-free to do other things. As an added bonus, a dog who fetches the mail will get lots of love and appreciation from their family members when they find out!
5. Pull Doors Open and Shut
Want to have a personal doorman? Have your German Shepherd pull open and shut doors for you! This job is a small one but will be appreciated by anyone.
6. Pull a Stroller
If you have a young child, how about having your German Shepherd pull their stroller, of course, with your supervision! This will give them something to do while you are out on walks and at the same time help entertain your child.
7. Cary Backpack
Going camping or hiking? Have your German Shepherd carry a dog backpack. They can help you bring along food, trash bags, and other equipment that you would otherwise have to carry on your own.
8. Pulling Trolley
Need help with groceries? Get your German Shepherd to pull a trolley. While your dog may not be able to carry all of your groceries, they will be able to help you carry the bags that are not too heavy.
9. Act as a Guard Dog
Protect your home with your German Shepherd! This can include barking at people who come up to the door or walking around the perimeter of your house in order to spot intruders. Train them beforehand on what behavior is acceptable when acting as a guard dog.
10. Deliver Newspapers and Put It on Your Desk
Don’t want to leave your house to get the newspaper? Have your German Shepherd do it instead! They can bring it up to your desk where you will be sitting and ready to read the news.
11. Take Out Trash
Want a help dog to help you with trash duty? Have your German Shepherd take out the trash for you! They can run alongside you while you walk towards the garbage dumpster or even do it themselves.
12. Take Laundy To the Utility Room
If you have a lot of laundries to do, you can hire your German Shepherd to carry it for you. For this job, you need to teach them how to carry towels or other pieces of clothing by putting them in their mouth. They should then walk to the utility room and drop it off in a laundry basket.
13. Take Laundry Out of the Washer and Dryer
This is a similar job to #12, but it involves a different appliance. Have your dog pull clothes out of the washing machine or dryer by having them pick up items with their mouth and walk to an open area to drop them off in a clean basket.
14. Clean Up Their Toys
Does your German Shepherd have a lot of toys scattered around your house? Have them put away their own toys after they’re done playing with them. You can teach them how to do this by putting their favorite toy into a basket or container.
15. Be a Babysitter
Busy preparing dinner, and you just can’t take your eyes off of it, but your little one is running around the house? Have your German Shepherd babysit them! This will make sure they don’t get into too much trouble.
16. Wake Me Up
What is a better way to wake up than with a dog licking your face? Have your lick you awake in the morning. Dogs can do this by putting their paws on your shoulders, licking your face, or jumping onto you.
Want to do yoga, but you don’t want to do it alone? Get your dog to join you! Doga is a fun bonding activity where you get your dog to do yoga poses with you. Have them “beg” or “downward-facing dog,” among other things. This will help strengthen their muscles and put them on the right path for a healthy life!
18. Negotiate Stairs
Walking downstairs can be difficult for elderly people or those with disabilities. Have your German Shepherd lead the way as you walk downstairs by walking ahead of you and putting themselves in a position where you should follow.
19. Oversee a Homework Session
Have a kid doing homework? Get your German Shepherd to help them by supervising a study session. They can do this by sitting by the student while they’re studying or even lying down in front of them to deter them from doing anything but studying.
20. Take Your Dog on a Hunt
German Shepherds are excellently trained to trample through bushes or dig up prey, so take them on a hunt with you! Teach your dog what you’re looking for and how to find it. You may not come home with anything, but the hunting experience is a fun day out for both of you!
21. Biking with Their Person
Doesn’t want to go biking alone? Get your dog to go along with you on a bike ride! You can attach them to the back of the bike with a leash and let them run alongside.
22. Pull a Garden Cart
Do you garden? Why not get your German Shepherd to help you? Get a garden cart for them to pull while you’re doing gardening work. This is a great workout for them, and it’ll also help you get the job done faster!
23. Swimming Together in the Lake
If you love outdoor and water activities, get you and your dog to go swimming in a lake or pool together! Have them wear a life vest and follow you in the water while you go swimming. Play fetch or catch with them as well.
24. Hunt Down Your Lost Items
Have you ever lost your keys, phone, or another important item? Your German Shepherd might be able to help you find it! Let your dog sniff the area where you last had the object and ask them to lead you to it. Of course, you will need to train them nosework first.
25. Become Best Man
Want your dog to help you get ready for a wedding? Have them be a bridesmaid! They can accompany you walking down the aisle by walking beside you or act as a ring bearer by walking in front of you with the ring box. You can also dress them up in a tuxedo, complete with a bow tie!
Tips on How to Give Your German Shepherd a Job
If you’re thinking about giving your dog a job, there are some important tips to remember in doing so.
1. Make it fun for your dog. If you’re not having fun with the training, chances are they won’t be having fun doing it either. So make sure to play with them during the training process and reward them when they do a good job at doing a job.
2. Be consistent in your training. If you want the dog to do a particular job, make sure that it’s done at a specific time every time or every day. By doing this, you’ll reinforce the behavior, and they’ll learn faster how to do their jobs.
3. Be firm with what you’re teaching them. If they don’t listen, don’t give up. Dogs are stubborn little creatures and can be difficult to train for some people. But if you’re firm with them, they’ll learn faster what you want them to do.
4. And the final tip, make sure that it’s a good fit for your dog. If your German Shepherd is a puppy, they may not be able to do certain jobs because of their size or build. So make sure to look over jobs before assigning them one!
Hopefully, I’ve given you some new ideas to consider when it comes to working with your dog on their daily jobs.
Have fun working with your dog, and remember, work hard, play harder.