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How To Exercise A German Shepherd

German Shepherd Exercise Requirements

Exercise for German Shepherd dogs with German Shepherd Man

Its easy to get lulled into a false sense of security when it comes to German Shepherd exercise requirements. Because theres nothing Shepherds like more than spending time with their owners they can appear to quite happily lounge around at your feet all day if you let them.

Letting them do so is a mistake though, because this dog breed needs a lot of exercise to maintain their mental and physical health. So with that said, just how much exercise does a German Shepherd need?

Healthy Safe Activities For German Shepherd Puppies

Moderation and taking activity slow for the first 12 months of your puppys life should be your standard. Dont choose any rough and tumble games, or activities that will cause your puppy to twist their hips and body quickly.

There are plenty of other ideas to try with your new baby German Shepherd.

Keep reading for a German Shepherd puppy exercise chart and specific, step-by-step fun games to keep your new pup happy and healthy.

Learn A New Sport Or Game

Sports can help your German Shepherd puppy redirect their excess energy.

If youve got the time, enrol your puppy in dog sports. Think agility, flyball or disc dog. Getting involved together in sports can strengthen your bond.

In addition, these sports provide physical and mental exercise at the same time.

A word of caution, though. Formal training can be expensive and time-consuming. If you dont mind enrolling your dog, then go right ahead.

But if you do, you can do the sports for fun.

Read Also: Why Do German Shepherds Whine So Much

So How Can I Exercise My Dog In A Short Time Frame

Rest assured there are easy methods to streamline your GSDs exercise routine. While it would be ideal to spend hours outside with your dog, we know that is often not possible when leading a busy and full life.

Therefore, we have outlined six methods you can use every day to help your GSD burn off the necessary energy and give them a good workout, without sacrificing all of your valuable time.

Teach Them Obedience Training

German Shepherd training &  exercises. German Shepherd care ...

Your German Shepherd puppy is an intelligent dog. That will get them through obedience training.

Obedience training should be taken early in a puppys life. That way, it can prevent behavioral problems later on.

This was exactly what this research found out. It studied 142 dogs divided into 4 groups: puppy class, puppy party, adult class and no class.

The puppy and adult classes underwent an hour of training each week for 6 weeks. The other 2 groups did not undergo formal training.

The findings showed that the groups that attended training responded well to commands. The puppy class group also showed positive responses to strangers.

The study concluded that this could prevent behavioral problems such as disobedience or fear of strangers.

In training, its important to consider the short attention spans of puppies. That being said, spend at least 30 minutes each day for their training.

Train them young starting with basic commands. These are useful commands that you can use at home or when outside.

Also, get them busy with leash and off-leash training. This is particularly useful for when you are taking walks or running.

Since obedience training uses focus, its a perfect way to tire them out mentally.

Also Check: How Much Do German Shepherds Weight

Can German Shepherds Do Flyball

When you picture flyball, do you only see Jack Russells or Border Collies? Well-socialized German Shepherds can participate in flyball also.

Flyball is a type of relay whereby four dogs run an obstacle course as a team with a ball as the baton. German Shepherds tend to be task-oriented and can add speed and power to flyball teams. They need to be able to compete side-by-side against other dogs without allowing any dog aggression to distract them.

This video should lay to rest any doubts about whether a GSD can be competitive against a Border Collie in speed and agility.

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.

Read Also: How To Trim A German Shepherds Nails

Walking Your German Shepherd Daily For The Right Amount

Walks are easy on most German Shepherds and are essential for dogs who spend much of their day indoors.

Walking a German Shepherd is the most popular form of exercise for fitness and health.

  • Walk your German Shepherd at least twice for 90 minutes
  • Preferably split into 2 sessions in the morning and evening time
  • Avoid extreme cold and heat to keep both of you safe

Vary the surface you walk on to avoid damage to their joints from repetitive motions.

For example:

  • Dont always walk on concrete sidewalks
  • Avoid continues use of asphalt roads
  • Watch out for broken glass, sharp stones, or slippery surfaces

Instead, look for:

  • Green grassy areas which are softer on their paws
  • Sandy beaches or trails to offer them an alternative to concrete
  • Dirt paths and trails that are softer on your GSDs hips and joints

If you have any nature paths or trails nearby, use them and allow your dog to enjoy sniffing around and exploring the trees.

Are you avoiding walks because your German Shepherd pulls you along wildly and youre afraid of falling?

I know

Ive been where you are, too!

But, dont neglect daily walks since theyre necessary for not only your dogs health but also to help use up their energy for better behavior while living indoors with you.

Invest in a no-pull dog harness, which is easier on your dogs neck and your shoulder. Try this no-pull harness to have more control on your walks.

Icipating In An Obedience Class/school


Obedience class is where your German Shepherd should learn manners and the basic skills like behaving properly through lifes everyday situations with you and your family. There are schools that teach you how to train your own dog and there are others that train your dog directly and then pass on the commands to you.

After taking an obedience class, make sure to practice the commands with your German Shepherd in different situations to stimulate both mental and physical discipline.

Read Also: What Age Do German Shepherds Calm Down

What Are The Signs That Your German Shepherd Is Overweight

The most accurate way to know if your German Shepherd is overweight is to get them checked by a vet and follow their advice, but there are things you can look out for to check how healthy your dog is yourself.

Here are some tell-tale signs your German Shepherd may be overweight:

  • Tiredness if your German Shepherd appears to become exhausted and winded after simple everyday movements that shouldnt bother them at all, such as climbing the stairs, walking around the house or short walks, this is a sign that something is wrong
  • Physical changes if you can visibly see that your dog has put on weight, you will likely struggle to feel their ribs properly without feeling through a large layer of fat. You should also be able to see their waist. Despite their long coat, German Shepherds should have a visible waist. Also, when looking at your German Shepherd, their chest and rib cage should arch up towards their bellies. If their bellies are hanging lower that their rib cage, then they are overweight
  • Mood/behavior changes a happy and healthy German Shepherd will be alert and interested in playing or running, or any of the usual activities they normally enjoy. If they no longer appear interested, it could be weight related. Playing may be making them too tired, so they avoid it. Plus, if they choose to sleep all day instead of begging you to play or go outside, this is also a sign

Do Not Leave Them In Crate For A Very Long Time

Your puppy can learn to love being in a crate. But they wouldnt like being in it for a very long time.

Sometimes its necessary to leave your puppy in the crate for a longer time though. For instance, you need to go to work. By putting them in the crate, they wont chew on inappropriate things.

Also, you can clean the house when theyre in the crate.

And this isnt bad. Your German Shepherd has to know that the crate is their safe haven.

As such, they shouldnt associate it with something unpleasant. Such as a punishment.

Caution: Leaving your puppy in their crate longer than 6 hours is not advisable.

It will only make them anxious. Staying in the crate too long will end up in pent up energy.

And once out of the crate, they are bent on releasing that energy.

When crate training your puppy, remember these:

  • Ignore them when they cry while in the crate. Wait 20 minutes until they calm down.
  • If they are just starting the training, it may be difficult at first. There are times when they cry in the middle of the night. But this gradually stops when they reach 3 or 4 months old.

Check out this guys tips when crate training puppies:

Recommended Reading: Who Would Win In A Fight German Shepherd Or Pitbull

What If I Dont Have Time To Exercise My Gsd

When you dont exercise your German Shepherd enough, or leave them alone for hours, they react with destructive behavior because they have to find ways to release their energy and express their boredom at the end of the day.

So, they start chewing furniture, digging holes in your floor, barking, and more. These are signs you need to exercise your GSD more often.

Active Dogs Need Exercise

How to Train a German Shepherd Puppy

Additionally, dogs that are speedy and athletic like German Shepherd dogs need significant amounts of exercise. Pent-up energy leads to major destructive tendencies, including chewing through doors and walls and digging holes in your yard.

Now, before we scare you off from the breed completely, its important to understand that a well-trained shepherd who gets plenty of exercise and mental stimulation is a pleasure to own. These dogs have a reputation that lands makes them a favorite of dog owners all around the world. Ask anyone who has owned one. Youll hear more stories of pure affection and loyalty than the horror stories of one untrained.

Also Check: Who Would Win In A Fight German Shepherd Or Pitbull

Why Do German Shepherds Roll On Their Backs

Dogs may roll on their backs on different occasions. This German Shepherd behavior might occur when he is playing with you or other dogs. The dog in the below photo is clearly having a super time playing in the snow.

We will often interpret a roll on the back during dog play as being submissive. However, research has shown that rolling on the back is a winning rather than a losing position. Your German Shepherd will roll over when playing with other dogs for two key reasons:

  • To avoid a nape bite
  • To launch an attack

But German Shepherds will also roll over to scratch their back since they cannot reach it with their paws. This could just be normal scratching, but it could also result from a flea/tick infestation. Check your dog and take measures if you find out that they are rolling over because they have fleas! Also, ensure their flea prevention treatment is up to date.

When playing with you, dogs will roll on their back to get a scratch on their belly. Granting his desire reinforces your GSDs behavior. So, avoid it if you do not want him to always ask for it!

German Shepherds that rest or sleep on their backs for a short while feel very relaxed with their environment and are at ease exposing their belly. They feel safe and secure in this position.

Other reasons that dogs may roll on their backs are when attention-seeking, as an expression of joy, or a show of confidence. They may also display this behavior to regulate their body temperature as it helps them to cool down.

Ongoing German Shepherd Training

A lot of dog owners tend to phase out training after theyve completed puppy class or basic obedience.

Its very important that this doesnt become the case if you own a German Shepherd. Heres why:

GSDs go through a pretty significant adolescence anywhere from 6 to 18 months of age. During which additional socialization and ongoing training is critical.

A lack of ongoing German Shepherd training can potentially lead to the development of some of these characteristic behavioral problems:

  • Overprotective tendencies toward owner and family members
  • Aggression
  • Incessant nervous or excited whining and barking
  • Leash-pulling
  • Nipping and biting characteristic of herding breeds

Continued training and socialization will significantly reduce the chances of these problems.

Also Check: Best Way To Train A German Shepherd Puppy

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.

German Shepherds And Children

How much exercise does a German Shepherd need

Adult German Shepherds can range from being calm and patient to bouncy and boisterous, depending on their personality, training and socialisation. Some can make great family pets in homes with children of all ages, but dogs should always be supervised around young children.

Make sure you can recognise the signs of unhappiness or anxiety in your dog to help avoid any conflicts. German Shepherds can be nervous of strangers so make sure theyre never left unsupervised. Be careful if you are introducing a German Shepherd to younger children or adults unfamiliar with the breed as they often dont know their own strength.

Recommended Reading: What Colors Do German Shepherds Come In

Are German Shepherds Easy To Care For

As youve probably noticed by now, German Shepherds require a fair amount of training to ward off any aggressive behaviors, etc., which means you will need to dedicate a lot of time to them. Because they are active dogs, youll also need to spend time each day to exercise them a long walk or run or a few games of fetch, plus challenging games to stimulate them mentally. Too little activity and your dog will become bored, which could lead to behavioral issues. Its important to have plenty of time to devote to your German Shepherd.

As for grooming, these dogs shed constantly. Giving them a good brushing each day can help, but be prepared to break out the vacuum cleaner a lot. On the plus side, you wont need to bathe your dog much since their coats are reasonably dirt-resistant in fact, if you do bathe them too often, you can end up depleting essential oils from the skin leading to the appearance of issues such as eczema. You should also regularly brush their teeth and trim their nails.

Recommended Reading: Can A Chihuahua And A German Shepherd Mate

A Balancing Disc Helps Improve Reflexes And Coordination

This is a balancing diss but only wobbles slightly on the top to avoid major falls or tumbles.

The goal of balance activity is to enhance body awareness, encourage stable weight shifts, and promote stability and motor function.

In a nutshell, balance exercises help teach your dog the way their body moves and how to alter their movements to adjust more easily. This means that your dog is less prone to injuries since their bodies are agile.

Balance work enables you to target your dogs postural muscles and improve their reflexes. This type of exercise routine improves the core muscles and is a highly engaging exercise as your dogs body and mind help him to balance on an unstable surface.

Balancing discs are a very popular piece of exercise equipment for dogs and fitness professionals. They allow you to train your dog from the comfort of your home with minimal space and improve your dogs balance and coordination.

The FitPaws balancing disc is an inexpensive exercise tool to add to your German Shepherds exercise routine to improve your dogs health.

It works by having your dog stand on the disc and using its muscles to stay balanced and stable. These are great for strengthening all muscle groups as a complete body workout.

The Instability Challenge

On the FitPaws balance disc, there are three basic ways to create a challenge for your dog.

Balancing is also a great way to bond with your dog since they need to trust your commands and the support you provide to them.

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Grooming: Do German Shepherds Shed

German shepherds moult continuously, especially during moulting season. To keep their coat in tip-top condition, we recommend brushing them 2 or 3 times a week. Theyre fairly big dogs so if you plan to bathe your German Shepherd, you may need the help of a professional groomer.

As with all breeds, complete your German Shepherds grooming routine with regular tooth brushing, nail clips and ear checks.

How Meeting Your German Shepherds Basic Requirements Keeps Them Happy

Tips and Techniques You SHOULD Use for Training German ...

Youre probably here to learn new and interesting ways to keep your German Shepherd feeling good. This means that meeting your dogs basic requirements isnt the kind of advice youre looking for.

Although this may seem pretty basic, making sure that your dogs everyday needs are taken care of can guarantee that they stay happy. Proper nutrition, comfortable bedding, adequate exercise, and attention contribute to your dog being healthier. As you know, a healthy German Shepherd is a happy one.

Just to be certain, check on your poochs diet, exercise plan, and so on to be certain that you meet the necessary goals. You will be surprised at the difference this can make.

Also Check: German Shepherd Whines A Lot


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