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How To Exercise German Shepherd

Ongoing German Shepherd Training

Exercise for German Shepherd dogs with German Shepherd Man

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
  • Barrier 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.

Precautions To Take With Gsd Puppies

The OFA reports that almost 20% of German Shepherds born in 2017 will suffer from hip dysplasia and 14% from elbow dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is a complex process whereby the femur and socket do not come together properly because of abnormal growth.

A hereditary component of hip dysplasia is well-documented, but there are also outside influences that can contribute to the full manifestation of the debilitating condition.

While hip dysplasia requires the genetic markers to be present for it to express, obesity and overexertion exacerbate the condition.

German Shepherds do not have an inherent problem with their weight. However, health professionals have implicated the rapid growth of large breeds in extreme hip dysplasia.

Therefore, a diet low in calories and without excessive nutritional value combined with a moderate exercise regimen are the recommendations for young Shepherds.

Some veterinarians recommend feeding adult dog food to puppies, although pet food manufacturers now market special large-breed puppy diets.

One of the greatest concerns with growing German Shepherds and bone developmental problems is overexertion. There is a fine line between giving your puppy sufficient exercise to keep him mentally at peace, yet not so much as to cause uneven growth in the multiple components of her joints.

It is also reasonable to break exercise sessions up into several brief outings per day. Another effective approach is to center your pups exercise around his meals.

Provide A Digging Area Or Pit

Many dogs love to dig including many German Shepherds.; Provide an area or digging box for them so they can dig to their hearts content. Just be aware that if the weather is warm and you use sand, it may get hot. You can wet it down with the hose if it is. See Dog Toys for Diggers for more ideas on catering to a dogs natural digging instinct.

For more information on strength and muscles conditioning activities check out Muscle building and Strength exercises for dogs and How to make your dog gain muscle

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Ways To Exercise Your German Shepherd

German Shepherds were bred to be working dogs, accordingly, they are very active and require regular mental and physical stimulation. ;Without exercise, they are easily bored, and boredom can quickly turn into mischief.

Like other working dogs, GSDs with too much-unexpended energy are more likely to destroy things, bark unnecessarily, and pester you for attention.; Having a regular exercise routine for your German Shepherd will help prevent boredom.

German Shepherds should get at least two sessions of exercise each day. For puppies, the general rule for the duration of each session is 5 minutes per month of age.

This means that a 3-month-old pup should only be getting a maximum of two 15-minute sessions of exercise per day while an 8-month-old should be getting a maximum of two 40-minute daily exercise sessions.

At 1 year old and above, The Kennel Club recommends at least 2 hours of exercise each day. Please note that these are just general guidelines for the breed. As the pet owner, it would be up to you to observe and stick with what your dog can safely handle.

Exercise time offers some of the best bonding moments for you and your dog and there are plenty of activities you can engage in so you dont get tired of doing the same things repeatedly. ;Here are a few activities that can be incorporated into your German Shepherd exercise routine:

German Shepherd Border Collie Mix Puppies

Exactly How Much Space Do German Shepherds Need?  World ...

Photo from:;

The price of a German Shepherd can be anywhere between $400 and $1900, while a Border Collie can be found at around $600 to $800. By looking at these figures, we can put the price of a

Border Collie German Shepherd mix puppy between $475 and $900.

If you dont know where to start your search for one of these cuties, here is a list of breeders that might have one or two Shollies at their disposal:

Lancaster Puppies in Columbus, OH.

Rising Sun Farm in Stacy, MN.

Greenfield Puppies in Columbia, PA.

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What Happens If They Dont Get Enough Exercise

Having addressed the issue of how much exercise a German Shepherd puppy needs, you must learn about the dangers of not exercising your puppy enough. It will;help you look out for signs of inactivity.;

Watch out for any signs of lack of exercises such as lethargy and withdrawn behavior. You can easily avoid problems that accompany inactivity. If your puppy is getting overweight or developing restlessness, take them to vet and change their exercise routine.;;

Your German Shepherd puppy requires your love;and;attention to grow healthy and strong. Lets dive into more details.;

Restlessness;and;Hyperactivity Are Signs;of;Inactivity;

Have we covered that German Shepherd puppies are little bundles of energy? Of;course, we have. But it bears repeating that puppies get restless and hyperactive if their energy is;not;expended through exercise. Avoid getting awakened in the middle of the night by the scampering of little paws and make sure you give your puppy its daily dose of action.;;

Lack;of;Exercise Can Lead;to Biting;and;Barking;

Some puppies will bark, and others will bite when they do;not;get enough exercise. Adult German Shepherds have a powerful bite but do;not;underestimate German Shepherd puppy bites. Those razor-sharp teeth can leave quite an impact. If youve been neglecting your pups exercise, this may be the reason behind their aggressive behavior.;

Lack;of;Exercise Can Lead;to;Serious Health Problems;

Social Behavior Can Be Affected Due;to;Inactivity;

In Conclusion How Much Exercise Does A German Shepherd Need

The German Shepherd is high energy, strong and has good levels of stamina. They are also very smart and need to have their minds occupied as well. It is crucial to provide adequate physical and mental exercise and activity to release pent-up energy and prevent boredom. A minimum of 45 to 60 minutes a day of exercise plus purposeful activity including muscle strengthening and activities that provide mental stimulation is recommended. The cost of not doing so can be an unhappy and frustrated dog. This can lead to behavior issues such as barking, digging, escaping and destructive behavior.

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The 5 Best Exercises For German Shepherd Puppies

You need exercise for German Shepherd puppies to keep them healthy, fit, and more importantly out of mischief!

But some owners of our breed mistakenly think a young puppy should have plenty of structured exercise.

Quite the opposite for your fast-growing breed is true!

Daily German Shepherd Exercise Routine For Health

How much exercise does a German Shepherd need

Experiment with different activities to see what your dog enjoys. Find aschedule that works for you and stick to an activity routine for the besthealth benefits for your companion.

A complete daily fitness routine also means that your dogs mind, behavior, social interactions, and body is active and strong.

This means:

  • You keep their mind active and out of trouble using puzzle games for your German Shepherd.
  • You allow them to have a balanced social life where they interact with other dogs and people positively.

Without a complete fitness and health program, your dog is likely to experience problems.

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Other German Shepherd And Border Collie Mixes

Photo from:;

Figuring out which dog breed aligns with your lifestyle is one of the most important decisions you can make. Thousands of canines are abandoned or put up for adoption every year because their owners were irresponsible and didnt do their research. This results in people choosing a breed that doesnt fit their lifestyle.

If you are not sure that the German Shepherd Border Collie mix is right for you, dont worry! There are plenty of other mixes around that might be the perfect choice for you and your family.

We have conducted in-depth research into the most popular GSD mixes in America:

Labrador Retriever / German Shepherd mix

Pitbull / German Shepherd mix

Cane Corso / German Shepherd mix

Great Dane / German Shepherd mix

Great Pyrenees / German Shepherd mix

Mastiff / German Shepherd mix

Alaskan Malamute / German Shepherd mix

Shiba Inu / German Shepherd mix

Australian Shepherd / German Shepherd mix

Beagle / German Shepherd mix

Blue Heeler / German Shepherd mix

Golden Retriever / German Shepherd mix

Doberman / German Shepherd mix

Chow Chow / German Shepherd mix

Siberian Husky / German Shepherd mix

Pug / German Shepherd mix

Corgi / German Shepherd mix

If none of these crossbreed pups rocks your boat, you can check out our list of dogs that look like German Shepherds and find your next furry bestie there.

The best and most popular Border Collie mixes are the following:

Corgi / Border Collie mix

Weave Poles For Speed And Agility

Your herding dog loves to learn to pole weave!

Did you know that the German Shepherd holds the record for completing the fastest weave pole ?

Nature made your breed for pole weaving!

So dont leave this agility sport off the table when creating a great exercise routine for your German Shepherd.

Weave poles are easy to teach by luring your dog through with a treat. Its easier to use an adjustable weave pole to start since the poles move into a wide position for beginner training.

Like this durable, adjustable weave pole that is easy to set up and store away, or can be adjusted quickly for beginners to learn the exercise.

Heres how you can use your weave poles at home.

  • Set up your weave poles in your yard. Adjust them so theyre wide to start since its the easiest way to teach your dog the weaving motion.
  • Begin at one end of the weave poles and slowly lure your GSD through the poles. Reinforce their efforts with tasty rewards regularly.
  • Practice slowly. Gently speed up after a few repetitions. Add in your command word to weave.
  • Gradually phase out the rewards during the weaving and only reward a treat at the end.

Dont rush your early training and your dog will speed up quickly when they get the idea and the feel for the weaving motion.

Many Shepherds love the weave and will readily enjoy it when you increase the difficulty with more poles.

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What About Dog Parks For Exercising

Keep in mind that puppies are not fully vaccinated against common diseases found at dog parks until they have their first set of puppy vaccinations.

Dog parks are also troubling places for puppies because you dont know the personality of the other dogs. Some may have aggressive tendencies or play too rough.

Your pup is still developing its social skills. Dont risk a bad incident at a dog park that may traumatize your pup.

Stick to approved puppy playgroups in your area or known, vaccinated dogs good with young puppies.

German Shepherd Breed Development

How to exercise a pack of German shepherd

German Shepherd Dogs are very large dogs, and all very large dog breeds require 2 to 3 years to fully mature. Female GSDs tend to develop quicker than males. There are several German Shepherd growth stages through which these dogs go as they grow, and this section will discuss them. The early stages are anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months each, and the adolescent stage is the longest one. It’s best to get a GSD growth calculator with pictures so you can completely understand the puppy to adult growth rates and stages.

Dog Age
Mental maturity should be fully developed by the end of this period

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Running Or Jogging Exercise Routine

Introduce jogging and running with your adult Shepherd gradually. While your breed is a natural-born runner its best to limit their exposure to this physically demanding activity to 3 to 4 times a week if youre looking to add in distance.

Once your dog is more conditioned you can increase both the time and distance they run with you.

Give them plenty of time to recover so their muscles dont become overworked or fatigued. Check their paws daily after each run to look for any sores, abrasions, or cuts. Dont run with a German Shepherd under 18 months of age without your vets approval.

Old Age Has Its Own Challenges

German Shepherds still need exercise as they grow older. As long as they do not suffer from severe arthritis, they usually want to be active with you. Any lack of desire to engage in exercise could be a sign of disease.

  • Hypothyroidism The thyroid gland is sluggish and your dog will need supplementation of hormones.
  • Diabetes A blood-sugar disorder, diabetes can cause lethargy.
  • Von Willebrands A bleeding abnormality that can cause sluggishness at various times through your Shepherds life, especially if he has a blood loss episode.
  • Hip or elbow dysplasia/arthritis Pain causes disinterest in physical activity. Many treatments exist to make your dog more comfortable if she suffers from dysplasia or resulting in osteoarthritis.

If your dog is dysplastic, he will require physical therapy. Your veterinarian can walk you through specific range-of-motion exercises and other tools to make your dog more comfortable and ensure she still gets the activity she needs.

You might also consider engaging your GSD in swimming. Shepherds do not necessarily love water, but swimming requires no weight-bearing and can help cardiovascular fitness and joint mobility.

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How Long Do German Shepherds Live For

German Shepherds are popularly used as working dogs, and some farmers use them as herding dogs to take care of sheep and cattle.

This dog breed is associated with a healthy body, and this explains why they are hired as police dogs, guard dogs, and even as search and rescue dogs. They are highly intelligent, and they are known to follow instructions perfectly.

The standard lifespan for German Shepherds is between 9 to 13 years. The average lifespan is about 11 years. If the dog is well taken care of and has no health issues, he can live beyond 13 years, sometimes up to 20 years.

You can prolong your dog’s lifespan by feeding them premium dog food, doing regular vet visits, maintaining a healthy weight, and keeping your dog active through regular exercises and evening walks.

The Good German Shepherd

How to Train German Shepherd to sit and stay

German Shepherds have a fairly long lifespan compared to other dog breeds such as Pitbulls and Golden Retriever.

A German Shepherd may live even longer if they exercise regularly, and are screened and treated for any health conditions.

If you are worried that your GSD is approaching his senior years, it is important to know what to expect when that time comes, key health conditions that may affect your dogs lifespan, and various ways you can use to increase your dogs longevity.

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German Shepherd Leash Training

There are two very significant factors that make leash training your German Shepherd dog absolutely critical: their size and their persistence.

This is not a small breed! And with proportionately large and powerful chests, their forward-pull strength will leave most humans in their dust.

Couple that with a dog bred to be fearlessly curious or protective and you end up with an owner thats very likely to be dragged headfirst down the sidewalk after a neighborhood cat .

I highly recommend trying out the PetSafe Easy Walk Harness in conjunction with regular leash-training.

The Easy Walk Harness is uniquely designed similarly to a horse lead. It slightly cinches at the dogs shoulders their fulcrum of power. Helping you to slow them down or turn them one direction or another with much less effort than traditional collar leashes or chest harnesses.

The Best Exercise For German Shepherd Puppies

The best exercise for your German Shepherd puppy is off-leash walking and exploring. Until your vet clears your dog as having their bones fully fused activity should be cautious and slow-paced. Up to twelve months of age, natural free running is the best way to exercise German Shepherds. With free running, your dog is off-leash and can stop or slow as they wish and want.

When your dog is on a leash, they will keep with your speed because they wish to please and keep up with you. Limit and monitor on-leash walks and activity while your German Shepherd is growing.

When walking on a leash, allow them to

  • Walk at their own pace
  • Stop and start as they please
  • Sniff around leisurely to explore the grass, flowers, and trees
  • Lay down, roll around, and dig in approved digging places

Use a no-pull harness with a design that allows for natural shoulder movement to avoid unnatural gait development.

Try this padded no-pull harness on your German Shepherd to avoid any neck injury to her while young. This design also limits pulling and helps teach nice leash walking manners.

The handle on the back of the no-pull harness makes it easy to grab your pup to stop them from running into a hazard or just to catch them!

Read more helpful information on the benefits and disadvantages of using a harness or a collar to help you choose the right equipment for walking your new puppy.

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