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How To Keep Your German Shepherd Busy

How To Hide Treats Around The House

German Shepherd , double coat running video

Create a scavenger hunt for your dog around the house hide treats in various places dont let them see you do this. Your dog can then walk throughout the space and discover a little bite of goodness. This is a great mental exercise for them.

Just remember that this activity can get a bit messy if you arent careful. You may want to avoid hiding the treats under couch cushions or anything else that your pup will need to upturn to get to. You should also steer clear of areas or surfaces where your dog isnt typically allowed.

If you come home to find that the treats are untouched, your pup may need a little help. Hide the treats when you are around and urge them to find them. Once they get the hang of this game, they will be able to do it on their own.

Stay Calm When You Leave

When the big day comes and you actually have to leave for real, your dog may not be the only one thats upset or worried.

Since dogs are pack animals, they can sense your stress level and your anxiety.

Try to remain calm. Dont act like its the end of the world as you walk through the door.

If youre in tears, your dog is going to start acting up, too. Instead of being dramatic about it, just give your dog a normal amount of affection, put him in his safe zone or crate, and then leave.

Do not look back, do not open the door to check on him just go. The calmer you are during departure, the less likely it will be that your dog will become anxious.

How To Keep A Gsd Busy

There are many healthy ways to keep a GSD busy. Some involve a little extra effort on your part and some may require new toys or special equipment.

The most important aspect, however, is that you tailor your efforts to your specific dogs needs.

Not every suggestion will work for every dog or household, so be ready to try different approaches to find the perfect mix for your German Shepherd.

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The Benefits Of Keeping Your Dog Busy

Bored dogs get into trouble. Were their main source of entertainment, so if we dont give them stuff to do theyll come up with activities of their own and thats when we end up with chewed up shoes and curtains.

There is a growing acceptance among scientists that play is very, very important and the type and frequency of play are a really good indicator of a dogs quality of life. , former RSPCA chief veterinarian

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Ways To Keep Your Gsd Entertained When You Are Away Or Busy

Everything About The Smart German Shepherd Puppy Temperament # ...

Understandably, you cant always be around to entertain your German Shepherd. Youll need to teach them ways to play independently without getting themselves into trouble. Otherwise, youll need other options that dont involve your presence.

Here are some ideas for keeping your German Shepherd while you are busy or away:

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Play The The Shell Game

The shell game is a simple problem solving game for dogs. To play the shell game with your dog let your dog watch as you place a treat under one of three cups. You then shuffle the cups around and encourage them to find the treat. The shell game gives your dog plenty of mental stimulation, and helps them work on their problem solving skills.

Dont let this cat put your dog to shame:

How Do I Know If My German Shepherd Is Bored

When German Shepherds are bored they can appear lazy or disinterested. If your German Shepherd isnt showing interest in their favourite game or toy, it means somethings wrong. Similarly, if theyre barking or whining, it means that they want some attention and are letting you know as best they can.

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Give Them The King Of Toys The Kong

Kong toys not only help calm your dog but, when frozen, can keep your German Shepherd busy for a long time.

Youre truly missing out if you dont own a Kong

Or half a dozen of them!

Theyre one part toy and one part treat that equals a 100% happy German Shepherd!

Kongs are great for hiding treats or serving their daily meal and keeping them busy. The snowman-shaped toy has 2 openings one thats small enough to provide your German Shepherd with a challenge to remove their treat or food and another that allows in the air for safety.

Stuff the Kong with natural peanut butter, their favorite dog-safe foods, special treats, or even fill with a mixture of all. Most German Shepherds will stay happily busy working for their food.

And, a properly stuffed and frozen Kong could take a lot of time for your dog to release all their tasty reward.

That means you can take that conference call, make tonights dinner in peace, or even just relax with a coffee and favorite book.

Is it summertime and you need to help them beat the heat?

Kong to the rescue for busy-time and summer fun!

Not only can the Kong toy itself be filled and frozen, but for an extra treat fill a freezer-safe plastic container with low-sodium broth and water and drop your food-filled Kong inside the mixture. Leave it to freeze overnight. Then, take the toy and your dog to a safe spot where they can enjoy licking and chewing their giant-size pupsicle!

Do you have a teething German Shepherd puppy to keep busy?

Playing With Puzzle Toys

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Puzzle toys are playthings specifically designed to stimulate your dogs brain and senses. Some of the best puzzle toys for German Shepherds are interactive toys that give them the opportunity to work hard for some treats.

Among the most popular puzzle toys are treat dispensers that your dog has to nudge and paw to access all the treats inside. Others are actually puzzles with pieces they need to uncover the reveal the hidden treats.

Puzzle toys are really meant for independent play with supervision. As you might already know, German Shepherds are powerful chewers. If they end up destroying the toy, its best that youre there to remove the pieces and keep them from harm.

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Every Dog Is Different

How well do you know your dogs likes and dislikes?

Whats considered fun and will keep your German Shepherd busy is in the eyes of your dog, not you. Although there are many different ideas to entertain your dog, every dog is unique and has certain preferences.

You can make predictions about your dogs favorite toys or type of play based on his breed and likes, but some dogs simply will refuse interesting games and toys if they dont think theyre fun.


  • Dont force your dog to play games theyre not interested in
  • Toys should always get chosen based on their safety and your German Shepherds chew and play style
  • Keep track of the activities your German Shepherd enjoys and have a list handy so you know how to keep them busy quickly

Its important that you dont leave your adult German Shepherd dog alone for more than 8 hours a day. If you need to stay out longer, its vital you have a friend or dog sitter stop by to check on your dog and spend time with them.

The German Shepherd isnt a dog meant to be left to his own devices in solitude. They tend to develop behavior issues when secluded from their family and can become depressed, act out for attention, and develop other health conditions due to the stress of spending too much time alone.

How To Keep A German Shepherd Entertained

German Shepherds are intelligent and active dogs that need both physical and mental stimulation in order to thrive. Otherwise, theyre likely to develop behavioral problems that make them difficult dogs to care for.

Read on for an arsenal of activities to entertain your GSD and keep them from developing unwanted behaviors.

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Fun German Shepherd Activities You Must Try

Are you looking for fun German Shepherd activities to keep their minds sharp and their brains happy?

Youre in the right spot!

Activities are an excellent way to provide your German Shepherd with mental stimulation to reduce boredom and increase good behaviors.

Youll feel relieved after you learn just a handful of these activities that increase your GSDs brainpower and help keep them calm

Even German Shepherd puppies!

German Shepherds And Barking

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As with any dog, German Shepherds are likely to bark. Their main purpose was for herding and guarding so they can be quite vocal when people walk past or enter or exit the house, but how much noise they make will vary from dog to dog. If youre having problems with excessive noise or barking, we recommend seeking the advice of an accredited behaviourist.

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Make A Doggie Play Date

Does your dog have some nice dog friends? Invite them over for some play time. Its so satisfying to see dogs engaging in play with one another, and its pretty much guaranteed youll have one tired dog at the end of the day. Youll also have a chance to catch up on some chores while the dogs create their own wrestle mania in your living room.

How To Keep German Shepherds Stimulated That Live In Small Spaces

The biggest problem for keeping a German Shepherd in a small home or apartment is stimulation, whether physical or mental. There is no doubt, you will have to do extra work to make it work. Luckily, I have some new ideas for you to try

To keep German Shepherds stimulated that live in small spaces or apartments, there are other useful events such as barn hunts and Schutzhundthat are gaining in popularity. These allow your dog to explore more of the outdoors after being indoors for a while and are great for both mental and physical stimulation.

Barn hunts are an organized sport that utilizes a dogs natural abilities and turns them into a fun game. First, a maze and obstacle course is built out of hay bales. Aerated tubes are hidden through the maze, and pet rats are placed in the tubes. By all accounts, the rats are safe from the dogs, and the aim is for the dogs to find the rats.

There are timed events with different divisions, and even special needs dogs can often find an event to compete in. This is a wonderful activity that will stimulate your German Shepherd, no matter how little space he lives in. The Barn Hunt Association has details of upcoming events and states the following:

Barn Hunt provides their first true opportunity for responsible breeders to test proper working traits in their dogs. Barn Hunt is also open to any dog of any breed or mix who wishes to play the game and can fit through an 18 wide by bale-height tall tunnel.

The Barn Hunt Association

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Understand Your Dogs Breed Needs

Your breed has many natural desires that you need to focus on and channel.

Most importantly, your German Shepherd has a deep desire to enjoy their favorite person


GSDs love to spend time with their families and must have ample time throughout the day to interact with their owners.

If you dont spend enough quality time interacting with your Shepherd they can develop:

  • Inappropriate crying and whining

And this list doesnt even cover all the unwanted behavior problems a GSD could get through lack of social interaction or the right types of entertainment to keep them occupied. You want to find the right ways to keep your GSD busy to avoid long-term behavior issues that are difficult to repair.

Your dog also needs plenty of rest, so be sure to offer them the best bed for a German Shepherd to keep them comfortable.

Playing Red Light/green Light

White German Shepherd demands attention from dad!

Red light/green light is an excellent game to teach impulse control. Its basically just a fun way to reinforce your dogs obedience.

If your German Shepherd has already mastered their stationary commands as well as their release command , this game will be a breeze to learn.

The best way to play this is with a tug toy, rope toy, or flirt pole. Play with them as energetically as you can.

Then, say red light, stop playing, and command them to sit. Pause for about 2 seconds and say green light, give them their release command, and start playing again.

The goal of the game is to make sure they follow their commands even when theyre stimulated by play. As your GSD improves, lengthen the time between your red light and your green light.

Eventually, theyll know exactly what to do when its red light and green light, and you wont need to give them their specific commands.

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Are German Shepherds Good In Small Houses

If you do live in a small house or apartment its important to know that you could get a German Shepherd, however, this comes with a caveat!

German Shepherds can live in small houses or apartments. However, it will require a ton of hard work and dedication. If your dog is not exercised enough throughout the day, he will display behavior problems such as destructive chewing, excessive barking, or aggression.

Many new dog owners do not realize the amount of work, socialization, care, and training that a German Shepherd needs which sadly ends up with the dog having to be re-homed, and I for one, do not wish to see this happen.

In the United States, the smallest sized yard size is just over 4000 square feet, which is in the state of Nevada. Average yard sizes vary greatly state by state but even this smallest size yard is easily enough space for a German Shepherd, especially if you raise him to live outside.

But what if your German Shepherd is an inside dog? Most German Shepherds live inside their homes as they are a very affectionate breed and like to be with their family. So, how much space do inside dogs really need?

To answer this question we need to look at how much exercise and care German Shepherds need. You will be able to see exactly what will be required and if this fits your lifestyle before making your decision on this wonderful breed.

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Nina Ottoson Dog Brick Treat Puzzle Dog Toy

The Nina Ottosson Dog Brick Dog Toy by Outward Hound teaches your dog to use his nose to hunt for food. The compartments hide kibble, treats, or other tasty tidbits. Some compartments slide while others flip open. Your dog will love to search for food and immediately get his reward. The puzzle toy is convenient for you because your dog is mentally stimulated without requiring your constant presence. You can give him the Puzzle Brick while youre at work and he will be happily entertained!

The Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Puzzle Brick works for both puppy German Shepherds and adult German Shepherds. You can fill the compartments with kibble, diced baby carrots, pieces of cooked chicken, or healthy treats.

Similar Toys to Consider:

Kong Wobbler Treat Dispensing Dog Toy: This rewarding toy entertains your dog simply by wobbling around on the floor and dispensing tidbits of food as it moves. Its bottom-heavy, so itll stay upright unless the dog moves it around with his paw or nose. Its another great option for your German Shepherd to entertain himself while you are busy.

Tether Tug Ultimate Dog Rope: This interactive tug toy lets your German Shepherd play tug with himself or another doggy friend. The flexible pole snaps back into place when he lets go of the rope. Your German Shepherd can play his favorite game while you are busy in the backyard.

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Use A Stuffed Kong To Keep Your Dog Entertained

Stuffed Kongs are my favorite when it comes to relieving dog boredom because theyre so easy to prepare. If you want to keep your dog busy for awhile try stuffing a Kong with some of their favorite treats. You can freeze some peanut butter or broth inside, or just put some treats in there and give your dog something to work for. If youre not sure what to use heres a list of 39 healthy treats that are great for Kong stuffing.

Using a stuffed Kong is a great way to keep your dog occupied while youre at work. Put your stuffed Kong in the freezer overnight and give it to your dog in the morning as youre leaving. A frozen Kong will last 30+ minutes for most dogs much longer if your fill it completely.

I love using classic Kongs because theyre nontoxic, indestructible, and dishwasher safe. If youre looking for a great Kong alternative thats just as durable check out the West Paw Toppl toy they come in large and small sizes, and theyre just as easy to clean as a Kong.

Stuffing a Kong is an easy way to keep your dog busy & entertained.

Create An Indoor Obstacle Course

Teddy is Pam

Begin agility training indoors with the right creative thinking.

Starting or enjoying agility with your German Shepherd doesnt need to take up a large amount of space

Or cost a lot of money!

With their natural desire to herd and move through obstacles, an indoor agility course is just what you need. Get creative using what you already have around the house:

  • Empty cardboard boxes of varying sizes for your dog to go around
  • Chairs or tables for your puppy to crawl under
  • A sheet or towel draped over two stools for a make-shift tunnel

Look around and use what you already own to start creating your indoor obstacle course. As long as you keep your dog safe from any falling objects and work within their health needs , then you can design the agility course to challenge your dogs drive and herding traits.

An even simpler solution is to buy a piece of agility equipment that you can use both indoors and out. Try this lightweight dog agility kit that sets up in minutes and is customizable for a variety of exercises.

Its basically a mobile gym in a bag for your German Shepherd!

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