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How To Walk A German Shepherd

Training A German Shepherd Puppy To Walk On Leash

GERMAN SHEPHERD PUPPY HEEL TRAINING! How To Teach Your German Shepherd Puppy To Walk to Heel!

Do you know whats amazing about training a German Shepherd puppy to walk on leash with manners?

It gives you the power and freedom to take your dog almost anywhere!

An out-of-control GSD that pulls you down the street and jerks the leash doesnt allow you the freedom to live your life.

But you can have the secrets of German Shepherd puppy walking right here.

How Much Exercise Does Your German Shepherd Puppy Need

Your puppy does not need nearly the amount of exercise an adult dog does.

Adult German Shepherds require two hours or more of exercise every day. Within that time, points out that duration depends on intensity. Your dog would not spend an entire two hours performing high-intensity exercises unless in training.

A typical routine would include 20 to 40 minutes of rigorous exercises such as jogging, vigorous playing, or other activities. Some examples are practicing Shutzhund, preparing for herding or agility trials, or learning search and rescue.

The remainder of the time dedicated to exercise, you should spend on training, ongoing socialization, and moderate- and low-intensity activities.

You can include warmup and cool down in a moderate or leisurely walk. Keep in mind any puppy who is not full-grown does not need to engage in rigorous exercise for extended periods.

How Much Exercise Does A Senior German Shepherd Need

As your German Shepherd ages, they wont need as much exercise as they once did. Its important to monitor how much they are getting and to make sure they arent overdoing it.

If you use the PitPat app, well set an age appropriate exercise goal for your dog that decreases as they age. You can also set your own goals manually in case they have higher or lower exercise needs.

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Daily German Shepherd Exercise Routines

A daily German Shepherd exercise routine is a must for your high-energy breed!

But theres more to exercise than just keeping your dog moving. A daily exercise routine not only keeps them fit and healthy but also helps give them better behavior

And you know how important it is to have a well-mannered dog!

This guide has everything you need to start and keep your dog on the right track for a healthy life.

How Much Exercise Does A German Shepherd Puppy Need

German Shepherd. Taking a walk.

German Shepherd puppies wont need as much exercise as their adult companions. In fact, its important not to over exercise your puppy, as it could lead to joint and mobility issues in later life . This is especially true for this breed since they are prone to conditions like hip dysplasia.

As a rule of thumb, puppies will need five minutes of formal exercise for every month of their age.

These walks should be opportunities to explore their environment, work on training and good behaviour outdoors, and socialise with other people and dogs in a controlled manner.

Your puppy will also get plenty of exercise from tearing around the house and playing, just make sure theyre getting enough sleep and be prepared to interrupt play for naptime if needed.

The easiest way to keep track of how much exercise your puppy is doing is by using a PitPat dog activity monitor. Its small and light so they wont notice it on their collar, and itll record all the activity they are up to in a day from playing with you to pottering in the garden.

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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.

Get Your German Shepherds Full Attention

You must have your dogs full attention before hell learn anything. Pick a quiet place, with little or no distractions.

To begin with, your back yard is the best place since the smells are familiar and so also the surroundings.

If you were in a park for instance you have no control over the distractions. Like other dogs and their owners, the scent of other animals, children playing, or a Frisbee whizzing by.

Once both you and your dog are confident in the training, then you can step it up by moving it to a place with more distractions.

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How To Use Positive Reward Based Training

Rewards and positive reinforcement are powerful tools in dog training.

Reward-based training is about setting your dog up for success. Treats are usually the foundation of positive dog training or positive reinforcement training.

Reward-based learning is centered on the dog earning rewards for correct behavior. The rewards are known as primary reinforces and these can be food rewards, toy rewards, play sessions, physical or verbal praise.

Reinforced behaviors tend to be repeated and behavior that is not enforced will eventually die out.

This is a very simplified explanation of reward-based training, there are many degrees and a new GSD owner should further research the subject.

How Do You Introduce Your Puppy To The Leash


When choosing equipment for your German Shepherd puppy, it is best to start simple. Fit your pup for a nylon or leather collar that you can adjust as she grows. Make sure your pups collar or harness is comfortable enough that she can wear it all of the time.

A harness allows you to control your puppys body weight better, but a neck collar is more effective for correction. The exception is a harness with a strap across the front of the chest.

Another option is a head collar that fits a dog similar to a horse halter. Head halters are best left to professional trainers as dogs may have difficulty adjusting, and improper use can cause great discomfort for your pet.

Approach your dog to connect a leash rather than call her to you. Be prepared with plenty of treats or favorite toys because leash training requires constant reinforcement. Some trainers do not believe in food treats, but you need some kind of powerful incentive.

According to most sources, including a blog by, you should be able to comfortably fit two fingers between a fastened collar and the skin of your dogs neck. Adjust the collar if possible, so it does not feel tight across your fingertips.

Similar to the collar, the leash should also be simple. Unless your puppy chews excessively on his leash, you can use one of leather, nylon, rope, or plastic.

For heavy chewers who you cannot deter, you can use a chain lead. Keep in mind a lightweight material will be less distracting for a small puppy.

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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

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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Your Dog Does Not Communicate Like A Human

Your German Shepherd will respond to many different stimuli. Your body language and tone of voice being the two most important.

In time, your dog will understand certain commands such as sit, stay and come, drop etc.

But, dogs only understand single direct commands. Use language your dog will understand. Calm, simple commands and body language will make your message crystal clear.

How Much Exercise Does A German Shepherd Need

GSD Atticus (they walk with such confidence)

Whether youre lucky enough to own a German Shepherd already or thinking about having one join your family, knowing just how much exercise these handsome dogs need is a must.

Making sure your German Shepherd gets plenty of exercise and mental stimulation for that matter is really important for keeping them healthy and happy. Regular exercise can not only keep them in good shape, but it can also help improve their behaviour and wellbeing.

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From 9 Months To 24 Months

Dogs of different breeds and sizes mature at different ages, and while one year of age is commonly considered the end of puppyhood in general, a German Shepherd Dog may not reach an adult level of maturity before the age of two or three . So continuing to work on impulse control, improve obedience skills, and advance to training in more focused activities like tracking, scent work, protection work, agility, and herdingall of which are capabilities of this breedmust continue throughout this period and then be reinforced as your GSD reaches adulthood.

Keep in mind that this is a breed that thrives on constant and consistent work and training, and loves to have a jobor many jobs!to do. If you can provide your GSD with outlets for their intelligence and versatility, both you and your dog will reap the rewards.

Yasmine S. Ali, MD, is a cardiologist and writer based in Tennessee, where she lives with three Canine Good Citizens, including an AKC-registered German Shepherd Dog.

The Right Collar And Leash To Use

When you take your GSD out for a walk, it is important to know which collar is the right one to use. There are many different types of collars to choose from, some work well and some dont. Avoid using collars that may harm or irritate your dog such as choke collars, metal chin collars, electronic collars, plastic collars, or pinch and prong collars.

If you begin training your GSD as a puppy then it is not necessary to use these collars. These types of collars only become necessary if you are training an adult that has preexisting ingrained habits.

Instead, for a puppy, simply use a standard inexpensive collar made from nylon or leather. This will be comfortable for your GSD and will not distract it from listening to you.

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What Can Influence Your German Shepherds Exercise Requirements

Even if dogs of the same breed have many common traits, they dont necessarily need the same amount of physical activity or mental stimulation.

German Shepherds have huge stimulation requirements because they are naturally hardworking, intelligent, and active life partners. Yet, other factors such as your dogs age, health conditions, or energy level can also change how much exercise he should have!

Disclaimer: The general guideline relates to an active and healthy adult German Shepherd.


The first element you must take into account to exercise your GSD properly is how old he is. Whatever age he has, physical activity and mind enrichment is still essential.

However, you should not do the same amount and type of workouts with a puppy, an adult, or a senior German Shepherd.

How Much Exercise Does Your Puppy German Shepherd Need?

Too much vigorous activity can be harmful to very young dogs, so you must be careful. Before 3 months of age, purposeful exercise is not necessary for your GSD puppy. Then, I highly recommend you to stick with the 5-minutes rule.

A puppy German Shepherd will need around 5 minutes of exercise per month of age up to twice per day. At 4 months old, he should get approximately 20 to 40 minutes of moderate physical activity. Puppy play, gentle walking, and fun games are great ways to exercise young German Shepherds.

Puppy Age

How Much Exercise Does Your Senior GSD Need?

Health & Physical Conditions.

Jogging And Running To Increase Endurance

How to Train a German Shepherd to Walk Beside you

German Shepherds love to run off-leash.

Jogging and running with your German Shepherd is a great way to get in both your and your dogs cardio fitness and exercise.

Warning: Your puppys bones must totally fuse before you take your dog for this high-intensity activity. Bone fusing occurs around 12 to 18 months, so dont run with your puppy!

Many German Shepherds love to run for fun with their owners. Your breed is built to move long distances over grassy, rocky, hilly terrain, and this shows in their desire for running.

Running also has benefits for your German Shepherd Dog, such as:

  • Strengthening large muscles
  • Naturally keeps nails short and filed
  • Increases strength in long bones, tendons, and ligaments
  • Conditions and slowly hardens their pads

But remember

While you can put on your special athletic shoes to cushion your joints, your dog cant!

Consider the impact on your dogs joints if you run or jog on asphalt roads or concrete sidewalks frequently. Look for softer surfaces to include with your daily exercise routine.

Vary your surfaces for maximum health benefits. Try soft grass and dirt trails for variety and to give your dogs bones and muscles a break from concrete and asphalt.

Also, running and jogging at a set pace is very repetitive on joints.

A change of pace is beneficial in terms of both pleasure and exercise value as the variety keeps your dogs muscles and brain working differently and can increase the health benefits.

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Include Doggy Squats For Healthy Hips

Have you heard of doggie squats for exercise?

Dog squats help build strength in the large leg muscles.

They also can help an aging Shepherd maintain their strength to keep them more mobile and prevent hip issues later in life. And in younger Shepherds that help give your dog the power to take on physical challenges.

Dog squats are like human squats.

How to do Doggy Squats with your German Shepherd

  • Have your dog follow your sit command.
  • Then, have them stand.
  • Use treats to entice them to keep repeating the action.
  • After two weeks, increase the reps in healthy dogs .
  • Have your dog start with 2 sets of 5 squats and add on more squats gradually from there.

Practice doggy squats in different areas so your dog doesnt get bored with the training. Use a variety of tasty treats to keep them interested and motivated.

What Are The Basic Leash Skills

Your German Shepherd puppy should learn a few basic skills before you attempt to leash walk her in public.

When you initially go outside your yard, choose familiar routes, If you know the path you are taking, it increases the security for your dog.

As your puppy continues to master leash walking, you can eventually start venturing on new routes, increasing the novelty.

It is also about this time that recommends that you move to a short, stiff leash to begin training heel.

A short lead keeps your puppy near you, and a lack of flexibility in the material gives you better control.

  • No lunging at people or other animals.
  • Walk by your side Teach your puppy not to switch from side to side as this is a serious problem that can cause you to trip and fall.
  • Calm and confident demeanor without pulling your arm A large, powerful dog like a German Shepherd who pulls relentlessly can cause serious injury to your shoulder and make you lose your balance.
  • Your dogs attention should mostly be on you Your dog does not always have to look at you for you to know you have her attention. Your Shepherds attempts to stay near you, cooperative spirit, and an ear turned in your direction are all indications she is paying attention to you.

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My Personal Experience With German Shepherds

As with any breed, theres the whole range of different personalities and characters and temperaments that you can come across. But today, I want to share what my general experiences with German shepherds has been like.

I can confidently say that the breed description given to German shepherds is pretty accurate. I have encountered many German shepherds who are physically and mentally strong, courageous, and often have a hard time backing down.

Of course, not all German shepherds fit this description. Ive come across many who are very fearful and nervous. But mostly, Ive seen the confident, strong-willed shepherds.

Whats fascinating to me with German shepherds is that, despite a strong personality, they do seem to want to work alongside you. They all seem to have a deep desire to connect with you, work for you, and do a great job.

Its almost like they want to be your partner rather than work independently. However, this means, if youre not sure what youre doing, they will very quickly step into the driving seat, which is a problem. You really dont want your German shepherd in charge of making the decisions!

Thats where theyre not a dog for everyone, because German shepherds play this game of Whos in charge, me or you? at a very high level. I call it the dog code.

Since then, Ive fallen in love with German shepherds. I could certainly see myself ending up with one in the future. And yes, I would fully trust this breed around my kids, my wife, and my other dogs.


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