How Much Exercise Does A German Shepherd Need?

German Shepherds are a very energetic dog breed and were originally bred as herding dogs. Experts say that daily exercises and activities are important to maintain their physical and emotional health at an optimal level. They need to be busy and, according to the Kennel Club, German Shepherds require at least 2 hours of exercise each day to be sure they are not bored.

With a German Shepherd, lack of exercise may lead to poor muscle tone, heart problems, obesity, bones, and joint problems and will often lead to emotional problems, destructive behavior, boredom barking, and anxiety.

The Benefits Of Regular Exercise

They need enough exercise, it is as essential for the dog as it is for a human; Shepherds are not to be inactive and become obese: a well-trained, well-exercised dog will live longer than an obese dog. Regular exercise will give your dog a healthy heart that can cope with the proper body weight and withstand disease very well.

The solution to German Shepherd’s good health is to maintain a daily healthy exercise. Fit dogs are more alert and happy. They also have better sleep, more energy and socialize better. When they are exercised, they will be protected from boredom and other health problems, it as well strengthens the bond between owners and their dog.

Try To Provide Lots Of Space

They love a wide and open space to run. But, presently not all homes have enough space for their pets to play. You should give your dog at least three short walks each day, one of which should include some minutes of vigorous activity. If they are not encouraged to exercise, they became very lazy.

Another great exercise for shepherds is to fetch things. You can teach your pup to fetch a ball, toys or any item specially designed for dog fetch. You can as well try to let your dog catch a frisbee: dogs that know how to fetch ball will easily know what to do with one.

Your dog really needs to have enough exercise to maintain its physical and mental health. German shepherd puppies are highly active dogs, and so they require at least an hour of exercise. If the puppy doesn’t receive enough tasks then it can end up having behavioral issues or becoming very disturbing.

There are three main types of exercise and activities that your dog must do each and every day.

Daily Walk

This walk is very vital for your dog as not only will it release some energy, but it will also allow your German Shepherd to stimulate his mind with sounds and sights as well as smells they come across.

A German shepherd can walk all day, so the length of the walk depends on your energy. The minimum duration should be at least 40 minutes. If your schedule allows, then having this walk twice a day will prove to be perfect.

Make a routine that is around the same time as dogs like routine. You can arrange for the big walks during the weekends where you can walk for 3 to four hours. Don’t wait for the weekend to walk your dog; daily steps are so much better.

If you train your dog well, you can be sure that it will follow your command and when the time for the walk comes, it can as well walk alone and get back in time. Make sure to stay in control.
High-Intensity Activity

German shepherds are energetic and robust, which makes them have a lot of stamina. You need to find exercises that can burn a lot of energy within a short time. The activities include high-intensity games that are recommended to ensure the muscles of your dog are at the best conditions.

If the muscles if your dog is healthy and energetic, it will be able to support the joints and tendons, which in turn will prevent your dog from getting injured. Some of the exercises you should try with your dog include:


Hiking will be an enjoyable exercise for you and your dog. German shepherds like exploring and smelling new things, so taking your dog for a hike will not only burn her energy, but it will also make her very happy. Make sure to bring enough food and water during your walk.


Fetching is one of the best ways of exercising your dog.
Whether you use a flying disc or a ball, this exercise will be beneficial to your dog. Use something that your dog is likely going to like, and he can fetch it when you throw it away. Sometimes it will require training to get your dog to carry and bring the item back to you.

Teaching your dog how to play fetch will give you a lot of time to play and exercise your dog. You can perform these exercises anywhere, be it in the house, the park or the beach. Make sure to praise your dog every time she fetches.

Treat/toy tracking

Not everybody is into competitive games. If you are not into them, then tracking games will surely be perfect for you. This exercise will exercise his body as well as his mind. It will also train your dog scenting ability.

All in one exercise, genius right?

All you need to do is hide his treats or some toys and make your dog find them. Every time the dog finds them, hide them and make the items more difficult to find. This will help your German Shepherd become smarter, and it will save you some time if you have other things to do. Every time your GSD finds the treat, make sure to reward her.

Mental Stimulation

Your dog needs physical exercises as well as mental exercises. Mental exercises help your dog stay smarter and keeps the GSD from getting destructive and bored. Just like human beings, dogs have brains and emotions. You need to stimulate these emotions with different exercises such as.

Basic mental exercises

You don’t have to complicate things so that your dog can learn. Even the small basic physical tasks do involve some brains. For example, when you are playing treat/toy tracking, it requires your dog’s attention. So any activity that requires her attention will play a significant role in her cognitive development. Also, the fetch game involves your dog’s brains so you can focus on those two in order to exercise your dog’s brains

Complex mental exercises

These are exercises that are sufficient to keep your dog psychologically healthy. These exercises require a little bit more intense compared to the primary mental activities. Start with playing games with your dog as you advance to more complex tasks. For example, you can teach your German Shepherd how to play hide and seek. If your dog gets to know all the rules of playing this game, then you will have stimulated your dog’s brains.

Another game that will exercise the mind of your dog is the keep away. Take one of the things your dog loves the most and start running away from your Shepherd Dog. Keep the object with you at all times and the dog will chase you trying to recover her favorite toy. Sometimes you can reverse the role and give her the item then chase her. In most cases, your German Shepherd will start dodging to prevent you from taking her favorite thing.

Gradually increase the difficulty of finding the item, and your dog will also adapt by figuring out the best way of keeping you from taking her favorite thing. The most complex mental exercises are the ones that involve formal training. Train your dog how to perform tricks, obey voice commands, or even perform in a dog competition. As you continue teaching your dog, her mental capacities will certainly improve.

Signs Your German Shepherd Needs More Exercise

It is hard to know if your dog needs more exercises. You don’t want to overwhelm your dog in as much as you want to train him. But there are always some indicators that your dog needs more exercises. They include:

Destructive behavior

This is one of the most obvious signs that your dog needs more exercises because it has more energy to spare. You will find that your dog is chewing shoes or chasing away cats or even getting into the garbage. If your dog is engaging in some of those activities then in most cases it is because it has energy to spare. Exercise your dog more.

Nuisance barking

Your dog will be barking at everything and anyone. Why do you think your Shepherd Dog is doing that? It is because she has a lot of energy to spare and the only way she can use the energy is by barking at anyone and everything. Exercise your dog more, and in most cases, the barking will drastically reduce.

Pestering you

If your kid is bored and you are at home during the weekend, he will start disturbing you. Just like your kid, if your dog requires more exercise, she may bug you. She will be following you around, or continually bringing you some toys trying to initiate play. If you notice, then be a good human being and play with your dog.

Even A German Shepherd Needs A Little Rest

As good as exercise is to GSD, it is advisable not to exaggerate things. Stop playing before your dog gets tired. This will keep the exercise interesting for him. Let him rest after each exercise session, so he will look forward to playing with you next time.

As you exercise your dog, always remember not to let him overheat. Avoid exercise during the hottest hours of the day. Always provide a sufficient supply of fresh water for your dog to avoid dehydration. Be careful not to allow your dog to work out too much, as this can cause injuries.


Regular exercise is advantageous to the German Shepherd. It should be in its daily routine; as you know, dogs like routine. The exercise routine should fit well with your schedule and you should be consistent with it. Remember that when your dog does not have the right outlet for his energy, it is likely to be destructive, uncomfortable and also depressed.

Title Image: DSC_0273 by Daywork Media is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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