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How To Keep A German Shepherd Busy

How To Keep A German Shepherd Busy

Finding out what activities would best occupy your dog depends on knowing what breed it is, and the purpose it was bred for. And, like it or not, every dog breed was developed to fulfill a specific purpose.

The 21st century perspective on dogs, where a large number of purebreds are produced primarily because of their appearance, based on quite subjective breed criteria, and for companionship, frequently makes us forget this. 

However, a lot of breeds still have the drive to work and serve particular functions.

It is much simpler to infer the purposes of some breeds than others. Retrievers, for example, were bred to… retrieve. Sheep herding is the purpose of many shepherd breeds, including our German Shepherd.

Therefore, it is not odd that you are searching for ways to keep your GSD busy since they are bred to be a dog breed of high energy levels, which means that they have a lot of energy to manage.

8 Ways Of Keeping Your German Shepherd Dog Busy

There are many interesting ways of keeping your beloved GSD busy, about which you can read in the following paragraphs!

1. Chew Toys

german shepherd dog chewing a toy and lying down

High-energy canines will chew regardless of whether it means moving onto your home’s decorations to alleviate stress. 

Giving your dog the right chew toys can help reduce anxiety, and give them something to focus on, in addition to getting them enough exercise, of course. Playthings with scents, as well as those that include snacks or chews, increase stimulation.

While taking a long walk, playing with a ball, or jogging around the neighborhood with your dog are all excellent ways to burn off excess energy, chewing still uses muscles.

A good chew exercise and mental muscle exercise are fantastic methods to tire out an energetic pup, and quite a hyperactive mind, especially when the weather isn’t nice enough to go outside. 

2. Stimulating The Sense Of Smell

Hide little mounds of your dog’s kibble about your home in convenient, safe locations so it must use its smell to find them. This will motivate your dog to go on food hunts.

Before you depart for the day or if you need to keep your dog occupied, scatter a few fistfuls of kibble throughout the spots where your GSD spends the day. It’ll be like following the food trails you drop behind, with its nose to get the delights.

Additionally, if your German Shepherd is occupied with a scent game or other activity that engages its nose, it won’t be able to cause mischief around the house.

By choosing where to hide the treats, you may decide how simple or challenging you would like the game to be. In the beginning, as your dog begins to interact and search for treasure, you may be required to leave some kibble in more accessible locations.

As your dog improves, you can try hiding its kibble in places that are trickier, but always bear in mind how safe she will be while you’re not around to supervise her.

3. Puzzles / Interactive Dog Toys

german shepherd dog finds favorite toy ball hidden under purple cone

The best method to engage and mentally challenge your dog is with interactive toys. The happiness and health of your dog depend greatly on mental stimulation.

Insufficient stimulation can lead to boredom, which can lead to destructive behavior, making living with a pet much more challenging for you.

Choosing the best interactive dog toys might be difficult at times because there are so many different kinds available.

Your dog will enjoy working through challenges with its handler since it was bred to manage challenging situations. There are canine mental teasers now available for your German Shepherd.

These puzzle toys come in a variety of difficulty levels, from basic to difficult, and they are typically adaptable to the skills of a young or old German Shepherd. 

Your GSD flips, rotates, spins, and slides puzzle pieces with the help of their snout and paws to obtain their food reward. Watching your dog figure out the strategy to receive treats is entertaining!

4. More Socialization

Your German Shepherd could occasionally just need to interact and play with other dogs. To keep your puppy entertained, arrange playdates with several other well-behaved canines alongside your family members and friends.

If you don’t know of any other people with amiable dogs that you are familiar with, you could seek online for a playgroup or consult your vet. 

Never leave your dogs unattended, especially pups, as they can rapidly get into mischief together. Always ensure that both canines are comfortable with one another, and play nicely together.

Additionally, search for a dog daycare that provides drop-off playtimes while you are working. For a more affordable fee, and to give your German Shepherd more entertainment options, many dog daycare centers offer discounts if you book extra play days.

Your dog will be placed in the proper playgroup because there are distinct areas with toys for pups, and larger, older dogs. The immunization records for your dog must be current in order for them to enroll in a reputable dog daycare, so make sure they are all up to date.

Never undervalue the importance of engaging in some healthy play with your German Shepherd, or arranging playdates with other dogs, animals, or even small kids.

5. Obedience Training And Some New Tricks

girl and german shepherd gives five to her with his paw

Your smart German Shepherd would probably enjoy learning a brand-new trick or obedience in order to keep him engaged.

You undoubtedly want to strengthen your relationship with them further by spending some time mastering a different ability that you can later demonstrate to your friends and family. 

You might either choose a challenging trick that takes some time to master or a simple trick, which your dog could perhaps learn rather quickly. 

For a nice reward, try persuading your dog to “shake” or “give paw.” Aim higher by learning the names of every toy in its toy box so it can identify them when you ask for them.

If you invest the effort and time to train your German Shepherd, he can learn practically everything. Keep in mind that there is a reason why your German Shepherd seems to be so intelligent. Do not undervalue its intelligence.

This is so much fun to attempt regardless of whether you possess a German Shepherd puppy or an adult dog. Additionally, it keeps the dog cognitively engaged, reducing the likelihood that it might misbehave if left alone.

6. Therapy Dogs

Do you perhaps have a German Shepherd dog that is exceptionally kind and caring? If yes, think about certification for therapy dogs.

Therapy dogs, which are specially bred to shower people with affection, are among some of the most lovely and moving representations of how creatures can take care of one another in my opinion. I’m continuously amazed by how many different people and therapy dogs there are.

Although your dog might be a compassionate dog, it isn’t really a good fit to serve as a therapy dog (perhaps because it could still require a lot of therapy for itself if it is an adopted dog or a shelter dog). 

However, in the correct setting, your German Shepherd is incredibly patient and kind with people, particularly the elderly.

It is one of the coolest family dogs out there, so it will also be a good therapy dog.

7. Good Old Tug-Of-War

german shepherd puppy playing with a tug

Tug-of-war is still popular since your dog can play with you while participating.

A sturdy rope toy as well as some room to roam around safely are all that is required for this classic game. Wiggle the rope somewhat like a snake to get your German Shepherd to hold it. Once it does, start softly dragging the rope.

The game of tug of war can not only exhaust your German Shepherd, but also provide you with good exercise. You receive a small upper-body and cardiovascular workout when your dog sets its teeth into the pull and uses its entire body weight.

Have you been aware that your German Shepherd may readily assist in teeth cleaning with cotton pull ropes?

It’s not just fun; it’s also a hygienic tool because as they flex their mouth on the rope, the fibers aid to eliminate plaque and accumulation.

To avoid having your house become dirty, and having dirt from the yard brought inside, it is advisable to have separate indoor and outside tug toys. 

In order to keep my German Shepherd occupied when the weather prevents us from going outside, I also purchased a shorter tugging rope for indoor play.

8. Add Another Walk

Many working dog owners typically walk their dogs in the morning and at night. However, because they have a lot of energy, German Shepherd dogs will enjoy a midday walk as a form of entertainment.

Many respectable pet care facilities offer a dog walking service, and if you choose, they can exercise your German Shepherd together with the other dogs that have similar temperaments.

It will benefit from a healthy stroll as well as some social interaction and a greatly-appreciated pack stroll with its new buddies if it does it this way.

Final Word

You cannot train your German Shepherd’s innate desires away. Give him original strategies for concentrating so he can transform his irrational impulses into virtuous actions.

This gives your dog a job and a workweek that helps him stay busy and burn off excess energy both mentally and physically. 

Keep in mind that your German Shepherd wants to lead an active life beside you, and be able to perform nearly any task you ask of him.

Always make time in your hectic day to spend time with your loved pets. Regardless of how occupied you become with your job, education, extracurricular activities, chores, video games, or social networks, keep in mind this:

You are everything to your German Shepherd, and you are their favorite part of the day.