German Shepherd dogs are the perfect breed and hence used in various agencies like in police as guard dogs, FBI, guide dogs and others.
If you are a German Shepherd owner and worried about the exercise that your pet requires, you are at the right place.
German Shepherd is a smart dog breed, they have high energy so they always like to be active.
However, it is essential for them to exercise daily in order to polish their skills. There are innumerable benefits of exercise for such a brilliant herding dog.
In this article, we’ll talk about the optimal exercise requirements of a German Shepherd.
How Much Exercise Does A German Shepherd Need?
There has a lot of things comes in consideration to understand how much exercise does a German Shepherd need? I have explained those below –
What Is The Relation Between Exercise And Age Of A German Shepherd?
You might have heard that dogs slow down with age and their exercise requirement also decreases.
But is it true?
Yes, age is indeed a crucial factor to consider while deciding the exercise routine for your pet. Your German Shepherd might not be able to perform the same activities with the same energy throughout their life.
What Exercises Do German Shepherd Puppies Like?
German Shepherd puppies usually like fun outdoor and indoor exercises.
Managing the exercise sessions of a young puppy can be quite easy if you have the proper knowledge.
If your pet is small, that is 8 to 12 weeks old, no extra exercise is needed except a daily walk.
Taking your pet out for a puppy play is enough as over-exercise can cause various health problems.
Puppy exercises are usually different from the adult dog exercises.
How Much Exercise Does A Grown-up German Shepherd Need?
A grown-up dog is full of energy and requires optimal physical activity in order to stay fit.
This is the time when your German Shepherd can participate in various activities ranging from wall climbing to swimming.
However, it is difficult to state how much exactly your dog needs as it strongly depends upon your particular German Shepherd dog.
Some of the best exercises for adult dogs are short walks, stair exercises and agility training.
Do Old German Shepherds Also Need Exercise?
German Shepherds often encounter many diseases with aging and hence, their exercise needs directly depend upon such diseases.
However, a small walk after a meal is beneficial for all ages. Your pet might refuse to go for a walk as a result of joint pain or some other old age diseases.
There are very less acceptable exercises for old dogs.
What Are Benefits Of Exercise For A German Shepherd?
Regular Exercise is the only way by which your dog can both enjoy and get physical health advantages at the same time.
Only a daily walk will not work, you will have to arrange a hard workout routine to keep your dog mentally and physically stable.
Aerobic exercises help in making your dog flexible. Engaging your dog in such exercises will extend their lifespan and will prevent them from being bored.
Moreover, short walks will prevent your pet from gaining body weight as well.
German Shepherd is an energetic dog breed and being a large breed, they require proper exercise in order to develop muscles and ensure a healthy lifestyle.
There could be several unwanted consequences if your dog is not getting sufficient exercise.
The most common sign that your dog is not getting enough workout is arrogance and a destructive nature.
What Are Different Types Of Exercises For Your German Shepherd?
There are numerous activities and exercises that your German Shepherd can perform in order to stay fit and ensure healthy development. But, these exercises can be classified into three main categories.
The first one is a daily walk, the second one involves intense workout and the last one is for the mental stimulation of your pet.
Some of the most fun indoor and outdoor exercises are stair exercise, wall climbing, agility training, hiking and aerobic exercises. Training your pet is, however, a mental exercise.
What Are The Benefits Of A Daily Walk Of A German Shepherd?
Approximately a mile walk is necessary for a German Shepherd daily because it will help in burning some energy and also serves as a warm-up at the same time.
Moreover, your dog’s mental health is improved by the sounds, scenes and other observable things in the environment. The walk is more of a puppy exercise.
If you want to improve the muscle strength of your pet without any intense workout, you can add a dog bag or weighted vest just to add a little weight during the walk. This will help in muscle development without risks of over-exercise.
If you don’t have time, you can hire a dog walker, who will be a perfect candidate according to your preferences.
What Are Some Of The High-Intensity Exercises For A German Shepherd?
High-Intensity activities are those which can consume high energy and performed in a short period of time. These activities involve swimming, hiking, tug of war and some agility trainings.
By performing these workouts, your pet gets one step closer to leading a healthy and happy life.
You can even follow a routine if you want your pet’s muscles to be developed.
Below are some examples of high-intensity workouts:
- Swimming: Usually a German Shepherd doesn’t like water but swimming is an all-rounder activity. While swimming, your pet will utilize his/her legs and arms a lot and this will help in developing a faster speed and stamina. In summers, water will keep your German Shepherd cool along with the required lead exercise.
- Fetch: Playing fetch is one of the easiest ways to make your German Shepherd run in a short interval of time as this sport includes many sprints. Not only does this have physical benefits but, fetch will make your bond with your buddy stronger as you are playing with him/her actively. You can throw a frisbee and ask your German Shepherd dog to fetch, he will run and catch the frisbee.
- Agility: You can organize an agility course in your home to check your dog. If he/she fails the test, you can arrange agility training for his/her overall health development. It would be an acceptable exercise only if the course includes aerobic exercise.
- Hiking: It might seem irrelevant but it’s true. Hiking is the most loved sport of German Shepherds. It takes care of the overall health of your dog. There are several tasks and challenges in hiking which your dog will love to do. German Shepherds are a perfect breed for hiking.
- Tug Of War: If you don’t want to go out for your dog’s exercise or the weather is not favorable then, you can try playing Tug of war. But remember this game is not enough by itself, you should give your German Shepherd some other physical exercises also. However, this game is capable of increasing the strength of the teeth of your pet.
Which Exercises Can Help In Mental Development Of A German Shepherd?
Along with physical development, it is crucial to take care of the mental health of your German Shepherd as well. Some of the exercises than can help in this case are food exercises, exercises with chew toys and agility courses. Mental exercises include utilising your dog’s common sense so that he/she can develop a healthy mind.
There are plenty of dog toys available that can support mental stimulation. Some of the acceptable exercises that can help in the mental development of your pet are given below:
- Food Exercise: This beneficial exercise is related to food. Rather than feeding your pet in a regular bowl, make your German Shepherd do some exercise in order to find and eat their meal. This exercise is quite successful in the case of German Shepherds as they are very intelligent.
- Chew Toys: Many dogs release stress by chewing. Providing your German Shepherd with a chew toy will make his/her teeth stronger as well as eliminate stress. Moreover, it is a decent way to keep you dog busy in case you are occupied with any other work.
What Are The Symptoms That Your German Shepherd Is Over-Exercised?
The rule of thumb warns that you should never over-exercise your dog as it can pose serious problems.
If this is the case, your dog will show some symptoms. The most important indication is your dog feeling extremely thirsty and you’ll notice that he/she is drinking more water than usual.
Another symptom of over-exercising is your German Shepherd lacking behind in an exercise where he/she is usually fast and energetic.
Refusing to exercise, swollen muscles are some other signs of over-exercise.
You must take care of the exercise schedule of your dog if you don’t want him/her to become ill.
The general rule is to divide the workout into smaller segments to prevent such issues.
Your dog will enjoy small exercises as compared to one long tiring exercise. You can also bring variety by introducing two or three exercises per day rather than performing only one activity per day.
The German Shepherd breed is a quick learning, energetic and working breed. They are physically strong and have a great deal of stamina.
In case they do not get the required amount of exercise, their behavior will become violent day by day and eventually can cause serious health problems.
There many exercises available to choose from but performing a mixture of two or more exercises in smaller segments is preferable.
However, along with physical activity, mental growth is an important part. Performing one activity involving mental growth is required every day.