Home German Shepherd How Much Exercise Does A German Shepherd Need?

How Much Exercise Does A German Shepherd Need?


German Shepherd dogs are very active dogs that are always eager to engage in some physical exercises. They love it! This is a top requirement for them to stay healthy. While most vets recommend an hour of exercise a day, The American Kennel Club recommends 2 hours a day.

German Shepherds were originally bred to undertake energy-intensive exercises, and as such requires a great deal of exercise a day. You will notice how easy your GSD will undertake the exercises, as that is the nature of German shepherd dogs.

How Much Exercise Does A German Shepherd Need?

As already indicated, you should exercise your dog at least an hour a day, with the most recommended time being 2 hours a day. This is due to the energy levels of German shepherd dogs, although it varies from dog to dog.

It is understandable that spending 2 hours on your dog might seem like a big deal, but if you own a German shepherd, it absolutely worth it. You can split the activities between walks and jogs, or even play fetch with your dog.

It is imperative that you get to understand your dog’s needs and general health status before you overwork it unknowingly.

How Much Exercise Does A German Shepherd Puppy Need?

It is obvious that a puppy won’t need as much exercise as an adult shepherd. Yet, it is equally important to give your puppy some measure of exercise.

It is recommended that you take your puppy for a 5-minute walk per day. This should be enough for your puppy, as overworking it could lead to joint and mobility issues later in its life. These walks grant your dog the opportunity to familiarize itself with his new environment, work on its good behavior outdoors, and socialize with people and other dogs.

You can keep track of your puppy’s exercise levels by using PitPat Dog Activity Monitor. This is small and light, and you can attach it to their collars without them even noticing. This records your puppy’s activities.

Ways You Can Exercise Your German Shepherd

  1. Training your GSD is a good, healthy way of exercising it, as it uses so much energy in the process. Training is also a good way of bonding with your shepherd friend, as it always looks to you for what it should do next.
  2. Walking your dog is another way to exercise it. As recommended, at least an hour of walking with your dog will be of great health benefit to your dog and yourself, as you’ll soon realize. When at the park, you can take off your dog’s leash and allow it to run around, as this is a great way to exercise it. Be certain you’ll be able to get your dog to return to you when you want, before releasing the leash. You can also put a weighted vest that weighs no more than 10% of your dog’s weight on him and try to take a walk on uphill areas.
  3. Another great way to give your German Shepherd a lot of exercise in a short amount of time is to get it to do a lot of swimming. When German Shepherds swim, they must move their arms and legs a lot to stay afloat, so it causes them to wear themselves out more quickly. It’s also beneficial in the summer, since the cool water will help your German Shepherd stay cool while getting some much-needed exercise. Not all German Shepherds take well to water naturally, so if your GSD seem not to like water, you can research ways to help it like water as there are some techniques available.
  4. You can also play tug of war with your dog, using a rope toy. This should be done alongside walking, swimming or other forms of exercising.
  5. Using a harness, you can also get your dog to pull you while you are on, say, a skateboard or a bike. This is a great way to exercise your dog, as you’ll soon realize how fast it can go.
  6. Playing fetch is another way you can exercise your dog. With fetch, your dog does a lot of running over a short period of time, and this builds his stamina well. This also improves the relationship between you and your shepherd friend as it learns to work alongside you and helps it to get used to responding to you.

What Are The Benefits Of Exercising Your German Shepherd?

Indeed, not exercising your German shepherd dog at all or even giving it fewer exercises could be detrimental to their physical and mental health.

Physically, their bones and joints will not be well-developed, which could lead to dysplasia. They can also become obese, as eating every day without enough exercise could lead to your dog being overweight. This is a serious health threat to your dog. Thus, exercising your GSD can alleviate this or reduce the risk of your dog suffering from these health risks.

Mentally, not exercising your dog can make it feel bored and isolated. This can make them act up. With all the energy stored up in them, they can tend to chew on furniture and cause trouble at home, as it is not unusual for an untrained GSD to misbehave. Exercising your dog will make it feel a part of you or the family and will make it a well-behaved dog.

Signs That You Are Overexerting Your German Shepherd

Even with an energetic breed such as the German Shepherd, an excess of exercise isn’t good. If you are always exercising your dog without the much-needed breaks and stops, you are likely to overexert your dog. How do you know you are overexerting your shepherd friend? Here are some signs:

  1. Decreased energy
  2. Excessive panting
  3. Having trouble walking or standing
  4. Exercise-induced collapse
  5. Extreme thirst
  6. Drooling
  7. Having trouble breathing

Some long-term effects of overexerting include:

  1. Damaged paw pads
  2. Join injury
  3. Sore muscles
  4. Behavioral changes

It is important to find the right balance when it comes to exercising your dog. Make sure to schedule breaks and know when to stop. Look out for these signs before it’s too late.


Exercising a German Shepherd dog shouldn’t be too hard, as they are energetic breeds that love to exercise. An hour or two a day should be sufficient for your dog.

Engage your dog in all kinds of physical and mental exercises to ensure the overall well-being of your friend. Look out for signs of overexertion, so you do not go overboard.

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