The best type of toys for German Shepherds are the ones that cater to their natural traits and instincts. The German Shepherd is a true utility and working dog. They are athletic and energetic, and highly intelligent.
Being a working breed they are bred to work with a human handler. They are loyal and are eager to work for you. Giving them a job to do is important for their mental and emotional wellbeing.
What toys do German Shepherds like?
Therefore, the best type of toys for a German Shepherd achieve one or more of the following objectives
- help to burn up pent up energy
- toys that involve chasing and fetching
- provide mental stimulation and challenge
- allow the opportunity to work for you.
Here are our top picks of the best dog toys for German Shepherds –
The must-have toy for German Shepherds
If you don’t know what a Kong for dogs is it is a tough rubber dog toy with a hole in the center so you can stuff it with treats or even flavored paste. the Kong is actually three dog toys in one.
- Food and treat stuffing puzzle toy. You can even freeze the Kong for a hot weather treat.
- Chew toy – made of safe near-indestructible rubber
- Fetch toy – due to its unique shape it bounces in unpredictable directions making a game of fetch more fun.
Although the standard red Kong Classic would be fine for a German Shepherd I recommend using the black Kong Extreme. These are near indestructible and will last your dog’s lifetime.
They come in a range of sizes from XS to XL. For the German Shepherd, I recommend using the extra-large Kong as the smaller sizes don’t hold as much food or treats as you would think.
For a German Shepherd puppy, you should choose the Puppy Kong. These are made of softer more flexible rubber so they don’t do damage to their young and developing teeth and jaw. See Puppy Kongs on Amazon here.
To learn more about how to use a Kong for dogs see here. If your German Shepherd doesn’t have a Kong, get them one or even two. See the Kong Extreme on Amazon here.
Exercise Toys for German Shepherds
German Shepherds need a good amount of exercise daily to burn off all that pent-up energy. It is recommended to give them one to two hours daily. For more on how to exercise a German Shepherd see here. Toys are a great way to provide some of that exercise.
Here are suggested toys for giving your German Shepherd exercise.
If your German Shepherd is ball mad (most are) then the Wicked Ball is the ultimate moving dog toy for them. The magic ball runs and bounces all by itself and the LED light adds another level of engagement for your dog. No App or remote controller required.
It has several settings such as the Intelligent Companion mode. In this mode, the Wicked ball has 10 minutes of play and 30 minutes of rest. If your dog pushes or hits the ball it starts the play cycle again. It also has three reaction modes (gentle, normal, active) so you can set it to suit your dog’s mood. Due to its obstacle avoidance system (collision sensor), it doesn’t get stuck in tight spots.
The Wicked ball is durable and dog safe and is also waterproof so can be played with when swimming. It also has a treat hole for dogs that are food motivated.
View the Wicked Ball on Amazon.
A Flirt pole is like a giant cat tickler for dogs. It has a long handle with a bungy type rope with a lure or toy attached to the end. You simply move the lure along the ground around in circles or in different directions as your dog chases it.
This activity is ideal for a Doberman as it works the whole body and strengthens their muscles. It also burns energy and tires your Doberman quickly. Be sure they are warmed up first and have a good “leave it” command and don’t allow them to destroy the toy. It is important that this be a controlled exercise. For a full guide to flirt pole exercise for dogs see here.
View Flirt Poles on Amazon
A Jolly Ball is a nearly indestructible ball for dogs that they push and chase around. As the Jolly ball is impossible to bite they have to push it around.
They come in a variety of sizes, styles and are also available with a handle or rope attached for tug of war. With this type of Jolly Ball they can pick it up. You can put water in the ball to make it heavier making it a good strengthening exercise.
A spring pole is simply a spring connected to a rope that hangs from a tree branch or beam with a lure or toy attached to the end. This allows your dog to play tug of war with him or herself even if you are not there. Popular with a lot of dogs that love a good game of tug of war. The spring pole is also a great strength-building exercise to keep their muscles strong. This helps to protect the joints and tendons and prevent injury.
For more muscle building and strengthening exercises see here.
Kong Flying Disc
Most dogs can chase and catch a ball. But a flying disc requires a little bit more skill, coordination, and timing. Roll the Disc on the ground towards your dog. They will instinctually want to grab it in his mouth. Once you’ve accomplished this, try tossing it at a very low level first to your dog. If you feel like your Doberman is ready to go to the next level, toss the disc a little higher and further. Great energy burner and you may be amazed at your dog’s agility and acrobatic skill.
View the Kong Flying Disc on Amazon
Varram Pet Fitness Robot
The Varram Pet Fitness Robot is the newest automatic chase toy for dogs and cats. This device is super smart and ideal to keep your dog active when home alone. Using an app on your iPhone or Android you can schedule when to activate or have it in sleep mode. It also can sense when your pet is near wanting to play. It also has an obstacle avoidance ability and can learn where obstacles are.
The Varram Pet Robot has a few more functions than other smart chase toys available for dogs and as a result, is a little more expensive. To learn more about other dog toys that move on their own see here.
It has a built-in treat dispenser to reward your dog for playing. It also provides all the stats and reports on the smartphone app such as monitoring your dog’s activity and how many treats were dispensed.
View the Varram Pet Fitness Robot on Amazon.
For more exercise toys for dogs see here.
Puzzle Toys for German Shepherds
Providing your German Shepherd with mental stimulation and challenge is crucial. Being a highly intelligent dog, failing to keep their minds occupied and challenge can result in boredom and unwanted behavior. This can include nuisance, barking, digging, destructive behavior, or even escaping. For more ideas on providing mental stimulation for a German Shepherd see here.
Puzzle and interactive toys are some of the best ways to provide mental stimulation. These are our most recommended puzzle toys for German Shepherds. For more puzzle toys for dogs see here.
Zogoflex Qwizl Puzzle Toy
This is great for stuffing treats and will keep your Doberman occupied for a long time. It is also made tough and durable so they won’t just destroy it to get to the treats inside.
View Zogoflex Qwizl Puzzle Toy on Amazon
Petgeek Automatic Rolling Treat Ball
This automatic rolling treat ball from Petgeek is activated by a soft touch from your dog and can last for up to 7 hours. Requires two AAA batteries and goes into sleep mode after a period of no activity.
Provides physical exercise and mental stimulation as they figure out how to release the treats. Can hold up to 380ml of kibble or small treats(sized up to 0.3 inches). This is ideal for a German Shepherd. Not only is this a treat ball, but because it moves on it own it provides an extra level of engagement.
View the Petgeek Automatic Rolling Ball on Amazon,
A Snuffe Mat is another great way to provide for your dog’s natural digging instinct and to provide mental stimulation and relieve boredom. A Snuffe mat is a mat that is made of fleece and you can hide dry food or treats into it. If you are someone that is good at crafts you can try to make one yourself or check out the range of Snuffle Mats at Amazon.
PetSafe Manners Dog Trainer
The PetSafe Manners Dog Trainer is a demanding game and may take some initial training to teach your dog how it works. It works by your dog pressing the remote control and then your dog gets the reward.
Move the remote control either close to the dispenser, in another room, or even in the garden to make it even more challenging.
Also comes with a ground spike for putting in the ground outside and a suction cup for attaching to the wall. Runs off batteries or also comes with a USB power cable. Certainly different from any other puzzle toy I have seen.
View PetSafe Manners Dog Trainer
Best chew toys for German Shepherds
When it comes to getting the right chew dog toys for power or aggressive chewer like a German Shepherd, it’s important to keep size in mind. Toys that are too small can easily be choked on by larger dogs.
The most ideal material for chew toys designed for aggressive chewers is rubber. Rubber is durable and virtually indestructible, so this material should be your first pick in a dog toy. Look for soft, malleable edges that are smooth and not sharp.
Here are recommended chew toys for German Shepherds;
Gough Nuts Indestructible Chew Toy
The Gough Nuts chew toys are my number one pick for aggressive power chewers. Extremely popular with people with powerful strong dogs for their toughness.
Gough Nuts Maxx Chew Stick
Extremely tough and a good size and shape (11.75 inches long). Dogs like stick-shaped toys because they can hold them between their paws while they work on the end. Also great for a game of fetch.
View Gough Nuts Maxx Stick on Amazon
Gough Nuts Dog Chew Ring
The Gough Nuts ring is 5″ in diameter with a 1.75″ cross-section. Virtually indestructible, guaranteed! If your pet can chew through the outer layer to expose the inner red layer, GoughNuts will replace your toy.
View Gough Nuts Chew Ring on Amazon
If you are wanting a more edible dog chew, deer antlers are one of the toughest and longest-lasting. These are available in a range of different sizes to suit your dog. Antlers are a source of minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. And many dogs seem to really like the taste.
View Deer antlers on Amazon.
For more chew toy recommendations see here.
Best Puppy Toys for German Shepherds
When selecting the best toys for a German Shepherd puppy it is important to consider several things. Firstly, they should not be too hard and should have some give. This prevents damage to the jaw and the new teeth. It is also important that they do not shatter or break into small pieces. This is to prevent the risk of your puppy choking on any fragments that come off the toy.
Kong puppy chew toys
As mentioned at the top of this article, The Kong for dogs is a must-have. In addition to the classic shape Kong, there are other shapes available such as the Kong teething stick and the Kong Goodie Bone. These have grooves on the side so you can spread a little paste into them to make the toy more interesting than your shoes.
Kong teething stick
Kong Puppy Goodie Bone
Tuffy Junior dog toys
For puppies that love plush toys but tend to pull apart normal plush toys like German Shepherd puppies tend to, The Tuffy Junior range is ideal. They are more durable than other plush toys and are machine washable. These are for puppies mainly as an adult dog would be more than likely to be able to destroy them. They are available in a range of sizes to suit your puppy.
Toys for German Shepherds that shred
Many German Shepherds like soft plush toys. However, most plush toys would be shredded in minutes by most German Shepherds. The key is to select plush toys that are tough and indestructible. These types of toys are also ideal for German Shepherd puppies.
Tuffy plush toy range
The Tuffy range is known as the toughest soft toy for dogs. Tuffy plush toy range combines durability with softness. This is accomplished with seven-layer stitching, multiple tough outer layers of material, and a fleece inner lining. They are also machine washable and float.
(available in a range of animal shapes)
See the full range of Tuffy Plush Toys on Amazon
For more suggested plush toys for shredders see here.
Ball Toys for German Shepherds
Most German Shepherds love balls to the point of being ball crazy. However, the average ball doesn’t stand up to the German Shepherd toughness test. Here are balls that are tough and will last your German Shepherd.
Snug rubber dog balls
For the ball crazy dogs that tend to destroy most balls. Snug rubber balls are a virtually indestructible solid rubber ball and are the same size as tennis balls that dogs know and love and also come in a fun array of colors. Snug will replace your balls absolutely free if your dog is tough enough to destroy them. Sounds like a challenge.
Kong Extreme Rubber Ball
As with all the Kong Extreme range, the rubber ball is no exception. Available in two size – small and medium/large. Obviously, the larger size is best for a German Shepherd.
View the Kong Extreme Ball on Amazon.
Let us know in the comments what your German Shepherds favorite toys are.
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