How Much Exercise Does a German Shepherd Need

Reviewed By Kyoko •  Updated: 09/11/21 •  9 min read
The contents of the website, such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained on this site (“Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase this item or service, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain our own.

German Shepherds another breed of dogs that are very popular with pet parents! These dogs are known for being extremely loyal, highly intelligent, and strong. Even though these are large dogs, they are very strong and athletic.

Online Veterinary 24/7
Chat With A Veterinarian Online

Connect with a verified veterinarian in minutes. Licensed vets are available 24/7 to answer your questions. No need to worry about your furry family member.

This breed is used as working and service dogs; they love having something constructive to do. This is also why they’re very popular as military and police dogs. Best of all, these are dogs who appreciate having a loving pet parent and family.

If you’re a new pet parent, we’ve put together some information on the breed, as well as how much exercise these dogs need. Let’s get started!

What is a German Shepherd?

German Shepherds were bred to be companions as well as working dogs for humans. They originally came from Germany, where the breed was developed by Captain Max von Stephanitz back in 1899.

The breed was used heavily in WWI and WWII. After the wars, the dogs became very popular in the early 1900s. It was about this time that the AKC recognized the dogs as a specific breed. German Shepherds are still very popular today, too.

German Shepherds are known for being extremely loyal, courageous, confident dogs who can learn a wide range of commands for many types of work. And they will even put their lives before their loved ones. These dogs are that devoted.

They’re also known for being very loving and gentle with their humans and other family pets. Plus, German Shepherds are also very good at guard their homes. However, these dogs must be properly trained and socialized to somewhat curb their protective, sometimes aggressive behavior. F=

German Shepherds have an average weight between 74-95 lbs and stand between 1.5 to 2ft high. They have an average life span of about 10-12 years.

When it comes to their coat, you’ll find most German Shepherd dogs have a medium-length coat, which is a double coat. The coat colors vary and include white. When it comes to grooming, German Shepherds may need to be brushed at least once a week; however, they do shed quite a bit. So, more frequent brushing is recommended. Brushing several times a week is usually best.

When it comes to energy levels, most German Shepherd dogs are very active. They also prefer to have a purpose, which makes them very good dogs for herding, guarding, and more. Needless to say, these are dogs that require quite a bit of exercise. Otherwise, they’ll use their pent-up energy for mischief and more.

These are dogs that benefit from early training and socialization as puppies. Obedience training helps the dog to be well-mannered, as well as adaptable to new situations. German Shepherd dogs also benefit from consistent, positive, reward-based training.

OK! Now let’s get on with how much exercise a German Shepherd requires!

How Much Exercise Do German Shepherds Require?

German Shepherd dogs need plenty of exercise to wear off all their energy. They also require mental stimulation, as these are highly intelligent dogs. Making sure your dog has enough exercise will keep in shape, as well as improve his behavior.

When it comes to exercise, your fur baby will need at least 2 hours of exercise every day. This makes sure they’re not bored, and they stay in good shape. If they don’t receive enough exercise, German Shepherd dogs can become destructive, as well as develop behavioral issues.

What Types of Exercise are Great for German Shepherds?

Walking is one form of exercise that German Shepherds will enjoy. Because they need at least 2 hours of activity, you may consider breaking those 2 hours into two separate walking trips. You can go for an hour walk in the morning, and then another hour walk later in the afternoon or evening. However, you break up the time, spending at least 2 hours walking each day will help your canine companion release the energy he has.

If your dog’s in good shape and healthy, then you may even consider adding a weighted vest to your dog for walks. Here’s one to look at – the XDOG Weight & Fitness Vest for Dogs. This vet comes in a number of sizes, so you’ll be able to find the right fit for your dog. This vet uses weight bags, which can be filled with sand or copper bb’s. These types of weights mold to the dog’s body, making them more comfortable. However, this may not be a good option in very hot weather.

Also, be sure to never add more weight than 10% of their body. This is a comfortable weight that will make sure your dog is tired while giving him an overall workout.

Stay with a Routine

Most dogs, including German Shepherds, do better when they are on a daily routine. So, try to give your dog the same amount of exercise each day and try to stick to the same routine as much as possible.

Other Exercises Your German Shepherd will Enjoy

Here are some other exercises your fur baby may enjoy!


If you enjoy a daily jog, why not take your dog along, too? Here, again, he needs to be in good shape and healthy enough to do such a workout. You’ll see how happy he is running beside you on the sidewalk, in the park, and more!

Jogging will provide even more benefits than walking, so your dog is sure to be tired at the end of the day. That means his energy will be released, and the tendency for mischief will be lower. What’s more, jogging is a great way to mentally stimulate your dog at the same time. He’ll be able to take in all the sights, smells, and more as you jog together!

Flirt Pole

Another thing your dog may enjoy is a flirt pole! While this may sound like a strange dog toy, it can provide a dog with a lot of stimulation and exercise.

You may want to consider the Jalouise Dog Flirt Pole. This is a flirt pole that comes with three plush toys and a “teaser wand.” The pole includes a line on which one of the plush toys is attached. Then you flick the wand around to get your dog to chase the toy. This is similar to those play poles for cats, which have a feather on the end.

The dog has so much fun chasing the toy, while he also burns energy!


This is an old classic that most dogs love! Playing fetch is a great way to have interaction and playtime with your German Shepherd.

You can use a ball to play fetch, or even your dog’s favorite dog toy. Then throw the ball or toy over and over. We’re sure you’ll tire out long before your dog does!

Here’s a ball to consider – the Chew King Extremely Durable Natural Rubber Toy. This package includes three balls in three different colors. All the balls are made of natural rubber. They’re durable, natural, and have no chemical smell. Plus the rubber retains its shape, bounces well, and can stand up to your fur baby’s strong jaws.

Another great choice is the Nero Ball Classic. This is a fun exercise toy that includes a ball attached to a rope! This is a pet-safe rubber ball, made from high-quality rubber safe for pets. The ball is attached to a strong nylon rope, which has a non-slip loop. How much fun would that be for you and your dog?

Frisbee Toss

A frisbee is another great way to mentally stimulate your dog, and ensure he gets plenty of exercise! Many dogs enjoy balls, but only a frisbee can fly. You’ve seen those videos of someone throwing a frisbee, and the dog going after it and jumping to catch it.

Not only can the frisbee sail in the air, but you can also roll it on the ground for your dog to chase!

Checkout this frisbee for your dog – Ultra-Durable Dog Frisbee with Lifetime Replacement. This a frisbee built for large dogs. If you’ve tried a frisbee in the past, and it only lasted a couple of minutes, then this may be a better option. Some dogs love nothing better than to run after a frisbee and chew it to pieces. That’s frustrating, but you may have a better experience with this frisbee for large dogs.

This frisbee is said to be virtually indestructible. Well, if you have a German Shepherd with strong jaws, the chances are pretty high he’ll eventually chew through this toy. However, this is one that stronger and more durable. It’s especially made for strong, aggressive chewers. Plus, the materials are a safe option for dogs.

Digging Pit

Your canine companion may also enjoy digging! They are known for being excellent diggers, which of course they’ll dig in areas you’d rather they didn’t.

So, you may want to consider adding a digging area or pit to your dog’s yard. It’s not difficult to make a digging pit. Just buy a small child’s bathing pool and then stick in the ground. Fill the pool with sand, rubber toys, bones, and more. Your dog will definitely have fun and release pent-up energy! Your German Shepherd dog will be worn out in no time!

German Shepherds are a dog breed that’s filled to overflowing with energy. They’re also known for being strong and having excellent endurance. And because they’re also smart, ensuring your dog has enough exercise will help him also stay out of mischief. He won’t have the energy or urge to be mischievous if he’s worn out at the end of the day!

So, make sure your fur baby has at least a couple of hour-long walks each day. Then find some ways the two of you can go out and have even more fun exercising and playing together!

(Visited 86 times, 1 visits today)
Online Veterinary 24/7
Chat With A Veterinarian Online

Connect with a verified veterinarian in minutes. Licensed vets are available 24/7 to answer your questions. No need to worry about your furry family member.


Kyoko is from a family of 3 and moved to New York with her parents and siblings when she was 13. Kyoko is fond of spending a great amount of time with pets, specifically her beagle Luna and cat Missy. Her boyfriend often complains that she spends too much time giving attention to their animals. Kyoko has written dozens of articles concerning pets and is aiming at owning a pet shop one day!

Keep Reading