If you have a German Shepherd or you’re thinking of getting one then you’re probably wondering how to keep it occupied.

So, how do you keep a German Shepherd occupied?

The first thing to do is to make sure that it is getting lots of exercise daily so that it becomes easier to keep it occupied.

You can exercise it by walking it, having it swim, playing fetch with it or you could have it drag you along on something.

To keep it occupied you can give it toys to play with, puzzle games to play with, chews to chew on or you could take it to doggy daycare.

There are actually a lot of ways that you can keep your German Shepherd occupied. However, if your goal is to prevent it from misbehaving then the best results will come from training it and giving it a lot of exercise.

Start by giving it exercise

German Shepherds were bred to do energyintensive tasks for hours on a daily basis. This means that they require a lot of exercise to be properly stimulated.

If you’re looking for ways to keep your German Shepherd occupied then you should actually start by looking for ways to give it more exercise. This is because by doing so you will be able to get it to calm down considerably and it will be able to stay occupied with whatever you give it for longer.

Be aware, however, that it will likely take a lot more exercise than you would expect to properly wear your German Shepherd out. Vets will typically recommend that you exercise your German Shepherd for at least one hour per day.

Below I will mention some ways that you can give your German Shepherd exercise on a daily basis.

Walk it

The first and most obvious way to give your German Shepherd exercise is to walk it. You might find that just walking it for an hour won’t be enough for your German Shepherd so you might need to find ways to wear it out a little bit more.

Some ways to do so would be to walk it in a hilly area, to let it loose in a dog park (if you can get it to come back to you) or you could put a dog weight vest on it that weighs less than 10% of its body weight. Walking your German Shepherd will also be beneficial for your own health since walking daily has been shown to improve health.

Teach it to play fetch

You could teach your German Shepherd to play fetch.

Fetch is a good way to give your German Shepherd exercise since it will get your German Shepherd to do a lot of sprinting without having much rest in between. This will help to wear it out more quickly.

Teaching your German Shepherd to play fetch will likely be quite challenging at first but I have written about how you can teach it to do it step by step in the past here.

Teach it to swim

Teaching your German Shepherd to swim can help to give it a lot of exercise since it will be needing to move its legs around a lot to stay afloat. This can help to wear it out quickly and it is especially good in the summer months when you need to help your German Shepherd to stay cool.

Some German Shepherds are naturally cautious of water at first but there are ways to get it to like the water that I talk about here.

Walk it with other dogs

One good way to give your German Shepherd a lot of exercise quickly is to walk it with other dogs. By doing this you will be able to wear it out faster since it will naturally do more exercise by playing with the other dogs. Be aware though that German Shepherds have a strong prey drive and they do not tend to get on well with smaller dogs.

Have it pull you

One way to exercise it would be to have it pull you along on a skateboard. By doing this you will be able to get it to do a lot of running while burning even more energy by pulling your weight along. If you do try to do it make sure to make it wear a harness and not a collar.

Dog walker

If you do not have much time to exercise your German Shepherd then you could get a dog walker to do it for you. There are apps that you can download on your phone now that allow you to book local dog walkers directly within the app.

Ways to keep your German Shepherd occupied

Once you have figured out how to give your German Shepherd lots of exercise then you can consider ways to keep it occupied when you need to.

Below I will mention some things that you can do to keep it occupied.

Lots of toys

The first thing that you can do is to give it lots of toys to play with. By doing this you will be able to keep its attention on something that you are ok with instead of having it focus on things like sofas that you don’t want it to.

Giving it lots of toys to play with and chew on is especially important when it is still young and going through the teething phase.

Puzzle games

There are puzzle-based toys that you can get for your German Shepherd that are designed to make it think about how to get to the treat inside. They can be very good at keeping it focused on something for a while and are good ways to keep it occupied.

The only problem is that once your German Shepherd has figured it out it won’t be as effective in the future since your German Shepherd will be able to figure it out much more quickly. If you do decide to get one try getting one that is a bit more challenging so that your German Shepherd needs to take more time to figure it out.

Give it training

One way to keep your German Shepherd occupied is to spend time training it. Obviously, this isn’t something that you can do when you’re not around but it is very important that you find the time to do it.

By training your German Shepherd you will be able to get it to be more well behaved and you will be able to improve your relationship with it.

You should start out by teaching it the basics like to sit and stay in an easy environment where there are not many distractions. Then you can try teaching it harder things or to teach it to do the basics in environments where there are more distractions.

You can look at the book Training Your German Shepherd on Amazon to get more tips about how you can train your GSD.

Play tug of war with it

One way to keep your German Shepherd occupied would be to play tug of war with it. Most German Shepherds love to play it so you probably won’t find it difficult to have it play tug of war with you when you want it to.

Give it chews

One way to keep your German Shepherd occupied would be to give it chews to chew on. There are actually chews that you can buy that are designed to calm your German Shepherd down. So, you might want to have these available for when you think your German Shepherd might be about to start misbehaving.

Doggy daycare

If you don’t have the time to keep your German Shepherd occupied and you are worried about leaving it at home alone then you should consider doggy daycare.

Things to consider

German Shepherds can require a lot of effort

If you’re thinking of getting a German Shepherd then you should know that German Shepherds are a breed that will require a lot of effort on your part.

This means that you will need to devote a lot of time in to walking it, training it and giving it attention. If you don’t think that you will be able to do that then you should consider getting a different breed of dog.


You should also consider the age of your German Shepherd. If it is still young then it will require more attention and it will have more energy.

However, because its joints and bones are still developing it is not recommended that you give it a lot of exercise. Generally, it is recommended that you gove your German Shepherd 5 minutes of exercise per month of age.


How to entertain a German Shepherd home alone? If you will not be around to entertain your German Shepherd then you could give it lots of toys to play with, a puzzle to figure out, some chews to chew on and you could consider crate training it if you’re worried about things getting damaged.

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