I remember the day I realized that my German Shepherd was an absolute toy destroying machine, and was only getting bigger.
As a dog owner, it’s so important to me to be able to fulfill my dog's natural instincts and let him play to his heart's content. I just need to be able to do so without emptying my wallet on new toys every week!
If you’re looking for the best toys to buy for your German Shepherd, look no further. We’ve broken down the best toys for German Shepherds to help you make the best purchases possible and keep your pup happy.
Why Use Toys?
It may seem frivolous to dish out money buying toys for your pet, but toys are not simply a luxury for a spoiled dog. They are essential to your German Shepherds well being.
When we adopt a dog, we take responsibility for his happiness, as well as his mental and physical development. Part of that responsibility is ensuring that we fulfill their natural instincts.
Unfortunately, we don’t all live on a farm with sheep to herd, with a litter of other dogs for your puppy to play with or have the ability to let our dogs hunt and sniff for his food. That’s where toys come in!
Toys allow us to provide our dogs with those experiences that they naturally crave, but don’t have access to in domestic life. They replace experiences that would naturally encourage their physical and mental growth in the wild, and help strengthen their muscles and sharpen their minds.
In addition, it’s totally unrealistic to play with or train your dog 24/7. Toys help to fend off boredom. If boredom is left unchecked, it can lead to destructive behaviors in the house or behavioral problems. No one wants that!
In short, toys are not just something fun to buy for your dog. They’re something your dog needs, and it’s your responsibility to provide that for him. Plus, they’re tons of fun for him and you!
So which toys are the best choice for your German Shepherd?
Puppyhood is a wonderful phase of your dog’s life…. But he can also be a little terror at this age. Anyone who has raised a puppy has suffered from daily “shark attacks” on their hands and feet.
From 12 weeks to 6 months old, your puppy is teething. This is a very painful process for him, and he will be desperate to bite anything and everything to relieve the pain.
That’s where the toys come in. It is essential to provide your puppy with teething toys to chew on instead of you or your shoes. When choosing teething toys, you should go for rubber toys that are soft enough not to hurt your puppy’s growing teeth but hard enough not to be broken easily, such as these chew toys.
It’s a great idea also to look into toys that you can freeze, such as this chewing ring. The cold can help with pain associated with chewing.
One important consideration for puppies is the size of the toy. What’s appropriate for a 3-week old puppy may be a choking hazard for a 4-month-old. Always remember to upgrade your toy size as your puppy grows.
Puppyhood is also a good time to introduce your dog to other types of toys. Some dogs enjoy having a comfort toy, a stuffed animal which they can carry around with them or shake and “kill” in their mouth. Puppies may also be excited by squeaky toys or balls they can chase.
Whatever you choose, just make sure that the material is durable enough for a chewer, and be mindful of stuffing if your dog is likely to swallow it. This set is a good variety of stuffed and non-stuffed durable comfort toys your dog might enjoy.
Active Adult Toys
As your German Shepherd gets older and stronger he’ll need toys that fulfill his need for heavy physical activity. Say goodbye to the days of stuffed toys– this is where we bring out the big guns.
An excellent game for your German Shepherd is tug of war, and you’ll probably cycle
through several tug toys throughout your dog's life, no matter how durable.
This is an excellent, tough set of tug ropes that you can purchase. Having multiple kinds of ropes gives your dog multiple textures to chew and tug on, providing them with variety.
If your dog loves to fetch, you’ll want to purchase some durable balls that they can carry in their mouth repeatedly. Fetch is a great way for your dog to burn off steam, so this is a good investment. Chuck It sells a ball and “launcher” together which helps you throw the ball further so your dog can run farther.
German Shepherds need upwards of 2 hours of exercise and mental stimulation a day. An excellent way to provide them with that is through puzzle toys. Puzzle toys require your German Shepherd to figure out a puzzle or provide work in some fashion in order to receive treats. This is a hands-off activity for you, great if you’ve got a busy day ahead.
One of the most famous examples of puzzle toys is Kong brand toys. These toys allow you to hide treats inside and your dog has to figure out how to get them out. These toys are very popular, and you can even freeze yogurt or peanut butter inside them for extra hours of fun.
Puzzle toys have been a game-changer for many dog owners, as they let their dogs tire themselves out by using their natural problem solving and sniffing abilities, which is more exhausting for dogs than many time-consuming walks. If you’ve got a hyper German Shepherd, they could really help you too.
Toys are a really essential part of your German Shepherd’s life. With the above information in mind, you’ll be sure to choose appropriate, enriching toys for your puppy which will end up benefiting both him and you.
If you’ve got any more questions about toys for German Shepherds, let us know in the comments below. We’ll be sure to help you out as best we can!