German shepherd is extremely high intelligent working dogs thus require at least one and half hour or more in a day for exercise. They need to stretch their joints and muscles; else they might develop some behavior or health issues. This guide outlines various exercises to challenge your German shepherd minds:
This is the most common way of exercising your dog, the length of walk is limited by your time and energy of your German shepherd. The minimum time is 45 minutes to 60 minutes in a day. This can be two times or once in a day if your schedule allows. Daily walks are preferred rather than long walks during your specified days.
During this exercise your German shepherd a collar, leash or lead and may be a harness, for the obedient German shepherds one can also give them off leash training at times. While taking your German shepherd for early morning walks or evening when its dark or misty, I advise one to use a reflective collar or harness for safety measures.
Read out more about the best training collar and harness for your German shepherd.
- Running or skating
Then faster your dog moves the more energy it releases, run or bike with your German shepherd to get him moving very fast. German shepherd has very strong stamina which keeps him moving for very long distances, for those who are training for athletics competition your German shepherd can really be a great partner. Just ensure you limit the activity to ensure you don’t over exercise your dog. Also for the stubborn dogs you need a collar and leash to control your German shepherd during the activity.
Click the links below to check out the best harness we recommend for this activity:
Swimming is a good exercise to keep the dogs front legs, muscles and shoulders strong and fit. The activity also does not put strain on joints hence it’s a good way of helping your dog recover from injuries. If you notice your German shepherd is afraid of water, may be it needs some swimming training. During the training I prefer you to use a dog flotation device for your dog’s safety.
check out the below best German shepherd life jackets suitable for swimming activity.
- use of toys
There are very many types of toys that your German shepherd can play with. Puzzle toys help challenge the German shepherd mind and test for problem solving skills. Due to the high knowledge or intelligence of the shepherd, get puzzle toys that are more challenging to your German shepherd and let it work them out.
Check out the best puzzle toy for your German shepherd below.
Also one can purchase chew toys for your German shepherd, many dogs enjoy chewing a lot thus its one way to occupy them a lot. Chewing helps relax your dog.
Check out the best chew toy for your dog.
Symptoms of over exercised German shepherd
1. wear and tear on paw pads
Pad injuries are very painful, when one takes a look at an overworked pad, one can see a ruptured blister. It might appear red, if it has been infected it starts to swell. A concrete path can easily damage a running or spinning dog.
2. Muscle pain
Muscular pain and stiffness shows that your dog rests following excess exercise, when the dog is about to get up, one might notice some struggle. The dog might also resist to move up and down the stairs. Some dogs have a strong drive to work hence they will push through fatigue and injury. It’s good for one to set boundaries and limit to avoid these kind of injuries.
3. Heat exhaustion
At times your dog tends to overheat very much compared even to human beings, when one over exercises a dog it overheats due to:
- They don’t lose heat from sweat very easily, dogs have sweat pores in their paws.
- When walking or running they cannot resist or say no to you even if you take them for over 6 miles.
- They have fats that provide addition insulation hence they overheat, exercise them slowly to help them shed the fat easily.
4. Joint injury
Leg joints are at a great risk of being damaged, limps carry more of the dog’s weight. Some breeds that are low and long to the ground have unusual shaped joints which puts their limps at ease of injury.
5. Behavior changes
When your dog normally walks or runs with you but after a while it resists to go further, this is a sign that something is wrong. One should investigate the issue and shouldn’t force the dog to go beyond there.
How much exercise does a 2-year-old or less German shepherd need?
For a two or less years old, exercise is somehow different as their bones and muscles are still developing. Long walks and strenuous activities might harm the puppy, activities with high impact on the joints should be avoided. For these young dogs, we prefer them to play with other puppies as a way of exercising their body. Use the formula “five minutes’ exercise per month of age” until the puppy has grown fully, this means that you multiply how old your puppy is with five to get the length of exercise it should get.
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