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How much exercise does a German Shepherd need?

Whether you’re lucky enough to own a German Shepherd already or thinking about having one join your family, knowing just how much exercise these handsome dogs need is a must.

Making sure your German Shepherd gets plenty of exercise and mental stimulation is really important for keeping them healthy and happy. Regular exercise can not only keep them in good shape, but it can also help improve their behaviour and well-being.

How much exercise does a German Shepherd need?

German Shepherds are highly active dogs, originally bred for working and guarding flocks of sheep, and more recently used by military and police forces.

All this means that German Shepherds are among the most high-energy dogs out there. Of course, their exercise needs can vary based on a number of factors including age, fitness level, general health, food intake and more.

That said, most German Shepherds usually need at least 90 minutes of exercise daily. This can be spread across the day and include all sorts of high-energy activities, like walking, running and playing.

To get an exercise goal tailored to your dog, simply download the free PitPat app and enter their details. We’ll tell you how much activity they should be doing every day, which you can then track with our PitPat Dog GPS Tracker or PitPat Dog Activity Monitor.

How much exercise does a German Shepherd puppy need?

German Shepherd puppies won’t need as much exercise as their adult companions. In fact, it’s important not to over-exercise your puppy, as it could lead to joint and mobility issues in later life. This is especially true for this breed since they are prone to conditions like hip dysplasia.

As a rule of thumb, puppies will need five minutes of formal exercise (such as walkies) for every month of their age. 

These walks should be opportunities to explore their environment, work on training and good behaviour outdoors, and socialise with other people and dogs in a controlled manner. 

Your puppy will also get plenty of exercise from tearing around the house and playing, just make sure they’re getting enough sleep and be prepared to interrupt play for naptime if needed.

The easiest way to keep track of how much exercise your puppy is doing is by using a device like our PitPat Dog GPS Tracker or PitPat Dog Activity Monitor. It’s small and light so they won’t notice it on their collar, and it’ll record all the activities they are up to in a day;  from playing with you to pottering in the garden. 

German Shepherd out on a walk

How much exercise does a senior German Shepherd need?

As your German Shepherd ages, they won’t need as much exercise as they once did. It’s important to monitor how much they are getting and to make sure they aren’t overdoing it.

If you use the PitPat app, we’ll set an age-appropriate exercise goal for your dog that decreases as they age. You can also set your own goals manually in case they have higher or lower exercise needs.

What types of exercise are best for German Shepherds?

German Shepherds excel at all sorts of exercise and canine sports thanks to their working background. In addition to their daily walks, you could try:

How can I keep my German Shepherd busy?

Keeping your German Shepherd mentally active is as important as keeping them physically active. For those times when you need them to be calm in the home, there are lots of strategies you can use to keep them occupied. 

Take a look at our enrichment games and activities article for lots of great ideas on keeping them busy, or check out our top 10 indoor games for those days when you can’t get out of the house for a walk.

With the right exercise routine and plenty of mental stimulation, your German Shepherd will stay happy and healthy for their whole life. Get off-lead confidence and track how much activity they do every day with a PitPat GPS or PitPat Dog Activity Monitor.

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