How to keep a German Shepherd busy
The German Shepherd’s high intelligence makes them fairly high maintenance pets. By this, we mean that they need a lot of stimulation, and without it, they can become bored, lonely, and underworked very easily.
Understimulation often results in anxiety and destructive behaviors. Anxious Sheps may bark and howl excessively, destroy their possessions, ruin household objects, and even harm themselves. To prevent – and cure – chronic boredom, owners must make sure they provide German Shepherds with enough exercise, challenging play, and interesting interactions.
If your German Shepherd’s anxiety becomes severe, you can aid your lifestyle changes with some anti-anxiety products like herbal supplements and plug-in diffusers until their mood and behavior pick up.
The best way to exercise your German Shepherd is with long, fun walks. Exactly how much exercise your Shep needs will depend on their age and health. However, the average healthy adult German Shepherd needs at least two hours of exercise per day, preferably split into two or three walks.
Developing pups should build up to this with 5 minutes of exercise per month of their age twice a day, and older Sheps should wind down as per their vet’s advice.
German Shepherds love to go to different places and do different activities on their walks, too. So, try out some different parks, trails, woodlands, and beaches if you live on the coast and experiment with hiking, running, swimming, picnics, and, of course, a few games of fetch.
Not only is socializing super stimulating, but it also helps to prevent loneliness and boredom. Although German Shepherds have a tough-guy reputation, they still need just as much love and affection as any other dog.
You should try to involve them in your family life as much as you can, interact with as many friendly dogs and people as possible when out on walks. Never leave a dog alone for more than four hours at a time, and look into pet sitters and doggy daycares if you are going to be away from home on a regular basis.
Engaging the brain is the best way to prevent boredom in German Shepherds. Their minds need to be entertained and challenged every day, and playing games are a great way to do that.
Dogs also love to play games that exercise their natural instincts. For German Shepherds, this means classic games like fetch and chase are always firm favorites, as well as games that test out their agility and intelligence.
Hide and seek, treasure hunt, and the cup game are some of the most popular choices. To play hide and seek, ask your Shep to sit and wait while you hide somewhere in the house. Then, call them to come and find you. This is both fun, challenging, and engages their inner sniffer dogs. To play treasure hunt, follow the rules of hide and seek but hide their favorite toy or some treats instead.
The cup game is a little more challenging but great for brainy breeds like the German Shepherd. To play, get two cups and place them face-down, side by side on the floor in front of your Shep. Then, make sure they’re watching, and put a treat underneath one of them. Finally, switch the cups around and ask them to find the treat. Once your Shep has mastered the game, you could switch the cups twice, add another treat into the mix, or even another cup.