How much Exercise a German shepherd need? [Experts Guide]

German shepherd dogs are an active and high-energy dog breed. So dogs’ daily exercise is very much needed to keep them engaged and healthy. But now the question arises, how much exercise does the German Shepherd need?

German shepherds are used mainly by military and police forces because of their intellectual and physical power. They can be your good partner if appropriately trained.

An active and healthy adult GSD should get at least 2hrs of exercise/day, including walking, swimming and running, etc. But the exercise requirement for you completely depends on your dog.

The exercise required depends on the age of your dog, gender, energy level, and many more factors.

How much Exercise German Shepherd Puppy Need?

GSD puppies require less exercise as compared to adult GSD. But still, exercise is necessary to keep them physically and mentally fit.

GSD puppies should not get the same exercise performed by adult GSD because exercises performed by adult GSD are vigorous and can be harmful to GSD puppies.

A puppy of 3-4 months needs 15-40 min of exercise, a 5-month-old puppy should get 25-45 min of exercise, and a 6-month-old needs 30-60 min of exercise according to the 5 min rule.

These exercises must include walking and fun games to explore the environment. This will help to develop coordination and grow the muscles and bones of your dog.

How Much Exercise Does Senior GSD need?

A senior GSD won’t need as much exercise. As your dog age increases the energy level also decreases. At this age, there are more chances of injury and joint issues among the dogs.

So it becomes important to monitor the exercise they are getting and ensure that they are not overloading.

It means your GSD needs minor exercise as compared to a healthy adult. Low impact exercises of 1hr are good enough to keep your GSD in perfect shape. These low-impact exercises must include walking, swimming, and free playtime.

1. Walking

Walking is an Aerobic exercise that is important for your dog. Most of the trainers will recommend a 1hr/day walk, but I will recommend you at least 30-45min walk/day is enough to give your GSD aerobic exercise.

You can also use a weighted bag with 10% of the weight of your dog. It will tire your dog and help to strengthen the muscles.

2. Play Fetch

Play fetch is another way to do a lot of running in a short period. By playing fetch you check the speed of your dog and also help to build a strong relationship with your dog.

In-play fetches your dog has to do a lot of sprints which will easily tire your dog without overloading.

3. Swimming

Swimming is considered the best way for whole-body exercise because most of the body parts are involved in swimming. They also help to keep your GSD cool in the summers.

Note: This may vary from dog to dog because some GSDs do not like swimming.

4. Toys to Chew

To keep your dog busy you can give a toy to chew on which will keep it busy and mentally stimulated.

Chewing toys will help to keep your dog occupied and also a hormone is released while chewing which helps to keep your dog relaxed.

5 Tug of War

If you are inside the home and want to exercise your dog, Tug of war with your dog can be a good option. For fun, you can use a skateboard and a rope. Now let the dog pull you, it is a good way to do aerobic exercise.

Some of the Best Exercises for GSD

Although GSDs are good in all manner of exercise, these additional exercises will keep your dog mentally and physically fit.

Read More: What is the best dog food for a german shepherd?

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should German shepherds walk?

Usually, an adult German Shepherd needs at least 90 min of walk per day. Distribute it in sections and perform exercises such as walking and swimming.

Are German shepherds fast runners?

German shepherds are used by police and military forces because of their intelligence and speed. They are good sprinters who run 30 miles/hr.

How long can German shepherds run without stopping?

Healthy and adult German shepherds are good sprinters and can run 30 miles/hr and 20miles with stopping. A trained GSD can run longer as it depends on dogs training.

Are German Shepherds the Strongest dog?

German shepherds are well known for their intelligence, but they are also considered strong dogs and lie on the list of strongest dogs.

What are the best exercises for german shepherds?

A list of exercises that german shepherds love is- Hiking, Swimming, Object finding, Frisbee, Walking.

Can German shepherds be left alone?

German shepherds are active dogs and should not be left alone for more than 8 hrs because it can make them bored and can lead to a change in behavior.


The German shepherds are strong, active, and have a good stamina level. Daily exercise is important to keep them physically and mentally healthy.

Exercise of at least 30-45 min/day is good to keep them healthy, but some additional exercises to strengthen muscles and mental stimulation must be there. It will make your dog happy and reduce its frustration.

Activities like unnecessary barking, stiffness, digging, destructive behavior, restlessness, and being depressed are a sign that shows the need for exercise for your dog.

Only exercise to German shepherd is not enough to make your dog healthy, a good rest, diet, and recovery time are also leading factors to keep your dog healthy and fit.

Read More: 6 Ways to Train a German shepherd to Attack? [Full Guide]

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