German Shepherds are quite similar to us humans, they get restless and sometimes destructive when they’re bored. Therefore, it’s our duty as owners to keep our beloved dogs entertained. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much effort to do so, especially with the help of dog toys. And so, allow me to present you the best toys for German Shepherds.
Overview : Best Toys For German Shepherds
- Kong Classic Dog Toy
- PAW5: Wooly Snuffle Mat
- Goughnuts Virtually Indestructible Pull Toy
- Nina Ottosson Dog Brick
Overview: Best Toys For German Shepherd Puppies
What To Consider When Buying Toys For Your GSD
Types Of Dog Toys
There are numerous types of dog toys in the market and they all come with varied purposes. That said, some toys are more compatible with German Shepherds as compared to others. Those types are as follows:
Balls Or Fetch Toys. These toys will allow your German Shepherd to engage in a classic game of fetch. They’re great for bonding and providing your dog with the physical stimulation that it needs. What’s awesome, is that there are now automatic ball launchers that will provide your German Shepherd exercise even when you’re away. Just as long as you have space, of course.
Chew Toys. These toys give your German Shepherd something to chew on instead of your shoes or furniture, They’re one of the best toys you can get especially when you have a teething puppy, as not only can they prevent destructive chewing but they also help ease the pain during teething and promote overall dental health.
Rope Toys. German Shepherds love tug-of-war and rope toys allow for that to happen. These are great for bonding and also for providing your German Shepherd an outlet for biting and chewing.
Puzzle Toys. Puzzle toys are great for challenging your German Shepherd and providing mental stimulation. It keeps your GSD active and helps prevent the development of destructive behavior due to boredom.
Safety And Durability
It is of course important that the toys you provide your German Shepherd are safe. And generally, safety is a result of quality and durability. For example, poorly-made rope toys can break into strands that your German Shepherd may accidentally swallow. If that happens, your dog may experience unwanted digestive issues. So consider the materials used for creating each toy. Be sure that they’re durable enough and don’t contain any chemicals that may lead to harm.
Size is another consideration that affects safety. If a toy’s too small, then it can pose a choking hazard. And given that German Shepherds grow to be large dogs, you’d have to opt for toys designed for large breeds.
That said, you should of course, get smaller toys if you have a puppy.
While there isn’t a specific number of toys that you should get, and while you may even be fine with just one, there’s always the possibility of your German Shepherd getting bored of playing with the same toy. So, you might want to consider some variety and cycle around two to three.
Best Toys For German Shepherds
Kong Classic Dog Toy
If I had to choose only one toy to get for my German Shepherd, it would be the Kong Classic. It’s durable to the point of being indestructible, and it can function as a chew toy, fetch toy, and even as a puzzle toy. This means that the Kong Classic can provide for both physical and mental stimulation.
What’s amazing is that despite having such versatility, at the end of the day, the Kong Classic’s very simple toy. It’s just some irregularly shaped rubber which you can stuff food in, but somehow dog’s love it. Part of it’s the food, but I think it’s mostly due to how the toy’s designed.
For instance, it’s irregular shape allows it to bounce around randomly which makes for a more dynamic fetching experience. Also, the fact that you can stuff food treats and seal it, allows it to act as a slow-feeder and a puzzle toy that will challenge your German Shepherd. And just a tip, freezing a stuffed Kong would provide for a better challenge and entertain your German Shepherd longer.
Now, if you do end up checking this toy out, just know that it comes in different sizes. And for that your best bet would be either the X-Large or the XX-Large. If you’re unsure which one to get between the two, I suggest choosing the bigger one.
- Fun fetch toy
- Versatile and durable
- Can stuff treats
- Easy to clean
- Treats can get stuck
- Can still get chewed up
PAW5: Wooly Snuffle Mat
This feeding mat is great for keeping your German Shepherd busy and mentally stimulated.
The premise is simple, you hide food or treats in a grass-like designed mat, and your dog would then try to sniff out and eat those treats. What’s awesome is this actually simulates foraging and thus makes full use of your German Shepherd’s instincts. Through this toy, your GSD will have to make full use of its nose and brain to obtain its reward.
One issue with it though, is that your German Shepherd may learn that it can flip or shake the treats off the mat, which would then render the whole thing useless. So you may have to figure out a way to secure it in place, or you’d have to use it under supervision.
- Easy to clean
- Comfortable and safe
- Highly engaging
- Makes use of your GSD’s instincts
- A bit expensive
- Quite small
- Smart dogs can learn to cheat
Goughnuts Virtually Indestructible Pull Toy
If you want a tug toy for your German Shepherd, I suggest going for this one instead of a rope. Why? Because it’s safer due to durability and so you won’t have to worry about your dog accidentally swallowing strands.
What’s also awesome is that because it’s highly durable, it can double as a chew toy and as a fetch toy. So it’s highly versatile and can entertain your GSD in different ways.
That said, it isn’t perfect. It’s made of rubber and smells of rubber, especially when new. So, it could be a hit or miss if your dog likes it. But the strong smell does eventually go away, and if needed you could try washing it with dish soap to see how that goes. Just know that despite the smell, this toy is made of FDA food grade rubber, so it is safe and non-toxic.
- Extremely durable
- Safe tug of war toy
- Can be used as a chew and fetch toy
- Your dog may avoid it due to the smell
Nina Ottosson Dog Brick
The dog brick is one of multiple Nina Ottoson by Outward Hound variants. It’s an interactive puzzle game designed to mentally stimulate and entertain your German Shepherd.
The concept with this specific variant is simple. You hide treats under different compartments and allow your dog to explore and try to retrieve those treats. Now of course, as a puzzle game it isn’t that simple and your dog must learn how to flip and slide the compartments to get to their reward.
So, if you find it difficult to keep your German Shepherd from getting bored, I highly recommend that you get this one. Also, should your German Shepherd ever master the game to the point that it doesn’t present a challenge, you can always check out the different variants available.
- Easy to set up and clean
- Helps prevent destructive behavior
- Fun and entertaining
- One of many other variants
- Requires supervised use as it may pose a choking hazard
Best Toys For German Shepherd Puppies
Kong Puppy Tires
For German Shepherd puppies, I highly suggest getting a chew toy like the Kong Puppy Tire. It’s soft yet highly durable and while primarily a chew toy, it can also double as a fetch toy and a slow-feeder as you can stuff it with treats and snacks. It’s great for keeping your puppy busy and most importantly helps with teething. Meaning, it will help soothe your puppy while also preventing it from chewing on other items like shoes and furniture.
An important consideration when it comes to puppy toys is size. If the toy is too small, it will pose a choking hazard. And given that we typically purchase online, we can never be too sure. Such is why I prefer the Kong Puppy Tire over other toys such as the puppy variant of the Kong Classic. It’s just more simple as it only comes with two size options (I recommend the medium/large for your GSD puppy.) Add that to the fact that it’s designed like a tire, and you can pretty much guarantee that your puppy won’t be swallowing this one.
- Durable and safe
- Can stuff treats
- Great for teething
- Easy to clean
- You can’t choose the color (blue or pink)
WEST PAW Zogoflex Bumi Tug Toy
If we’re talking about tug toys for puppies, I’d recommend the WEST PAw Zogoflex Bumi. Like my previous tug toy recommendation, this one is not a rope toy and is thus safer.
It’s soft, lightweight, and gentle on your puppy’s mouth yet maintains to be extremely durable and perfect for playing tug of war. But not only that, you can also use this as a fetch toy. Do not however use this as a chew toy as it isn’t built for chewing and may cause it to break. This toy is best used under supervision.
- Soft and gentle
- Easy to clean (dishwasher safe)
- Durability issues when chewed on
That’s it for this article on the best toys for German Shepherd puppies and adults. I hope that it provides you with the necessary information you need for your next purchase. Always remember to prioritize your German Shepherd’s safety and to choose high-quality products. Have fun!