5 Ways To Tire Your Dog Out

5 Ways To Tire Your Dog Out

If you own a German shepherd, then you know how active they are. They’re definitely not the type of dog that’s content to chill out on the couch all day. They need an outlet for all their energy, or they can become anxious and even destructive.

Since they were bred to work, it’s in their nature to be busy and active. They are also super smart and love to use their mind to learn new things, solve problems, and find ways to entertain themselves.

A bored German shepherd is never a good idea. They can and will find ways to keep themselves busy. And usually, the activities they come up with on their own wouldn’t be your first choice of entertainment.


This energetic and inquisitive nature is what makes them so special and why they are used to doing real jobs, like working alongside the police, and military, on working ranches, in search and rescue, as service animals, and much more.

But their work ethic is also what makes them a challenge to own for people not prepared to spend hours training, exercising, and playing with their dogs. But the good news is, they don’t have to have a “real” job to be content.

With a little planning and preparation, even busy German shepherds can make great family pets. But the investment of time and love you put into your dog will be repaid to you tenfold with their loyalty and devotion.


Here are five ways you can tire your German shepherd out:

1. Kick your walk up a notch

German shepherds love to walk, hike, and explore with their noses. You can help burn off some of their mental and physical energy by taking on a walk in new places, such as a new neighborhood, in the woods, on the beach, in a park, on a city street, pet-friendly store, and more.

When they are in new territory, they engage their senses in new ways by using their nose to pick up new scents, their eyes to see new things, and their ears to hear new sounds. This stimulation is not only entertaining, but it will also wear them out.

These types of walks take a little planning since you’ll most likely have to drive to your walking location but once there, you and your dog will not only get some exercise, but it will also help strengthen your bond because you’ll be doing something new and having something to look forward to together.


2. Go back to school

German shepherds are lifelong learners. They thrive when they are challenged and can learn new things. So as long as your dog is still physically fit, they may enjoy some new challenges in a new environment.

Obedience classes and dog sports might be something to try with your pup. Your dog will have to have some basics down before attending. So, brush up on their recall, stays, down, and heel, and then head toward a class near you. Preparing to return to school is also a way to help tire your dog out.

Since German shepherds have lots of drive, they usually love sports. Some ideas to check out include dock diving, swimming, flyball, barn hunt, flyball, advanced obedience/rally, agility, herding, tracking, and Schutzhund.


3. Tug games

Playing tug with your dog can be a powerful training tool. It’s rewarding, fun, and engaging as well as physically active. It helps teach your dog to bring things back to you and reinforces the release command as well as improves impulse control.

When you teach your dog to play tug, they’ll learn how to have fun with their tug, learn to release the tug on command (outing), and learn to return the tug to you for the next round.
Tug teaches dogs that it’s fun and rewarding to bring toys back to you so that you can play again, and that hoarding isn’t rewarding.

Dogs also learn they can win and celebrate their prize without being dominant, which also helps prevent resource guarding and encourages them to listen and return to you. Playing tug is something that doesn’t take a lot of room, is rewarding, and is always something that you do together, which makes it a win-win for you and your pup.


4. Practice new skills

Your German shepherd loves to use their mind and also please you. They are happiest when you’re together just doing stuff. Your dog may have already learned the basics and more but there really is no limit to how many things they can learn.

By teaching them a new trick or improving upon an area of training, you can help tire them out. Learning new things is also great for older dogs who may not have the physical ability they once did but still enjoy keeping their mind sharp.

You can make it more challenging by teaching them something new with distractions, in different rooms, at new places, and even on walks. Everywhere you go is really an opportunity to reinforce their training and reward them, which helps use up some of their energy.


It is amazing how just a few minutes of training sprinkled throughout the day will engage them and keep them occupied and focused. Of course, they will want a reward for all their hard work and that’s when you can top off their energy with some rewarding playtime.

5. Plenty of exercise and playtime

No matter how much training you do, your German shepherd will still need to run and play, every single day. When they can’t go outside because of bad weather or something, you can play some games indoors, such as tug, hide and seek, or scent work but there is no replacement for them getting moving outdoors.

Since they are athletic and have a lot of endurance, they need to run, jog, chase, catch, and release their pent-up zoomies so they can relax and be calm indoors. This is not optional for them, and they don’t do well when they can’t go out and burn off their pent-up energy.

Short training sessions followed by exercise and playtime are very rewarding for them. Some ideas include brisk walking, loose leash running, swimming, find it, backyard agility, and playing catch/fetch with a ball or and the flying disc.


We hope that these tips help you and your dog have some fun together. German shepherds are great dogs but require work and commitment to meet their needs and need a family willing to provide it.

They are worth every minute for people who have the time and energy to spend with them. There is no better breed and not many require the same activity level that they do. As always, please feel free to share with your friends.

You may also like: German Shepherd Head Tilts, What Do They Mean?

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