German Shepherds are one of the most popular breeds for their intelligence, loyalty, and trainability. Although they may seem like serious working dogs, they also love to play and interact with their surroundings. Therefore, it’s critical to invest in quality dog toys for GSDs.
The overall best dog toy for German Shepherds is the Monster K9 Ultra-Durable Chew Toy. It functions as a chew and fetch toy, allowing you to use it in various games. The durable ring is also resistant to heavy chewing, allowing it to withstand your GSDs powerful jaws.
This guide covers the best dog toys for German Shepherds. I take an unbiased look at leading models for each category and explore their different characteristics. I also discuss how much exercise and play a GSD needs to be healthy and fulfilled.
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|Best Overall||Monster K9 Ultra-Durable Chew Toy||4.7/5|
|Savvy Pick||Redline K9 3 Handle Targeting French Linen Dog Bite Wedge Toy||5/5|
|Best Chew Toy||Hartz Chew ‘n Clean Large Dog Chew||4.8/5|
|Best Tug of War Toy||ChuckIt! Ultra Dog Tug Toy||4.6/5|
|Best Fetch Toy||Chew King Fetch Balls||4.7/5|
|Best Puzzle Toy||Outward Hound Advanced Puzzle Toy||4.4/5|
|Best Pick for Puppies||ZippyPaws Woodland Friends Interactive Hide and Seek Plush Toy||4.7/5|
|Best Pick for Destructive Dogs||Nylabone Power Chewer Textured Dog Chew Ring||4.3/5|
Product Reviews for German Shepherd Dog Toys
Best Overall: Monster K9 Ultra-Durable Chew Toy
The Monster K9 Ultra-Durable Chew Toy is the overall best dog toy for German Shepherds. One of its most significant advantages is its versatility, allowing you to engage your dog in a game of fetch or tug of war. You can also safely leave it with your GSD to chew on alone.
It is made of durable natural rubber in a smooth ring shape. This combination of lack of corners and resistant rubber allows the toy to withstand vigorous chewing. Therefore, it could be a suitable option for destructive German Shepherds.
It is challenging for dogs to tear off small pieces of this tough toy. Therefore, you shouldn’t need to worry about your German Shepherd puppy choking or ingesting harmful material. However, I recommend supervising him with this toy, especially as it wears down over time.
The toy is non-toxic and shouldn’t pose any risks to your dog. Furthermore, the company offers a lifetime replacement guarantee in case your GSD tears apart the chew toy. Therefore, I consider it to be excellent value for money.
However, the durable rubber toy may be too simple for some dogs. It has a smooth texture without interesting smells or flavoring, so playtime could get a little repetitive. Furthermore, the black color makes it more challenging to locate in long grass or around the house.
Overall, this dog toy is versatile, durable, and an excellent option for your German Shepherd pup.
- The natural rubber is resistant to chewing and destructive behavior.
- The material is non-toxic.
- Your dog can use it for fetch, tug of war, or independent chewing sessions.
- It comes with a lifetime guarantee.
- The toy has only one texture and no other sensory stimuli.
- The black color can make it difficult to locate.
Savvy Pick: Redline K9 3 Handle Targeting French Linen Dog Bite Wedge Toy
The Redline K9 3 Handle Targeting French Linen Dog Bite Wedge Toy is the Savvy pick for GSDs. It is an essential tool if you are looking to get into bite work, which stimulates your dog’s instinct to bite and teaches him to control when to stop. Suppose you are looking into starting this sport. In that case, I recommend combining this interactive toy with some training sessions from a certified dog trainer.
The bite wedge is very strong and solid, allowing your large breed dog to close his teeth completely and pull around the material without damaging it. However, it is also lightweight, so you won’t feel weighed down by holding up the toy. You can position it correctly with the three handles and avoid putting your hands or body in danger.
It has a large surface area and could be an excellent option for younger German Shepherds starting in the sport. As your GSD grows, you may like to upgrade to a larger size or incorporate different shapes.
However, you must be mindful of this German Shepherd toy’s purpose. It is not an item you can leave alone with your dog to chew on or play unstructured games. It is essential to train your dog correctly to understand the rules of the game so that you and your dog don’t get hurt.
- It is a safe option for bite work.
- It is solid and resistant to damage.
- The lightweight material is accessible for you to hold and position.
- It has three handles so you can protect your hands and position them correctly.
- It is one of the more expensive dog toys for German Shepherds.
- You cannot leave it with your dog unsupervised.
Best Chew Toy: Hartz Chew ‘n Clean Large Dog Chew
The Hartz Chew ‘n Clean Large Dog Chew is the best chew toy for German Shepherds. It has a firm nylon outer with ridged edges that can massage your dog’s gums, remove tartar, and improve his dental health.
Many German Shepherds enjoy chewing, whether because of teething, boredom, or natural behavior. However, unless you provide the correct toys, your teething puppy may seek to destroy your furniture, shoes, or other possessions. The Hartz toy can give a safe outlet for an aggressive chewer.
Because of its firmness, the chew toy is resistant and doesn’t break easily. This makes it suitable for powerful chewers that may destroy softer items. However, I recommend monitoring your GSD after chewing it for a while to make sure that the edges don’t become too sharp.
It has bacon flavoring and smells to increase your dog’s interest. If your German Shepherd is food-motivated, it may encourage him to direct his attention towards the toy instead of other items. Because the flavoring is throughout the material, it shouldn’t diminish over time.
I would recommend reconsidering giving this teething toy to puppies or senior German Shepherds. The firmness of the nylon could be excessive for young gums or older mouths with missing teeth. However, it is an excellent option for adult GSDs that love a healthy chewing session.
- It can improve your dog’s dental health.
- The puppy toy has a bacon smell and flavor to increase interest.
- It is firm and resistant to damage.
- The bone is large enough to prevent a choking hazard.
- It is suitable for destructive chewers.
- The edges can become sharp over time.
- It could be too firm for puppies or senior dogs.
Best Tug of War Toy: ChuckIt! Ultra Dog Tug Toy
The ChuckIt! Ultra Dog Tug Toy is the best tug of war toy for GSDs. Most tug of war toys use a rope design that is flexible but potentially harmful if your dog tears it apart. In contrast, the ChuckIt! toy has a durable tennis ball attached to a flexible but firm double nylon strap.
This diverse rope toy allows you to play tug of war or fetch with your German Shepherd. If you opt for the former, your dog can grab the ball directly and hold it in his mouth. There are a few different size options to suit your particular pup. However, I don’t recommend leaving your dog alone with the toy to chew on.
It has a strong nylon strap that you can grip from the other end. This material is not easy to tear or rip, but it is a bit firm. You may find it uncomfortable to hold onto if you have sensitive skin on your hands.
If you choose to use it for fetch, the ball is exceptionally bouncy across various surfaces. It is also textured and durable, preventing it from scratching or breaking on rocks, dirt, or other rough terrains. The bright orange color makes it easier to locate in the long grass, but this shade can fade over time and sunlight exposure.
- You can use it for tug of war or fetch games.
- There are different size options.
- It is excellent value for money.
- The ball is bouncy, textured, and durable.
- It has a flexible and robust strap.
- The color can fade over time in the sun.
- The handle can be uncomfortable to hold.
- You should not leave it alone with your dog to chew on.
Best Fetch Toy: Chew King Fetch Balls
The Chew King Fetch Balls are the best fetch toys for German Shepherds. They are made of natural rubber, making them a smooth and odorless alternative to traditional tennis balls. They also do not absorb the moisture that tennis ball fibers too, which could be a lifesaver if your dog drools a lot.
They are durable and have hollow centers. This allows you to stuff treats inside if you want to challenge your dog at mealtimes. You could also put peanut butter or canned dog food inside and freeze the ball to make a long-lasting treat.
One of the innovative safety features of these balls is the safety air vent. If the ball should get stuck inside of your GSD’s mouth, it won’t cut off his air supply in the meantime. It also prevents his tongue from getting stuck inside and potentially injuring him.
You can choose from a variety of sizes that could be suitable for your GSD. I recommend erring on the side of caution and going for the biggest size. This could be particularly crucial if your German Shepherd is a destructive chewer.
Overall, this dispensing toy is an excellent value for money, especially considering that you get three in one pack. If you’re looking for an alternative to simple tennis balls for your German Shepherd, you should consider the Chew King toys.
- You get three balls in one pack.
- The natural rubber is odorless and has a smooth texture.
- The balls have hollow centers to stuff treats inside.
- They are bouncy and durable.
- There is a safety air vent to prevent your dog’s tongue from sticking.
- There are medium and large sizes.
- The balls may not withstand particularly destructive dogs.
Best Puzzle Toy: Outward Hound Advanced Puzzle Toy
The Outward Hound Advanced Puzzle Toy is the best puzzle toy for GSDs. Puzzle toys are excellent sources of mental stimulation, particularly when you have an intelligent dog like a German Shepherd. Otherwise, your pup may take out this boredom by digging, chewing, or howling.
It allows you to fill small trays with treats or your dog’s usual food. You can then close the trays and let your dog figure out how to open them. If you want to increase the difficulty, you can even rotate the bone sections to lock the drawers. This is an advanced-level toy and therefore suitable for dogs that like a challenge.
The toy is relatively durable, and you can clean it with soap and water. It is also free from harmful chemicals like PVC, phthalate, and BPA. However, you should not leave your dog unsupervised with the toy as it is not suitable for tough chewers.
Whether or not this is a good option for your German Shepherd will probably depend on your dog’s personality. My dog becomes discouraged quickly when it is too difficult for her to get the treat or food out of an item. However, other dogs may spend hours trying to crack the puzzle and succeed.
Overall, this could be an excellent option if you want to get your dog thinking and problem-solving. Rather than simply giving him his food, you can increase the difficulty with a puzzle toy.
- You can customize the difficulty level.
- The parts are non-removable to avoid a choking hazard.
- It is durable enough to avoid breaking.
- The toy is free from toxic chemicals.
- You can clean it easily.
- It is pretty good value for money.
- You should not leave it with an unsupervised dog.
- Some dogs may become discouraged.
Best Pick for Puppies: ZippyPaws Woodland Friends Interactive Hide and Seek Plush Toy
The ZippyPaws Woodland Friends Interactive Hide and Seek Plush Toy is the best option for German Shepherd puppies. This super cute toy doubles a plush and puzzle toy, allowing your puppy to pull the woodland animals out of the larger log piece.
It can stimulate your GSDs brain by teaching him how to solve puzzles. He has to maneuver the smaller toys around, and it can train him to respond to more complicated puzzles in the future. Even though there are smaller parts, they are still large enough to avoid choking your puppy.
The toy is soft, cute, and also has squeakers inside. It could suit puppies that love gently nibbling on toys or sleeping with teddy bears. However, you should not give this toy to a destructive German Shepherd. It is soft and has stuffing inside, which could be a hazard if your puppy breaks it open.
It is budget-friendly and overall adorable. I recommend this toy for German Shepherd puppies that are reasonably gentle with their possessions. As always, I would not give this item to an unsupervised dog.
- It can stimulate your GSD’s brain.
- The toy is soft and plush for dogs that like cuddling their toys.
- The individual parts are large enough to prevent choking.
- It is budget-friendly.
- It has squeakers inside.
- The woodland animals are very cute.
- The toy is not suitable for dogs that like to destroy delicate items.
- It contains stuffing.
Best Pick for Destructive Dogs: Nylabone Power Chewer Textured Dog Chew Ring
The Nylabone Power Chewer Textured Dog Chew Ring is the best chew toy for destructive German Shepherds. Powerful and dangerous GSDs may destroy regular chew toys in just minutes, making you feel like you’ve wasted your time. I’ve lived this experience with my Golden Retriever, so I know the importance of investing in durable options.
It is made of super durable nylon arranged in different pieces in a ring shape. Each of the sections has slightly different textures, and it has a flavor mixture of various meats and other treats. Therefore, there is a lot of sensory input that could keep your German Shepherd engaged.
It is durable enough to withstand destructive chewers and also improve their dental health. The ridged edges can stimulate your dog’s gums, removing tartar and increasing blood flow. If your dog has plaque or bad breath, a combination of brushing his teeth and giving him chew bone toys could help with the issue.
However, you should be careful if your dog tries to bite the toy very hard. He should gnaw on the hard material and work at it from different angles. If your GSD tries to chomp down on a large section, he may break a tooth or cause gum bleeding. Therefore, you should ensure that the chew toy suits his chewing style.
Overall, this toy is heavy-duty and can help destructive chewers work out some of their chewing energy. However, I don’t recommend it for puppies, senior German Shepherds, or sensitive dogs with dental issues.
- The nylon material is very strong.
- It has multiple textures to engage your dog.
- It has various flavors and odors.
- It can help clean your dog’s teeth.
- There are a few size options.
- The ring shape is easy to carry.
- The materials may be too hard for some dogs and cause bleeding in their gums.
Buying Guide: How to Choose a Dog Toy for a German Shepherd
What Is the Best German Shepherd Dog Toy?
When it comes to German Shepherd toys, a German Shepherd owner should consider the following aspects:
- Durability: German Shepherds have strong jaws, and that means soft toys won’t last long with them. They need hard toys that can resist the constant chewing, especially if your adult dog is destructive. Durable toys tend to be more expensive, but they will last a lot longer, making them a good investment.
- Difficulty: Difficult dog toys like dog puzzles can work wonders for your German Shepherd. The toys can provide hours of play and entertainment while stimulating your dog’s mind. A mentally stimulated dog is less destructive and more obedient, making dog puzzles the best ally for energetic dogs.
- Size: Another aspect to consider when getting a dog toy for your German Shepherd is the size. Big dogs can easily swallow small toys, and that can be a threat to their lives. If you are looking for a dog toy for your German Shepherd, ensure it is small enough to fit in his mouth but big enough for him not to swallow it.
- Textures: Dogs can get bored quickly from the same kind of toys. If you are getting your German Shepherd a new chewing toy, try to get one with many different textures. Your pup may enjoy focusing on the various surfaces and extend chewing time.
What to Avoid in GSD Dog Toys?
If you have a German Shepherd, avoid the following features in a dog toy:
- Rope toys: When buying toys for your German Shepherds, try avoiding rope toys. Your dog’s powerful jaws could destroy the toy in minutes, especially if he has a history of destructive behavior. This is especially dangerous with rope toys because the tiny fibers can catch in the throat or stomach.
- Soft toys: Avoid buying soft toys like stuffed animals for German Shepherds. They have powerful jaws and sharp teeth, and they can easily break them down. If they rip up the toys, all the stuffing will come out, which can be extremely harmful to your dog. The filling can cause your GSD to choke or can cause stomach pain and other complications.
- Extra-hard materials: Dog teeth are strong but at the same time delicate. Extra hard materials can cause bleeding in their gums and can even break the teeth. If your dog is a heavy chewer, avoid extra hard materials and go for a durable toy easy on the teeth.
- Detachable parts: Small toys are easy to swallow, and that also goes for toys with detachable parts. If your dog can remove the different parts of the toy, they could eat it and hurt themselves. So, to avoid any accidents with the toys, get them a durable option of the correct size.
How Much Exercise Does a German Shepherd Need?
If you own a German Shepherd, exercising him for at least two hours a day is the best thing you can do. This breed is highly energetic because they were bred for working on the fields for long hours. However, two hours of playing and some IQ puzzles for dogs will be enough for your German Shepherd.
Dogs like German Shepherds have high stamina, making them the wrong choice if you spend a lot of time away from home or if you live in a small apartment. When German Shepherds get bored, they tend to become destructive. Additionally, most of them will constantly bark if not given the right amount of attention throughout the day.
Additionally, unlike other breeds, German Shepherds do not tend to struggle with weight. It means that with the proper diet they will remain fit and healthy.
Tip: Try to divide the exercise time in playing and training. The more training you do with your German Shepherd, the better it will be for the two of you. With the proper training and playtime, your dog won’t crave chewing on shoes or scratching doors.
If you only give German Shepherd playtime and no training, he can become disobedient. On the other hand, only focusing on training can bore them. Bored dogs tend to become destructive and, in some cases, aggressive.
Are German Shepherds Playful?
German Shepherds love to play, and some consider this breed to be eternal puppies. They are not on the same level as Golden Retrievers, but if you have kids or other dogs that can play with them, it would be best. Your German Shepherd may want to play almost all day if possible.
You should set times and routines. They are extra-smart and obedient, and they will adapt quickly to your schedule. Organize some puppy playdates with other puppies or dogs in the neighborhood if you don’t have other dogs or kids that can entertain your German Shepherd.
How Do You Mentally Stimulate a German Shepherd?
German Shepherds are working dogs that have proven excellent for different jobs, from canine police and drug detection to herding and guarding in the fields. They are highly intelligent, easy to train, obedient, and energetic, meaning they also need to be mentally stimulated apart from the daily physical exercise.
Here’s what you can do to stimulate your German Shepherd mentally:
- Dog chew toys and bones: One of the best ways to mentally stimulate a dog is using chew toys. When dogs chew, it releases endorphins in their brains. They can keep chewing for hours if you don’t stop them, and it is also a great way to avoid plaque and gum problems.
- Dog puzzles: Another way to stimulate your Shepherd’s brain is with dog puzzles. This type of toy makes the dog work to get the treats. They will have to use their brains to solve the mystery, and once they do it, they will receive food. Most dogs love treats, so they will want to keep playing with the toy until they get everything out.
- Intelligence games: If you have time to play with your dog throughout the day, I recommend games like hide-and-seek. This game requires the use of sight and smell. A dog’s nose is linked directly to his brain, meaning that the more he uses his nose, the more the game will stimulate him mentally.
- Training: One more way to stimulate your dog’s mind is to train him daily. Dogs with a lot of intelligence need to be trained. They need to know what the rules are because their brains work that way. German Shepherds are one of the easiest breeds to train because of their background, and that means they need the training to keep them mentally stimulated.
- Treat finding: If your German Shepherd is food motivated, then a game of treat finding is the best way to go. Finding the treats will put his nose to work and make him concentrate on the task at hand.
- Socializing time: If there are other playful dogs in the neighborhood, it could be a good idea to set up some playdates. Dogs use their brains when communicating with other dogs because that’s how they are hardwired to think.
- Daily exercise and agility training: Daily exercise and agility training are two of the most effective ways to stimulate your German Shepherd physically and mentally. Dogs use their brains to explore the area, pick up on patterns, and understand their surroundings. The more they exercise, the more they can learn and stimulate their brains.
This video has some additional ideas for how to stimulate your dog mentally.
In conclusion, the Best Overall dog toy for German Shepherds is the Monster K9 Ultra-Durable Chew Toy. It is durable and versatile, making it suitable for all kinds of games and chewing styles.
The Redline K9 3 Handle Targeting French Linen Dog Bite Wedge Toy is the Savvy Pick. It is an excellent tool if you want to train your GSD in bite work and explore his instincts.
When choosing a dog toy for your German Shepherd, you should consider his size, strength, and playing style. You should also grab puzzle toys or other challenging items that can work your GSD’s brain.
Overall, German Shepherds are one of the most intelligent breeds. If you don’t put their brains to work, you may have a destructive and bored dog. Invest in quality toys, give your GSD lots of exercise, and watch him flourish.
All content has been reviewed for accuracy by Dr. Megan Teiber, DVM.