Exercising your German Shepherd puppy is necessary no matter what age your dog is.
You will need to exercise your German Shepherd puppy so they get all that they need and benefit both their body and minds.
Here is a complete guide for exercising your German Shepherd puppy.
How much exercise do German Shepherd puppies need?
As a general rule, your puppy should have 5 minutes of exercise daily per month of age.
German Shepherd puppies needs for exercise are different than that of adult German Shepherds.
With German Shepherd puppies, their bones, muscles, and their joints are still developing so they will need to have an exercise that isn’t rigorous.
The best exercise for a German Shepherd puppy is free play so they control their own pace and know when to stop and when to play.
You also got to be careful with overexercising your German Shepherd puppy because you don’t want to harm their joints, bones, and muscles.
If you overexercise your German Shepherd puppy, there are signs such as lagging behind, lying down, or panting.
As German Shepherd puppies get older, you can take them out on a walk allowing them to sniff and explore while they are on a leash.
It’s important to know when the exact period of time to walk your puppy.
The exact age to walk your puppy is when they are three months old because they took vaccination.
Types of exercise that German Shepherd puppies can do
You can walk your German Shepherd puppy on short walks as they will enjoy it and release the energy that they have.
When can you start to walk your puppy?
The best time to start walking your German Shepherd puppy is after they have been vaccinated.
Even then, you will have to wait two weeks after your puppy’s final vaccination and then take them for a walk.
The time and distance of each walk depend on how old your German Shepherd is but the 5 minutes rule still applies.
Once your German Shepherd puppy is an adult, they can walk longer distances.
How often should you walk your German Shepherd puppy?
You can walk your German Shepherd puppy every day as long they don’t exceed the 5 minutes rule which is 5 minutes for each month of age. The walks must be short.
Consider your German Shepherd puppy energy levels and size because if you give them too much exercise, their joints and bones will be harmed.
The bones and joints of large dog breeds mature more slowly than those of smaller dogs. German Shepherds are considered one of the large dog breeds.
Your German Shepherd puppy should never walk long walks until they are eight months old. However, it’s okay for them to walk short walks.
Games suitable for puppies
You can play with your puppy short games such as fetch, tug of war, or let them play with toys.
These games are suitable for your puppy as well as it won’t cause them any harm and will not overexercise them.
Here’s how to teach your puppy games like fetch, tug of war, and playing with toys.
Choose a location
In this step, choose a location that has enough space and enclosed at the same time.
A good place can be your backyard that has a fence so they can run freely in a safe place.
After you have decided on the location, show your puppy the ball and have them sit.
Throw the ball
When your puppy is sitting down and looking at the ball, tell them the command “ok’ so you can let them move and then throw the ball a few feet away.
Tell them the command “fetch”
When your puppy grabs the ball, tell them the command fetch so they associate it with fetching the ball.
Act enthusiastically and excited so they know that fetching the ball is good behavior.
When your German Shepherd puppy returns to you with the ball, have another ball ready with you so you can ask your puppy to ” drop it” and throw the other ball instead.
Praise them for doing a good job by telling them reassuring words and praise.
Offer a treat
If your German Shepherd puppy doesn’t drop the ball, get a treat and put it on top of their nose and ask them to “drop it”.
Keep doing this until they drop the ball. Then, give them the treat.
To teach your German Shepherd puppy fetching, you will need to be patient so you don’t rush your puppy.
Also, you will need to not scold or get angry at your puppy so they don’t become afraid.
Repeat these steps for your German Shepherd puppy to learn how to fetch.
Tug of war
Grab the toy with your hand
Get a suitable toy for tug of war such as rope toys so your German Shepherd puppy can play tug of war with it.
Then, ask your puppy to sit. When they do sit, wave the toy in front of their face. Try to let your puppy grab the middle part of the toy.
When they do grab the toy, encourage them to play by moving the toy back and forth letting them pull the toy while you hold it.
Let this tug of war continue for 10 to 20 seconds.
Say the command “drop it”
To teach your puppy to drop the toy, say the command “drop it” and stop pulling on the toy but you have to still be holding the toy.
Then, tell them to “sit” so your puppy can release the toy and sit. When your puppy releases the toy, immediately tell them to “get it”.
By repeating these steps, your German Shepherd puppy will learn when to drop the toy and when to get it.
Replace what your puppy chews on with a toy
If you find that your German Shepherd puppy chews on objects such as cushions or furniture, you can replace it with a dog toy that is soft and fluffy on their teeth.
To get your puppy to start playing with the toy, show them excitement so they know that playing with the toy is encouraged.
You could also pat them and praise them when they are playing with the toy.
Fill the toy with treats
You can also fill the toy with treats so they can be more welcoming of playing with the toys.
This is especially true in some rubber toys where you can hide in them treats.
Your puppy will work hard to get the treats working up their mind and body.
German Shepherd puppy walking by age
2-months-old puppy German Shepherd
A German Shepherd puppy who is 2 months old puppy can get 10 minutes of exercise per day. You can walk them once early in the morning and the other time late afternoon.
You got to leave time between the two times so your puppy has time to rest.
4 months old puppy German Shepherd
When your puppy is 4 months old, you can take them on a walk using a leash as well as other exercises such as games like fetch, tug of war, or chew toys.
You can exercise your puppy early in the morning, afternoon, or evening.
It is best to break up the time so your German Shepherd puppy can rest and have time to recover.
6 months old puppy German Shepherd
When your German Shepherd puppy is 6 months old, you can walk them for 30 minutes.
You can still combine playtime as well as walking time so your German Shepherd puppy gets all the exercise that they need.
It is best to walk your German Shepherd puppy early in the morning where the pavement isn’t hot and it’s cool enough to walk your puppy without any problem.
Your puppy will also get the mental stimulation that they need when they learn to not pull the leash.
12 months old German Shepherd
At this age, your German Shepherd can be trained on basic obedience training as well as get the exercise that they need.
If you want to train your German Shepherd puppy on basic obedience training, you can still do so by starting when they are 4 months old.
As for exercise, they can get 1-hour exercise in the form of walking, running, swimming, or other exercises.
As they grow older, you can take them on exercise for 2 hours because they are a breed with high energy.
To know more about the type of exercise for your German Shepherd, check How Much Exercise does your German Shepherd Need?
How to train a German Shepherd puppy to walk on a leash?
The basic heel method
Get your puppy ready
Fit your German Shepherd puppy with a collar, harness, and leash that is appropriate for their size.
Let them explore and sniff the leash while giving them the chance to walk around the house with the leash on them.
Don’t handle them in this step rather leave them to get used to the weight of the leash or harness and collar.
Position the puppy
Position your German Shepherd on your left side and hold the leash. Don’t create a major distance between you and your puppy.
Over time, you can create a small distance between your puppy and yourself.
Start to introduce the command “heel” by first taking a step forward and telling your puppy the command heel.
Take a few steps forward and give your puppy another treat.
Start walking with your puppy while not matching their pace while keeping the leash tight without pulling.
As your puppy walks next to you, give them treats as a way to reward them for walking next to you.
Increase the distance
While you walk your German Shepherd puppy, increase the distance as they continue to walk alongside you.
As you walk further, treat your German Shepherd puppy less often. Stop whenever your puppy is pulling the leash and wait until they stop walking and calm down.
Then, walk again and treat them for doing a good job. Keep practicing until they continue to walk beside you whenever you take them on a walk.
The let’s go for a walk method
Get your puppy excited about the walk
Train your puppy to understand a command for going on a walk. It can be as simple as “let’s go for a walk”.
When you say the command, attach the leash on your German Shepherd puppy and
Before taking your German Shepherd puppy outside for a walk, practice inside so they can get used to walking while being on a leash.
As you start to walk forward, your puppy will follow you so watch them as they do and give them a treat for walking beside you.
If they don’t follow you, tighten the leash and call them by name so they don’t pull the leash.
Give them a treat when they do walk alongside you. If they don’t walk beside you, keep practicing until they do.
Take your puppy outside
After practicing indoors, you can take them outdoors for leash walking. Repeat the same steps that you did while being inside your home so they know what to do.
How do I get my puppy to stop pulling on the leash?
If your puppy pulls: When your puppy pulls you in another direction, stop your movement. Stand very still and refuse to move until your dog calms down.
Don’t drag your puppy to stop them from pulling.
If your puppy lunges: When your puppy lunges in front of a dog, car, or anything else. You can redirect their behavior with a treat before they lunge forward.
You got to observe your puppy before they lunge forward so you know when to redirect their attention. Another method is to increase the space between your dog and target.
Lunging forward is especially common in herding breed such as German Shepherds.
If your puppy barks: Some puppies will bark at other dogs because of lack of exercise. It is their way of communicating that they need to get more exercise.
It’s very important to provide your German Shepherd puppy with enough mental and physical stimulation so they have don’t bark excessively.
Exercise can also let your German Shepherd sleep very well after using their body to move around.
German Shepherd puppy socialization
Socializing your puppy is also a form of beneficial exercise and period for building your puppy’s social skills.
Your puppy will begin socializing since they are born.
When you bring your puppy home, you can continue socializing your puppy where they get introduced to different people, dogs, and different experiences.
How old should your puppy be when you bring them home?
German Shepherd puppies should stay with the breeder until they are 7 to 8 weeks old so they can socialize with their littermates and mother.
It’s very important to keep German Shepherd puppies with their families so they form a bond with them.
Socializing your German Shepherd puppy with other puppies will make their body move because they socialize through playing with others.
How do you socialize your German Shepherd puppy?
To properly socialize your puppy, here is a schedule for the socialization period:
In this period, your puppy need to stay with their mother. A German Shepherd puppy could be given the chance to interact with other people and puppies.
At this stage, it is best that your German Shepherd puppy stays with the breeder because they will be with their mother and littermates.
The breeder will introduce the puppy to different sounds and sights. Also, the breeder can introduce your puppy to different new people and puppies.
Also, a breeder can start introducing your German Shepherd puppy to grooming where they will clean their eyes, ears, nails, teeth, and paws.
Puppies may get their first vaccination at this age. At this age, puppies can interact and play with other puppies and older dogs.
They burn energy and exercise when they play with other puppies.
You can take your German Shepherd puppy home at this age. Once they are home with you, you got to continue the socialization process.
Introduce your puppy to everyone in your family, friends, and other puppies so they interact with them and get used to them.
You could also enroll your puppy into a puppy kindergarten class that will help them get new experiences.
You can start to leave your German Shepherd puppy alone at home so they don’t develop separation anxiety.
Start by leaving your puppy alone a few minutes and then gradually build up the time to leave them at home alone.
You can teach them a lot of things such as house training them, teaching them basic obedience, and introducing them to the collar and leash.
Continue socializing them with other puppies and people as they grow up.
At this age, you can take your puppy to the nearest park and let them meet other dogs and puppies.
You can also play with them other games such as fetch and tug of war.
Keep socializing your puppy to new people, places, and other dogs. Expose them to new experiences such as local markets.
Introduce them to sport competition that will help them use their mind and body.
How old should puppies be to hike?
A German Shepherd puppy’s suitable age for them to hike is when they are 6 months old.
The same rule of 5 minutes per month of age is still applicable when you take your puppy for a hike.
During this age, you can check with your vet about the vaccination that they should take.
Does exercise slow your German Shepherd puppy’s growth?
Exercising your puppy is fine as long as it isn’t excessive. High-intensity exercise won’t stunt your puppy’s growth but will damage their growth plates and bones making them grow abnormally.
This predisposes your German Shepherd puppy to develop joint issues later in life especially for large dog breeds like German Shepherds.
The best exercise for them is walking and playing games with them that stimulate them mentally and physically.
Let your puppy rest whenever they want to by observing when they are tired.
Don’t jog or run with your puppy because their body is still developing.
Signs of an overexercised German Shepherd puppy
If your German Shepherd becomes overexercised, they can get damage to their joints causing them medical conditions such as arthritis.
Signs that your puppy is getting too much exercise
1.) Injured paws
If you make your puppy run, there is a high chance that their paws will get injured; the pads in their paws will wear down.
This is the reason that you should never make your German Shepherd puppy run. Always look at your puppy’s paw to see if they have red or worn away paws.
2.) Sore muscles
Muscular pain or stiffness is another sign that your puppy is getting too much exercise.
This can be easily seen after excessive exercise where your puppy rests and then tries to get up again.
They will struggle by refusing to walk up or downstairs. They will also refuse to eat because it hurts to reach to the floor to get their dish.
A puppy may also develop a condition where muscle tissues break down. As muscles die, they can cause a great deal of pain.
Your puppy’s muscles will also become sore and stiff.
3.) Heat sickness
Your German Shepherd puppy may experience heat sickness from a heat stroke due to being outside in the heat for a long period of time.
Some of the signs of heat sickness are that your puppy will have high body temperature, dehydration, and difficulty breathing.
German Shepherd puppies have difficulty regulating their body temperatures and too much exercise can cause them overheated.
4.) Joint injury
High-intensity exercise can cause your German Shepherd puppy to have a strain or sprain in their joints.
This can happen in their toe joints, wrist, or elbow. Some puppies are also at risk of developing joint problems later in life.
Signs that your German Shepherd isn’t getting enough exercise
1.) Weight gain
One of the major signs that your German Shepherd needs exercise is that they gain weight.
When they gain weight, they will need to follow an exercise and diet plan so they can lose weight easily.
To help your puppy lose weight, consult your vet about the best plan to follow.
2.) Destructive behavior
Your puppy starts destroying objects and items such as furniture where they will need physical exercise.
If they don’t get the needed exercise, they will destroy and chew on objects such as furniture and shoes.
3.) Becoming withdrawn
Your puppy may also become withdrawn and depressed because of lack of exercise.
You can observe your German Shepherd puppy so you can know when they aren’t social so you can know the main cause of their withdrawal.
If they are withdrawn because of a lack of exercise, you will need to provide them with the needed exercise so they be happy.
Your German Shepherd puppy may become really hyperactive when they don’t receive all the exercise that they need.
Your puppy may pull the leash when you are about to head out of the door. It may be a sign that they are restless and need more physical exercise.
This is a sign that they need more exercise so they can burn energy.
5.) Stiff muscles
If your puppy hasn’t had any regular exercise, they may suffer from stiff muscles and low stamina.
Some signs of stiff muscles may be difficulty sleeping, not going up and downstairs, and difficulty in moving.
6.) Barking and whining
Some puppies may also bark and whine when they aren’t getting enough exercise.
If your puppy is spinning in circles, running toward the door, and grabbing their leash. They may be eager to go outside.
1.) How can I calm my German Shepherd puppy?
If you want to calm down a hyper German Shepherd puppy, you will need to ignore the hyperness, provide them with exercise, train them especially in obedience training, train them, be calm and collected, and try aromatherapy.
2.) What kind of temperament do German Shepherds have?
Although German Shepherds are stereotyped as aggressive dogs, they aren’t really aggressive.
These dogs are actually very loving and caring. They were originally bred to be herders who are very intelligent, highly trainable, and loyal.
They are very protective of their dog parents and loved ones. Oftentimes, they will risk their lives to protect those that they love.
If you are bringing home a German Shepherd, consider buying them from a reputable breed or adopt them from a rescue organization.
A German Shepherd puppy has to get all the necessary exercise that they need so that they can keep their body and mind fit.
There are many exercises for your German Shepherd puppy such as walking, playing games, and playing with toys.
A German Shepherd puppy will need 5 minutes of exercise per month of age.
Share your experience. Do you exercise your German Shepherd puppy and what kinds of exercise do you give them?