13 Fun German Shepherd Activities You Must Try

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Are you looking for fun German Shepherd activities to keep their minds sharp and their brain’s happy?

You’re in the right spot! 

Activities are an excellent way to provide your German Shepherd with mental stimulation to reduce boredom and increase good behaviors.

You’ll feel relieved after you learn just a handful of these activities that increase your GSDs brainpower and help keep them calm…

Even German Shepherd puppies!

Top Activities for German Shepherd Dogs and Puppies

  1. Seek and Find
  2. Dog Puzzles
  3. Special Delivery Activity
  4. Water Bottle Game
  5. Brain Training for Dogs
  6. Muffin Tin Dispenser
  7. Frozen Kong Delight
  8. Tupperware Surprise
  9. Mini Presents
  10. The Mad Scientist Game
  11. Mental IQ Ball Challenge
  12. Tunnel Dash
  13. The Weaving Wonder

Games for German Shepherds can include everyday objects that you can find around your house and are fun activities that give your German Shepherd mental stimulation and exercise.

Try a few of these activities for German Shepherds and see which ones your dog loves!

1. Seek and Find

food seek and find at home
Hiding their food helps your dog use their noses to explore.

Mental stimulation with a food seek and find keeps your dog sharp by using their noses. You don’t need any tools to play this game, just their usual kibble.

  • You can use this game indoors or out in your yard or garden.
  • Take your dog’s regular kibble and drop a few pieces in front of them so they see you.
  • Now hide a few pieces around the house or yard while they watch and encourage them to find the food.
  • Next, work up to hiding a complete meal while they don’t see you and wait in another area.

German Shepherds have a keen sense of smell, and many learn to track. Your dog will catch on quickly to this food hunt.

2. Dog Puzzles

puzzle games for german shepherd
This German Shepherd activity teaches your dog to use their nose and brain together.

Food puzzles are activities that keep your dog working for their reward. 

Here’s how to use this mental stimulation activity:

  • Get them used to their new puzzle toy by allowing them to sniff and explore the toy. Use this stimulating mind game to introduce them to puzzles since it’s a great introduction to dog puzzles.
  • Next, place their food in the puzzle.
  • Show them how to find food and encourage them to find the food on their own.
  • Once they are finished with the first round, keep refilling the food puzzle leaving some spaces empty and some with treats

If you want to feed your dog the right foods, then read this list of healthy, tasty treats for German Shepherds.

3. Special Delivery Activity

Use packaging materials for mentally stimulating acitivities
Recycled packaging material makes great entertainment.

The Special Delivery activity uses common mailing items as hiding places for their treats. 

You don’t have to serve their entire meal this way, just use a few special tasty bits to entice them to play.

  • Use a clean box that came in the mail.
  • If there’s brown packaging paper included, that’s even better!
  • Place pieces of kibble or treats inside the brown paper wrap. You can also use paper towels if you don’t have brown packaging paper. 
  • Squish the brown paper or paper towels together to wrap around the kibble.
  • Fold the box flaps back down, but don’t tape them. Encourage your dog or puppy to look for their food.

When they are finished, refill the brown paper packaging or paper towel balls and start again.

It’s a do-it-yourself dog puzzle!

4. Water Bottle Game

Clean, empty water bottle for an interactive food feeding game
Clean water bottles or milk jugs are inexpensive mental exercise games.

Another simple and easy game to put together is a bottle treat dispenser. 

The bottle slides and moves on the floor to make the game more interesting for both puppies and adults. 

This is best for dogs that don’t immediately chew an item out of frustration. And, of course, supervise your German Shepherd during games at all times.

  • Save a large water bottle. Make sure it is clean and dry.
  • Place a handful of your dog’s kibble inside, or a healthy treat. But leave the top off the bottle and place this out of reach so they don’t eat it.
  • Let your dog turn, paw, and shake the bottle so the kibble falls out.
  • Repeat when empty to finish their meal.
  • Replace the bottle regularly as they become dirty or worn.

The larger the opening, the easier the food will fall out.

Always watch your dog and make sure they don’t accidentally start chewing the plastic.

5. Brain Training for Dogs

brain training for german shepherds
Learning how to use their brains in new ways keeps a German Shepherd active.

Brain training your German Shepherd is an activity that increases their mental stimulation and is fun for both you and your dog!

You can use brain training to help teach your German Shepherd manners and basic obedience at the same time.

🐾To do this all you have to do is follow a simple online program, full of helpful videos.

  • Follow this link to the Official Brain Training for Dogs Program online
  • Signup for a free game they email or go ahead and join the program
  • Practice the brain games every day
  • Enjoy exciting new and fun German Shepherd activities at different levels suitable for your dog’s abilities
  • Watch your GSD progress and graduate to more difficult challenges

There are so many activities included in the program that I couldn’t possibly tell you all of them.

But…

You can read more on my helpful review: Brain Training for Dogs Review

6. Muffin Tin Dispenser

muffin tin dispenser for a mentally challenging game
Old muffin tins and tennis balls make a great combination.

In this activity, you’ll need a muffin baking tray and plenty of tennis balls. 

Setup this game by doing this:

  • Place a few bits of their food or treats in the muffin tins and a tennis ball over the top.
  • You can leave some muffin tins without a tennis ball to make the game easier to start or for puppies learning about brain games.
  • When your dog is finished, refill the muffin tins. 
  • To make the game interesting leave some tins without food, but still cover the compartment with a tennis ball.
  • This makes your dog use his nose more and gives a surprise when they find the food in some compartments but not in others.

It’s best to play this game on the carpet so the muffin tray doesn’t slide about and make a big mess, or frustrate your dog too much since they also need to use their paws or noses to move the tennis ball.

7. Frozen Kong Delight

black kong extreme treat dispensing toy for brain stimulation activities
A Kong is a necessity for German Shepherds.

By far, my German Shepherd enjoys this mental exercise the best, as the food seems to last longer and keep her quiet. 

Get out your trusty indestructible German Shepherd proof Kong toy.

  • Place a mixture of moistened kibble into the center.
  • I like to add a few spoonfuls of unflavored Greek yogurt mixed into the food for extra encouragement.
  • Set this into the freezer for a few hours to stiffen up.
  • When frozen, give to your dog for a tasty mealtime surprise! 

This is best served in an area that’s easy to clean, like outdoors or a hard floor in the kitchen.

If you buy a few Kongs you can keep them in your freezer for times when you want or need to keep your German Shepherd busy and entertained.

This is an especially useful activity for German Shepherd puppies when they’re teething!

8. Tupperware Surprise

Tupperware containers make great items for mental exercise
Plastic food storage containers make a fun food and seek game.

I’m sure most of you have extra plastic food storage containers lying around or missing their lids. 

Put them to use with this game.

  • Place several pieces of plastic food storage containers upside down, without their lids, over a handful of kibble.
  • You can put the food storage containers all in one room or place them in multiple rooms for a seek and find activity.
  • Encourage your dog to go find the kibble, and help them find the first few to get them started.

They must figure out how to turn the container over with their paws or nose – which is tricky for some dogs, especially for puppies.

Use this mental exercise inside or outside, depending on the weather. If you want other ideas for how to increase your German Shepherd’s life span, then check out my tips for lengthening your companion’s life span.

9. Easy Mini Presents

mental exercises with my german shepherd
My GSD enjoying her wrapped present!

This game also uses empty cardboard tubes from paper towels or toilet paper. 

You’ll need a few of them to start this brain exercise.

  • Place their kibble in brown shipping or craft paper or even a clean paper towel.
  • Next, wrap the kibble up securely and place the wrapped kibble inside the cardboard tubes.
  • Encourage your dog to explore the tubes.
  • You can see my German Shepherd enjoying the game of finding treats in cardboard tubes.

As simple as this sounds the activity keeps my German Shepherd busy as she delicately removes the kibble from the boxes or toilet roll tubes stuff with kibble and paper.

Supervise your dog to ensure your dog doesn’t eat the pieces of cardboard or paper packaging.

Be warned…

This activity can get messy!

10. The Mad Scientist Game

black german shepherd
Let your GSD unleash their scientific powers!

To watch your GSD perform their mad scientist routine you’ll need this dog chemistry set which is a fun, interactive toy! 

This game really gets an active Shepherd moving and keeps them occupied!

  • Setup the mad scientist game by selecting which level of challenge your dog needs.
  • Show your dog that flipping and turning the plastic beakers release treats. Encourage them to try on their own.
  • Let your dog paw and spin the beakers as the kibble drops and watch happiness light upon their faces!

11. Mental IQ Ball Challenge

treat dispensing ball for brain exercises
Keep your dog entertained and stimulated with a mental IQ ball.

If you’re wondering what to do with your puppy’s endless energy or your Shepherd’s need to herd, then this is the game for you!

You’ll need to have a ball IQ toy or something similar to start.

  • Place their kibble meal or another dry treat inside the ball and adjust the level of difficulty to help provide a challenge to their minds and bodies.
  • As your dog chases the ball they burn extra calories while trying to release their treats.

You can take this game fully apart for cleaning, so if your dog is a first-class drooler you can easily clean their toys.

This is a great German Shepherd activity for a puppy or even older dog.

12. Tunnel Dash

agility tunnel for mental stimulation and fun
Collapsible tunnels make your dog excited!

Owners of our high energy breed will appreciate teaching their dog both indoor agility to challenge their minds and outdoor agility – to challenge their minds and use their energy!

With an outdoor agility kit, even those owners living remotely or who don’t want to pay for agility training can give their German Shepherds the mental and physical stimulation they deserve.

Start with a dog training tunnel that suits your large breed’s size.

You may have to entice your dog through the tunnel by placing them at one eat and having them wait while you walk to the other. But German Shepherds love this type of stimulation and are expert tunnel runners!

Pretty soon you and your German Shepherd will have so much practice you’ll have to start entering agility competitions!

13. The Weaving Wonder

the weaving wonder mental exercise activity for smart german shepherds
Weave poles are a mental exercise challenge.

If your dog enjoys high energy activities, then add to your agility set by using these easy to set up weave poles

Your athletic Shepherd will love to use their brains and their agility to figure out the best way to quickly maneuver through the weave poles. 

  • Begin by walking ahead of your dog through the weave poles and have them follow you.
  • Reward them frequently in between poles in the beginning.
  • When they make it to the end, celebrate and reward them again.
  • Eventually, have your GSD make more turns of the poles before the reward.

Don’t forget that you own a high-energy breed and must meet their physical need for exercise, too. Learn all about the right ways to exercise your German Shepherd for complete health and fitness.

Benefits of German Shepherd Activities

Your dog or puppy has many senses they need to use daily. 

They can see, hear, touch, smell, and think. Many dogs living in our modern, busy lives lack mental stimulation.

In the wild, your dog would work alongside their pack or alone to track down prey using their senses. They would then plan an attack, using their mental abilities. 

Using all these senses during play helps your dog gain confidence in themselves and in their abilities. New experiences ignite portions of their brains to keep them engaged in their environments. 

An engaged dog is a happy, better-behaved dog!

The more consistent you are using activities for German Shepherds the more benefits you’ll see. Include 2 or 3 new activities for your German Shepherd a week to begin.

Aim to incorporate these activities daily for the best results in your German Shepherd’s behavior.

Helping Your Clever Shepherd

Activities for German Shepherds build their confidence and increase their interest in life.

Don’t limit your creativity or your GSDs abilities!

You’ll be surprised how smart your dog is and how much interest they’ll show in these easy brain activities.

There’s such a variety of German Shepherd activities to choose from you’ll love trying different games to find what your dog likes. 

Creative thinking owners like yourself provide their German Shepherds with the ultimate in happiness by increasing their dog’s mental activities.

It sounds like you’re ready to read about the Right Way to Discipline a German Shepherd to make sure you give your puppy the best start!