9 Amazing German Shepherd Enrichment Ideas [Scientifically Proven]

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Do you want to know the best German Shepherd enrichment ideas that’ll keep your dog busy for hours?

Just imagine looking over at your dog seeing how bored and sad they look, and not knowing what to do.

But then…

WHAM! 

You find this perfect list of German Shepherd enrichment games to keep your dog happy and entertained, all while becoming your dog’s superhero.

Sounds difficult?

It’s not!

Let me show you how to play fun, science-based mental enrichment activities for German Shepherds that are so simple you can start them right away.

Let’s jump right in!

What is German Shepherd enrichment?

what is german shepherd enrichment
Enrichment improves your dog’s well-being.

The Association of Shelter Veterinarians (sheltervet.org) states that:

“The purpose of enrichment is to reduce stress and improve well-being by providing physical and mental stimulation, encouraging species-typical behaviors (e.g., chewing for dogs and rodents, scratching for cats) and allowing animals more control over their environment.”

Enrichment seeks to enhance the quality of your dog’s care by:

  • Increasing your dog’s range of positive behaviors
  • Reducing the frequency of unwanted behaviors
  • Improving positive exploration of their environment
  • And expanding the ability of your dog to cope with challenges 

In a nutshell, German Shepherd enrichment is important for canine well-being by helping to keep dogs in good physical and mental condition. Ideally, you should aim to include stimulating and enriching activities for 15 minutes daily.

Let’s take a look at how important including enrichment is to your dog.

Mental Enrichment Keeps German Shepherds’ Minds Sharp

mental enrichment keeps your german shepherds' mind sharp
Your GSD needs to have mental stimulation to keep healthy.

Of course, you know that daily walks and off-leash playtime keep your German Shepherd in top physical shape.

But what about their brain and mental health?

Just like their owners, German Shepherds need mental enrichment to avoid boredom and even mental decline that naturally occurs with aging.

Most puppy owners remember to engage their puppies in mental enrichment to help meet their development stages, but it’s important to remember that even older and senior dogs need mental enrichment to keep their minds sharp and active. 

Did you know that a 2018 scientific study on dog’s mental decline showed that including mental enrichment could improve brain health (source)?

Mental enrichment helps to keep areas of the brain active, and can even engage areas of the brain that were previously underused. 

What are the benefits of enrichment for German Shepherds?

what are the benefits of enrichment for german shepherds
Imagine being your dog for a day. Do you have a happy or boring life?

German Shepherd enrichment is a crucial part of making sure your dog is healthy and happy with you.

GSD enrichment includes activities that occupy all of your dog’s senses and moves their body. These exercises not only help keep your dog physically fit, but it keeps them mentally engaged too.

Mental Stimulation

A mentally stimulated German Shepherd is much more inclined to enjoy healthy activity when left alone, such as playing with a toy, sleeping, or relaxing peacefully — rather than participating in destructive behaviors.

Do you have a German Shepherd that’s inclined to make a mess when left alone?

Then it’s better to offer some enrichment rather than to leave them in a crate all day (which could further make their behavior worse).

Don’t miss this post of exciting and super-easy German Shepherd mental stimulation games and exercises if you want a well-rounded dog.

Socialization Skills

German Shepherd enrichment also involves socializing with your dog, for example, participating in pleasurable activities that actually help reduce stress and fear. These activities can help your dog be more friendly and prevent other unwanted behaviors, like biting, lunging, or barking at others.

Increased Bonding

But, one of the best benefits of German Shepherd enrichment is that it can create a strong bond between you and your dog. 

Many of the enrichment types and games that are discussed require you to spend time interacting with your GSD. Through these activities, you’ll be sure to form a strong bond with your German Shepherd. Bonding is a healthy exercise for both of you and can improve your overall relationship together.

Ultimately, enrichment for German Shepherds is a great way to not only ensure your dog is happy and healthy, but it encourages better behavior and can increase your dog’s independence in your home — so you both have less to worry about.

How do I give my German Shepherd mental enrichment?

how do I give my german shpeherd mental enrichment
Boosts your dog’s mental stimulation with these activities and ideas.

German Shepherd enrichment is an addition to their environment and lifestyle that they voluntarily interact with. These additions combine scent, sight, taste, vision, hearing, and spatial awareness to solve puzzles, perform new activities and tasks, or move their bodies in new ways that require extra brainpower and mental stimulation. As a result, German Shepherds experience improved physical and mental health and, overall, have a higher quality of life.

Sounds too complicated?

It’s not if you follow these simple games and activities that add to your dog’s life to improve their mental health and overall happiness.

But, don’t wait until your German Shepherd starts showing signs of doggie mental decline or dementia to introduce brain training.

Enrichment benefits German Shepherds of all ages and is especially important for:

  • Puppies to psychologically develop positively
  • Adult GSDs to avoid behavior issues and boredom
  • Senior Shepherds to help prevent the signs of brain aging and decline

Include enrichment for German Shepherds daily. Use the enrichment schedule that’s found below to outline your own personal enrichment plan based on your dog’s unique disposition.

It’s not only fun to learn more about your dog, but it’s a healthy way to bond with them!

Types of German Shepherd Enrichment

active and passive enrichment
Active = more energy; Passive = calmer

Recent research has turned attention toward enhancing our dog’s lives from many different aspects. And exploring these enhancements couldn’t be more true for a German Shepherd.

With all their energy, intelligence, and stamina, putting enrichment into their routine is essential to keep them healthy and happy. 

Active and Passive

There are two main categories that enrichment falls into:

  • Active
  • Passive

In the active enrichment category, there are activities that include your dog’s participation more interactively. They must engage with the activity they’re presented with.

In passive enrichment, your dog engages in the activity through their presence, but not necessarily their whole bodies. 

The main difference between the two categories is that active activity involves using more energy and encourages your dog to move. While passive activities are calmer and your dog doesn’t have to move as much.

Let me explain more.

Categories of Enrichment

Experts have investigated many types of enrichment for dogs to enhance their intelligence and good behaviors. 

The research is still evolving.

Here are the most popular enrichment categories for your dog.

German Shepherd Enrichment Categories

EnrichmentActive or Passive?
Auditory (Sound) EnrichmentPassive
Cognitive EnrichmentActive
Environmental EnrichmentActive
Food-Based EnrichmentActive
Human Interaction EnrichmentActive
Occupational (Job/Work) EnrichmentActive
Olfactory (Scent/Smell) EnrichmentActive
Social EnrichmentActive
Visual EnrichmentPassive
Look over the different types of enrichment and if they are active or passive in nature.

While this might sound like a lot of enrichment, it’s actually very easy to put into practice once you see how to include those ideas into your German Shepherd’s day.

Here are some fun German Shepherd enrichment activities and games that’ll engage your dog’s mind and brighten both of your days!

9 Amazing German Shepherd Enrichment Ideas [Scientifically Proven]

german shepherd enrichment activities
Don’t let your dog be brought down by boredom!

With the hot days of summer and the short days of winter, you and your German Shepherd can quickly succumb to cabin fever!

Be warned: Don’t let the weather prevent you from giving your dog enough exercise, or they’ll start finding their own ways to entertain themselves which could end with mischievous behavior!

So, what’s a high-energy German Shepherd owner to do?

The solution is… 

This helpful list of the best mental enrichment for German Shepherds — full of ideas, activities, and games which can even be played inside.

And, believe me, I know the feeling of a bored dog with high energy! So, here’s how to enrich your German Shepherd’s life daily.

1. Auditory Enrichment

auditory (sound) enrichment for german shepherds
Consider playing classical music for sound stimulation.

A German Shepherd’s ears are highly sensitive to sounds. And using auditory enrichment has also been shown to lower stress levels in dogs.

In particular, classical music was shown to lower stress signs and behaviors in kenneled dogs (source). Given the wide range of personalities in German Shepherds, it’s best to experiment with different types of music and sounds your dog might enjoy. 

Here are some tips:

  • Keep the music at a lower volume so you don’t hurt your dog’s ears
  • If your dog looks uneasy, try a different more soothing sound, or come back another day to play around with sound enrichment

And, one of the best benefits of auditory stimulus for your GSD is it’s economical, even free. Look online for classical music tracks to start with this enrichment.

2. Cognitive Enrichment

Training is one of the best forms of enrichment for German Shepherds on too rainy, too hot, or too snowy days. 

Training is an incredible time to not only bond with your dog but also build rapport and trust. Plus, training helps to work on getting your German Shepherd to listen to you.

Dog training for enriching your German Shepherd’s life is simple! 

Enrichment Training

training enrichment for dogs
There are many ways to use training for mental stimulation.

Ways you can use training to enrich your dog are by:

  • Enrolling in an online program specifically for enrichment and obedience (Have you tried Brain Training for Dogs to increase mental stimulation and obedience?)
  • Making your training time fun by using your dog’s favorite toys or treats. 
  • Adding in some playtime between your German Shepherd’s obedience training at home so your dog stays engaged.
  • Keeping sessions short so your dog doesn’t become distracted or frustrated.
  • Integrating commands into their everyday routines (i.e. sit by the front door, down while you put your shoes on, wait at the curb before walking).

All you need is a handful of healthy treats and your willing German Shepherd.

Whether your dog is an expert on the basic commands or is a novice to obedience training, even 5 minutes of quick practice can be a mental challenge for their brains.

There’s no limit to what you can teach your German Shepherd!

All it takes is a few minutes a day to give them needed mental enrichment and stimulation.

Cognitive Enrichment with Puzzles

puzzle enrichment for mental stimulation for a gsd
Puzzles for German Shepherd enrichment are a fun way to increase mental stimulation.

Puzzles are a great choice for cognitive enrichment for German Shepherd because they’re so adept at using their noses to flip the levels, pulling the drawers, or moving the sliding discs. 

By placing a tasty small treat into a hidden compartment your dog must use their sense of smell and touch to not only locate the treats but remove them from the puzzle for their prize. 

Some features of puzzles that add to their enrichment value include:

  • Many levels of difficulty
  • A variety of sizes to suit adults and puppies
  • Adjustable game pieces for treat hiding 

There are countless puzzle enrichment toys to choose from these days, and I can feel your pain of not knowing which puzzles do what motions or how to play them.

An easy way to start with puzzle enrichment games is to start with a simple puzzle to gauge your dog’s interest.

German Shepherd enrichment toy puzzles to start brain training:

Refer to this easy guide on the best puzzle toys for German Shepherds to find out which toys will suit your dog best to keep them entertained.

3. Environmental Enrichment

environmental enrichment for your german shepherd
Do you let your dog sniff frequently on your walks for new scents in their environment?

The point of enriching your dog’s environment is to encourage interactions that are stimulating where the dog spends their time. Your goal is to make your German Shepherd’s living space interesting to increase their mental stimulation.

Keeping your German Shepherd in the same space every day for hours on end may lead to boredom and oftentimes ends in destructive behavior. This destructive behavior could include excessive licking of their paws or chewing on furniture because their environment is dull and lacks stimulation.

By increasing your dog’s activity and their variety of common behaviors through the use of the environment you help to reduce and prevent abnormal and destructive behavioral outcomes (source).

You probably already know that walking is a form of environmental enrichment. But, there are many other ways to help your dog reduce boredom and increase their stimulation.

All of the following are good choices for environmental stimulation to try:

  • Taking your dog for a car ride (as long as they don’t get car sick and enjoy it).
  • Creating a doggy den or a fort out of sheets (like you did when you were a kid) for a cozy nap or snuggle.
  • Growing a dog sensory garden with dog-safe plants to smell.
  • Finding a new walk with different smells and places to see.
  • Playing with a pop-up dog tunnel or agility-style weave poles in your backyard.

Environmental enrichments should provide outlets for positive expression of your dog’s natural behaviors. For example, providing your German Shepherd with an outdoor sandbox allows him to enjoy his normal digging behavior in a way that isn’t destructive to property.

Think of ways that you can help your natural-born working breed find outlets for their less-than-desirable behaviors in order to satisfy their needs and make their life less stressful. 

Environmental Enrichment with Toys

different toys for enrichment and stimulation
Does your GSD have a choice of different toys? When was the last time you got a new toy for them?

Providing toys is one of the most common ways dog owners try to enrich their German Shepherd’s environment. 

When your dog interacts with toys they enjoy it can decrease their response to stressful factors, such as strange people, dogs, or noises. Toy enrichment has also been proven to decrease excessive barking, digging, trying to escape, and destroying property (source).

It’s easy to make toy enrichment more enticing, here’s how:

  • Toys should be rotated to maintain the enriching effect by swapping them out on a regular basis. 
  • Choose toys your dog enjoys and don’t force toys they aren’t interested in, for instance, some German Shepherds love balls while others don’t care for them.
  • Don’t constantly provide the same toys and nothing else over and over or your dog might lose interest in toy time.
  • It’s better to have a selection of your dog’s favorite and preferred toys in order to alternate their use (source).

You can keep your German Shepherd more entertained and enriched by providing a variety of toys that hold their interest.

Some ideas include toys that have different:

  • Sizes
  • Shapes
  • Colors
  • Smells
  • Textures
  • Sounds

Toys that are scented or squeak are important to play with. Toys are not meant for just rewards but are an essential part of your dog’s daily routine.

Giving your dog toys helps keep them well-behaved and engaged. 

The best German Shepherd enrichment toys for mental stimulation:

With the right variety and types of toys, you can satisfy your dog’s play urges, all while providing environmental, visual, tactile, and auditory stimulation. 

But, remember this…

No dog toy is truly indestructible, so check your dog’s toys for any cracks or deterioration routinely to keep toy time safe. 

4. Food-Based Enrichment

feeding and food-based enrichment ideas for your german shepherd
Feeding enrichment is a food-based activity that stimulates your GSD’s primal hunting abilities.

The main goal of feeding enrichment is to make their snack or mealtime more engaging, stimulating, challenging, and fun.

By employing the power of their intelligent brains and super-sniffing noses your German Shepherd uses his natural foraging and hunting skills to work for their food. By extending the time it takes your dog to eat his food his physical and mental activity is increased. 

By far the most popular version of enrichment feeding is using a Kong Extreme Feeding Toy that is stuffed with their kibble and generally mixed with a few treats to entice them in longer play.

The Kong feeding toy encourages the primal instincts your German Shepherd has:

  • Hunting
  • Foraging
  • Scenting
  • Working for their food
  • Problem-solving skills

Your goal is to make mealtimes or snack times more interesting and challenging for your dog. Doing so increases their engagement with their meals which duplicates the natural instincts they still have.

This could also include the way you present the food for them:

  • Treats tucked inside a cereal box. Take their food and place it into an old cereal box for them to nudge and move about on the floor.
  • Rolled up towel feeder. Hide their food in a rolled-up towel they must nudge to open and eat.
  • Hand-feeding. If you have a new German Shepherd puppy or adopted an adult dog, then hand feeding them is a great way to bond and start your relationship together.

Never underestimate how much your working-breed dog loves to find their food! Providing their meals using feeding enrichment can also reduce how quickly your dog eats their food, so it’s a great alternative to bowl feeding for fast eaters.

Feeding Enrichment During Meals

feeding and taste enrichment
German Shepherd enrichment for mealtimes can include a variety of new tastes and textures for them to explore.

You already know that a healthy, nutritious diet is vital for every German Shepherd, but incorporating a bit of taste stimulation into your dog’s normal feeding times can make mealtime even more exciting.

Instead of the same old boring kibble day in and day out, mix up their feedings with different dog-safe food items. 

Many German Shepherds may love to indulge in tiny bits of:

  • Different tasting and textures of dog treats
  • Plain, unsalted, xylitol-free peanut butter 
  • Delicious, freeze-dried nutritional toppers, like this beef dog food enhancer 🐄
  • Pieces of small, chopped, cooked carrot or peas
  • Even fresh or frozen blueberries! 

While dogs aren’t known for their developed taste buds they do benefit from enrichment from food. You can even try these new food items in the puzzle toys mentioned earlier for an extra dose of mental excitement! 

Are you experiencing a heatwave or want a novel way to serve your dog their treat to increase their enrichment exposure?

Then place some water in an ice tray and insert in the middle a bit of your dog’s favorite treats. Once the water freezes, the treat is a little tasty treasure for your dog to find! 

It’s not only stimulating but gives your dog added hydration from the ice. It’s best to give your German Shepherd this enrichment treat outdoors on a warm day, but any hard floor that’s easy to clean up will also work.

5. Human Interaction Enrichment

german shepherd bonding for enrichment
Bonding with your German Shepherd is a smart way to increase both of your happiness!

Enriching your bond with your German Shepherd by spending time with them in meaningful activities. This form of specific social enrichment is so important it’s best to give due care to this section. 

You can bond with your German Shepherd through many physical activities, such as:

  • Daily walks
  • Taking them to a park
  • Enjoying a supervised playgroup with them
  • Teaching them obedience
  • Enrolling in dog agility

In your busy day do you include 5 or 10 minutes to bond with your dog with your undivided attention?

If you can’t think of the last time you purposefully found a bit of bonding time to enrich your German Shepherd’s life, then today’s your day to start.

Are you unsure how to start?

Here’s a useful guide on Bonding with Your German Shepherd that tells you specifically what to do to improve your relationship.

Bonding enrichment fulfills your dog’s need to interact with humans through positive, predictable encounters. It’s not to be confused with socialization.

Socialization is safe and guided exposure to new things in the environment so your dog learns to not fear everyday people, places, dogs, or objects.

You can also bond with your German Shepherd and give them purposeful human interaction through fun games.

Game Enrichment

game enrichment for a gsd
If you aren’t including daily games, then you’re missing out on a great enrichment exercise.

What German Shepherd doesn’t love playing games? 

But, are you in a rut with the same old games?

The good news is: game enrichment and play don’t have to take long to be effective.

You can disperse the play sessions throughout the day and focus these times when your puppy or dog is most awake. Generally, German Shepherds are most active in the mornings and evenings (dawn and dusk), so focus on the times for games when your dog is most active. 

Give your dog extra game time after their breakfast, dinner, and an hour or two before bed. 

Game enrichment can include: 

  • A quick game of tug, even indoors if you don’t wind your dog up too much
  • Hide and seek (you hide while your dog doesn’t watch and call your dog to find you)
  • 5-minutes of fetch in the evenings in the backyard

To get in more playtime with your German Shepherd, think of games you can do during your normal activities. 

How about these quick enrichment games during your day?

  • Kicking a ball while out on your walk
  • Tossing a soft toy gently while waiting on dinner to cook
  • Playing fetch during the commercials of your show

Here’s an interesting fact…

Research shows that playing rough games like tug-of-war and fetch actually increases your dog’s trainability and confidence (source). And moreover, winning or losing either of the games didn’t have an effect on the positive outcomes of trainability and confidence.

Yet interestingly, if your dog initiates the majority of the games the dogs were less trainable and showed higher rates of exhibiting aggression.

Let this be a lesson to you who want a trainable and happy German Shepherd…

Include enrichment games daily, even if only for a few minutes, by actively seeking out your German Shepherd for game time! 

6. Occupational Enrichment

occupational enrichment for a german shepherd
Most German Shepherds thrive when given a job, or occupation, to perform daily.

Most likely you have a job or know someone who does. So, you know how important it is to have a sense of value by working.

Likewise, occupational enrichment challenges your German Shepherd by giving them a “job” that encourages both their physical exercise and mental stimulation.

While some GSDs have a formal job, such as a service dog or military K9, other German Shepherds can be provided forms of occupational (working) enrichment to keep them mentally stimulated and prevent or alleviate boredom at home.

Examples of occupational enrichment include:

  • Sports of different kinds — like fly ball, agility, or playing fetch, (all of which also help to release excess energy)
  • Teaching new obedience commands to your German Shepherd
  • And intriguing jobs at home that you probably haven’t thought of, like closing doors, picking up their toys, and much, much more!

Research shows that dogs with jobs who are exposed to occupational enrichment have fewer behavior issues, act more calmly, and a significant decrease in negative behaviors (source).

You can read more about interesting Jobs for German Shepherds at Home to find out what your dog is capable of learning with some patience and training. 🏠

7. Olfactory Enrichment

scent (olfactory) stimulation for enrichment
Olfactory stimulation gives your super-scenting breed a real mind workout!

Scent enrichment, also known as olfactory stimulation, engages your dog’s super-smelling nose power to process smells and give their brains a workout.

Introducing scents in your home environment can:

  • Have calming and soothing effects on your German Shepherd
  • Enhance exploratory curiosity and unique investigative behaviors
  • Provide an enriching and fun activity or novel experience (source)

And, did you know that your German Shepherd Dog has around 225 million scent receptors?

Compare that to a Daschund, a dog specifically bred to scent trails of badgers, with 125 million scent receptors (or compare to yourself with around 6 million scent receptors) and you can see that your German Shepherd is in dire need of scent stimulation (source)!

It’s no wonder that a recent 2020 study of shelter dogs who were given scent stimulation for enrichment using a specific dog appeasing pheromone (DAP) and lavender were shown to lay down more, show increased resting behaviors, and bark fewer times than those dogs that didn’t receive the olfactory treatments (source).

You can duplicate the dog appeasing pheromone by plugging in an Adaptil Calming Diffuser for Dogs nearby to where your dog spends a lot of their time (a spot they love to nap or sleep is perfect). This is the same brand that was used in the study with significant results in better, more calming behaviors. 

Additionally, the researchers used lavender scents to enrich the kennels of the shelter dogs to reduce the anxiety and stress of admitted dogs.

At home, using a calming natural oil spray, such as ThunderEssence Natural Essential Oil Calming Spray for Dogs is suggested. This spray is 100% safe for use as directed on your German Shepherd’s body.

8. Social Enrichment

social enrichment for german shepherd puppies
Social enrichment helps dogs fulfill their need for community and interaction with their own kind.

Research shows that German Shepherds benefit from social enrichment when interacting with other dogs. Playing with friendly canines fulfills their social and community needs within their own species.

Social enrichment for your dog can include:

  • Phoning one of your neighbors to come over for a cup of tea and having them bring their vaccinated, friendly dog that your dog enjoys
  • Scheduling supervised playgroups with dogs that are all compatible
  • Registering your dog in a doggie daycare so they aren’t home alone every day

Dogs are social animals and this type of social enrichment allows them off-leash play that improves their skills at canine interacting. Furthermore, it builds their self-confidence, trust in other dogs, and reduces the chance of developing fear-based reactivity and communication issues (source). 

Not all German Shepherds enjoy meeting or playing with other dogs, so keep in mind some might not be as comfortable in these types of doggie social situations.

9. Visual Enrichment

visual enrichment for german shepherds
Visual stimulation is a passive activity that you can try with your GSD right now.

Have you ever noticed your dog watching tv, or turning their head when they see an animal in a movie you’re watching?

If so, then you’ve experienced visual enrichment with your German Shepherd already. Visual enrichment gives your dog the opportunity to see new images, environments, or pictures. 

Did you know you can even play Dog TV for your German Shepherd?

Try one of these free enrichment ideas for visual stimulation:

  • Keep a window open that’s usually closed inside for them to look through
  • Leave on a fun movie at a low or medium volume
  • Take them for a car ride to see new sights

Even better…

Spend some time quietly bonding while enjoying the sights and sounds — take a break on a bench and watch the world go by together.

German Shepherd Enrichment Schedule

Enrichment doesn’t have to cost a penny, take up a lot of time, or be overly complicated.

In fact, here’s a sample schedule to give you ideas on how to include enrichment into your dog’s day.

Dog’s Energy LevelMorningAfternoonEveningNight
Highest Energy (puppies, adults)Long sniffing walkPuzzle toyObedience trainingTeaching a new trick
High Energy (most adults)Obedience trainingA long walk on a new pathPuzzle toyChewing time with Kong
Medium Energy (many seniors)Meal served in a KongObedience trainingSitting outside on a bench near a parkListening to bird sounds on audio recording
Low Energy (some seniors)Puzzle toy for breakfastSniffing walkListening to classical music
This is an example schedule of how to include enrichment into your German Shepherd’s daily routine. Please choose activities that your dog likes and that fit into your own schedule.

Depending on your dog’s personality and energy levels, as well as their likes and dislikes, try including a few enrichment exercises daily. Once you put them into your day in short sessions, you’ll see how easy it is to fit into your schedule.

How often should I enrich my German Shepherd’s life?

Aim for 3 daily sessions of German Shepherd enrichment, including a variety of different types of enrichment to stimulate all their senses. If your schedule doesn’t permit, then include at least 1 daily enrichment activity so your dog doesn’t become bored and destructive.

Set aside 30 minutes of undivided attention for your enrichment with your German Shepherd. It’s best to break up the time into a few sessions throughout the day that suit your dog’s energy levels and your own personal schedule.

Enrichment Tips for Success

  • Provide a variety of activities based on your dog’s personality and all their senses. 
  • Offer a range of toys and experiences, and rotate their use to keep things interesting and reduce boredom.
  • Watch out for overstimulation! While stimulation is the goal of enrichment for your German Shepherd, too much stimulation can increase your dog’s stress levels (too hard of puzzles with little success, toys that are too noisy, agility obstacles that don’t account for your dog’s health).
  • Consider that not all dogs like the same things. If your German Shepherd is interested in a particular enrichment item try a different item (not all toys and puzzles appeal to all dogs; vary it up).
  • Observe your German Shepherd so you can identify the things they truly love — things they find motivating and reinforcing to them!
  • Keep enrichment sessions positive. If you use training for enrichment, remember that all training methods should be based on positive reinforcement (never use punishment, force, or stressful situations for training). The goal is to enrich your dog’s life — not to punish them.

Calling all Senses: Enrichment for German Shepherds

enrichment uses all of your dog's senses
Think of enrichment for your German Shepherd as a way to stimulate all of their natural senses.

German Shepherds interact with their world through their main five senses:

  • Smell
  • Sight
  • Hearing
  • Touch 
  • Taste

It’s a good idea to incorporate as many senses as possible to enrich your German Shepherd’s life…

Every day. 

Enrichment for your German Shepherd paws-itively affects your dog’s whole body!

From the tip of their nose to the end of their tail. 

The best part of all? 

Enrichment brings you closer together with your dog and strengthens your bond.

It’s part of the whole system of care that gives your dog the happiest, healthiest years they deserve.

Sounds like you want to play some exciting entertaining ideas for German Shepherds next!

Well, what are you waiting for?

Go ahead and find out how to make your German Shepherd smile! 💗