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The best games to play with a german shepherd help bring you one step closer to training success and don’t break your bank account.
When you know the right brain games for German Shepherds you also entice their minds and give their intelligence a workout.
And these German Shepherd games are exactly the types of activities you want with your high-energy breed!
You can even try a new game right now, as many of these are totally free for you!
What games can I play with my German Shepherd?
Games for German Shepherds encourage independent thinking, give your job an outlet for their energy, and tap into primal instincts that ordinary daily life simply can’t.
And these fun German Shepherd games will leave your dog begging for more!
This list is jam-packed with German Shepherd activities that’ll get your pup’s mind racing and improve your dog’s behavior when played consistently.
Pick several activities off the list and try them a few times a week.
Which one of these fun German Shepherd Dog games will give your pet a grin a mile wide?
1. Sherlock Bones
German Shepherds rank superior in their tracking and sniffing abilities.
Give their sense of smell a real brain workout by letting them follow a treat trail!
This game for intelligent breeds offers your GSD a chance to explore their environment through their nose.
What you’ll need:
Dog room gate or leash
The mind of a cunning detective
How to play the game:
Take the healthy treats and squeeze them between your hands so that their potent scent is transferred to you. Next, place the treats to the side and call your GSD, announcing “Sherlock Bones” or “Treat Trail.”
Place them on their leash or behind the dog gate temporarily so they can’t follow you around. Ask them to sit and offer them one piece of the treats as temptation. Now, place the first few treats on the floor in easy-to-find spots nearby.
Do this while he watches since he’s new to the game and might need a bit of help.
Place the treats about every 5 to 10 steps apart.
Choose a spot that’s easy to find for some of the treats and sometimes place the treat behind a table leg or object. After he’s successful in the game, make the trail harder and hide the treats in more difficult places.
Now, release your dog from behind the dog gate or let him off his leash and tell him to FIND.
This is one of the easiest games for German Shepherd puppies since you can make a straight trail right in front of them as they learn.
2. Working for Dinner
Few working dogs have to actually work for their dinners these days.
This can cause disinterest in meal times or even boredom. Any potential for mental stimulation during meals is long gone when fed from a bowl routinely… every day of their life!
Instead of offering your GSD’s dinner in their usual way (How boring is that?), set up a fun-filled foraging experience!
German Shepherds love to search for their dinner in new and unusual places.
And, it’s a great brain game for your German Shepherd you can do every day!
What You’ll Need:
Your dog’s dinner portion
Dog gate or leash
3 or more small, non-breakable dishes
A hungry dog!
What to do:
Start with 3 small dishes to place your dog’s dinner portion in for this fun game.
This is one of the best dinner games for intelligent dogs to increase their mental stimulation and reduce boredom.
After you’ve placed their dinner into the dishes, leash your dog or place them behind a dog gate to keep them away while you go outside to hide their dinner. But put them in an area where they can watch you hide the food dishes.
You can also hide the dishes indoors if you’re looking for inside games for dogs.
Hide the dishes under unused pots or boxes, behind bushes, or in other locations that are safe for your dog.
The first time you play, set one of the dishes right in the middle of the yard or room so that it’s easy to find. This is an easy brain game for a German Shepherd puppy to keep them busy.
Now, release your dog and say FIND.
You may have to help your dog find the hiding places in the beginning. Give them plenty of congratulations when they find their food!
You can increase the difficulty of the game by hiding the food in more challenging places or not letting your dog watch where you place the dishes.
3. Magic Cups
Your Shepherd dog loves a challenge!
And Magic Cups is excellent for even the most intelligent dog or puppy.
The cup game is great brainwork that’ll really have your GSD excited and ready for more while giving them a mental activity to do!
What you’ll need:
3 plastic cups
Your magic hands
Playing the game:
Magic Cups is useful to add to your list of inside games for dogs when the weather isn’t cooperating.
The aim of the game is to stimulate your German Shepherd mentally and increase their brain activity.
Take 3 plastic cups and the tasty treats, while having your dog sit or wait nearby. Let them see which cup you place one of the tasty treats under.
Tell them to FIND the treat and when they alert you to the location (by nosing the cup, pawing it, or knocking it over) let them have the reward.
Now, shuffle the cups and play again while your dog sits or waits.
To make the game harder, have your dog wait outside the room where the cups are at.
Or, use more cups so there’s more to sniff and think about as another challenging brain game for your German Shepherd.
4. Fun with Flying (or Rolling) Disc
Playing games with your dog helps to stimulate him mentally. Games that involve both physical and mental agility give a full workout for both the mind and body.
Plus, your breed loves to jump and run for this game.
If you have a GSD puppy under 12 months of age, don’t let them jump to avoid any damage to their bones and joints.
Even better, roll the discs along the ground for them to chase!
This game is easy enough to teach even the beginner dog new to training games.
Take one of your discs or rings and get your dog excited about it by moving it around in the air. You can also take a couple of steps back to tease your dog into playing.
Now, toss the disc just a short distance and encourage your dog to FETCH or BRING it back to you.
If they don’t, simply jog to get the ring and bend down and pat your knee to call him over. Most dogs understand the concept, but if they don’t keep trying and offer a treat when they bring the disc back.
If you have a puppy, keep the disc throwing very low to the ground and only play in the soft grass.
To make this game more mentally stimulating, have the other discs or rings in your hand and immediately throw the next disc when your dog brings back the first.
Watch for your dog or puppy becoming overtired as that’s not the point of the game. Let your dog rest as necessary.
Wondering what discs to buy?
My German Shepherd’s strong bite stands up well to this Kong Classic Flyer as she catches it in mid-air, but its soft rubber is easy on a puppy’s little mouth too!
5. Wobble and Roll
Playing with toys is a great way to have your intelligent breed use its mind.
And you don’t need to spend lots of money on expensive toys and games to play with your German Shepherd.
Simple toys offer hours of enjoyment, like the Wobble feeder.
What you’ll need:
Some fast-moving paws!
Robust toys have been developed for strong German Shepherds that keep them amused.
Many different sizes and shapes of foraging feeders are available and your dog will enjoy the movement of the toy as they nudge, nose, and paw for their food.
Simply place a mixture of treats or their regular dinner food in the feeder and let your dog enjoy their dinner entertainment while you watch with a smile. You can also place the feeder in an easy hiding spot before you leave the house, but don’t let your dog see you hide the toy.
New dog toys entice your German Shepherd to use their brains and bodies in order to win a tasty prize!
Simply place a few treats in the slots beneath the surface of the puzzle toy to conceal the food.
You might have to show your dog how to play a few times and encourage them to find the treats. But German Shepherds are one of the most intelligent dog breeds with superior scenting ability, so they’ll have no problems.
The best part is, this game for German Shepherds is available at all levels, so you can increase the difficulty from puppy to adult as your dog learns how to play the game!
This isn’t the type of dog breed that you can just leave with a few toys and expect them to entertain themselves. You must interact and show your dog how to play games or they’ll make up their own games which you won’t like (since it involves getting into trouble!).
Keep your interactions fun and positive and your dog will love their German Shepherd games and your time together!
You need German Shepherd training to get the best behavior from your dog and enjoy a happy life with them. Read these posts to find out what type of German Shepherd training works the best for your breed.
Your German Shepherd’s health, as well as your dog’s specific breed history, contributes to their overall life span. These posts will help you become aware of your dog’s health problems and how to help solve or improve them.