High energy dog breeds like German Shepherds have naturally strong physique and high intelligence. And while there a lot of available dog toys in the market, finding the right one can be a lot of work on your part. That’s why we’ve got a guide right here to help you pinpoint the features you have to look out for when choosing the best toy – or toys! – for you hyper German Shepherd.
Toy Types that are Appropriate for German Shepherds
We’ve already established that German Shepherds are hyperactive dogs with high intellect and strong body. So you’ll have to find a dog toy that can match all these qualities.
Indestructible toys are the type that can match your German Shepherd’s jaw and teeth strength. Getting an indestructible toy for your dog ensures that they won’t break off huge chunks of it that might accidentally harm them, and even help you save money because of its long-lasting properties.
Puzzle and treat dispensing toys are another type of dog toy that will help exercise their brains and keep them occupied during quiet times or after rough play. These types of toys are also perfect distractions if you need rest from playing with your dog.
Teething Toys are for puppies in their teething stage. They are smaller and softer than regular dog toys, but still, German Shepherd puppies might still not have any control of their strength. So you’d still need a fairly durable one for your pet.
Squeaker and plush toys are suitable for German Shepherd with gentle chewing habits. The squeaking sound and texture of these toys might be interesting and infinitely entertaining for some German Shepherds. They can also be comforting toys for anxious dogs. But remember to supervise them when they decide to play with plush toys to avoid any accidents from happening.
Toys for Training can be anything from a simple ball to ergonomic-shaped toys like a rope and ball combination. If you have a German Shepherd training for police work or human support, there are specific toys in the market that can make their training more enjoyable and double as their reward.
Other things to consider when buying a toy for your German Shepherd
Other than the specific use and construction of a dog toy, here are some more things you can watch out for when buying your GSD a toy:
Size of the toy – Choose a toy that will suit your dog’s build. Adult dogs will need bigger toys and a slightly smaller one for a puppy. But not too small since German Shepherds pups are bigger than toy dogs and would need bigger, more sturdy toys.
Your dog’s dental health – You should always check if your dog’s dental health is in good shape before giving them an indestructible chew toy, so they won’t accidentally break or chip a tooth.
Variety – One type of toy might become boring for a German Shepherd over time. Keep a few other types of toys at hand to keep them amused.
Outdoor and indoor toy – Most nylon dog toys can be used for outdoor play. But other toys like plush toys and other fabric-based toys should only be used indoors. Treat dispensers would also have to stay indoors and cleaned after every use.
Specific design – There are toys that are for chewing only, and toys for other activities that does NOT include chewing, like a Frisbee disc. There are also ball toys in the market that can be for fetching only and not as a chew toy. Keep in mind the primary use of the toy you are purchasing to avoid accidents from happening to your dog.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What toys are NOT suitable for German Shepherds?
You would think that a rope toy would be suitable for German Shepherds, but they are just not durable enough for their strong teeth and jaws.
However, if the rope toy you purchased have nylon balls or plastic handles included, then these rope toys are okay. They are perfect for more active play like fetching or tug-of-war. Just make sure you’re still there to supervise.
Should I have different toys for adult and puppies?
Yes, definitely. Teething toys are the most suitable toy for German Shepherd pups and for any puppy as well. You should give different toys as they grow. Get a more appropriate toy for your German Shepherd once they turn at least a year old. And collect a variety of them to keep your dog entertained.
When do I need to replace their toys?
Once they’ve chipped it and has become small enough to swallow, you must replace it with a new one, lest they accidentally choke on it. You can also replace their toys if they manage to chew enough for it to form spikes that can harm their mouths. Fabric, rope, and plush toys should be replaced If they’ve tattered and have pieces dangling about. These might be ripped away and swallowed by your dog, so always be vigilant when giving your dog these types of toys.
Best toys for your German Shepherd (Adults and Puppies alike!)
Rope Toy Set for Adult and Puppy German Shepherds – Otterly Pets Rope Toys
For a good set of rope toys for your pup or adult dog, Otterly Pets has it. Thick, tightly woven cotton ropes in a variety of designs will keep your German Shepherd entertained for a long time. It has rope toy designs that you can play tug-of-war with, a ball for fetching, and even a ring for teething puppies.
Rope toys are also great as dental toys, but they would need to be replaced much faster than nylon toys since they’re easier to be chewed through. They are much cheaper and has a variety in one pack. If you don’t mind playing with your dog and always supervising, then this rope set from Otterly Pets is a great choice.
- Tightly woven cotton rope toys for heavy chewers
- A variety of styles to keep your dog entertained
- Can be used extensively as long as you supervise your dog
- Has toys for tug-of-war, fetch, and even a teething ring for puppies
- Best value for money and suitable for large breeds
- Rope toys can unravel and fall apart, but can be cut off if necessary
- If rope toys unravel completely, it is best to replace it with a new one
Durable Plastic Chew Toy with Different Textures – Nylabone DuraChew Chew Toy
Nylabone is one of the brands that offer the most long-lasting chew toys in the market. More so with the DuraChew line. This extra-large chew toy is a peanut-butter flavored dog bone that can last a long time even with aggressive chewers. Not only will it be a yummy chew for your German Shepherd, but it even has nubs and ridges on its surface that can feel delightful for teething puppies. Its textured surface also help clean off food debris or tartar from your dog’s teeth.
This chew toy for large breeds is a great indoor toy that can occupy your dog’s time while you are resting or after playtime with your pet. It’s also a great after meal chew for dental cleanup. The Nylabone DuraChew Extra-Large Peanut Butter Chew toy is also available in a variety of sizes and flavor to suit to your dog’s palate.
- Extra-large and extremely durable chew toy for large breeds
- Has peanut butter flavor to entice chewing
- Has nubs and ridges on the surface to massage teething gums
- Textured surface is also great for removing tartar and food debris from the mouth
- Great toy to gnaw on after playing or mealtime
- Durable materials make for a long-lasting chew toy
- Beware of your dog leaving it around, we hear from reviewers that it’s not so fun to step on!
- Experiment with the different flavors if your GSD doesn’t like peanut butter.
Durable Toy for Ball Crazy German Shepherds – The Nero Ball Classic TM
The Nero Ball Classic TM is an awesome outdoor toy for German Shepherds who love playing with balls. It can be used for a lot of activities, like playtime, sports, and even police training. This nylon rope toy has a durable rubber ball on one end that your GSD can easily hold on to when playing tug-of-war. It’s also a great exercise tool with its loop at the other end to make it easier to fling it really far with minimum effort on your side. Your German Shepherd will have so much fun running for this ball and getting it back to you.
The ball of the Nero Classic TM is hollow, so your dog can enjoy chewing on it with its slight give. It’s great for exercising their jaw strength and keeping their teeth in top shape. This rope and ball toy can also be a nice reward when training your service dog.
- Rope and ball combination toy for large breeds
- Can be a fun tag-of-war toy with your German Shepherd
- Also suitable for playing fetch with your pet
- Nylon rope ensures durability and rubber ball is great for exercising the jaw
- Great toy for outdoor playtime, sports, and even police training
- The nylon rope is not a chewing toy and is not advisable to leave with your dog unattended
- Rope might slip off the ball, but can be tightened and reinforced
Best for Value Squeaky Plush Toy Set – ZippyPaws Squeaky Plush Dog Toys
If you have a gentle chewer in your midst, then you might like to try ZippyPaws’ Squeaky Plush Toys. These adorable plush toys are available in a variety of animal designs. They are all unstuffed, so you won’t have to worry about any mess even when punctured by your dog’s teeth. They are made with soft and velvety materials that will be a comfort to your sweet and quiet German Shepherds. It even has a squeaky toy inside to keep your pup entertained while playing.
ZippyPaws Squeaky Plush Toys are 18” long, perfect for dogs with a large build. German Shepherds who have an affinity to soft toys will also enjoy having one of these.
- Suitable for gentle chewers
- With cute animal character designs that dogs usually run around to catch
- Soft and velvety plush fabric that may be a comfort for gentle giants
- No stuffing included to avoid any mess if punctured by your dog
- 18” in length, perfect for large breeds
- Squeaky toy as an additional entertaining feature
- Can be used only for indoor playtime
- Squeaky toy might be dislodged after some time
Treat Dispensing Toy for Aggressive Chewers – KONG Extreme Dog Toy
KONG has always been known to provide extremely durable and interactive toys for all types of dogs. But this particular one is one of the best toys for German Shepherds and other large breeds. The KONG Extreme Dog Toy has a gourd-like appearance that has a hollow middle. This space is where you can put treats like peanut butter for your dog to try getting. Not only is the KONG Extreme a great toy for aggressive chewers, but they also give enough challenge to your smart dog to keep them entertained for a long time.
The best part about the KONG Extreme is that it is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Its rubber construction is waterproof and can withstand a German Shepherd’s strong teeth and jaw. The grooves of this toy can even help in removing food debris to promote healthy dental hygiene.
- Extremely durable chew toy for large breeds
- Interactive dog toy with hollow middle for treats
- Great distraction or entertainment toy for your dog
- Can be used for outdoor and indoor playtime
- Waterproof rubber materials
- Can also be a great dental hygiene tool
- Available in many sizes and colors
- Great for teething puppies!
- Lasts for a long time but can still be worn down by persistent chewing
- Size chart might be confusing for first time buyers