As much as you would like to spend all day, every day with your German Shepherd, this simply isn’t possible. Being energetic and intelligent animals, this breed does need to be entertained while you are away. Here is your guide to managing this.
Can German Shepherds Be Left Alone While at Work?
It should be noted that German Shepherds aren’t meant to be alone for too long. This breed bonds to its humans easily and can feel lonely when they are away. Some German Shepherds even develop separation anxiety.
Puppies shouldn’t be left alone for more than a couple of hours – one hour for every month of their age. Even adult dogs shouldn’t be left by themselves for more than six hours a day.
In case you have no choice but to be away from your dog for long, you may want to think about leaving them with a friend or relative. This will allow your German Shepherd to be a healthier and happier dog.
How Can You Keep Your German Shepherd Entertained?
Here are some options to keep your German Shepherd occupied while you are away:
Why Should You Rotate the Toy Selection?
German Shepherds are prone to boredom, which is why you should try to keep things interesting for them. To do this, alternate between the toys you leave out for them. Choose a few toys from your dog’s toy box every day and leave them out to play with. Lock the rest up.
The next day, switch these toys out for other ones and continue this for the workweek. This way, your dog doesn’t have the chance to get used to or bored of any particular toy. It will keep things interesting for them without you constantly having to buy new toys.
Your German Shepherd may have a favorite stuffed animal or something that it uses for emotional support. Don’t swap this one out and let your pup hold onto it. You may do more harm than good if you try to take it away.
Should You Leave the Curtains Open?
There is plenty of stimulation outside your home from neighbors and other dogs to the occasional squirrel. Leaving your curtains open is a great way to make sure that your German Shepherd keeps itself entertained. You can ensure that all the curtains are open in the house so that your dog can bound from one window to the next and keep the view interesting.
Give this a trial run while you’re at home. Some dogs love being able to stare out of a window, while it can prove to be too much stimulation for others. Make sure that your dog is looking out interestedly and isn’t continuously barking or getting worked up.
How to Hide Treats Around the House?
Create a scavenger hunt for your dog around the house hide treats in various places – don’t let them see you do this. Your dog can then walk throughout the space and discover a little bite of goodness. This is a great mental exercise for them.
Just remember that this activity can get a bit messy if you aren’t careful. You may want to avoid hiding the treats under couch cushions or anything else that your pup will need to upturn to get to. You should also steer clear of areas or surfaces where your dog isn’t typically allowed.
If you come home to find that the treats are untouched, your pup may need a little help. Hide the treats when you are around and urge them to find them. Once they get the hang of this game, they will be able to do it on their own.
What Toys are Best?
There are now more interactive toys to choose from than ever before. Some of them involve treats while others rely on squeakers or other features. You may want to try out a few ahead of time to find out what your dog responds best to.
When it comes to puzzle toys, start with the easy ones and slowly use increasingly difficult ones as they get the hang of it. A toy that is too complex may cause them to become frustrated and give up.
As with their other toys, rotate the selection every day so that your pup doesn’t learn how to solve a particular toy too quickly.
Can Your Dog Watch TV?
No, you aren’t a bad dog parent if you let your German Shepherd watch TV. It can be a great way for your dog to occupy themselves. Unlike with children, it isn’t likely to do them any harm.
If your TV can be set on a timer, do this. You can make sure that the TV will only be on for a short time. In case your pup has a favorite show, you can program the TV to turn on at this point.
This is another activity you should test out while you are at home. Find out how your dog reacts to having the TV on. Does it interest them, do they ignore it, or are they upset by it?
Always set the channel to something soothing and which isn’t overly stimulating. You don’t want loud, sudden noises or flashing lights and scenes to upset your dog.
Can an Interactive Camera Help?
There are pet cameras that allow you to see and talk to your German Shepherd at various times throughout the day. Some even allow you to deposit treats. This is a great way to give your dog reassurance and vocal affection when you can’t be around.
Give this camera a whirl when you are first gone for a short time. This will give you a better idea of how your pup may react. While some dogs love being able to hear their owners, others can become confused or frustrated by this. A test run will show you which way your pup leans.
Why Should You Hire a Dog Walker?
German Shepherds are a high-energy breed and the more exercise they get, the happier they are. Taking out your dog on a more regular basis also means that they won’t have to hold their bladder for as long.
Dog walkers are increasingly hired by pet parents that are stuck at work all day and can’t spend enough time with their pups. This is a great option to consider if it is affordable. As many dog walkers will often walk several dogs at once, it is a great way for your dog to interact with other animals as well.
Can Play Dates Help Your Dog?
An alternative to hiring a dog walker is to plan pet playdates. If there are other dogs that your German Shepherd likes and gets along with, take turns with the owners to host pet playdates. This gives your dog the chance to hang out with humans and dogs. It can also break up the monotony until you get home.
There are many different ways to ensure that your German Shepherd remains occupied while you’re at work. Use these tactics when necessary and you can have peace of mind knowing that your pup is taken care of while you are away.