You’ve become the proud new owner of a German Shepherd puppy and are beside yourself with joy. But now, you’re starting to worry about what is the best way to take care of your pup. All sorts of questions are running through your mind, the most worrying being, “How much exercise does a German Shepherd puppy need?”
So, without wasting any more time, let’s take a look at the kind of plan you will need to make sure your pup reaches its full potential. Also, to put all your worries to rest, we will even tell you about the kind of exercises that are best for your new best friend.
How Much Exercise Does a German Shepherd Puppy Need?
Despite the many rumors floating out there, the answer to this question is – it depends. Many owners suffer from the misconception that their puppy needs lots of exercise to grow strong.
The best solution, in this case, is to follow a simple schedule. You can figure out your puppy’s optimal exercise time by multiplying his age with 5. For instance, if your puppy is 3 months old, it needs to be exercised for 15 minutes, twice a day. Does that sound too good to be true?
Don’t worry. We’re not making this up. Most veterinarians recommend this routine because over-exercising can lead to your pet having health problems in adulthood. German Shepherds grow relatively quickly, compared to other breeds, and because their growth rate is fast, over-exercising your puppy can lead to joint or ligament problems.
(One common problem that occurs in german shepherds is elbow dysplasia.)
Thankfully, you can easily avoid this by keeping a watchful eye on your German Shepherd puppy for signs of exhaustion, such as panting and lagging.
Also, it is best if you slowly increase your pup’s exercise time in accordance with its age. If your pup is under 5 months of age, aim for an exercise that is not too exhausting for it. Start slowly by taking him out on walks for the appropriate amount of time.
If you were hoping to bond with your puppy over jogging or trekking, you may have to wait for a little bit of time. It is best to wait until your German Shepherd is at least 9 months of age before you think about building up its fitness to a strenuous routine.
Now that you have understood the basics of your German Shepherd exercising time. Let’s talk about why the optimal amount of exercise is necessary for your pet.
Why Is Exercise So Important for Puppies?
Just as humans need to lead an active life to stay healthy, puppies need to expend the amount of excess energy built up in their little bodies to stay mentally and physically fit. Here are all the reasons why exercise is important for your little fur-ever friend.
Active Puppies Stay Fit for Longer
You may be thinking that it is a little too early to start worrying about pet aging, but the truth is that exercise helps keep your puppy’s mind sharp and prevents age-related type illnesses in adulthood.
Setting a workout routine early on helps your dog stay on its paws for longer. Just as it with humans, a consistent physical routine can keep the body flexible and ward off age-related stiffness.
Exercise Combats Health Problems
There’s an entire list of health-associated risks that your puppy may develop due to inactivity. Routine exercise can help ward off obesity, digestive problems, and promote heart and muscle health.
As a matter of fact, many of these problems are co-related. For instance, if your puppy is overweight, this can lead to cardiovascular problems and cause constipation.
Moreover, when your dog is exposed to the sun’s full spectrum of rays, it will soak up the ever-important Vitamin D, which is crucial for bone development and growth of puppies. 30 to 40 minutes of sunshine can also help kill bacteria and fungi.
How to Avoid Destructive Behaviors
Who hasn’t heard horror stories of what can happen with a puppy with behavior issues? Research shows that active puppies do not suffer from behavioral problems and that they are better at coping with their owners’ absences.
When puppies are provided with an outlet for their energy, it can help keep away habits such as chewing, scratching, biting, knocking over things, etc. Exercise helps to keep your puppy calm and reduces nervous energy.
Active Puppies Are Social Puppies
Puppies need to learn how to get along with others, be they human or otherwise. Taking your puppy out on little walks can help familiarize it with other people and animals. This helps them become more social later on in life.
Social puppies are also better behaved and less aggressive in public places. Aggressiveness can cause a whole host of issues you want to avoid because this can lead to complaints from neighbors.
(Find out more about socializing your german shepherd puppy.)
A balanced exercise routine will help your puppy be active and well-adjusted. But to achieve that pinnacle of doggy perfection, you have to learn about the best way to exercise your pet.
Certain types of exercises are more suited to puppies under the 5-month mark, whereas others are more suitable for puppies nearing the 1-year mark. Next, let’s discover how you exercise your German Shepherd Puppy, depending on its age.
How to Exercise Your German Shepherd Puppy?
The right amount of exercise will keep your puppy fit. You can exercise your puppy by taking it on walks, teaching it tricks, swimming, or playing fetch. It is also recommended that you take your puppy to obedience school.
This way not only will your puppy learn good behavior, but you will even understand how you can promote discipline with your pet.
Remember, we guaranteed you some pointers about the best types of exercise for your German Shepherd puppy? Well, it’s about that time. Here’s a list of exercises, just like we promised.
Take Your Puppy On A Walk
Puns aside, a walk in the park is just the type of exercise a German Shepherd puppy requires. It not only allows your pup to get its exercise, but it also helps them adapt to new surroundings and strangers. Plus, walking is gentle on the pup’s joints and ligaments. This form of exercise is more suitable for puppies less than 5 months in age.
Take Your Puppy to Obedience School
By school, we mean obedience school. It is another excellent way to get your puppy fit. Not only will your pup learn discipline at obedience school, but it will also interact with other people. There’s also the bonus of being able to learn how to control your pup. It’s a win-win situation.
Teaching Your Puppy Tricks
Another right way to exercise your puppy is to teach it tricks. You can start with simple tricks like sit and stay.
Slowly, when your German Shepherd puppy gets the hang of things, move on to another, more difficult trick like play dead. It might seem like an easy option, but trust us, it’ll be an excellent way to expend the pup’s energy and yours.
Run with Your Puppy
When your pup is disciplined enough to walk on its own, slowly introduce it to running. Remember the guideline though; you don’t want to rush it.
Once your pup is 5 months old, you will be able to take it running twice a day, for 25 minutes. That number will only increase with your German Shepherd’s age. It is also a great way to bond with your pet.
Play Fetch with Your Puppy
Playing fetch is practically a ritual between dogs and humans. It’s also an excellent way to exercise your German Shepherd puppy. Playing fetch can help develop your pup’s muscles, stamina, and endurance.
Another benefit is that you can play fetch with your puppy, almost anywhere. You can safely play fetch with your puppy after it’s 5 months of age.
Teach Your Puppy to Swim
Your German Shepherd might be a little hesitant to get into the water at first. But you can get your puppy used to the water a little at a time. It is likely your pet will love the water, once it’s used to it.
(Find out more about whether german shepherds like water and not, and how to teach them to swim!)
Lastly, swimming is a great way to strengthen your German Shepherd’s muscles without too much stress on its joints.
While too much exercise is bad for your furry companion, too little exercise can have an equally adverse effect. Read on to discover the pitfalls you need to avoid in order to keep your pet well.
What Happens If They Don’t Get Enough Exercise?
Having addressed the issue of how much exercise a German Shepherd puppy needs, you must learn about the dangers of not exercising your puppy enough. It will help you look out for signs of inactivity.
Watch out for any signs of lack of exercises such as lethargy and withdrawn behavior. You can easily avoid problems that accompany inactivity. If your puppy is getting overweight or developing restlessness, take them to vet and change their exercise routine.
Your German Shepherd puppy requires your love and attention to grow healthy and strong. Let’s dive into more details.
Restlessness and Hyperactivity Are Signs of Inactivity
Have we covered that German Shepherd puppies are little bundles of energy? Of course, we have. But it bears repeating that puppies get restless and hyperactive if their energy is not expended through exercise. Avoid getting awakened in the middle of the night by the scampering of little paws and make sure you give your puppy its daily dose of action.
Lack of Exercise Can Lead to Biting and Barking
Some puppies will bark, and others will bite when they do not get enough exercise. Adult German Shepherds have a powerful bite but do not underestimate German Shepherd puppy bites. Those razor-sharp teeth can leave quite an impact. If you’ve been neglecting your pup’s exercise, this may be the reason behind their aggressive behavior.
Lack of Exercise Can Lead to Serious Health Problems
Your German Shepherd puppy can have serious health problems due to a lack of exercise. Your pet could become withdrawn and sluggish or develop constipation due to inactivity. Weight gain is another problem for inactive puppies. It can lead to causing strain on their joints and skeletal structure and make them stiff and weak.
Social Behavior Can Be Affected Due to Inactivity
Your pets need to learn how to behave when they go outside and around strangers. It is essential that they do not act aggressively in public places because it can cause problems like people complaining about your pet.
If you do not train your German Shepherd puppy and familiarize it by walking or playing outdoors, this can affect their social behavior. Puppies can grow to be adults who are aggressive. It can develop into a dangerous situation.
So, if you are a new, proud parent of a German Shepherd puppy and worried about their exercise, you can easily follow the guideline mentioned above to keep your pet healthy.
Remember, you can calculate the optimum amount of exercise; for instance, if your puppy is 3 months old, then it needs two 15 minutes of exercise sessions per day.
It will vary and increase as your puppy gets older. Creating the right amount of balance in your furry friend’s exercise routine is essential. Exercising your German Shepherd puppy too much or too little can equally cause health problems.
A consistent exercise routine can help you build a better bond with your pup. It will also help your pet’s wellbeing because the right amount of exercise has many benefits, such as the promotion of cardiovascular and joint health.
It also helps in developing your German Shepherd puppy’s muscles and stamina. Exercise is the best way to release all the excess energy your pet has; an exercise routine helps keep puppies calm and well-behaved.
Generally, actions like chewing, scratching, and biting can be signs that your pet is full of pent up energy.