German Shepherds (GSDs) are large dogs with moderate to high energy, highly intelligent minds that need stimulation, and can be heavy chewers, especially as puppies.
Dog toys can be a great way to deal with this excess physical and mental energy – whether your GSD is playing with toys by themselves, or with you.
It helps if you have an idea of what the best dog toys for German Shepherd dogs and puppies might be.
The toys for german shepherd dogs and puppies we’ve covered in this info guide are wide ranging like:
- Indestructible Dog Toys For German Shepherds that can take a beating and stand up to a lot of punishment from your GSD
- Chew Toys & Tug Toys For German Shepherds that can be chewed, gnawed on, pulled, tugged etc.
- Puppy Toys & Teething Toys For German Shepherd Puppies whose puppy teeth are growing out
- Soft/plush/cuddly German Shepherd dog toys for sleeping and acting as a ‘comfort’ toy
- Puzzle & Interactive German Shepherd dog toys and to keep their minds occupied
- Training German Shepherd dog toys to hone obedience and behavioral skills
- Squeaker German Shepherd Toys with no stuffing that make noise
You should be able to find something your GSD will like. Let’s check out the options!
(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s)
Best Toys For German Shepherd Dogs & Puppies: Indestructible, Puzzle/Interactive, Teething/Chew Toys & More
Our top rated dog toys for German Shepherd dogs and puppies are:
KONG Classic KONG Dog Toy XL (on Amazon) – All Around Dog Toy For Light Chewing German Shepherds
KONG Extreme Dog Toy, Black XL (on Amazon) – Indestructible Dog Toy For A German Shepherd
Nina Ottosson Dog Bone Puzzle Interactive Dog Toy (on Amazon) – Puzzle & Interactive Dog Toy For A German Shepherd
Nylabone Dura Chew Wishbone (on Amazon) – Chew, Teething & Bone Dog Toy For German Shepherd Puppies Up To 35lbs,
X Large Nylabone Dura Chew (on Amazon) – Chew Toy & Bone Dog Toy For German Shepherds Who Are Strong Chewers Over 50lbs
KONG Wobbler Treat Dispensing Dog Toy (on Amazon) – Simple Puzzle & Interactive Dog Toy For A German Shepherd
The Nero Ball TM (on Amazon) – Training Dog Toy For A German Shepherd
Mammoth Flossy Chews Cottonblend Color 3-Knot Rope Tug (on Amazon) – Tug & Rope Dog Toy For A German Shepherd
KONG Cozie Dog Squeaky Toy (Marvin The Moose) (on Amazon) – Soft/Plush/Cuddly Dog Toy For A German Shepherd
ZippyPaws Squeakie Pup 11-Squeaker No Stuffing Plush Dog Toy (on Amazon) – Squeaky Dog Toy For A German Shepherd
Best Dog Toys For A German Shepherd Dog Or Puppy: Reviews
KONG Classic KONG Dog Toy XL
Everyone knows what the classic KONG is. This one is XL for a German Shepherd’s large mouth.
Instead of feeding food or treats directly to your GSD, put it inside the KONG and watch your GSD amuse itself for an hour trying to get the food out by licking, pawing and chewing.
It is Red in colour so you won’t lose sight of it easily, and even bounces so you can throw it for your GSD.
It is built more for lighter and moderate chewers.
If you’re dog is a moderate, heavy or power chewer, check out the next toy on the list…
KONG Extreme Dog Toy, Black XL
The KONG Extreme is basically the classic KONG on steroids.
It’s made with an ultra high strength rubber that is supposed to be very durable and hard to chew through.
Like the classic KONG, you can pack the Extreme with treats or peanut butter (as long as your GSD isn’t allergic).
The KONG Extreme is black and not red, so the only drawback to this toy is that it isn’t highly visible.
Nina Ottosson Dog Bone Puzzle Interactive Dog Toy
Comes in 4 sizes, and is one of the most popular interactive dog toys out there.
Your dog will have to use their brain for this one.
It’s designed for both dogs and puppies, and is rated a 2/3 difficulty – medium difficulty.
The Dog Brick puzzle toy involves you placing treats under the bone tiles. Your dog has to slide them to figure out where the treats are.
They can use their paws and nose.
Nylabone Dura Chew Wishbone
A fantastic chew toy and bone type toy for German Shepherds up to 35 lbs.
It lasts forever, and is great for light all the way through to heavy and strong chewing puppies.
Not only is it good to keep your puppy occupied during teething, but it will save furniture and other items from being destroyed.
The wishbone shape makes it easy for your puppy to grab the toy with it’s paws and chew.
Made in the USA.
KONG Wobbler Treat Dispensing Dog Toy
Rated as the best puzzle toy for german shepherds on this list.
The KONG Wobbler works like a classic kong in terms of being able to place food or treats inside.
However, the wobbler stands straight up, and wobbles, spins and rolls as your dog paws it and pushes it over with its nose.
Kongs in general are great for dogs that eat really quickly – as it can increase the duration of meal time and give your GSD a great amount of mental stimulation.
The other good thing about the KONG wobbler is that it has a twist top for filling and cleaning the inside of the KONG.
The Nero Ball TM
If you want a substitute for giving treats to your GSD during obedience training, the Nero Ball is fantastic.
It is a rubber ball attached to a nylon rope that you can use as a reward for tasks performed correctly, play tug with, or even throw for your GSD.
The Nero Ball is even used by Police K-9 and Military Working Dog Teams.
Note that only the rubber ball is made to be chewed on with the Nero Ball – not the rope.
If you want to use it as a chew toy only, you can remove the nylon rope.
Mammoth Flossy Chews Cottonblend Color 3-Knot Rope Tug
We rated this one as the best tug toy for German Shepherds and medium-large dogs.
It is also probably the best teething toy for german shepherds and best toy for german shepherd puppies – although the hard rubber KONG toys on this list would be equally suitable.
It is a 3 knot woven cotton fibre rope that is very strong, and your GSD can either tug on it while playing with you, or chew on it while they are by themselves.
It’s 25 inches long, so you have plenty of rope to play with.
The only one negative about this toy is the tassles are quite easy to chew off at the end of the rope. You may want to trim the tassles yourself so your GSD puppy doesn’t swallow them (although it doesn’t really appear to be a choking hazard, more an inconvenience).
KONG Cozie Dog Squeaky Toy (Marvin The Moose)
First up, let’s say that if your puppy is a heavy chewer, plush toys aren’t the best choice.
The KONG range of cuddly toys like Marvin the Moose generally have thicker fabric, better stitching and less stuffing than most cuddly toys, but don’t expect it to last forever.
They also have squeakers to keep your dog amused.
Purchasing 2 or 3 at a time might be a wise choice.
Plush dog toys can be great for keeping your puppy feeling safe at night, or as a comfort toy to take in the car for the first few times.
Chuckit! Large Paraflight
The Chuckit! Paraflight is a flying disc that can be used to play fetch.
The best part about this frisbee disc is that you can take it either in the water (floats on water 0 great for the pool or beach) or throw it on land.
It is made of canvas and rubber, and won’t break down too easily. It’s also high visibility with bright colors.
One thing to be careful of with this toy is to train your GSD to release the disc when you grab it from it’s mouth, otherwise too much tugging can damage the disc.
Better than the rubber discs available by a long stretch!!
KONG Rubber Ball Extreme – Heavy Duty Ball
If you are sick of tennis balls and other balls getting destroyed too quickly, the KONG Rubber Ball Extreme is probably worth a try.
It’s made of extremely strong rubber like the classic KONG toys – so even the strongest chewers will struggle to rip them apart.
It’s made more for larger breeds like German Shepherds.
One negative about this ball is that it is quite heavy – so be careful throwing it around people and inside.
Chuckit! Ultra Ball X Large – Fetch Ball
By far the best ball for playing fetch with your German Shepherd.
This is the X Large version which is 3.5 inches – for big dog mouths like a German Shepherd so they don’t inhale the ball.
For puppies, you may want to get a size smaller.
Better for playing fetch with launchers and for throwing longer distances as the Chuckit! Ultra Ball is more lightweight than the KONG Extreme Rubber Ball, but still maintains the durability.
The Ultra Ball floats, has high bounce and is bright for high visibility.
They are also made of rubber and not felt like normal tennis balls.
Use these balls with the Chuckit! Large size launchers (has the letter L next to them).
Chuckit! Launcher – Ball Launcher For Fetch
You can tell the sizes of the Chuckit! Launchers by looking at the letter next the the number e.g. S is small, M is for regular tennis balls and balls, and L is for the mega balls.
These launchers are lightweight but throw the ball really far – great for dog parks and throwing the ball in general so you can save throwing with your arm.
The extended shaft means you don’t have to touch a slimy ball, or bend down and pick it up.
Nylabone Dura Chew Textured Souper
This is the best commercial chew bone for German Shepherd adults.
This Nylabone is specifically made for larger dogs over 50 pounds – so it is durable and stands up to heavy chewing.
It also comes in a range of flavors including original, beef, liver, chicken, peanut butter and bacon.
The bone itself is large, so there’s little chance your GSD swallows it.
Made in the USA!
Raw Meat Bones From The Shop
Generally, feeding your GSD raw uncooked meaty bones is safe, but you should always check with your vet and do your own due diligence to check that your particular dog will be safe (read more at https://www.lovethatpet.com/dogs/food-and-diet/feeding-your-dog-raw-meaty-bones-is-it-safe/)
Some dogs are more prone to fracturing their teeth (sensitive teeth) or gastrointestinal issues than others for example.
If your dog is ok with raw meaty bones, they can play for hours with them!!
Different ideas for free toys are:
- empty plastic water bottles or containers (BPA free)
- empty plastic food containers (BPA free) – dogs can spend a while licking every last bit of flavour off these depending on the container/package
- old shoes
You don’t have to pay for all of your dog toys, try a few of these free options too!
Your German Shepherd’s favorite toy by far is you!!
Make sure you spend enough time each day walking, playing with and interacting with your GSD.
An inanimate toy doesn’t move around, talk and give hugs quite like you do.
Best Dog Toys For German Shepherd Dogs & Puppies: Buyer’s Guide
What Toys To Get For A German Shepherd?
It’s not really rocket science choosing a good toy for your German Shepherd, right? The basic criteria is to get a range of toys that:
- Are big enough not to get stuck in your dog’s throat (especially if a young puppy).
- If your dog is a heavy chewer, make sure the toy is hard wearing enough not to be destroyed in a few minutes (wasting your money, but also breaking into smaller parts your dog can swallow), but not so hard that it damages your dog’s teeth. Hard rubber or woven rope/thread type materials usually work best. Uunderstand no toy is completely indestructible though.
- It needs to stimulate your GSD for more than a few minutes – mentally or physically. Sometimes this can be trial and error though – you never know what your dog will and won’t like, so it might be wise to start cheaper and work your way up!
Some examples of good cheap toys for German Shepherds are the Kong Rubber Wobblers/Cones with the harder rubber, rubber balls (without glue) and launchers, and any rope tug toy.
Types of Dog and Puppy Toys for German Shepherds
- Balls and Ball Launchers– good for fetch and expending ALOT of energy
- Frisbees and Flying Discs – good for fetch
- Tug/Rope and Tether – good for teething and training
- Puzzle & Interactive Toys – good for mental stimulation – some always provide the same puzzle and some change up the puzzle for you dog depending on the individual dog
- Training Toys – a specialised tug toy for training and obedience, and can be used as a substitute for treats
- Plush Dog Toys – a play toy or a toy that you GSD can take to bed for comfort. If your GSD is a heavy chewer, plush toys can get torn up pretty quickly. You may want to make sure they are stitched together well, and stuffingless if possible
- Squeaky Toys – a toy that squeeks when your GSD plays with it and bites down on it. If used in easily destroyed toys like plush toys, make sure your GSD won’t swallow the squeaker/s
- Chew Toys – for teething GSDs and to keep GSDs stimulated for long periods
- KONG toys – everyone knows what a kong is – usually very durable and provides great mental stimulation if you place food or treats inside
- Treat Dispensing Toys (like the KONG wobbler) – dispenses treats as your GSD plays with it (can be used instead of feeding treats straight to your GSD)
- Fetch Toys – usually a launcher and a ball
- Raw Bones and Plastic Bones – good for chewing and teething
Different Materials of Dog and Puppy Toys for German Shepherds
Some common materials used for dog and puppy toys are:
- Rope and Woven Fibre
Thick rubber and tightly woven rope/fibre is usually best for German Shepherds as they are extremely durable and hard wearing.
This material is usually good for the puppy teething stage and also good for adult GSDs who can both be heavy chewers
How Do I Know If A Dog Toy Is Safe For My German Shepherd?
Here are some things you might look out for when deciding whether a dog toy is safe for your German Shepherd to play with:
- If plastic or rubber, make sure it is BPA free (it is interesting to note that the glues in some toys like some tennis balls for example may contain semi-harmful chemicals and even erode the enamel on your dog’s teeth)
- Make sure it doesn’t contain toxic heavy metals, including cadmium, lead and chromium
- For large dogs like German Shepherds, make sure if they are playing with small toys that you supervise them if they are a puppy as they could choke on it.
- Make sure it isn’t heavily dyed, or treated with fire retardants or stain guard (read more at http://thebark.com/content/choosing-safe-dog-toys?page=2)
- If your dog is a heavy chewer, avoid plush toys, latex and leather dog toys.
- Toys with squeakers and stuffing inside can also be hazardous if ripped apart and swallowed
Always study the materials on the label and check the manufacturer’s site if required. Pay attention to any warnings that look similar to ‘small parts – not suitable for puppies’.
Tell Me More About Dog Toys For German Shepherd Puppies – Chew Toys, Teething Toys, Dog Toys That Look Like Bones etc.
The three things to note about German Shepherd puppies when it comes to dog toys are:
- Puppies are smaller in size than adults, and so have smaller mouths – they generally need smaller toys to fit their mouths
- Pay attention to dog toys that are small enough to be a choking hazard – look at the size of the toy and any choking or hazard warning before you buy
- German Shepherd puppies up until the age of about 6 months old go through teething where their puppy teeth are replaced with adult teeth. During this time they might chew…a lot. Chew toys like ropes can be great, and so can bone type toys or even KONGs. Some people choose to give their puppy a wet rag to chew on. Just make sure whatever you give your puppy doesn’t break their teeth, and it’s strong enough so they don’t break pieces off which they can swallow
There’s 3 types of toys that best suit German Shepherd puppies who are chewing alot:
- The popular woven rope dog toys
- Nylabone type dog toys
- Old shoes, rags, plastic containers and bottles (as long as they are safe to be chewing on of course)
All of these toys are fairly cheap and replaceable, but you you get great wear and tear out of them.
You might want to stay away from the lesser known brand woven rope dog toy animals and sets of small ropes – many owners experience that these toys break apart very easily and the ropes can be swallowed by puppies. Stick to the bigger more popular woven ropes.
We think the Nylabone Dura Chew Wishbone is the best option – it’s cheap, lasts forever and is designed for puppies up to 35 lbs – which is perfect for the first 3 to 6 months.
Tell Me More About Puzzle Toys & Interactive Toys For German Shepherds
Puzzle toys and interactive toys can be a good way to get your German Shepherd to use their brain, think and keep them stimulated.
They usually involve a dog having to use their mouth or paws or both to achieve a result – like releasing treats, or making a sound for example.
They can be as simple as a dog using their tongue to get food from the inside of a Kong dog toy, to specially built interactive games where the dog has to move or interact with objects to find treats.
The Nina Ottoson range of interactive dog toys are a good example of some great and higher quality interactive and puzzle type dog toys, with the Nina Ottosson Dog Bone Puzzle Interactive Dog Toy being very popular.
Tell Me More About Indestructible Dog Toys For German Shepherds Who Are Heavy or Strong Chewers
If your dog is a really heavy chewer, you may want to consider giving your dog items like meaty bones and BPA free plastic food containers to chew on, in addition to dog toys.
As far as dog toys go, the best dog toys for heavy chewers are usually made of hard rubber, hard plastic, or extremely tough wearing woven cotton ropes.
Dog toys like the Extreme rubber Kong , Nylabones and a Flossy Rope are good examples of indestructible type dog toys for German Shepherds who are heavy or powerful chewers.
If your dog does seem to chew a lot, even after the teething period, make sure you are getting teeth checks done regularly at the vet to make sure your dog’s teeth are in good condition, not losing the enamel, and are not getting damaged in any way.
Tell Me More About German Shepherd Training Toys
Training toys for German Shepherds can take many forms.
It can be as simple as your dogs favorite toy which you give them as a reward for following a certain command.
Or, it can be a dog toy designed specifically for dog training.
An example of a dog toy designed specifically for dog training is the Nero Ball Classic TM. It is a simple ball and rope dog toy which you can use to throw, tug and also as a reward for your dog.
With a toy like this you can teach on-leash and off-leash obedience, as well as basic commands like drop, sit, stay, give, down + more.
Tell Me More About German Shepherd Cuddly/Soft Toys
Cuddly toys for German Shepherds are usually good for either light chewers, or dogs as a comfort toy when travelling or going to bed for example.
They are cute, soft, cuddly and look nicer than standard dog toys.
The KONG Cozie plush/cuddly dog toy range is quite popular among dog owners, with KONG Cozie Dog Squeaky Toy (Marvin The Moose) being popular.
Tell Me More About Chew Toys & Bone Toys For German Shepherds
Meaty bones from your local meat supplier can be a good and cheap option as chew bones and dog bones for your German Shepherd.
As far as chew and bone dog toys go, Nylabones can be a good dog toy based chew bone for German Shepherds, as they are usually tough and durable (and cost effective).
The Nylabone Dura Chew Wishbone is good for puppies up to 35lbs.
Tell Me More About The Best Teething Toys For German Shepherd Puppies
German Shepherd puppies go through teething up until around 6 months of age when their adult teeth finally grow through.
You can refer to the section above about best toys for German Shepherd puppies – where we mention Nylabones as good toys for the teething stage.
You can check out this guide for more ideas and information on German Shepherd Puppy Teething.
Best Balls For German Shepherds
Any of the above mentioned balls are good for German Shepherds.
For especially tough chewing dogs, you may want a rubber or tough material ball and not a regular tennis ball – otherwise, they can get torn up very quickly.
Please, with balls for Germans Shepherds and all dogs, make sure you inspect the size of the ball first and make a strong decision that you don’t think there is any chance your dog can swallow it … even accidently.
We’ve just heard some horror stories of dogs accidently swallowing balls while playing, and it can have fatal consequences.
Best Nylabone For German Shepherds
As listed above – the Wishbone is better for puppies, whilst the X large nylabone is better for bigger adult dogs.
What Size Kong Toy Should You Get For Your German Shepherd?
For about an 85lb or 38 kg German Shepherd, an XL Kong Toy seems to be a great size to fit in their mouth as far as the standard KONG rubber toys go.
What To Stuff A Kong Dog Toy With? – What To Put In Kong Dog Toys
Something sticky is usually best so it doesn’t fall out and so it isn’t easy for your dog to lick or drop out straight away.
Peanut butter and yogurt can work well – but both can be high in calories. Some canned dog food can be good, but can be high in sodium.
Kibble and dog treats can be too small and can fall out pretty easily.
Meat can work well if you stuff it in tight enough. The same thing for vegetables if you want to mush it up. Some people even combine some yogurt or peanut butter with vegetables.
How To Wash Dog Toys Safely
Inside a bucket of warm water, you might put:
- A natural cleaning detergent or anti bacterial solution (with all natural ingredients)
- Or, a vinegar and baking soda solution
Wash the dog toys with a rag and leave them to soak.
After soaking, empty the bucket, and re-fill it with clean water and rinse the dog toys with clean water.
The dog toys should them be clean to use.
Dog Toys For Treats (That Actually Hold Treats)
Some people use the KONG for treats, but we’ve found with kibble and solid treats, they can fall out too easily.
A treat dispenser toy works better, or even the interactive/puzzle board dog toys where your dog has to move tiles or parts of the puzzle toy to get the treat out.
Dog Toy For Peanut Butter
The KONG toys are probably best for peanut butter because you can stuff the paste inside the KONG and your dog has to lick it out of the inside slowly.
Dog Toys For Cleaning Teeth
Just from our visual observation of our dogs’ teeth, bones and chew toys tend to do the best at keeping our dogs’ teeth clean.
For a medical recommendation on teeth cleaning dog toys, ask a vet.
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