How Much Exercise Does a German shepherd Need?

Living in an era where everyone is conscious about their health, the importance of exercise is the focus of attention like never before. Just like we need exercise to stay fit and healthy, German shepherds are no exception. Not too much and not too less; how much exercise does a German shepherd need?

A German shepherd is one of the most favorite breeds all around the world, not only because of their loyalty towards owners but also for their easy-going. It is said that German shepherds usually need 2 hours of exercise daily, but it is not the case for all. There are a few aspects that you need to think through before deciding the actual time for exercise.

Known to be a wonderful family dog, German Shepard is intelligent, hardworking, courageous, and confident. Protective of their owners, German Shepherds are strong as well, and due to this, they are considered as among the best watchdogs.

There are uncountable qualities you will find, but in order to keep them in shape, active, and resilient, they need proper time for exercise. No matter if you have a puppy, an adult, or a senior, it is crucial that you know how much exercise they need.

More than a daily walk, exercise is important for mental health as well. Moreover, not getting the proper exercise will result in severe health and behavioral problems.

Let your dog be healthy, fit, and fine with this guide of how much exercise they need.

How much exercise is good for a German Shepherd?

Largely used by law enforcement forces, German shepherds are known to be highly active dogs. Though it is correct that they need 2 hours of exercise daily, it depends on a few factors such as their energy level, age, food intake, general health, and also for what purpose they are used for.

A German shepherd used by military forces will definitely require more exercise than a dog at your home. So, it is of high interest that you know the right amount for their wellbeing, health, and fitness.

Considering this, let’s have a look at how much exercise is enough in each category.

German shepherd puppy

If you have a German shepherd puppy, it is time they need the most care and attention. Over-exercise and as well as not exercising at all, both cases may result in affecting the overall health of a dog.

Remember that, before three months of age, persistent exercise is not necessary. After the period of three months, 15 to 30 minutes of exercise is needed, and you can add 5 minutes per month until the dog reaches 6 months. At this time, gentle walking and fun games are enough, and no high level of physical activity is required. Other than the exercise, make sure that they are getting enough sleep time as well.

Adult German shepherd

Usually, a German shepherd takes 24 months to be fully mature and full of energy. At this time, 2 hours of exercise is essential to keep the dog in shape, healthy, and active at all times. Add a variety of activities to the routine, and don’t forget training alongside. If you have a busy day and don’t have time for giving exercise, you should ask a friend or relative to help. Make sure not to exaggerate as it may harm the dog in the long run.

Senior German shepherd

The energy level starts decreasing after a certain age, and it will also affect how much exercise the dog will need. Thus, it is clear they won’t need the level of exercise they have been doing before. But it does not also state that you skip the workouts completely.

German shepherds lie in the category of senior once they are 7 to 8 years old. The senior German shepherd will be less active, and you need to be careful when it comes to exercises. Skipping the high-impact exercises, 1 hour of moderate level exercises are enough for a senior German shepherd.

What happens if a German shepherd does not get sufficient exercise?

A German shepherd is a high-energy breed and requires hours of physical activity. Not getting enough exercise will result in serious issues like excessive barking, destructive behavior, laziness, and depression. Not to mention the weight gain and other medical problems that will arise. If you notice any of these signs, it might be because of not getting enough exercise.

In case you are overdoing it, you might notice problems like trouble breathing, excessive panting, sore muscles, extreme thirst, or joint injury.

This makes it important that you keep it balanced and exercise as much as required.

Types of exercises for German shepherd

A worthy friend for active people, the German shepherd, needs daily exercise that should also include mental stimulation. Considering the working background, a walk is not enough for an adult German shepherd. There are multiple exercises that you can include in the daily schedule. A few of the favorable workouts that can be included are:

  • Hiking
  • Tracking
  • Frisbee
  • Jogging

In addition to these exercises, you can also go swimming, rollerblading, and bikejoring. Explore different dog sports and interactive games and keep your shepherd happy and healthy. Don’t forget obedience training or participating in an obedience class as it is also necessary with exercise.


Exercise is a must not only for a physical outlook but also for mental health. While 2 hours of exercise is considered the best for German shepherds, you need to understand that every dog is unique, no matter if they belong to the same breed. Therefore, it is necessary that you look into the individual dog’s condition and then decide how much exercise is best for them.