15 Best Fun & Engaging Games for German Shepherds to Play

Last Updated on July, 2024

You want your German Shepherd to be entertained throughout the day, right?

Well, playing fun games keeps them happy and active all day. In this article, you will learn about the BEST games for German Shepherds.

Keep reading to know the most effective activities you can do with your GSD.

Let’s get started.

Quick Summary

The 15 best games for GSDs are Fetch, Ring Stack, Agility Training, Obstacle Training, Treasure Hunt, The Name Game, Tug of War, Hide and Seek, Magic Cups, Brain Training for Dogs, Flirt Pole, Muffin Tin Game, Food-Dispensing Toys, Puzzle Games & Nosework.

Playing games with your German Shepherd provides mental and physical stimulation.

Playing games improves behavior, increases obedience, and encourages the use of higher intelligence in GSDs.

15 of the Best Games for Your German Shepherds

1. Playing Fetch

Playing Fetch with gsd dog

Most German Shepherds love to play fetch.

Trust me!

The activities involved in this game are simple and effective. When you are playing fetch, you are throwing an object for your dog to chase and bring it back. 

GSDs naturally enjoy chasing! Playing this game allows your dog to satisfy its urge to hunt.

You could use a tennis ball, light frisbee, stick, or toy to play fetch. Choose an object that travels farther to make it a great game. German Shepherds can do this for hours without getting bored! This keeps your GSD entertained and active.

Isn’t that awesome?

Reward your GSD whenever they come running to you with the object. Then they will be THRILLED to go fetch again. 

This fun game causes your dog to spend a great amount of energy in a little time. Of Course, that means your GSD gets great physical exercise too. However, make sure to use a soft object because hard ones can damage their teeth and jaws.

Furthermore, avoid quick starts and stops of chasing an object. It may cause strains on their joints. So limit playing this game daily. 

Learn more about the game by watching the following video:

2. Ring Stack

Ahem! You must have patience to play this great game with your German Shepherd. 

Ring Stack is your best bet if you are looking for a game with a lot of mental stimulation. When your dog becomes bored, it is better to play a mind game.

So here’s the deal.

First, you must find a set of rings and a stick. Make sure to use a ring stacking toy safe for your GSD. A wooden and dye-free ring stacking toy is the best option. Your dog should know how to fetch and retrieve to play this game.

It is better to start this game with only a few rings. You have to guide your dog to pick a ring first. Once they do it, you should give your dog’s favorite treats. Next, you direct them toward the ring stacker to put the ring onto it. 

Give your GSD a treat again.

Moreover, ring stack is extra challenging, and you can play it indoors. Cool, right? Remember, this is one of the ADVANCED mind games for GSDs. Your German Shepherd will take a few weeks to understand this game.

Check out the following video to find out more:

3. Agility Training

Does your German Shepherd need some serious exercise to release its energy? If yes, agility training is one of the best games for GSDs to relieve their liveliness.

Wait till you hear how awesome this game is!

This is a fun way to increase your dog’s mental and physical stimulation. Cannot find an agility training course in your area?

Do not worry! 

You can do this at home too. Set up your agility course by using tables, chairs, towels, poles, and a few toys.

You must guide your GSD to walk through, jump over, or duck under these objects.

WHOA! So many exercises!

After a while, you should change the agility course style and guide your dog again. This game has a variety of fun activities. It is a terrific way to keep your GSD entertained, happy, and healthy.

Check out the following video to learn more about the game:

4. Obstacle Training

Want to improve your GSD’s coordination skills in a fun way?

Alright, let the dog do obstacle training. 

It is an effective and fun way to make your GSD coordinate with you. Both you and your dog can enjoy this game. Now that you know about agility training, it is easier to understand how this works.

So let’s take a closer look.

You have to organize an obstacle course to play this game. The obstacles can be anything. For example, you can use chairs, wheelbarrows, pieces of wood, or piles of clothes.

You can also create an indoor obstacle course if it is a bad weather day. Keep the obstacles between you and your German Shepherd. Call your dog toward you. Make sure to treat your dog to lure them through the obstacles. 

Make it more difficult when your dog succeeds in the first few rounds. Then, after a while, increase the number of obstacles. This game works well for both adult GSDs and puppies.


Moreover, this is the perfect game to improve your pet’s critical thinking and motor skills.

Here’s a great video to learn more about the game:

5. Treasure Hunt

GSD Dog Treasure Hunting

If you are looking for the easiest games for German Shepherds, treasure hunt is the best choice.

Treasure hunt stimulates your GSD’s brain as well as their senses. It is one of the mentally challenging and fun activities. 

Pretty AMAZING, right?

You only need your dog’s favorite treats to play this game. Then, you have to hide them in some places. First of all, get your German Shepherd to sit and wait. Then let your dog watch the process.

To begin with, hide the treats somewhere accessible for your dog to find. Next, give a command and encourage them to find it. This game is super easy for your GSD because they have a great nose.

Remember to treat your dog once they have found the treat. Most dogs love this! Once your dog understands the game, keep the treats somewhere more difficult. 

Believe me! 

This game will entertain both you and your German Shepherd. Of course, your dog is going to love it!

6. The Name Game

A Playing Name Game With Gsd Dog

Imagine if your German Shepherd could bring you toys when you ask for them. Well, your German shepherd is an intelligent dog. So they can bring you toys if you teach them.

The name game is a fun way of teaching your dog about the names of the toys. It is also one of the great mind games for German Shepherds.

Here’s how this works.

First, grab some of your dog’s favorite toys and healthy treats. Pick your dog’s favorite toy. Now give them the toy saying the name of it. Such as “ball”.

Moreover, give them a treat whenever your dog takes the toy. Finally, when your dog learns the name of one toy, begin to name the next toy. 

Fun fact: After playing this game over a few days, your dog will be able to know the names of many toys. 

Isn’t that AWESOME?

After a while, put the toy on the floor and ask your dog to pick it up. Your German Shepherd will do it.

Now you can ask your dog to bring any toy in a single order!

7. Tug Of War

Playing games like Tug of war increase bonding between your German Shepherd and you.

You are face to face with your dog throughout the game. To play Tug of War, you only need a rope with knots.

Let’s see how it works.

First, let your dog grab one end of the rope with its teeth. Then you have to hold the other end. 

All you have to do is drag the rope. Of course, your dog will work harder to keep the string. When playing this game, you can give commands like take, stop, or release.

Playing tug teaches your GSD to obey commands. However, this game does not involve treats. Remember, you should have great strength to play this game.

Also, make sure to leave the rope and leave immediately if your dog starts biting or snapping. This game is the BEST OBEDIENCE CLASS your German Shepherd can follow!

Watch the following video to learn about Tug of war:

8. Hide And Seek

Your German Shepherd will love playing hide and seek! Just like kids.

This game is FREAKING EXCITING for your GSD.

You must ensure your dog obeys commands such as sit and wait before playing hide and seek. In the beginning, there should be two people to play this game.

First, ask the other person to give your dog the sit and wait command. Then you can go and hide. Start by hiding in a place that is easier to find. 

Remember to praise your dog when they find you.

After a while, make the game harder. Once your German Shepherd learns to obey the sit and wait commands. Then you can play the game with your dog alone.

This game is entertaining and teaches your dog to use its senses. More importantly, it instructs your dog to be patient and obedient. Just the way you want your German Shepherd to be, right?

Check out this excellent video of playing hide and seek:

9. Magic Cups

Your German Shepherd will love playing Magic Cups. This game is super easy and involves mental stimulation.

All you need is three cups and yummy treats. To begin with, have your dog sit and wait near the cups.

Place treats under one cup and leave the other two empty. First, let your dog know which cup the treats are in. After a while, shuffle the three cups. Then, let your German Shepherd try again. 

You have to ask your GSD to find what cup the treat is under. Give your dog a treat for each guess in the first few rounds.

In the following rounds, stop giving treats if your dog guesses the wrong cup. But, it takes a few games for the dog to understand this.

But, DON’T WORRY! Your German Shepherd will learn soon. You can add more cups to make this brain game harder. This cup game will keep your dog entertained and mind excited!

Here’s an excellent video of the game:

10. Brain Training For Dogs

Brain Training for Dogs Program

Brain Training For Dogs is an online training program that has over 21 games. 

The following are some of the games Brain Training For Dogs includes.

  • Target train.
  • Airplane game.
  • Magic little way.
  • Treasure hunt.
  • Bottle game.
  • Muffin game.
  • Ball pit game.
  • Shell game.
  • Hide and seek.

All the games are great fun and are perfect for increasing your dog’s mental stimulation. Not only games, the program also has tons of materials that can help train your dog if it has any problem behaviors.

If you’re interested in learning more, click here to check out the full review

11. Flirt Pole

Do you want to give your German Shepherd a good workout session?

If so, Flirt Pole is one of the BEST games to try.

If you have plenty of room at home, you do not need to go to the dog park to keep your dog active. Simply let your dog play Flirt Pole.

Want to know how the game works? Read on to find out.

A Flirt Pole is a lengthy pole with a long string attached to it. There is a toy tied at the end of the string. The toy is usually a squeaky one. You have to swing the toy and get the dog to chase it. 

That simple? Yes, it is.

Trust me. Your GSD gains a lot of physical activity and entertainment by playing this fun game.

Learn more about the game by watching this video:

12. Muffin Tin Game

Did you know that the muffin tin game is one of the best mind games for your German Shepherd? You have to find a muffin baking tray and some tennis balls to play this game.

The tennis balls must fit into each hole of the tray. First, you have to put some yummy treats in the holes and keep a tennis ball on top. Then leave some spots without treats but keep the tennis balls. 

It will make the game more interesting.

Let your GSD find the treats by removing the tennis balls. Want to know what is even more interesting? This game will tease the dog’s mind for a few hours.

Watch this video to learn how cool this game is:

13. Playing With Food-Dispensing Toys

Playing with food dispensing toys will keep your dog busy for a few hours. To begin with, you need to give the dog a food-dispensing toy with some yummy treats in it.

Pretty easy, right?

Keep the food dispensing toy on the ground. Let your German Shepherd take the treats out!

Your dog will learn how to get the treats from the toys in a bit of time. They are the most intelligent dogs! Don’t you think?

After a while, make the game a little bit difficult. Let them play it and see how much fun it is. This game will keep your dog happy and entertained!

Check out this video about Food-Dispensing Toys:

14. Puzzle Games

Want another game to improve your German Shepherd’s mind? Puzzle games are an excellent way to sharpen their minds. Well, these games are significant since GSDs are an intelligent dog breed.

Let’s see how it works.

First, you have to get a puzzle toy that has a variety of levels. Do not forget to get some healthy treats too.

Start with hiding treats inside the compartments of the puzzle toy. Then, begin on the easy level. 

Then, let your GSD find the treats by opening various compartments of the toy. This will be super easy for your German Shepherd because they have a keen sense of smell. 

Make sure to encourage the dog to play the game by giving them treats. Once your GSD has finished, refill the compartments with treats again.

After a few rounds, go to the complex levels of the puzzle. Your German Shepherd will love this game for sure!

Aren’t you EXCITED to play?

Here’s a great video of a GSD playing a puzzle game:

15. Nosework – Scent Games

If you want to increase your GSD’s smelling skills, playing Nosework is your best choice. This game involves a lot of sniffing and is an excellent exercise for your dog.

Sounds fun, right?

You have to ask your dog to find objects using their nose. But, first find some things that have different smells.

Hide these objects inside a box or a bag. Let your dog find them out by sniffing. You can put essential oils with these objects so that it is more challenging to find.

Once your GSD learns the game, try hiding the objects in more difficult places. Let your German Shepherd try this game and have a  lot of fun!

Watch the following video to learn more about Nose work:

What Are the Benefits of Playing Games With Your German Shepherd?

A Man Playing Game With German Shepherd

Did you know that the favorite part of your German Shepherd’s day is playing with you?

As one of the smartest dog breeds, you cannot just leave your GSD with a few toys. Like most dogs, your GSD loves to play as much as possible!

Now that you know about many games for your dog let’s look into their benefits.

So here are the benefits of playing with your GSD.

  • Providing mental and physical stimulation.
  • Reducing boredom by giving entertainment and fun.
  • Increasing good behavior, including obedience and patience.
  • Encouraging them to use their higher intelligence.
  • Increasing fun, happier, and healthier interactions with you.
  • Improving their curiosity.
  • Improving confidence in their abilities.
  • Keeping them engaged in their environments.

The games are so crucial for your dog to be happier, right?

So, DO NOT IGNORE these benefits! 

Do German Shepherds Love to Play in Water?

German Shepherd playing in water

Your German Shepherd’s specialty is not water-related activities. But most of them love playing in the water and become strong swimmers. So why does your dog love to play in the water?

Let’s check out some possible reasons.

  • It is a great way to stay cool during hot weather.
  • GSDs love athletics and adventures. Water is an excellent way to have some adventurous fun.
  • It gives a wonderful opportunity to bond with you.
  • Getting wet encourages them to keep clean.

Moreover, swimming is one of the GSD’s favorite activities. Swimming is also a great physical exercise for the dog.

But, are you sure your dog likes to play in the water?

Check the following tips before letting them play in the water.

Do not expect your GSD to swim in the first place. Keep in mind your dog may not be a natural-born swimmer. 

Thus, DO NOT THROW your dog into the water!

Also, remember that your dog is not likely to swim on a cold or rainy day. This is because weather plays an important role in water-related activities.

Make their first encounter with water an enjoyable one. If you take your German Shepherd to a beach, lake, or river, ensure their safety. Make this more interesting by playing fetch in the water. Let your dog enjoy playing in the water while providing a safe environment!

How Much Playtime Does a German Shepherd Need?

We love to play with our dogs as pet lovers, right? Get ready! Your GSD needs plenty of playtimes.

The amount of playtime your dog needs depends on age, fitness level, food intake, and health.

Here’s the truth.

Your German Shepherd will need one to two hours of playtime every day.  Make sure to take veterinary advice about this matter. 

Many vets recommend playing and exercising throughout the day. It is better, rather than doing all the activities in one go.

So here’s the deal.

You must understand your dog’s conditions before involving them in the relevant games!

Engage your dog in all sorts of activities during playtime. Of course, you have to include both physical and mental stimulation activities. Moreover, make sure to give them extra attention so they will not overdo it. 

If your pet is still a puppy, it is essential not to over-exercise them because it will cause joint and mobility problems.

What Kind of Toys Do German Shepherds Love?

Toys for gsd

As a German Shepherd owner, you have to find fun and durable toys for your dog. Your dog will love to have their own toys to play with.

You have to give your dogs a variety of toys during playtime. Otherwise, they will get bored. Also, make sure to get more than one toy from each.

Here are some of the toys that your GSD will love:

  • Balls and frisbees.
  • Tug of war toys.
  • Chew toys.
  • Soft toys.
  • Food dispensing toys.
  • Puzzle toys.

Ensure all the toys you buy for your dog are non-toxic, durable, and odorless. 

You can find various types of toys online that can keep your pet happy and entertained. Hurry! Check them out here!


Did you enjoy reading over the list of games for German Shepherds?

Well, now you know how to keep your loving dog happy, healthy, and entertained by playing these games. 

If you found our article valuable, don’t forget to share it with your friends as well. 

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Thomas Villalpando
Thomas Villalpando is the main author of Dogs Academy. He spends his time reading, training, and working with several Dogs' behaviors. He has been featured in MSN, Yahoo Finance, The Sun, Entrepreneur & More. You can find more about him here.

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