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Best Dog Toys For German Shepherds: From Puppies To Seniors

Last Updated: October 31, 2020 | 12 min read

Best Dog Toys For German Shepherds

German Shepherds are very popular breeds to own. They’re spunky, fun-loving, and not to mention, adorable. These great dogs are happiest when they’re in great environments, and the right environments require the right toys.

GSD’s are notoriously reckless with their teeth, especially service dogs.  This can lead to problems later in life, which includes root canals or crowns, which are all highly expensive vet bills that you’ll have to foot the cost for if you aren’t careful with your toy selection.

Whether you’re about to become the proud owner of a German Shepherd or you’re just looking to improve your pet’s playtime, take a look at these dog toys for German Shepherds.

Our Favorite Toys For German Shepherds at a Glance:

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Quick Breed Overview

The best way to make the optimal choice in your puppy’s toys is to get to know their breed. Once you learn your dog’s nature and habits, you can better match them with the exact toys they need. Then, we can start talking about the kinds of details you should aim for in your product search.

German Shepherds are considered a large dog breed. They come from a lineage of working dogs that were originally bred in Germany to guard and herd flocks of sheep, hence their name. They are very smart and active pups who make great family pets and guard animals.

German Shepherds, like any other breed, require certain levels of activity, play, and care. Getting the right toys for them can certainly help you achieve excellence across all of these areas.

Activity Levels

This breed is known to be very active. They are considered athletic dogs with lots of energy and muscles to workout. Actually, German Shepherds are known to act out if they aren’t getting the exercise and playtime that they need. Frequent walks and long play sessions at the park or in the back yard are great for these pups.

Not only do these dogs need physical exercise, but they love mental exercise as well. You can train them to do a lot of things, and they enjoy participating in agility training, herding, tracking, and dock diving. You may find your GSD loves water and swimming, too.

German Shepherds are known by their owners for their infamous chewing, as well. This chewing will only increase if they don’t get the exercise that they need. However, it’s also important that you get them the right toys and teach them what is okay for chewing and what is off-limits.

GSDs are working dogs, and they do require you to be firm when training on a harness or on a leash.


German Shepherds are super smart animals. Though the high levels of energy may be frustrating and can make training time a little distracting, these dogs have a history of learning to do it all.  They learn quickly, and require a firm hand if you plan to crate train them.  If crate training is in the cards, make sure you look at crates created specifically for GSD’s.

This breed has been commonly seen as police dogs, guard dogs, military dogs, show dogs, and shepherding dogs. They can be trained to detect bombs, sniff out drugs, and rescue people. Not only are they intelligent and versatile, but they’re extremely loyal and just all-around good dogs.

Buyer’s Guide

Dog toys come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and materials these days. Many times, pet owners want to pick the cutest or most colorful toy to share with their pup. While this is all good-hearted fun, and we know that you mean well, this may not be the best strategy for choosing your GSD’s toys.

German Shepherds need the right kind of toys, or they won’t be satisfied with their chewing and won’t be able to work out those natural instincts. They will then likely move on to chewing other things, like your shoes or your furniture. If they’re well-trained, they may just become frustrated rather than chewing on something.

Take a look at all the features you want in your German Shepherd’s toys.

Rubber Toys

The most important thing to look for in your German Shepherd’s toys is the materials it is made from. Buying the right materials will ensure that your toy lasts longer than one day.

Ideal German Shepherd toys are made from rubber. Rubber is solid and nearly indestructible, at least when it comes to dogs. Rubber toys are super tough, and your dog with love to chew on it.

They also last well in all different kinds of weather, so there’s no need to worry about them getting left out in the yard. They’re super easy to clean as well; some warm water and a little bit of soap will do the trick.

Rubber is pretty versatile, and you can find rubber toys in the same variety that you’ll find other toys. There are so many shapes, sizes, and colors to choose from, so your German Shepherd pup will never get bored of his options.

Rope Toys

Rope toys are another good option for German Shepherds, but only if they’re high-quality. You can find some very tough, strong rope toys are perfect for playing tug of war and chewing. You’ll know its strength by how thick it is; the thicker, the better.

The best rope toys will also have large knots tied across them in several different places. These knots keep it strong and give you pup something to focus on.

It’s also best to get a rope that doesn’t contain any dyes and is made from a natural fiber. This just makes the toy better for your dog without risking exposure to toxins. If they’re going to put it in their mouth, it’s important to consider these things.

Toy Size

You may have heard your vet discuss the size of bones or chewing toys that you get for your dog. Many pet owners also have concerns about these things. This is because toys that are too small can pose a choking hazard.

That being said, size matters, and this is why there is such a large and diverse availability of dog toys, treats, and bones on the market. Consider the size of a bone that an owner of a tiny Chihuahua might buy. You wouldn’t buy that same bone for your large German Shepherd because he’ll try to swallow it in one bite.

Your toys should be size appropriate. Don’t buy your GSD a toy small enough to fit entirely inside his mouth. You should feel confident enough with his toys to leave him alone with them, and they shouldn’t be small enough for him to swallow.

If you’re looking for a reference, I would suggest not buying anything smaller than a tennis ball.

Many toys will say in their product details what size dog they are appropriate for, but there will certainly be cases where you’ll have to make a judgment call. When in doubt, pick something else.

Texture and Shape

When a dog gets bored, bad things happen to your stuff. Keep it interesting! Even if you find a toy that your dog really likes, you shouldn’t leave it at that. Just as you wouldn’t buy the same toy over and over for your child, you shouldn’t bore your dog with more of the same.

Switch it up. Many rubber toys come in so many different shapes with a variety of textures. You can find anything from a smooth rubber bone to a spikey rubber ball. Your GSD will enjoy exploring his options and experiencing different surfaces and shapes.

You may also find that some toys are better from throwing and fetching while others are good for sitting and chewing. A wide range of options lets you discover what works best for you and your pup.

What NOT to Buy

There are certain dog toys that German Shepherd owners should just avoid altogether, rather than spending all of their money trying to perfect. The first of these is any kind of plush toy.

Stuffed animals are doomed from the start with your German Shepherd. This can be discouraging for pet owners because not only are they cheap, but they come in so many adorable styles.

You may think a plush toy will become your pup’s best friend to sleep with like your old teddy bear, but these toys are destined to be destroyed and ripped apart the second they come through the front door.

Not only is this a pure waste of money, but you’ll also have to deal with the cleanup. A plush toy is filled with stuffing, and you will soon find this stuffing everywhere. Some of these also have squeakers, and your GSD shouldn’t be allowed to swallow either the squeaker or the stuffing for health reasons.

Latex and vinyl toys are certainly better options than plush toys, but they still aren’t the strongest you can get. You’ll likely find these toys beat up and destroyed too. Maybe not as quickly as the plush toys, but quicker than you would hope.

Top Toys For GSDs

As a pet owner, you have probably already decided that your dog deserves the best. New owners: lookout; you’re going to learn that soon! One thing to keep in mind is that teething puppies should definitely have different toys.  While there’s some overlap in the list below, we put together this guide that will walk you through toys specifically for teething puppies.

While the list below is by no means all-inclusive, these are some fan favorites that we’ve also tested and enjoy using with our own dogs.  Let’s take a look and discover your dog’s next birthday or Christmas present.

Kong Classic

KONG 41938 Classic Dog Toy, Large, Red, KONG...
  • INSTINCTUAL NEEDS: The KONG Classic red rubber toy helps satisfy...
  • FETCH TOY: The KONG Classic's unpredictable bounce makes for...
  • AVERAGE CHEWING DOGS: The KONG Classic red rubber formula is...
  • GREAT FOR STUFFING: The stuffable KONG Classic is even more...

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If you haven’t seen one of these toys yet, you have surely been missing out. The Kong Classic is a very popular dog toy and for good reasons. This natural rubber toy is versatile and durable.

With the Kong Classic, you can play with your dog or let him entertain himself. It works great as a fetch toy; take it in the backyard, throw it around, and easily clean it in your kitchen sink or even your dishwasher when you’re done playing.

It’s also great for when your pup just wants to sit and chew. The thick rubber is super tough and can withstand chews from the strongest, most persistent jaws. If you want to make the chewing even more enjoyable for your pet, you can stuff it with treats or natural peanut butter. It will keep them busy for hours.

The unique shape of this toy is not only great for filling with yummy things for your dog to find, but it creates an unpredictable bounce for playtime. You and your dog will never know which way the toy will bounce, giving the game of fetch an added twist of fun.

We love that the unique shape is great for fetch and chewing.  The hollow inside allows for stuffing of your favorite treat.  The durable rubber construction makes it extremely durable, and the six size options let you choose the best style for your pet. This quality toy will not disappoint.  You cannot go wrong with the classic Kong.

Devil Dog Pet Co Elk Antler

Devil Dog Pet Co Antler Dog Chew - Premium...
  • 🐶 PREMIUM ELK ANTLERS FOR DOGS - You get a premium, grade-A...
  • 🐶 HAPPY DOG HAPPY LIFE: Boredom is one of the main reasons...
  • 🐶 YOUR BEST FRIEND DESERVES THE BEST: Unlike rawhides which...
  • 🐶 YOU ARE HELPING TO SAVE DOG LIVES: Devil Dog Pet Co runs a...

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Many pet owners like to stay as natural as possible, and it doesn’t get much more natural than the Devil Dog Pet Co Elk Antlers. These chew toys are very popular because they come straight from nature itself, delivering born and bred strength that holds up against the heaviest chewers.

These elk antlers are of the highest quality and are perfect for large dogs between 45 and 70 pounds. They serve to keep your pup interested and away from boredom that can lead to harmful chewing habits.

Devil dog provides a product that is odor-free, non-synthetic, clean, and a great source of nutrients. Additionally, they refuse to source from elk farms and get their products from wild sourcing. To make things even better, this company features rescue sponsors every month using a percentage of their sales.

We love that this chew toy is all natural, and delivers both strength and appeal without odors, splintering or synthetic materials.  It’s available in five different size options for your pup, and also has nutrients it delivers during chew sessions.

Chuckit! Ultra Ball

ChuckIt! Ultra Ball, Medium (2.5 Inch) 2 Pack
  • ULTRA BOUNCE BALL: This ball toy for dogs entices play withhigh...
  • TOUGH & DURABLE: Rubber ball for dogs has a textured surface & a...
  • PET TOYS: Get ready for bonding & fun with your dogs & cats!...
  • CHUCKIT! FETCH TOYS: Chuckit! creates toys that enrich the...

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If you haven’t seen it yet, you’re likely to realize that your German Shepherd can tear apart even tennis balls. The Chuckit Ultra Ball is the perfect solution for these heavy chewers. Made from durable, solid rubber, even the strongest of jaws have to work extra hard to make a mark on these balls.

These rubber toys deliver high bounce, and they are very buoyant, allowing you to use them in the water with your furry friend. The rubber is all-natural, free from toxins and harmful chemicals, and it’s super easy to clean.

This product comes in a variety of size options and packages, ranging from 2.5-inch balls to XXLarge 4-inch balls. You can also order them in one-packs or two-packs for double the fun. The orange and blue color design is purposeful because it delivers high visibility for your pup. At a very reasonable price, you and your dog can play fetch for hours anywhere.

We love that it’s highly durable and has tough rubber to withstand a beating.  It has different sizes, colors and the buoyancy is intentional so your pup can find it in the water.  It’s hard to go wrong with the Chuckit. This is an overlap in some of our other toy lists, but for good reason.

Otterly Pets Dog Rope Toys

Otterly Pets Puppy Dog Pet Rope Toys - Medium...
  • FIVE HIGH QUALITY LARGER ROPES For Your Best Friend - Perfect for...
  • BEAUTIFUL UNIQUE MATCHING Custom Color Assortment Value Pack Set...
  • WASHABLE 100% NATURAL COTTON FIBERS for Your Family Member's...

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There’s nothing better than a good, quality assortment of toys for your dog at a great price. The Otterly Pets Dog Rope Toys package is a collection of well-made rope toys designed for the most aggressive players and chewers.

Made from non-toxic cotton, this assortment of rope toys is not only unharmful to your pet but actually helps to clean teeth and massage irritated gums – making it perfect for teething puppies and older dogs at the same time.

Your package includes four knots, a 6-inch ring, a figure-8 rope, a 20-inch handled rope, and a 3.5-inch monkey fist. For a very good price, you get all of this to keep your dog occupied and entertained, free from destructive boredom. Every piece is also washable.

We love that this toy package is affordable, includes five different variations of rope toys and they are made from natural materials.  This significantly aids in irritated gums and cleans teeth as well.  In addition, you’ll appreciate that the pieces are all color-coordinated to present a beautifully designed package full of interactive playtime fun.

Kong Tire Extreme Dog Toy

KONG - Tires - Durable Rubber Chew Toy and...
  • Power Chewing Dogs: The natural KONG Extreme black rubber formula...
  • Great For Stuffing: The KONG Tires is even more enticing when the...
  • Fetch Toy: This toughest rubber tire shape is strategically...
  • Toy Sizing: Small made for dogs size up to 20 lbs (up to 9 kg),...

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When I think of a strong, rubber product, tires come to mind. That must have been Kong’s line of thinking when they invented their tire extreme dog toy because this toy is tough like none other. Available in small or medium/large sizes, this tire can handle aggressive chewers.

Aside from its tough, natural rubber, its round and bouncy design is great for long games of fetch in the back yard. The inside of this tire is hollow so you can store treats and yummy natural peanut butter for your pup to discover and enjoy. As he chews the tire, he’s also cleaning his teeth and soothing his irritated gums.

This toy is great for young, teething puppies as well as older, fully trained dogs. It will last forever, and its rubber is super easy to clean. Not to mention, Kong is a very popular and reliable name in dog toys.

We love the unique tire shape, and like all Kongs, you can fill the center with treats to keep your german shepherd pup entertained for hours.  It’s also soft enough which is important because GSD’s are notoriously difficult on their teeth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Even after reading through that information, we have noticed that many German Shepherd owners come up with the same curious questions. Take a look at some of these FAQs to see if they answer any last-minute questions you may still have.

Q: How many toys should my German Shepherd have?
A: There’s not really a set number of toys that your German Shepherd – or any dog, for that matter – should or shouldn’t have. The most important thing is that they are safe, appropriate, and work out their mind, body, and relationship with you.

Q: Do German Shepherds share toys with other dogs?
A: Most German Shepherds play well with other dogs within their own home, so there’s not much concern if you’re looking to get a second dog. However, they can be aggressive or defensive towards stranger dogs, especially those of the same sex.

Final Thoughts

As pet owners, we want our German Shepherds to be happy with their life – and that includes their toys. These active dogs are big-time chewers, so their toys need to be the toughest the industry has to offer.

Personally, I recommend the Kong Classic for anyone who needs something that will last. This toy is not only made from super durable rubber, but it’s versatile. You can throw it, fill it with treats, and let your dog go to town on it. Kong is a very reliable company that is known throughout the dog world, and it’s products are trusted by pet owners everywhere.

The Chuckit Ultra Ball is also a great option for GSDs who love to play fetch and jump in the water. This floating, durable rubber ball withstands all kinds of chewing, and its bright colors are eye-catching for you and your pup. Check out the toys we talked about today and use our helpful tips to find the perfect dog toys for your German Shepherd.

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