Looking for the perfect dog toy for your German Shepherd puppy or adult aged dog? 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 dog toys.
German Shepherds are notoriously reckless with their teeth, especially service dogs. This can lead to problems later in life, which can include root canals or crowns. These are 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, there are a few dog toys that rise above the rest depending on their age. We’ll look at the top toys for your German Shepherd at the puppy stages, through adulthood.
Our Favorite Toys For German Shepherds at a Glance:
Best For Puppies
Kong Puppy Dog Toy
Best For Adults
GoughNuts Interactive Dog Ball
Best For Fetch
Chuck-it Ultra Ball
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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 dog’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. Below are the considerations you’ll need to thinka bout when buying toys for your German Shepherd.
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.
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.
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.
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 To Avoid
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 this breed. 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.
Budget should be a concern for any German Shepherd Dog owner. These are not inexpensive dogs. Luckily, dog toys are usually some of the cheapest things you’ll be able to purchase for your canine companion.
This is important, because you’ll need to save money for your German Shepherd’s food bill, a harness for walking, dog crates, German Shepherd sized dog beds, vet bills, and more.
Toys For German Shepherd Puppies
During the puppy stage, German Shepherds need a different set of dog toys than they do as adults. You’ll likely want to focus on toys that will help satisfy their urge to chew, as well as potentially provide them with a little relief during crate training (if you plan to crate train).
Durability is also important for dogs in the 6-9 month range that have a stronger bite force, so keep that in mind. The toys below are great for German Shepherds up to around 9-12 months of age. At that point, you’ll want to step into the right dog toys that are made specifically for adult dogs.
KONG Puppy Dog Toy
- Four different sizes.
- Varied colors.
- Great for playing games of fetch.
- Irregular bounce pattern.
- Great for stuffing with treats.
- Made in the United States.
The KONG puppy dog toy is the softer version of the KONG classic and it’s specifically made for puppies. This toy belongs in every dog owner’s arsenal. The irregular bounce pattern that enuses during a game of fetch will keep your German Shepherd puppy busy for hours. The soft yet durable rubber will also satisfy your dog’s urge to chew without doing damage to their teeth.
The KONG puppy dog toy has a hollow end that can be stuffed with a variety of different food items. You can stuff it with treats, dog-safe peanut butter, or other types of puppy snacks. This particular toy has been used by veterinarians and dog trainers for over 40 years. It’s also budget-friendly, which means you’ll be able to buy more than one toy to see which one your puppy likes best.
We love that this puppy dog toy is made in the United States. It’s a great introduction to the KONG classic, which you’ll likely buy for your dog later in life.
KONG Puppy Goodie Bone
- Also budget-friendly.
- Classic bone shape for easy grip.
- Can fill the ends with treats.
- Can keep your pup busy for hours.
- Rubber is soft and soothing on gums.
- Great for teething puppies.
- Made for puppies up to 9 months.
The KONG Goodie Bone is the perfect chew toy for German Shepherd puppies. It comes in two different colors to match your puppy’s gender, and the softer rubber formula is gentler on your puppy’s teeth. The rubber is durable enough to still give your young pup some teething relief, while satisfying their urge to chew.
The ends of the KONG Goodie Bone are hollow, which allows you to stuff something inside of them. This could be peanut butter, or other types of treats. This toy is specifically designed for puppies up to 9 months of age. This toy is better for chewers than German Shepherd Puppies that enjoy playing fetch. If your pup likes to chase and retrieve, stick with the KONG classic for the irregular bounce patterns.
We love that this toy is gentle enough for your puppy to chew on while satisfying their teething needs. It’s also budget-friendly, and comes with the backing of the KONG brand.
Nylabone Teething Pacifier
- Great for soothing gums.
- Reinforces healthy chewing habits.
- Helps keep teeth clean.
- Satisfies a puppy’s chewing urges.
- Vet-recommended teething toy.
- Bright coloring keeps your dog’s attention.
- Chill in the freezer for best results.
Nylabone is a very popular brand name in the doggy toy world. This teething pacifier toy is fantastic for German Shepherds that are going into the teething stage. This toy is best used when cooled in the freezer, and will provide some relief during their puppy stage where they have 28 puppy teeth.
This particular toy is budget friendly. This means it won’t hurt your wallet, and you can afford to throw it in the basket with several other toys to keep your German Shepherd puppy busy. This is a veterinarian recommended toy, and it’s specifically designed for teething puppies up to 25 pounds. Once your puppy hits that weight, it’s time to ditch it and focus on other toys.
We love this cold dog toy can provide teething relief. Every puppy owner should have at least one toy that has the ability to satisfy your puppy’s urge to chew, while providing some cold compress relief from the freezer.
KONG Extreme Ball Toy
- Made from Extremely durable rubber.
- Great for games of fetch.
- Incredibly high bounce rate.
- Made in the United States.
- Great for more aggressive chewers.
- Made of puncture resistant material.
- Can last for years with proper care.
We go back to KONG for a ball toy that’s great for tossing and retrieving. While KONG does offer a softer version of this for puppies, you’ll likely want something that’s a little heavier and easy to throw. The extreme ball is durable, and will take heavy amounts of abuse during games of fetch.
This ball is extremely durable. This means it’s going to last likely well into adulthood. It can withstand massive amounts of abuse due to the thickness of the rubber. If your dog is an aggressive chewer, there are few toys that are better built to withstand their chewing habits. The extreme bounce that this ball has will keep your puppy going nuts for hours.
We love that yet again, KONG provides a toy that satisfies the need for both budget and quality. We recommend getting a size small for your puppy, and moving up to a medium/large as your pup enters adulthood.
Smart Pet Love Snuggle Puppy
- Best for crate training.
- Simulates another puppy nearby.
- Designed to recreate intimacy and warmth.
- Synthetic heartbeat included.
- Disposable warming pack simulates a real dog.
- Does not use any electricity.
- Heat pack and AAA batteries included.
The Smart Pet Love Snuggle Puppy is a great toy for crate training your puppy. This toy is designed to mimic another dog’s heartbeat, giving your pup a partner in their crate at night to keep them soothed. While finding a crate that fits your German Shepherd is important, reducing their anxiety levels during the training process will also make the process far more comfortable for your pup.
This toy is designed to create intamicy with physical warmth. You can heat up the disposable warming packs and place them inside the toy, which will ease crying and whining while your puppy crate trains. It’s easy to clean, and once the heart is removed, it can be machine washed. This toy is best used during sleeping times, and shouldn’t be used as chew toy due to the material and the cost.
We love that the Smart Pet Love Snuggle Puppy is designed to help German Shepherd Puppies get used to their crates at a critical time in their lives. While we wish it was cheaper, it’s still a great solution for young pups that are crate training early on.
Toys For German Shepherd Adults
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 Dog Toy
- Made in the United States.
- Relied upon by veterinarians.
- Great for games of fetch.
- Unpredictable bounce rate.
- Easy to stuff with edible ingredients.
- Extremely durable.
- Can last for years if cared for.
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. This gives every 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.
GoughNuts Interactive Dog Ball
- Extremely durable ball toy.
- Multiple grooves make it easy to grip.
- Toxin-free rubber construction.
- Extremely bouncy for active pups.
- Made from real tree sap.
- Floats on the water.
- Made in the United States.
This toy is an interactive rubber ball made by GoughNuts. GoughNuts are well known by heavy-duty chewing canines because they make some of the toughest toys in the land. It is made of natural rubber, so not only is it safe for him to chew, but it is also super bouncy too. And one more point to add, it floats on water so that your dog can retrieve ’till his heart’s content, be that on land or in water.
It has grooves on the surface so he can grab it easily and breathe as normal when he is carrying it in his mouth. It is made in America, and it comes in five funky colors, just in case your GSD has a preference.
We love that this is a plain and simple, no-frills, rubber ball that almost all dogs will go mad for. Plus, it is heavy-duty for tough chewers too.
Chuckit! Ultra Ball
- High-bouncing balls.
- Made specifically for catch.
- Floats on water.
- Easy to clean.
- Made with extra thick rubber.
- Bright color for increased visibility.
- Compatible with Chuckit! launchers.
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.
Bones & Chews Elk Antler
- Made in the United States.
- All natural antlers.
- Contains no artificial fillers.
- No artificial flavors.
- Low odor & non-allergenic.
- No preservatives.
- Contains calcium on other nutrients.
Many pet owners like to stay as natural as possible, and it doesn’t get much more natural than the Bones & Chews 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.
Bones & Chews 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.
Otterly Pets Dog Rope Toys
- Durable toys can withstand abuse.
- Great for tug-o-war.
- Five different toy options.
- Great for removing tartar.
- 100% Non-toxic cotton fibers.
- Can be used for toss & fetch.
- Better suited for medium to large dogs.
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. This makes it great for both 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
- Great for German Shepherds that chew.
- Extremely tough and durable.
- Fillable with dog treats.
- Can be used for fetch.
- Made with all-natural black rubber.
- Sidewalls do not puncture easily.
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. This means 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 pup entertained for hours. It’s also soft enough which is important because GSD’s are notoriously difficult on their teeth.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many toys should my German Shepherd have?
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.
Do German Shepherds share toys with other dogs?
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.
Will my German Shepherd destroy all their toys?
If you look at the more durable options we’ve suggested, then no, they shouldn’t get destroyed. This breed is more well known to destroy any toys that are soft, or made of softer material. If you do opt for a plush toy, just make sure playtime is always supervised.
Should I avoid fluffy or plush toys?
Fluffy or plush toys aren’t bad for the breed. It just means your pup should be supervised during playtime. We’d encourage you to test a plush toy with your pup to see if that’s their preferred toy, and if so, just expect to have to supervise during playtime more often.
Which of these toys will keep my dog entertained?
Pretty much all of them. Dogs tend to have preferences, which is why we recommend buying an assortment of toys to test with your pup. But usually, anything you can throw or play tug-o-war with should hold the attention of your German Shepherd and keep them entertained.
As pet owners, we want our German Shepherds to be happy with their life. That obviously includes toys to keep them busy, and happy. These active dogs are big-time chewers, so their toys need to be the toughest the industry has to offer.
Overall, the best toys you can pick for your pup will be the ones you can comfortably afford, that provide enough durability that you aren’t replacing them every week. You don’t want to burn through low quality dog toys and end up replacing them each week.
We recommend you purchase an assortment of toys to keep your dog busy. You don’t know which toy type your German Shepherd will prefer over others. It’s hard to go wrong with toys like the KONG classic, or the Chuckit Ultra Ball for dogs that love to play fetch and retrieve.