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Do German Shepherds Like To Run? (Explained!)



Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Robertson

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Do German Shepherds like to run? This is a question that has puzzled dog owners for years. Some people say that they love to run, while others claim that their dogs only do it because they are forced to.

In this blog post, we will take a look at some of the research on this topic and provide you with a definitive answer!

Key Takeaway

  • German Shepherds are an active and athletic breed that typically enjoy running as it helps them burn off energy and satisfy their natural instinct for physical activity.
  • You can start running with your German Shepherd when they reach about 12 to 18 months of age, as their joints and bones are sufficiently developed by then.
  • To train your German Shepherd to run with you, start with short, easy runs and gradually increase the distance or change the terrain, while also teaching them cues such as “walk”, “jog”, “run”, and “stop” to control their pace.

Do German Shepherds Like To Run?

Do German Shepherds Like To Run

Yes. German Shepherds like to run because it’s in their nature. They are an active breed and need plenty of exercise. Running is a natural instinct for all dogs, and German Shepherds are no exception.

In the wild, dogs would run for miles every day in order to find food and shelter. Today, domestic dogs don’t have to worry about finding food or shelter, but they still have that natural instinct to run.

A good daily walk or run will help keep your German Shepherd healthy and happy. If you have the space, letting them off-leash in a safe area to run around is even better. Be sure to start slowly though, as German Shepherds can overheat easily.

Running is healthy for dogs, and German Shepherds are no exception. In fact, German Shepherds were bred to be working dogs, and as such, they have a lot of energy that needs to be expended. Running is a great way for them to do this.

Not only is running well for their physical health, but it also helps to keep their minds sharp. A tired dog is a good dog, and German Shepherds who get plenty of exercise are less likely to become bored or destructive. So if you’re wondering whether or not German Shepherds like to run, the answer is a resounding yes!

German Shepherds are bred as working dogs, so they have a lot of energy and stamina. They need an outlet for all that energy, and running is the perfect way to do it. If you have a German Shepherd, you should make sure they get plenty of exercise every day.

Taking them on runs or walks is a great way to bond with your dog while also keeping them healthy and happy.

When Can I Start Running My German Shepherd?

Do German Shepherds Like To Run

You can start running your German Shepherd as soon as they are old enough and their joints are fully developed. This is usually around 18 months to two years old. If you start too early, you could damage their joints. So make sure to wait until they are at least 18 months old before taking them on any long runs! And of course, always consult with your veterinarian first.

That being said, Most German Shepherds will be able to start light running (on soft surfaces) around the age of six months of age. If you want to start taking your pup on longer runs, you’ll need to wait until they’re a bit older and their joints are stronger – usually around one to two years old.

If you have a German Shepherd that is under the age of 18 months, then it is best to wait until they are a bit older before taking them on any long runs. You don’t want to damage their joints by starting too early! Always consult with your veterinarian first though, to be sure.

Once they are older, you can start taking them on longer runs and they will likely enjoy it as much as you do! Just be sure to take it slow at first and build up their endurance gradually.

As German Shepherd ages, their cartilage begins to degenerate. This process is gradual and often starts around the age of four or five. As the cartilage wears down, it becomes thinner and less able to cushion the bones. This can lead to joint pain and stiffness, particularly in the hips and elbows.

There are several things you can do to help your aging German Shepherd stay comfortable. First, make sure they get plenty of exercise to keep their muscles strong and joints flexible. You may also want to add supplements like glucosamine or chondroitin to your diet, which can help slow down the degeneration of cartilage.

How Do I Train My German Shepherd To Run With Me?

Do German Shepherds Like To Run

If you’re like most German Shepherd owners, you probably love to take your furry friend on runs with you. Running with your dog can be a great bonding experience for both of you. It’s a fun way to get some exercise, and it’s also a great way to socialize with your dog.

However, before you hit the pavement with your pup, there are a few things you need to do first in order to make sure that your run is safe and enjoyable for both of you.

1. Choose the right time of day

The best time to run with your German Shepherd is in the morning or evening when the temperature is cooler. Avoid running during the middle of the day when it’s hottest outside.

Be sure to bring along water for both you and your pup, and take breaks often to avoid overheating. Running with your German Shepherd is a great way to bond and get some exercise, so make the most of it by planning your runs around cooler times of the day!

2. Start slow

You should start by running your German Shepherd for short periods of time, gradually increasing the distance and duration as they get used to it. You don’t want to overdo it at first, or they may end up getting discouraged.

A good rule of thumb is to start with a five-minute run, and then add a minute each week until you’re up to 30 minutes. That way, both you and your German Shepherd will enjoy the experience!

Just like humans, German Shepherds need to ease into running. Start with shorter distances and gradually increase the length of your runs as your dog gets more comfortable.

Start by running short distances with your dog on a leash. This will help them get used to the idea of running with you and will prevent them from getting too ahead of you.

3. Bring water

It is always important to bring water when running with your German Shepherd. If your dog becomes overheated, he can suffer from dehydration, heat exhaustion, or even heat stroke. All of these conditions can be very dangerous and even life-threatening.

So, make sure you always have water available for your German Shepherd when you go on a run together. You might also want to consider investing in a doggie water bottle that you can attach to your belt or backpack while you run. That way, you and your pup will always stay hydrated during your adventures!

4. Be aware of your surroundings

Pay attention to your German Shepherd’s body language and be on the lookout for potential hazards, such as busy streets or aggressive dogs.

There are several signs that a dog may be experiencing difficulties with running, including limping, slowing down while running, or lying down more frequently. If your dog is showing any of these signs, it’s important to take them to the vet for a check-up.

Additionally, older German Shepherds may simply not have the same energy levels as they did when they were younger, so it’s important to take this into account when deciding whether or not your dog can still run.

Ultimately, if you’re unsure about whether or not your dog can still handle running, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and consult with a professional says OutWardHound.

5. Be patient

Remember to be patient and have fun! Running with your German Shepherd should be an enjoyable experience for both of you.

If your German Shepherd starts to lag behind, don’t pull on the leash or yell at them. Instead, try stopping and walking for a bit until they catch up.

Make sure to praise them and give them treats when they run alongside you so that they associate running with positive reinforcement.


Q: Are German Shepherds good running partners?

A: Absolutely! German Shepherds make excellent running partners due to their endurance and athleticism.

Q: How much exercise do German Shepherds need?

A: German Shepherds require plenty of exercise to keep them happy and healthy. They typically need at least 1-2 hours of physical activity every day.

Q: Can I take my German Shepherd running with me?

A: Yes, you can definitely take your German Shepherd running with you. However, it’s important to start slow and gradually increase the distance and intensity to avoid overexertion.

Q: Are German Shepherds better at running or walking?

A: German Shepherds are born runners. While they enjoy daily walks, they truly thrive when given the opportunity to run and release their energy.

Q: How can I train my German Shepherd to be a good running companion?

A: To train your German Shepherd to be a good running companion, start with basic obedience training and gradually introduce them to running by starting with short distances and increasing gradually. Reward them with treats and positive reinforcement for good behavior.

Q: Are there any specific health concerns I should be aware of when running with my German Shepherd?

A: Yes, it’s important to take extra care of your German Shepherd’s joints and paws when running. Monitor their feet for any cuts or blisters and avoid running on hard surfaces. Also, be cautious of overheating and provide water breaks during your run.

Q: Can German Shepherds run long distances?

A: Yes, German Shepherds are known for their endurance and can handle long-distance running. However, it’s essential to build their stamina gradually and ensure they are adequately hydrated and rested.

Q: Are there any signs that my German Shepherd is not enjoying running?

A: Yes, if your German Shepherd shows signs of excessive panting, difficulty breathing, or limping, it could indicate that they are not enjoying or are struggling with the run. Always pay attention to your dog’s body language and adjust the intensity or duration of your run accordingly.

Q: What should I do to cool down my German Shepherd after a run?

A: After a run, allow your German Shepherd to rest in a cool and shaded area. Offer them fresh water to drink and gently massage their muscles to help them cool down. Be sure to give them time to recover before engaging in any further physical activity.

Conclusion and final thoughts

In conclusion, German Shepherds are a breed of dog that has long been known for its intelligence and loyalty, and they can make great pets.

They also have impressive athletic abilities and can be trained to run alongside their owners or on their own.

Running is an ideal way to keep your pup in shape while providing them with the exercise they need for optimal health.

Please take the time and leave a comment below if this article helped you, or you have any additional questions.

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