12 Best Dog Toys for German Shepherds in 2023

Often referred to as guard dogs, German Shepherds are known for being fearless, courageous, and fiercely protective of their loved ones.

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The German Shepherd’s highly-esteemed character is one reason these dogs have a long history of working with police and military personnel. When they aren’t sniffing out illegal substances or tracking down criminals, German Shepherds are most likely spending time with their human companions.

Anyone who owns a German Shepherd knows how much exercise these dogs require. In addition to a daily walk, many German Shepherds also need plenty of playtime too. While entertaining your dog might seem as simple as handing them a toy and walking away, keeping your German Shepherd engaged can be more challenging than it might sound.

In fact, your most difficult task may be finding a toy that’s right for your German Shepherd (and will survive more than a week). Fortunately, you don’t need to try and guess which German Shepherd toys are high-quality—we’ve already made a list and reviewed the top-rated toys of 2023 for you:

Different Types of Dog Toys for German Shepherds

On a shelf or website, most dog toys might look the same, but there’s actually more variety than you might think. There are several different types of toys you can purchase for your German Shepherd, and not all of them are designed the same way or serve the same purpose.

Chew toys, for instance, do more than just give your German Shepherd something to nibble on. When your puppy is teething, they’ll need to chew more than they usually do. Unless they’ve got a durable chew toy around, they’ll likely go for the first thing they can get their paws on—which may be your furniture or favorite pair of shoes.

Chew toys can keep your dog from tearing up what they’re not supposed to, and even help teach your German Shepherd what he should and should not be chewing on.

Another useful type of toy is plush toys. Plush toys, which may look a lot like a soft stuffed animal, give your dog something to bond to. Don’t be surprised if your German Shepherd carries their plushie wherever they go or even sleeps next to it at night.

Fetch toys, which are often tennis balls or a braided rope, are objects that you can play fetch with. These toys are typically small enough for your dog to carry them back to you in their mouth. Besides occupying your German Shepherd’s time, fetch toys serve another purpose: they can help you and your dog bond. Since fetch is an activity you and your dog do together, fetch toys can actually bring you closer together.

What to Look for in a Good Toy for German Shepherds

Although it may be easy to tell what makes a bad toy, identifying a good toy can be trickier. Generally, there are a few key elements to look for: high-quality materials, durability, and activity needs.

Some toys are specifically designed to meet the activity needs of large breeds like the German Shepherd. A good toy is one that can provide your pup with plenty of stimulation while also helping them burn off excess energy too. Keep in mind, however, that while puppies will need the most stimulation, a less active senior German Shepherd might not need much at all.

Finding a durable toy is crucial. While many brands might promise durability, you can usually spot a long-lasting toy by the materials it’s made of. If the toy uses sturdy rubber or tear-resistant fabric, you can usually count on it lasting longer than a week. Some toys may even specifically indicate whether or not they’re for “aggressive chewers.”

There’s another reason to find toys with high-quality materials. Besides durability, a toy that’s designed with high-quality fabric or material is less likely to cause an allergic reaction or irritate your dog’s skin.

Best German Shepherd Dog Toys 2023

There are plenty of good German Shepherd toys out there, but we’re only interested in the best of the best for your precious pup:

Benebone Bacon Flavored Wishbone Dog Toy

Best Overall

You may encounter many great German Shepherd toys, but only one truly stands out above the rest—and that’s the Benebone Bacon Flavored Wishbone Dog Toy. Unlike some flavored toys, this one doesn’t use artificial flavoring—your pup will get to savor the taste of real bacon. The deep grooves in the bone ensure your pup will smell this tasty treat from miles away, and help keep them occupied for as long as you need.

Along with giving your pup something new to gnaw on, purchasing a Benebone toy also means supporting animal welfare across the nation. A portion of all sales will go to supporting animal organizations around the country.

Nylabone DuraChew Chicken Flavor Bone Toy

Best for Aggressive Chewers

Large breeds like the German Shepherd typically tend to be aggressive chewers—which is why it’s a good idea to invest in a durable chew toy like the Nylabone DuraChew Chicken Flavor Bone Toy. This bone toy has all the tasty perks of a real bone but will last much longer.

Not only does this toy give your pup something to savor, but it can also help clean teeth and freshen your German Shepherd’s breath too. The bristles on toy promote better dental hygiene while also preventing plaque and tartar.

It’s worth noting that this product is made in the USA and has been recommended by veterinarians for years.

KONG Extreme Goodie Bone Dog Toy

Most Durable Dog Toy

Kong toys that have hollow insides can serve multiple purposes, and the Kong Extreme Goodie Bone Dog Toy is no exception to that rule. Although it’s made with ultra-durable rubber, the toy is still soft on your Shepherd’s gums and teeth and won’t wear them down.

Depending on the size of your pup, the toy comes in both medium and large. Keep in mind that, in addition to being a chew or fetch toy, you can also fill the bone with treats and let your dog spend hours figuring out how to get to them.

Trixie Activity Flip Board Interactive Dog Toy

Best Interactive Puzzle Toy

German Shepherds enjoy a challenge, and there’s no better activity to stimulate their brains than the Trixie Activity Flip Board Interactive Dog Toy. There are several different compartments for you to hide your pup’s favorite snacks in, and then all you need to do is watch your dog uncover the tasty treats.

You can adjust the difficulty to challenge your dog or make it easy, and the non-slip rubber feet on the board will keep it in place. When your dog has found all the treats, you can clean the Trixie Flip Board by putting it in the dishwasher. Then, when it’s dry, you can start the fun over again!

iFetch Mini Automatic Ball Launcher

Best Dog Ball Launcher

Many German Shepherds love to play fetch, but it may not be your favorite game. Not only can dealing with slobbery tennis balls less than ideal but continually throwing the ball can quickly become tiresome. Fortunately, you can continue the game without getting dirty or tiring out your pitching arm with the iFetch Mini Automatic Ball Launcher.

The iFetch launcher comes with three mini-balls that will fit perfectly inside the machine. When it’s time to play, all you need to do is plug the launcher in, load the balls, and turn it on. You can also adjust the distance that the launcher throws the balls too so that it won’t end up in anyone else’s yard but your own.

Frisco Rope with Squeaking Ball Toy

Best Rope Toy

There’s no better bonding activity for you and your German Shepherd than a tough game of tug-of-war. Unfortunately, not all rope toys may be able to survive the activity, but that isn’t an issue with the durable Frisco Rope with Squeaking Ball Toy. ‘

Not only is there a built-in handle for you to easily grab onto, but you can also use the handle to turn this product into a fetch toy. With the polyester rope, you’ll also find a thermoplastic rubber ball that contains an extra-loud squeaker to excite your dog.

Starmark Treat Dispensing Bob-a-Lot Dog Toy

Best Treat Dispenser Toy

Many owners use treat dispensing toys for two reasons: along with being a great way to reward your pup for good behavior, these interactive toys will stimulate your German Shepherd with mental and physical activity too.

The Starmark Treat Dispensing Bob-a-Lot Toy gives you the best of both worlds. Not only will it engage your Shepherd for hours, but it will also promote natural foraging and hunting behaviors too. You can easily change the level of difficulty by adjusting how the treats are released, and then effortlessly clean the dual chambers with a washcloth when playtime is over.

Frisco Plush Squeaking Fox Dog Toy

Best Squeaky Toy

While many dogs go wild over squeaky toys, finding one that can last the test of time can feel almost impossible. Fortunately, the Frisco Plush Squeaking Fox Dog Toy may be exactly what you need — this toy uses nylon lining for extra durability.

There’s also a texture that’s soft to the touch and will provide your Shepherd with the perfect snuggle buddy during naptime. When they aren’t cuddling up to it, the plush toy also works great for a quick game of fetch or toss.

Depending on the age of your German Shepherd, there are multiple sizes to pick from.

Frisco Plush Squeaking American Flag Bear Dog Toy

Made In The USA

In addition to providing your German Shepherd the perfect companion, you can also use your dog’s favorite toys as a way to look patriotic. The Frisco Plush Squeaking American Flag Bear Dog Toy, for instance, makes the paw-fect addition to any 4th of July party or patriotic event.

Even when it isn’t a national holiday, your Shepherd will still want to cuddle up with this extra-soft plush bear. There’s also a built-in speaker to excite your dog and make fetch even more interesting.

While durable, the American Flag bear has minimal stuffing so your German Shepherd won’t make a mess if they happen to tear through it.

Best Dog Toys for German Shepherd Puppies

German Shepherd puppies can feel like their own unique breed—which is why we’ve added some of our favorite toys for young and developing pups:

Nylabone Petite Dental Puppy Chew Toy

Best for Teething

Teething isn’t fun for anyone—including your furniture, clothing, and shoes. The good news is that you may be able to prevent your German Shepherd from chomping on what you hold dear by using the Nylabone Petite Dental Puppy Chew.

This bite-sized bone can help your German Shepherd develop healthier chewing habits and also promote better oral hygiene by using the raised nubs to remove tartar and plaque. Keep in mind that, while helpful during teething and recommended by vets across the board, the Nylabone toy isn’t a substitute for a professional teeth cleaning.

Benebone Rotisserie Chicken Flavor Dog Toy

Another Great Teething Toy

If chicken is one of your puppy’s favorite flavors, they may go wild for the Benebone Rotisserie Chicken Flavor Dog Toy. With durable nylon and real chicken, don’t be surprised if your German Shepherd spends hours gnawing on this bone toy.

The deep grooves engraved on the bone help increase the surface area and ensure that the smell and flavor of the toy remain strong. Unlike some flavored toys, the Benebone Dog toy doesn’t use artificial flavorings—that chicken flavor is completely real and all-natural.

While great for many breeds, the toy may work best for German Shepherd puppies that are under seventy pounds. Keep in mind that, with every purchase, Benebone donates a portion of the proceeds to animal welfare organizations.

ZippyPaws Loopy Hedgehog 6 Squeaker Dog Toy

Best Plush Toy

The biggest issue you’ll probably encounter when buying a plush toy for your German Shepherd puppy is finding one that can last until adulthood. Since dogs tend to bond with their plushies, durable toys are even more important.

This is where the ZippyPaws Loopy Hedgehog 6 Squeaker comes in—this soft, durable toy has six different squeakers inside to entertain your Shepherd with. Even if one squeaker happens to stop working, there will always be more for your dog to discover. The large number of squeakers adds to the toy’s lifespan, but will also keep your German Shepherd interested for even longer too.

Another interesting thing to keep in mind is that this toy doesn’t use any stuffing. Unlike some plush toys that will make a mess, you won’t have to do any clean-up if your dog does rip it apart.

The fun hedgehog design is also one-size-fits-all—German Shepherds of all ages can enjoy it.

Tips for Playing With/Entertaining Your German Shepherds

Playtime with your German Shepherd can seem like a challenge, but it doesn’t need to be. Here are a few tips to make quality time with your dog feel effortless:

  1. You can introduce new toys by letting your German Shepherd sniff it. As naturally attentive dogs, don’t be surprised if your Shepherd is a little wary of new toys. The good news is that introducing new toys is easy—all you need to do is let your pup sniff it beforehand.
  2. Don’t forget to supervise your German Shepherd when they’re playing with new or unfamiliar toys. While the chance of an incident is slim, things could get ruff. You never know if your Shepherd might have an allergic reaction to new material or throw stuffing everywhere.
  3. Playtime should always have rules. Even if your Shepherd isn’t usually aggressive, it’s not uncommon for dogs to growl or tug at clothing during playtime (even if it isn’t meant to be malicious). Unfortunately, this kind of behavior shouldn’t be encouraged, and if you catch your dog doing it, playtime should stop immediately.
  4. Make sure you’re the one in control of the toys. Even if your dog is playing by themselves, you should always train your dog to “give” or “drop” the toy when you give the command word. With some toys, you may even want to make sure your dog doesn’t pick it up without permission first.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I play with my German Shepherd?

While it might vary based on your dog’s age, you should generally try to initiate playtime with your German Shepherd at least once a day. Energetic puppies may need to play more than that, but a senior German Shepherd might not need that much activity.

Keep in mind that playtime isn’t a substitute for walks—while both can be forms of exercise, they serve different purposes.

What kind of German Shepherd toys are best?

Every dog is different, but chew toys and plush toys are both great options for German Shepherds. These dogs tend to be aggressive chewers, and a chew toy can prevent them from ripping apart your home. If you already know your German Shepherd enjoys fetch, you could also invest in a fetch toy as well.

Why does my German Shepherd only play with certain toys?

While some dogs might be pickier than others, don’t be offended if your German Shepherd only plays with a portion of the toys in their toybox. Like children, dogs also have their preferences—and may enjoy playing with certain toys more than others. If you know what kind of toys your dog likes best, you can buy more in the future.

How do I stop my German Shepherd from tearing up my shoes and furniture?

If your German Shepherd won’t stop destroying your home, it may be time to invest in a durable chew or teething toy.


Most of the time, finding good German Shepherd toys will be more complicated than just purchasing the first thing you see. While many toy brands might promise that their products will last forever, very few can actually live up to that promise—and you don’t want to waste your money trying to figure out which ones can.

That’s where we come in. If you aren’t sure where to begin shopping, feel free to try out one of the top-rated German Shepherd toys that we’ve already tested for you.

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