9 Best Toys for a German Shepherd
Dustin Manning
Author: Dustin Manning
Dustin Manning, a knowledgeable breeder and practical skills expert, applies his wide-ranging expertise to animal care and training.
Published date: October 1, 2021
Updated date: February 5, 2024
This article was reviewed and fact checked If you have found any errors, please contact us!

9 Best Toys for a German Shepherd

When you own a large and energetic dog like a German Shepherd, it is very important to keep them entertained. After all, a bored dog is much more likely to get into trouble.

That’s why a few well-chosen dog toys can make your life a lot easier.

Toys for a German Shepherd have to be a little tougher than most, so you will find only the most durable options here.

Chances are, you don’t have the time to play with your German Shepherd as much as they would like. These toys can serve as a stand-in for those times when you are not around.

Just remember that there is no substitute for human interaction.

With that in mind, let’s look at nine of the best German Shepherd toys that we could find on the internet.

At a Glance: An Overview of the 9 Best German Shepherd Toys

iDogmate Big Dog Ball Launcher

Best Overall Product

Best Budget Product

Chuckit! Sport Launcher Dog Ball Thrower


Arm & Hammer Super Treadz Dental Chew Toys


IDOGMATE Big Dog Ball Launcher, Tennis Ball Thrower for Big Dogs and mid Sized Dogs

Chuckit! Classic Ball Launcher, Medium (26 Inch)

Arm & Hammer for Pets Super Treadz Dental Chew Toy for Dogs - Dog Dental Chew Toys Reduce Plaque & Tartar


Uses special non-toxic balls

Very inexpensive

Promotes good dental health


More expensive

Easy to throw it too far

Durability isn’t great

Contents show

Best Overall Product

1. iDogmate Big Dog Ball Launcher

iDogmate Big Dog Ball Launcher

In case you don’t know what this machine is, it might be described as a throwing machine since its only purpose is to launch its specially-made tennis balls.

For dogs that love to run and play fetch, this might be the perfect toy. Like a standard tennis ball launcher, it spits balls up to 40 feet away.

If your dog learns how to use this toy properly, it will provide many hours of fun. They simply drop the ball into the top of the device, where it falls into the mechanism to be launched again.

Two wheels power the launcher, and they are custom-formed to hug the sides of the ball and prevent it from slipping or catching.

A German Shepherd should be smart enough to figure out the process before long.

Obviously, they won’t understand how the machine works, but they will understand what happens when they drop the ball into the basin.

We like the fact that this machine can be set for different distances and power levels, and we really like the fact that it uses either AC power or battery power.

Of course, there are some problems here. First, this thing is pretty expensive.

Many dog owners won’t be able to afford this item. Furthermore, we don’t see any mention of a warranty, and that is always concerning.

Most reviews for this product have been positive, but most of the complaints we found related to durability issues. Thus, you might want to be a little bit careful with this one.


  • More expensive
  • Some durability complaints

Best Budget Product

2. Chuckit! Sport Launcher Dog Ball Thrower

Chuckit! Sport Launcher Dog Ball Thrower

This is a cheap and simple toy that can enhance your games of “fetch” in a big way. You just put the ball into the “claw” (that’s the socket in which the ball goes) and sling it forward.

The flexion of the shaft combines with the power of your swing to give you a much longer throw.

This device works similarly to an Atlatl; an ancient Aztec weapon used to launch spears at great distances.

Similar tools exist all over the world, so this design has definitely stood the test of time. If you need something that will make it easier to throw a ball, this is the simplest tool for the job.

This product is great for older German Shepherd owners, who might not have the energy to repeatedly throw a ball across the yard.

This tool makes it a lot easier, allowing you to play with your dog using minimal effort. You also don’t have to bend down and pick up the ball when retrieving.

Instead, you can just put the claw over the ball, gently push it down with your foot, and then throw it again.

The only problem with this toy is the fact that it might be too strong. If you have a small yard, there is really no need for this thing.

In fact, it’s easy to go too far with this device, which could make your neighbors a little angry. Thus, you should only use this thing for long throws.


  • Very inexpensive
  • Greatly increases your throwing distance
  • Available in many different sizes
  • No need to bend down
  • The very small learning curve


  • Easy to throw it too far
  • Not necessary for small yards

The Runner-Up to Best Budget Toy

3. Arm & Hammer Super Treadz Dental Chew Toys

Arm & Hammer Super Treadz Dental Chew Toys

Rubber chew toys are one of the most common dog toys, and this is one of the best ones we have seen.

We named this a runner-up because it is the only product on our list that offers a real benefit to your dog’s health while also being extremely affordable.

If you don’t want to brush your dog’s teeth regularly, you need a toy of this sort. You don’t need to buy this specific brand, but there are a few good reasons to do so.

First, this thing is made by Arm & Hammer and infused with their trademark product (baking soda, of course). The taste of the baking soda will turn off some dogs, so be aware of that.

As you probably know, baking soda is frequently added to toothpaste and can even be used to clean teeth on its own.

As such, it promotes good dental health and gives your dog a pleasant activity at the same time. Furthermore, it does all of this at a very low price, so its value factor is pretty high.

We like the fact that this thing is made from soft, natural rubber. That means less chance of hurting your dog’s teeth and makes a great choice for older dogs.

Any dog with compromised dental health might benefit from using one of these. At the same time, that soft rubber is kind of easy for many dogs to destroy.

When we look for negative reviews of this product, we see that most focus on durability issues.


  • Promotes good dental health
  • Pretty cheap
  • Infused with baking soda
  • Made from all-natural rubber
  • Dishwasher safe


  • Durability isn’t great

Best Squeak Toy

4. Wobble Wag Giggle Ball

Wobble Wag Giggle Ball

This is another chew toy, but this one has an interesting twist. It is designed to make noise, but it’s nothing like the “squeaker” devices found in so many dog toys.

Instead, this ball has three tubes inside, and these make a funny noise when the ball is rolled around.

The noise is hard to describe, but it sounds like the noises that puppies make when playing with one another.

The advertising for this product says that it’s meant to mimic the sound of human laughter, but we think it sounds more like another animal.

Either way, it stimulates a dog’s natural predatory instinct and makes them more likely to play with the toy.

This one costs less than $10 and requires no batteries, so it does very well in the value department.

It can help a little bit with those separation anxiety issues, giving your dog something to do while you are away. Most of the time, this will make them less likely to dig in the trash or chew up the furniture.

Of course, that noise might get really annoying after a while, so make sure that you can tolerate it for long periods.

Furthermore, many reviews claim that this product is not as thick and durable as it once was. If true, this would be a serious problem, as durability is one of the marketing points for this product.

Some reviewers claim that their dogs destroyed this ball in ten minutes or less.


  • Simulates the experience of playing with another dog
  • Encourages dogs to exercise
  • Very cheap
  • Requires no batteries
  • Can be used to dispense treats


  • Not suitable for the most dedicated chewers
  • The sound might get annoying after a while

Most Durable

5. Kong Extreme Dog Toy

Kong Extreme Dog Toy

This is one of the most well-known and popular chew toys on the market, and it has the advantage of getting quite a few professional recommendations.

It’s basically just a knobby piece of natural rubber with a hollow cavity inside. This simple design gives a lot of benefits, however.

The shape is very convenient for chewing, as it consists of three bulbous knobs. Each one is smaller than the one below, allowing your dog to avoid opening its mouth more than desired.

It is easy for them to grip this toy, but it has no sharp corners or edges whatsoever.

A lot of people recommend stuffing this toy with treats, and that’s not a bad idea. You can use kibble or dry treats, but we would advise against the use of canned or wet food in this toy.

It might sit inside for too long and develop mold, bacteria, etc. It is best to pack the treats loosely, so it isn’t too hard for the dog to get them.

The quality of Kong dog toys might have gone down in recent years, as some reviews claim the older products to have been much more durable.

It does seem that this toy might not be good enough for bully breeds, who are among the most dedicated chewers of them all.

However, it should work just fine for a German Shepherd unless they are particularly destructive.

This one is available in many different sizes so that you can choose one that is appropriate for your dog. Your German Shepherd will need X-large or XX-large size.

You can also get these toys with varying levels of hardness in the rubber. Some of the durability complaints might be the result of people purchasing the wrong grade of rubber.

If this toy has a weak point, it will probably be the top piece, which a serious chewer can rip along the seam.

Some dogs seem to find it easy to rip off the top of this toy, so don’t make the treats too hard to get! On a lesser note, this toy also smells like a car tire, which might turn some dogs off.


  • The shape is convenient for chewing
  • Can be stuffed with treats
  • Available in different sizes
  • The hardness of the rubber also varies
  • Extremely tough


  • Can be easy to remove the top
  • Smells like a tire

Best Puzzle Toy

6. Nina Ottosson Beginner Dog Puzzle Toy

Nina Ottosson Beginner Dog Puzzle Toy

Puzzle toys like this one are not as popular, but we should include one of them anyway. Some dogs really love these interactive pet toys, so it’s worth the trouble to find out if your pet is one of them.

Thankfully, this toy is not expensive at all, something that cannot be said about most other puzzle toys.

The concept is very simple. The toy has nine bone-shaped compartments, each one with a plastic cover.

You put treats or kibble under the covers and allow your dog to remove the covers with their teeth or their paw. A dog will often use a claw to hook the cover and pull it loose.

If your dog is overweight, you can use this toy as a way to slow down their eating. They will have to work for each piece, so they won’t be able to wolf down their entire meal at one time.

In the end, this is a toy that stimulates your dog’s mind by mixing mealtime with playtime.

We only see two little problems here. For one thing, those plastic covers are not that strong. A rowdy dog could easily break them, and they are likely to be chewed because they smell like food.

The covers are also not attached, and so they can be lost with great ease. Also, you will want to anchor the device to the floor. Otherwise, the dog can just flip it over and get all the treats at once.


  • Helps in developing your dog’s mental acuity
  • Provides an instant reward
  • A good way to make your dog eat more slowly
  • Easy to wash with soap and water
  • Great way to fight canine boredom


  • Has to be anchored to the floor
  • Covers can easily be lost or destroyed

Best Dental Chew Toy

7. Nylabone Power Chew Arch Bone

Nylabone Power Chew Arch Bone

This is another great dental chew toy option to consider, along with the previous toy we reviewed. This Nylabone Power Chew has the ultimate dental design.

It features multi-level nubs and ridges used to clean your dog’s teeth as they play and chew.

The design also makes this toy easy for your German Shepherd to hold onto and can be picked up from any angle.

It also helps deter destructive chewing behavior because it is designed to hold up against some of our most determined chewers.

It is a long-lasting nylon chew toy to help develop non-destructive chewing habits. It also has a savory beef flavor your dog will love.

You should also keep in mind that this chew toy is best suited for a large dog up to 50 pounds.

So, if your German Shepherd is on the bigger size, you may want to find something more substantial for them to chew on and play with.


  • Power Chew lands on the Extreme Chewing level of the Chew Meter
  • Special curved shape easy for the dog to hold onto
  • Long-lasting chew toy made with tough nylon
  • Cleans the dog’s teeth as they chew


  • Best suited for medium-sized dogs

Best Interactive Toy

8. ASOCEA Dog Extendable Teaser Wand

ASOCEA Dog Extendable Teaser Wand

If you are looking for a more interactive toy for your German Shepherd that you can enjoy together, consider this ASOCEA Dog Extendable Teaser Wand.

It is a great toy for outside play and helps dispel some of your German Shepherd’s energy while also fostering mutual communication between dog and dog owner as you play.

It is a good toy for German Shepherd puppies or adult dogs alike of different sizes. It can be used as a training tool and provides your dog with the exercise they desperately need.

This toy can also be used as a normal rope toy and is especially good for more aggressive chewers.

The durable nylon cord and the extendable and collapsible pole help save space and are easy to take outside and set up.

The length of the holder is 10″ and can stretch out to 35,” and the rope is 40″ in length.

Unlike other similar toys, this one has a rubber handle that provides you with a sturdy and non-slip grip.

Other options you may find have a foam handle that can easily become damaged during playtime and by sweat. It also features braided cotton blend lures, further attesting to the overall durability of this toy.


  • Easy to put together and easy to store
  • Durable aluminum alloy telescopic pole
  • Non-slip handle and tough bungee cord
  • Braided cotton blend lures for even more durability
  • Since the ropes are made of cotton, they won’t snap back at you during playtime


  • Some reported that when extended, the segments don’t lock into place
  • More aggressive chewers may begin to unravel the rope after a few play sessions

Best Toy for German Shepherd Puppy

9. Kong Puppy Toy Natural Teething Rubber

Kong Puppy Toy Natural Teething Rubber

Our list wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t include at least one toy specifically targeted to your German Shepherd puppy.

Another toy from the Kong brand, these are smaller natural teething rubber toys that are best suited for your smaller German Shepherd puppy while they teethe.

The soft rubber formula is safe for a growing puppy’s sensitive teeth and gums, and it goes a long way in satisfying their urge to chew. It can also be mentally stimulating during playtime.

The rubber material allows this toy to have a good bounce when played with, making it more interactive and enjoyable for your German Shepherd pup.

In addition, it allows your puppy to expel a lot of their energy and get the exercise that they need daily.

It is also stuffable, like the larger Kong toy adult version. This means you can stuff it with puppy kibble, peanut butter, Kong Easy Treats, or other dog healthy snacks to keep your pup occupied.


  • Can be used as a chew toy and fetch toy
  • Provides your pup with mental and physical stimulation
  • Can be stuffed with treats to keep your pup busy
  • Durable and natural rubber makes it long-lasting and tough
  • Great for beginner chewers
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Made in the US with globally sourced materials


  • You can’t actually choose the color when you order it
  • Some report that it has a metallic smell when taken out of the package

How to Choose the Best German Shepherd Toys: Buyer’s Guide

Let’s look at the essential factors that must be considered when buying a new toy for your German Shepherd.

Safety Comes First

Improperly-made dog toys have caused more than a few deaths, usually due to choking or toxicity. Although you might not want to think about this, you should always consider the safety factor first.

Avoid things with small pieces, as these are the biggest choking hazards.

You should also avoid things that are too easy to destroy, as those tiny pieces can easily become lodged in your animal’s throat or intestines.

The Size Matters

When purchasing toys, consider the age and size of your German Shepherd. Puppies will require much smaller toys, while the larger dogs will need bigger and more durable toys.

When you give a small toy to a big dog, they can quickly destroy it and may even choke on it.

Watch the Squeakers

Squeaker toys and other noisy toy options can be fun and engaging for your dog, but as a dog owner, you want to make sure that the dog’s main goal isn’t to seek and destroy the squeaker mechanism within the toy.

If you give your dog a squeaky toy at playtime, just make sure they are closely supervised to help prevent any accidents.


As we said earlier, a dog toy (especially a chew toy) is not meant to last forever. However, you can save some money on replacement costs by choosing the most durable dog toys you can find.

For dedicated chewers, this will be a serious challenge. In general, you should look for things that are thick, made of sturdy materials, and which consist of one solid piece.

Best Toys For German Shepherd

Taste and Smell

These things may not matter much to us, but they make a big difference to your dog.

Most dog toys are meant to go in the dog’s mouth, so this factor will have a lot to do with how much they like (or hate) a particular toy. That’s why you should consider these issues carefully.

Many toys are infused with a meaty taste, and it’s hard to go wrong here.

At the same time, they don’t always do a good job of capturing the taste and smell of real meat, leading to a product that smells artificial.

The smell of plain rubber will appeal to some dogs, while others will avoid it like the plague.


Every dog has different preferences when it comes to toys. Some owners take a “shotgun” approach, buying all kinds of toys until they find one that the dog likes.

This approach can work, but it’s a waste of time and money. Of course, there will always be a little bit of trial and error, but you can save time by learning what kinds of toys your dog likes.

If your dog doesn’t take to their toy right away, you should give them a good example. For instance, you could use the toy to play a “tug of war game,” creating a positive mental association.

You want them to associate that toy with you, so make sure that you participate in their activities.

Extra Features

Many dog toys will incorporate little “gimmicks” to make the product more appealing. For instance, many toys can be stuffed with treats, providing the dog with both a challenge and a reward.

The list of extra features that you might find in a dog toy is very long, so we can’t cover them all. However, it is enough for you to know that these extra features aren’t always helpful.

Many of them are just marketing ploys, so make sure that any extra features will actually benefit you or your dog.

Extra Features

Many dog toys will incorporate little “gimmicks” to make the product more appealing. For instance, many toys can be stuffed with treats, providing the dog with both a challenge and a reward.

The list of extra features that you might find in a dog toy is very long, so we can’t cover them all. However, it is enough for you to know that these extra features aren’t always helpful.

Many of them are just marketing ploys, so make sure that any extra features will actually benefit you or your dog.

Best Dog Toys for a German Shepherd: Closing Words

There are many options on the table when it comes to German Shepherd toys. However, you have to avoid those weak little toys that are intended for smaller dogs.

At the same time, you have to find something that your dog will enjoy, and which will last long enough to be worth its cost.

We hope that you and your dog will find the perfect toy and that our efforts will have aided yours.


After reading the above, you should have a better grasp of this subject. Nevertheless, there is still more to learn. So, let’s answer a few of the most common questions on this subject.

How long should a chew toy last?

The answer to this question will vary a lot from dog to dog. The first thing to understand is the fact that chew toys are meant to be destroyed.

Also, they are a disposable item, so don’t expect to find one that will last forever. We would say that a good chew toy should last at least one month.

For dogs that aren’t particularly destructive, you can expect to get 2-3 months from a well-made toy.

Do interactive toys make my dog smarter?

There are a lot of puzzle-type toys or interactive toys on the market. Most of them claim that they will help your dog to develop their brains and become smarter.

It is a fact that brain-teasers seem to help humans to develop their problem-solving skills, so it makes sense that dogs would see similar benefits.

You can actually do a canine IQ test on your dog very easily, enabling you to track their progress.

Will dog toys prevent separation anxiety?

Separation anxiety is one of the most common canine behavior problems, and it’s caused by loneliness. While dog toys will not completely alleviate this problem, they can be a big help.

There is no substitute for spending time with your dog, but the toys should help to keep them occupied when you aren’t home.

What are the best toys for German Shepherd puppies?

The best toys for German Shepherd puppies are those that are durable yet soft enough to protect your puppy’s sensitive gums and teeth.

They have to be tough enough to stave off boredom and stimulate them, so they can take care of their need to chew and build jaw strength.

What are the best types of toys for German Shepherds?

German Shepherds enjoy a variety of toys, including tug toys, plush toys, tough dog toys, ball toys, puzzle toys, and indestructible chew toys.

How much exercise do German Shepherds need, and which toys can help with that?

German Shepherds are active dogs that require regular exercise. Toys such as ball toys, tug toys, and puzzle toys can help keep them physically and mentally stimulated.

What type of tug toy is suitable for a German Shepherd?

German Shepherds enjoy tug toys that are durable, have strong grips, and are designed to withstand their energetic tugging and pulling.

How do I find the right toy for my German Shepherd?

Look for toys specifically designed for large breed dogs like German Shepherds, and consider their activity level, chewing habits, and play preferences when selecting the ideal toy.

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