German Shepherd with a toy outside

The Best Toys for German Shepherds

Our veterinarians research and recommend the best products. Learn more about our process. We may receive a commission on purchases made from our links.

Choosing the best toys for German Shepherds might feel tricky. Maybe you’re worried about buying a toy that won’t be rugged enough to stand up to your dog. Perhaps you’ve already purchased a few toys that came highly recommended for dogs … but it seems like they’re sized for a miniature poodle.

Our vet advisor, Dr. Danielle Morosco, DVM, reviewed dozens of dog toys to pick out the very best toys for German Shepherds. Her top pick, the KONG Classic Durable Natural Rubber, is sure to delight your German Shepherd. It comes in multiple sizes and colors and can be filled with treats or peanut butter for enrichment activities. Read how she chose the top 5.

Our Vet’s Top Pick

KONG Classic Durable Natural Rubber

This hugely popular classic dog toy is a fantastic buy. It’ll provide hours of entertainment for your German Shepherd, especially if you stuff it with treats or peanut butter.

You might also want to take a look at our list of ways to keep dogs entertained.

Our Vet’s Top 5 Toys for German Shepherds

Here are the top picks from our veterinarian. Compare the ratings and features of different models.

Editor’s Picks Model Rating Size Material Add treats? Satisfaction guarantee?
Best Overall KONG Classic Durable Natural Rubber 4.6 4” x 2.75” x 2.75” Rubber
Best Budget Buy KONG Rubber Flyer Large 4.5 9” diameter Rubber
Best Chew Toy Lewondr Dog Toys for Aggressive Chewers 4.6 5.39” diameter Rubber
Best Indestructible Feeko Aggressive Chewers Interactive Indestructible Toy 4.6 14.17” x 5.12” x 1.57” Rubber
Best Puzzle Toy Dogs Food Puzzle Feeder for IQ Training 4.1 16.26” x 6.5” x 4.0” Bamboo base, plastic bottles

*Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 and based on reviews, feedback, and opinions of actual customers

Who Should Buy Toys for German Shepherds

  • Anyone who cares about the health of their pets – We hope that’s you! Dog toys provide mental and physical stimulation for your pet, bringing a whole host of benefits, like reduced stress.
  • Owners of bored or destructive dogs – Does your German Shepherd keep chewing things they shouldn’t? Durable toys for German Shepherds specifically designed for play will help prevent destructive chewing of your shoes or other household items.
  • Pet owners who want some time to focus on work or household chores – A fun dog toy or puzzle can keep your German Shepherd occupied while you’re busy.

Who Should Not Buy Toys for  German Shepherds

  • Pet owners who won’t or can’t supervise their pet – It’s really important to supervise your German Shepherd: their aggressive chewing could destroy the toy. If that starts to happen, you need to throw it away. Broken toys aren’t safe.
  • Proud doggy parents who already have every toy on the market – You don’t need to constantly buy new toys for your German Shepherd. Instead, pack away most of the toys and rotate them, so your pooch always has a fresh selection. That way, they won’t get bored.

Research Tips (from a Veterinarian)

As a veterinarian, I often get asked how to choose the best toys for different types of dogs, including German Shepherds. Here are some tips and best practices to consider when purchasing a toy. Make sure you do your research and talk to friends and family who own German Shepherds: ask what they would recommend. You could also consult your veterinarian, especially if your dog has specific medical or behavioral issues that you’re hoping the toys will help with.

  1. Be sure you choose toys made from non-toxic material – Toxic materials to stay away from include Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), Phthalates, Bisphenol A (BPA), Lead, Chromium, Formaldehyde, Cadmium, and Bromine.[efm_note]Cali Raw Nutrition. Toxic Dog Toys. Caliraw.com. Published January 18, 2021. Accessed January 13, 2022.[/efn_note] If the toy is rubber, make sure it’s non-toxic rubber.1
  2. Avoid very hard bones and toys – These could hurt your German Shepherd’s teeth and gums since they are notoriously aggressive chewers.2
  3. Be cautious with rope toys as they are prone to being shredded and frayed – If these are ingested, your German Shepherd is at risk for an intestinal blockage, which could result in a trip to the emergency room.3
  4. Avoid real bones, or be very careful if using them – They could shatter or splinter and your German Shepherd might ingest sharp pieces of the broken bone. This could lead to stomach upset, intestinal perforation or blockage, and might cause an emergency trip to the vet.4 Also be cautious of hollow bones as they can become lodged around your German Shepherd’s lower jaw, resulting in a veterinary emergency.5
  5. Think carefully about toys containing stuffing or squeakers – These can be easily destroyed and if stuffing or squeakers are accidentally ingested, you may be headed for an emergency trip to the vet.6

How Much Do They Cost?

Between $10 and $40

Most robust toys for German Shepherds will cost between $10 and $40. Toys at the lower end of the range will be smaller and simpler and ones at the higher end will be larger and more complex. Be wary of very cheap toys as they may not be as durable or safe for your German Shepherd.

Our Methodology: Why Trust Pet News Daily

As a veterinarian, I’ve talked to lots of pet owners about their favorite toys for their dogs. I’ve also sadly seen a number of dogs with injuries relating to accidents while playing. I’ve chosen these products based on their safety for your German Shepherd, as well as with their features in mind. I also took into account value for money, durability, and ease of cleaning. – Dr. Danielle Morosco, DVM

The Best Toys for German Shepherds: Full Reviews

Our Vet’s Top Pick

KONG Classic Durable Natural Rubber

This hugely popular classic dog toy is a fantastic buy. It’ll provide hours of entertainment for your German Shepherd, especially if you stuff it with treats or peanut butter.

The KONG Classic Durable Natural Rubber is a great, durable choice of toy for your German Shepherd. It comes in a range of different sizes: get at least a large. You may want to size up to an XL or XXL. The classic Kong color is red, but you can also buy it in a range of different colors if you prefer. It’s made of a strong rubber that’s gentler on the teeth and gums than bones or plastic toys.

Your German Shepherd will love chasing the KONG as it bounces around. Even better, you can use it for enrichment activities by filling it with treats or peanut butter. It’s dishwasher-safe, making it super easy to clean. There’s also a satisfaction guarantee.

Pros
  • Great-value classic dog toy
  • Strong enough to stand up to robust chewing
  • Dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup
  • Full satisfaction guarantee
Cons
  • Sizes may be smaller than expected
  • Not all dogs will take an interest in the KONG
Best Budget Buy

KONG Rubber Flyer Large

Want to play frisbee with your German Shepherd? The KONG Flyer is perfect for games of fetch as its soft, durable rubber is safe for your pet’s teeth and gums.

The KONG Rubber Flyer Large is a fantastic choice of toy for German Shepherds if you’re on a budget. It’s made out of the same KONG Classic rubber as our top pick, meaning it’s comfortable and safe for your German Shepherd to catch in their jaws. If they miss your initial throw, it’ll bounce dynamically for them to catch.

Like other KONG products, the Flyer is made in the USA and comes with a satisfaction guarantee. The large size is suitable for dogs of 30-65 lbs (13-30 kg) so it’s best for female German Shepherds or males who are on the smaller side.

Pros
  • Budget-friendly toy
  • Provides hours of fun for you and your pet
  • Soft and safe but also strong and durable
  • Full satisfaction guarantee
Cons
  • Not designed for larger German Shepherds
  • Not ideal for independent play
Best Chew Toy

Lewondr Dog Toys for Aggressive Chewers

Want a toy that will withstand aggressive chewing? This is the perfect option for your German Shepherd, as it promotes good oral health too.

Got a German Shepherd who loves to chew? The Lewondr Dog Toys for Aggressive Chewers should stand up to a lot of chewing, plus it’s a great option for games of fetch. It’s designed with special grooves and ridges to help keep your dog’s teeth clean and to strengthen their jaw too.

You can add treats to this toy for your dog to shake out … or you can even smear it with peanut butter, which should stick to the textured surface. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to clean it by hand, as the manufacturer states it can’t go in the dishwasher. There’s a lifetime warranty, though (understandably) this won’t cover normal wear and tear after long-term use.

Pros
  • Helps keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy and strong
  • Can contain treats for added fun for your dog
  • Tested and approved by German Shepherd dogs
  • Not easily destroyed
Cons
  • Center treat area is softer and less durable
  • Not dishwasher-safe
  • Grooves and ridges can be difficult to clean
Best Indestructible

Feeko Aggressive Chewers Interactive Indestructible Toy

Need a truly indestructible toy? Go for this Feeko dog toy: it comes in a range of colors and it’s been rigorously tested by German Shepherds.

If your dog seems to destroy every toy, then give the Feeko Aggressive Chewers Interactive Indestructible Toy a try. The bone design makes it great for games of tug-of-war and the ridges will help clean your dog’s teeth as they chew, too.

It’s a large toy, so it’s suitable for large German Shepherds. The natural rubber composition makes it sturdy but flexible and safe for your dog to chew.

Pros
  • Cleans your dog’s teeth as they chew
  • Tested by German Shepherds
  • Can be used for games of tug-of-war
  • Suitable for large dog breeds
Cons
  • Large and heavy; not easy to transport around
  • May not stand up to very aggressive chewing
Best Puzzle Toy

Dogs Food Puzzle Feeder for IQ Training

Want to give your dog a great mental workout? This puzzle feeder should keep them occupied for ages.

With a sturdy wooden base, the Dogs Food Puzzle Feeder for IQ Training has three bottles for your pet to tip up so they can get the treats out. It should keep them busy for a while, keeping their focus on the food and helping to relieve anxiety, stress, and boredom.

It has an H-shaped design so that it can’t be knocked over easily. Unlike the other toys listed, it does require assembly, but this should only take a few minutes. Keep in mind that you’ll need to take it apart again to remove and clean the bottles.

Pros
  • Keeps dogs’ attention for a long time
  • Slows down feeding for fast eaters
  • Strong, stable base prevents it from tipping over
Cons
  • Disassembly required for cleaning
  • Parts missing for some customers

Frequently Asked Questions

What toys should I get my German Shepherd?

If your German Shepherd is new to your family, or if you’re thinking about getting a pet, there are lots of great choices of toys. The KONG Classic is a fantastic all-rounder that your dog is sure to love, whatever their age. You might also want to consider a toy that’s designed for you to play with your dog outside – something that’s suitable for games of fetch, frisbee, or tug-of-war. If you have a German Shepherd puppy, durable teething toys are a great addition too.

What is the best chew toy for a German Shepherd?

German Shepherds are strong and aggressive chewers, so you want a toy that can withstand a lot of chomping.7 Make sure you’re buying toys that are durable but that are made of a material that won’t hurt your dog’s jaws or break his teeth.8 Rubber is usually a great choice. There are lots of different chew toys available: ideally, you want one that has rubber ridges to help keep your dog’s teeth clean as they chew.9

How do I keep my German Shepherd entertained?

German Shepherds are intelligent, active, and curious dogs that need to be kept busy – learning, playing games, or even working. Your dog will need plenty of positive interaction with you, so make time to play: you’ll both enjoy it! Robust dog toys are a great way to keep your German Shepherd entertained when you’re busy with chores (or when you just need a break). Just make sure you’re around to supervise young German Shepherd puppies, who might accidentally swallow any parts that they chew off the toy.

Can German Shepherds be left alone for 8 hours?

Most pet owners need to go out to work – and you can rest assured that it’s fine to leave your pet alone while you’re out of the house. They’ll probably nap for a large part of the day. With German Shepherds puppies, though, who can’t go 8 hours without relieving themselves, you could arrange for a dog walking service (or friendly neighbor) to take your pooch out for a walk in the middle of the day, so that they have a chance to empty their bladder and get some exercise and company.

Article Sources

Pet News Daily uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Wooten KJ, Smith PN. Canine toys and training devices as sources of exposure to phthalates and bisphenol A: quantitation of chemicals in leachate and in vitro screening for endocrine activity. Chemosphere. 2013;93(10):2245-2253. doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2013.07.075
  2. American Kennel Club. 10 German Shepherd Dog Facts. Akc.org. Published September 20, 2021. Accessed January 13, 2022.
  3. FirstVet. Causes of Intestinal Obstruction in Dogs. Firstvet.com. Accessed January 13, 2022.
  4. Llera R, Downing R. Why Bones Are Not Safe for Dogs. Vcahospitals.com. Accessed January 13, 2022.
  5. Turner B. Potential Dangers of Popular Dog Chews. Preventivevet.com. Published August 18, 2021. Accessed January 13, 2022.
  6. Rossetti J. Should I Let My Dog Destroy His Toys? Spiritdogtraining.com. Accessed January 13, 2022.
  7. American Kennel Club. 10 German Shepherd Dog Facts. Akc.org. Published September 20, 2021. Accessed January 13, 2022.
  8. Cherry Hill Animal Hospital. 7 Chew Toys That Can Damage Your Dog’s Teeth. Cherryhillanimalhospital.com. Published January 28, 2020. Accessed January 13, 2022.
  9. Arford K. 5 Easy Ways to Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Clean. Akc.org. Published July 20, 2020. Accessed January 13, 2022.