If you’ve been following this blog at all or are a GSD owner you know that exercise is a mandatory part of any German Shepherds life.
When Aura was in the 18- 24 month old age range, if I didn’t get her exercised at least once every 48hrs, she’d let the energy out herself. This was never good- she’d eat things. You know, chairs, couches, etc. She literally jumped onto one of our couches one day and just started digging her way to China. We had only been out of the house 30 minutes. I couldn’t get mad at her for this- it was my own fault.
This is what I call Aura’s “smile”:
This was just after a 2 mile workout. There is a community college near our home. We often go over there. We walk briskly, do a small jog, run up and down some stairs, and that is usually enough to keep her satisfied. She is 3 now. When she was 2 I’d get on my mountain bike and bike her. She’d run beside me as I’d pedal. I don’t know everything I should about biking dogs but I just use common sense- I make sure the pads on her feet are not getting torn up and I do not go too fast. She seems to have 4 speeds – a walk, a brisk walk, a jog, and a full out run. I’m sure there are much more technical terms for this. I keep her at a level 2, or if it is cool enough out we’ll do some level 3. This is more of a gallop and you can definitely see the rear legs doing a lot more work as she literally leaves the ground as she gallops. The entire body movement changes and you can tell it is much more of a higher impact workout. Maybe I baby her too much but I try not to do too much of a high impact workout. I do know this is especially important the first 2 years of life when the bones are developing.
Here is another picture of her- this was just after a 20 minute bike ride at the beach. It was pretty warm out so there was no running involved:
Her favorite thing to do is lie there and just plop her head into the bowl to drink! She is hilarious. Even at someone else’s beach house I was confident leaving her alone and out of her crate as she had gotten all of her excess doggy energy out. She drank her water, relaxed for a bit, then found an air conditioning vent to go to sleep on.
During training exercise is a prerequisite!
If you are considering purchasing a German Shepherd please take note, the 2 biggest issues that you’ll face are exercise and socialization. If you are not prepared to give your next dog this, it will be in your best interest (and your dog’s best interest) to select another breed. Do some research and talk to other pet owners or responsible breeders, too.