9 Best Sports for German Shepherds


Have you ever wondered, what are the best activities that you could do with your german shepherd? If your answer is yes, then just continue reading because in this article the Dog’sSportGear team will go over the top 9 best sports for german shepherds.

Best Sports for a German Shepherd:

  • Dog agility
  • Schutzhund
  • Rally Obedience
  • Tracking
  • Disc Dog
  • Canicross
  • Bikejoring
  • Flyball

However, there is more to it than just having a list of sports. In this article, we will give you a detailed rundown about all these activities that you could start today with your german shepherd.

Dog Agility

As the name implies, dog agility tests the speed of your doggy. However, instead of a full-on sprint, the participants are required to run an obstacle course where your best friend must overcome in a timely manner.

Of course, you can set up a training course at your backyard just for fun. If this is something that you’re looking to do then check out this dog agility kit. It’s high quality and everything you need fits in a convenient carrier bag.

The following list is a brief rundown of the various obstacles typically included in an official course:

A-frameTwo boards connected to form a sturdy triangle. The average board width is 3 feet and the length is roughly 8.5 feet.
Dog walk Three narrow planks, about 10 inches wide and 10 feet long, are connected to create the top of a trapezoid. In competition, the center plank needs to be about 4 feet off the ground.
SeesawA plank, roughly 11 feet long, supported by and connected to a triangle base capable of allowing the top plank to alter positions as a canine crosses from one side to the other.
Tunnel Usually over 10 feet long with a diameter of at least 2 feet and positioned to create a c shape.
HurdlesThese can be single, double, or triple bars, stacked lightly on a connecting frame. The objective here is to jump over the bars without touching them.
Tire JumpA circular object held up by wires within a metal frame. German Shepherds can be trained to jump through the center without touching the edge.
Weave PolesSpaced about 24 inches apart, roughly ten poles are connected to a board. For every 3 foot pole an animal encounters, they are required to go in the opposite direction they came from.
Pause BoxA simple platform where canines are required to wait for a certain amount of time before taking off to complete the next task.

If that list sounds a bit overwhelming at first, do not fret. Pick a few of your favorite activities and focus on training your furry friend only those objectives to start with. Then, once your GSD gets the hang of them, slowly add in more.

By the way, this is our top pick for an inexpensive agility set, if you’re just starting out (Amazon link).

Schutzhund

This is the sport German Shepherds were made for! No literally. Back in the early 1900s, Germany developed a test to determine if an animal has the personality and behavior suitable to become a working German Shepherd.

Since then, the test has become a sport where most breeds can compete. However, since the trail is so hard, very few animals actually pass the requirements.

General subjects include tracking, obedience, and protection.

To prepare your furry friend to participate in the Schutzhund, consider taking up Rally Obedience and Tracking first. Both of these sports will help you lay the groundwork needed to take on such an advanced challenge. As for the protection aspect of the test, a decent amount of additional dedication is needed.

See, during the Schutzhund, or “protection dog”, the judge calls in a person to help. This “helper” stages different scenarios akin to real-world hostage situations.

If your dog responds appropriately to all tasks, such as stopping the judge from “attacking” the helper, they pass. However, if even a hint of fear or inappropriate behavior is noted, they fail.

Rally Obedience

This sport takes obedience training to the next level. A pup and handler start with 200 points. From there, trainers give their animals various signs. When an animal performs the command, additional points may be rewarded for responsiveness and timeliness.

Along the same vein, points may be deducted for delay or not doing the correct task. Sample requests trainers are likely to make include the following.

  • Halt – sit
  • Halt – sit – down
  • Right Turn
  • Left Turn
  • U-turn
  • 360 Right Turn
  • 360 Left Turn
  • Stop and down

Needless to say, this may be more preferable than other sports mentioned on our list due to there is no money spend required by the owner.

Tracking

As a sport, tracking challenges a dog’s smelling skills and intelligence. As you can probably imagine, during this objective, animals are required to inhale a scent and then use the smell to track down a person.

However, unlike a real-world scenario, the tracking trail is not designed to trick the animal. Instead, items with said scent are strewn along the trail. That said, these items are required to be found as well as the “lost” person.

Disc Dog

Also known as Frisbee dog, this sport involves throwing a circular object a certain distance, and an animal to catch it.

If your pet shows signs of being a real crowd-pleaser, such as showing off in front of a camera, definitely consider participating in this fun and entertaining activity. During disc dog competitions, there are usually three categories of Frisbee throwing.

  • Toss and fetch: as many short throws and retrievals as possible in a minute
  • Freestyle: pup and owner can show off by performing difficult tasks, playing to the crowd, or establishing keen athleticism. Points are awarded by judges, and the set can last from 90 seconds to two minutes
  • Long-distance: this usually consists of a Frisbee being thrown and a dog jumping as far as possible to catch it

Canicross

For readers thinking to themselves “building an obstacle course is too much work”, guess what? There are plenty of other sports to look into. For example, next up on our list is canicross. This sport is all about running, specifically, cross country. And yes, to participate you will have to run alongside your pet.

That said, canines are required to be on a leash at all times and distances vary from at minimum a mile, on up to about 28 miles.

If you’re planning to jump into canicross all you’ll need is a hands-free dog leash that you can get from Amazon for a reasonable price.

Bikejoring

If you love to bike and have a German Shepherd, this sport is for you! Bikejoring consists of one rider, their bicycle, and a dog, or a team of them, to pull the bike along.

Think of it like dog-sledding, but with a bicycle. Sounds great, right? The objective in this one is to race other biking enthusiasts to see who is the fastest.

Readers who are ready to try this one out today, do take note! To safely participate in this sport, you need special dog-bicycle attachments (in this link you can check out the one that’s been tested by our team).

By doing so, you can ensure that your furry friend is able to run alongside the bicycle, rather than in front where they can possibly get hurt.

Flyball

Flyball is the ultimate game of catch. Here is how it works. Four-legged companions work in a team to complete a relay race. During the run, dogs run as fast as they can over hurdles.

These harmless speed bumps are designed to be as high as the smallest team member can jump over. That said, once a pet gets to the far side of the course, they are required to press a button on a box. By doing so, a tennis ball is released into the air.

When this occurs, the ball must be caught by the dog and carried back to the trainer. Afterward, the next pup on the team is permitted to take their turn.

Animals that drop the ball or let go of it prior to crossing the initial starting line accrue a penalty, which can count against their total time, thus leading to a loss.

So, if you are ready to teach your furry companion flyball, make sure they do not let go of that ball!

In exchange for your time, you and your furry friend will be able to collaborate on a challenge you will both likely enjoy.

Mark

I grew up alongside a Labrador. I've been obsessed with dogs since then and owned several different breeds. My passion is to share my knowledge and start this blog about my furry friends. I hope you enjoy my articles.

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