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Becoming a Dog Parent is no less a feat than raising your own child. It requires a lot of patience and vigil to provide for them and create an environment which will adhere to their well-being. German shepherds are of the smart breed of dogs. Their upbringing is best done with the positive reinforcement of Toys and outdoor playtime. Scouring the internet for puzzle toys shouldn’t end in a futile search and that’s why we have compiled a list of the best puzzle toy.
Dogs are the equivalent to love in our lives and thereby occupying a space of adoration and affection. The term ‘dog parents’ emerged when millennial couples unwilling to become parents substituted dogs in their life instead of children. German shepherds are adopted at a tender age, especially when they’re super active and enthusiastic.
Puzzle Toys, like the ones mentioned below, for German shepherds, should be mentally and physically stimulating as it keeps the brain and the body active. One of the significant issues that arise during their growing phase is that everything looks chewable and you will see that no sooner than later, things around your house resemble skeletons of their remains! The best way out for this problem is to provide them with various engaging toys. Here is a list of choicest puzzle toys for your beloved companion.
10 Interactive Puzzle Toys For German Shepherds
1. Nina Ottoson Dog Brick Treat Puzzle Dog Toy
A stroke of genius by Outward Hound, this toy trains the dog to sniff out food sparing you the outside training. The toy is divided into compartments that efficiently hides treats and small snacks for your puppy. Training the puppy gets easier as he/she learns to slide or pop open the compartments sniffing for the treat.
The puzzle toy is focused on the mental stimulation of the dog and is as effective as outside training is. However, we have to keep in mind that this should be done with proper vigilance of the dog parent in the initial days as conditioning the pet in its earlier years is crucial. This is equally effective on puppy german shepherds as well as fully grown-up ones.
2. Outward Hound Hide-a-Squirrel
Plush and puzzle to keep your little pet entertained! It is mainly a puzzle toy but in a plush wrapping. It serves the purpose of both, as it mentally stimulates and also makes a great playpen for your pet. Hide and squeak is an excellent alternative for chasing real squirrels and also minimizes the risk factor.
The puzzle toy has squeaky squirrels all around it, and the softness prevents any apparent injury to your puppy’s gum too. The food-free feature of the toy also makes the provision of positive reinforcement and allows you some peace of mind. One of the primary factors that keep new dog parents on their toes is that the German shepherd might lose its way while playing outside. And it is not always a plausible idea to leave your little one unsupervised either, and this is where ‘Hide and Squeak’ comes in.
3. Kong Classic Dog Toy
Kong is an age-old favorite when it comes to puzzle toys. This bouncy rubber toy comes with an opening at the bottom so that you can stuff kibbles into it.
The rubber build is tensile and does not tear easily. It allows your shepherd to paw and press the ball to reach the food. It is a fun exercise that keeps your pup occupied indoors.
4. Bob-A-Lot Treat Dispenser
This Starmark product hits all the right marks when it comes to play and work. Made of high-grade PVC, this product is colorful and useful in storing foods. The anti-slip property of the puzzle toy makes it easier for your pup to grab food.
You can easily stuff food worth a meal into it and feed dinner without making a mess. The elastic mouth allows a controlled amount of food to escape through the outlet and regulates the portion for the meal.
5. IQ Treat Ball
This new size fits all dog puzzle toys also helps in portion control. Like the previous toy, this too can be filled with treats and foods. The opening can be adjusted to control the difficulty level. During the day, when you are busy, you can tighten the opening, making it a bit of a more difficult task for your pup to reach his treat.
It can keep your beloved shepherd entertained all day long, while you catch up with the day’s work. Mentally stimulating the dog as well as coordinating its limb actions, this puzzle toy accounts for an overall health factor of the dog.
6. Tug-A-Jug Dog Toy
If you’re a veteran in dog training, you would know that integrating your dog to the hygiene factor is a herculean effort. While this toy stores an entire meal worth of supper, it also aids in cleaning the teeth.
The rubber textured wrap comes along with a rope to tug on so that when your German shepherd attempts to take out the food, it also cleans the plaque. It is a perfect puzzle toy for the larger breed of Dogs.
7. Treat-Dispensing Ball Toy
These ball puzzle toys can be dismantled to stuff food into it. It comes in various shapes, and it’s really not that hard to figure out. The raving reviews of this toy testify for its utility.
Furthermore, it’s simple to build in the shape of a ball that allows your dog to get familiar with it quickly and also earns you some much-needed rest!
8. Dog Activity Flip Board
For beginner dog trainers, it is quite difficult to get your dog into training. If your dog is of the bigger breed, training them is quite tricky. It is equipped with flaps, cones, and knobs which opens with using the tongue and the paws.
This puzzle toy rimmed with an anti-slip rubber grip, so it does not slide onto the floor and make a mess, which is the case with a lot of other such kibble toys. A creation of Trixie pet products, this flip board is quite stimulating in itself and works brilliantly in training your pet.
9. Dog Twister Toy
Hollywood has succeeded in making Human twister a huge deal, but its doggo version of the game has missed the hype completely. This is the ultimate puzzle game for bigger breeds of dogs like the German shepherd as it contains compartments that hide dog treats. In order to get access to the treats, your pet needs to slide the blocks one after the other to eat the hidden snacks.
It is equipped with extra accessories for added difficulty like a bone-shaped peg. As the training proceeds, levels of pressure can also be increased by adding wheels of blocks.
10. Snuffle Mat
Simplicity can sometimes be the key to get your pet trained, especially the little ones. Exercising their sniffing capabilities is crucial for their development. Most trainers take the outdoors route for smell exercises, mainly taking them to the backyard or the park.
Sometimes it becomes quite difficult for a trainer to go outside for proper training. This sniffle mat can come to their rescue as tasty treats can be hidden in them, and by only smelling those treats, the dogs can locate and eat it. This puzzle toy is also washable and portable. As it does not require much hassle, it can be used anywhere.
Why interactive puzzle toys are important for German Shepherds and other similar dogs Training?
These breed of dogs are known for their active minds and nose. As you might have known, they are often used as sniffer dogs by the cops.
The sniffing power of German shepherds is unparalleled, and they have made a name for themselves in tracking criminals too! Therefore, their active minds should be put to use even if they’re domesticated, otherwise they will go berserk.
Apart from a lot of tenderness and care, focusing on a German Shepherd’s mental and physical development is a mark of a successful dog parent. Although physical training is a well-versed exercise, mental training is a bit on the trickier side. While many employ professional dog trainer for this purpose, toys can aid in the process, if you prefer to do it yourself.
Boredom and the ensuing lethargy is a foe of the four-legged companion. More often than not, it leads to aggressive behavior. Toys, as we know, give immense happiness to the dog and activate their ‘joy enzymes’. This, in turn, keeps them healthy and lively. Utilizing their pent up energy in a productive way can alter their demeanor altogether. Many dog shelters adopt this technique with traumatized rescue strays.
An intelligent and active dog like the german shepherd gets bored quite easily. You need to upgrade your methods and tools to keep them constantly engaged and happy. It would be wise to set a playtime for outdoors and indoors activities.
Rewards for solving the puzzle toy or successfully finishing a task is known as Positive Reinforcement. This incurs good behavior in the hope of treats and would make your dog better trained in no time.
Somethings should be kept in mind while dealing with a German Shepherd. It is easy to overfeed your dog (who can resist that puppy face), but doing so will increase the chance of obesity.
Every breed is unique and so are their requirements. Therefore, a pooch’s diet will invariably be varying from a retriever’s. Restricting the amount of treats in the puzzle toys is also pertinent in controlling their weight. Even more so, rewards can also be substituted by a pat or stoking behind the ears.