As a general rule, most dogs require exercise in their day to day lives. Walking, running, swimming, or sports are all typical outlets for the energy that dogs have to expend, but there is nothing more simple than the game of fetch. Used by dog owners worldwide, fetch is a super simple way to bond and play with your dog while also providing stimulation, training, and exercise. For the working class of dog, fetch is a useful tool for channeling the excess energy that comes with a working breed.
One of the more common working breeds is the German shepherd, bred for herding and generally used for all types of work from military to police. The German shepherd is the perfect fetching companion, as they are quick to learn and eager to please. For a high energy breed, teaching fetch is probably the best way to ensure that you’ll always have a go-to game to play on any day.
The game of fetch typically consists of a few commands that your dog should know in order to properly play. There is the actual act of fetching, holding the ball or toy in his mouth, and then the act of bringing the object back to you in order for you to throw it again. For a German shepherd, this process is typically fairly easy to pick up on and only requires some repetition. However, there are some dogs who may be a bit confused on how the game works. It may help to learn the game in steps in these cases.
You can start teaching fetch once a puppy is old enough to venture outdoors. Typically, this may have to wait until after his vaccinations, for health purposes. Fetch is perfect for any adult German shepherd to learn and should really only take two to three days to establish the way the game is played.
The only real thing you need to get started playing fetch is your dog’s favorite toy and ample space to throw it. The toy should be large enough to keep your dog from swallowing it, but small enough that he can reasonably carry it back to you. Good places to play fetch are in a large backyard, in a fenced-in area at the park, or in any other safe outdoor space. Avoid playing fetch in a dog park, as it may invite other dogs to steal your dog’s toy or chase after and harass your dog. Playing fetch should be a time to bond between you and your German shepherd without any other distractions.