Skip to Content

Are German Shepherds Lazy?

Are German Shepherds Lazy?

Are you wondering if your German Shepherd’s desire to lay around on the couch all day is normal and if the breed is simply prone to laziness?

German Shepherds are a stereotypically high-energy breed. They are working dogs, and in general, they absolutely love to run and exercise. If your German Shepherd is lazy and never wants to do anything but sleep or lay around, there may actually be an underlying cause. Factors such as fitness level, boredom level, and health can all affect how energetic your German Shepherd might be.

The rest of this article will go into whether German Shepherds are generally lazy, what to do if your German Shepherd is unusually lazy, and what could be causing this behavior.

Are German Shepherds lazy?

Are German Shepherds lazy? No, your average German Shepherd is not going to be a generally lazy dog. German Shepherds were bred to be working dogs, excelling in positions such as rescue dogs, police dogs, and service dogs. They need quite a lot of both physical exercise and mental stimulation each day to be happy. 

These dogs especially enjoy when they are given specific tasks to do, rather than just generally playing.

What if my German Shepherd is lazy?

If your German Shepherd is very lazy and prefers to lay around all day rather than exercise, this behavior may be a symptom of an underlying cause. It is especially important to take note if this lazy behavior is out of the ordinary. If your dog is usually very energetic and loves to play, and suddenly starts to act like the complete opposite, then something may be wrong.

All sorts of factors can affect your German Shepherd’s energy level. Some of these factors include:

  • Diet
  • Boredom
  • Fitness level
  • Age

How can my German Shepherd’s diet affect laziness?

Have you recently switched your German Shepherd’s food? If your dog suddenly started to act lazy when you began to feed them something different, then this can definitely be something to consider. 

German Shepherds need high-calorie and high-protein meals to provide energy. Too many empty carbohydrates or excess fat can lead to sluggishness and laziness. Try taking a look at the ingredients in your German Shepherd’s food to determine if it could be contributing to their lazy behavior.

Is my German Shepherd just bored?

German Shepherds are highly intelligent dogs who need a lot of mental stimulation to remain happy. If you never take your dog out to play or on walks, or if you never provide ways for them to exercise their brain, then this boredom can manifest in the form of lethargy. Your dog will lay around all day, acting listless and uninterested in the world around them.

Sometimes, this can also lead to hyperactivity whenever you do decide to take your German Shepherd for a walk or play session. Do not let this scare you out of exercising your dog! With more exercise, they will actually become more calm and well-behaved.

Is my German Shepherd just out of shape?

This goes hand in hand with the above section on boredom. If your German Shepherd never gets the opportunity to exercise, then they are probably sorely out of shape. This can lead to laziness as they will begin to find exercise unpleasant. However, this is very unhealthy for your German Shepherd, and you should make every effort to get them back into shape as soon as possible.

Does laziness mean my German Shepherd is sick?

Illness or injury can certainly be the cause of your German Shepherd’s supposed laziness. It is entirely possible that they are not lazy, but rather not feeling well.

Make sure to check your dog over for any physical injuries, especially on their paws and legs. In addition, watch out for any other changes in behavior besides laziness. Is your dog whining or crying? Have they become suddenly aggressive or developed a tendency to snap at you when certain parts of their body are touched? These are all signs that can point to sickness or injury.

If you are worried that your German Shepherd is injured or ill, make sure to seek professional veterinary advice as soon as possible.

How can I make sure my German Shepherd gets the proper exercise?

There are many different ways that you can physical exercise your German Shepherd. These include walks, runs, playtime, or even practicing specific tasks. German Shepherds are working dogs who love to be given jobs to do. 

You can also take your German Shepherd running, walking, or hiking with you. Getting out into the outdoors is a great way to both physically exercise your dog and provide mental stimulation at the same time. It is important to remember that mental stimulation is just as crucial for your German Shepherd as physical exercise, and without proper mental stimulation, they can easily become bored and lazy.

How much physical exercise does a German Shepherd need?

German Shepherds need quite a lot of physical exercise. The average one will need at least an hour and a half per day, though this can be broken up into multiple walks, runs, or play sessions.

What is mental stimulation?

Just like physical exercise is intended to work out your dog’s body, mental stimulation provides a workout for your dog’s brain. 

This is especially important with highly intelligent dogs such as German Shepherds, as they will be constantly looking for things to test their brains. If they do not show their boredom in the form of laziness, they may become destructive and damage things around the house in an effort to occupy themselves.

Mental stimulation gives your dog the opportunity to think—it’s like when you do brain teasers or crossword puzzles for fun. Just like humans find such activities enjoyable, dogs need them to be happy. Keep reading to discover a few different ways that you can provide your German Shepherd with sufficient mental stimulation.

How can I give my German Shepherd mental stimulation?

There are many different things you can do to provide your German Shepherd with mental stimulation. Here are a few ideas:

  • Puzzle toys
  • Kong treats
  • Training sessions
  • Specific jobs

Puzzle toys and Kong treats are both excellent choices when it comes to mental stimulation. They are both toys where you put a treat in the center and your dog must work to get the treat out. 

With puzzle toys especially, your dog has to really think to figure out how to get the treat out from the center. With Kong toys, your dog will be slowed down significantly instead of simply devouring the treat.

Training sessions and specific jobs are both additional ways that you can provide your dog with mental stimulation. Teaching your dog new tricks forces them to use their brains to figure out how to interpret the commands that you are asking of them. Specific jobs fall into the same category because it involves training.

You can train your dog to do specific tasks so that they feel important and useful. This is crucial for a working dog such as a German Shepherd.

What if my German Shepherd still doesn’t like to exercise?

Are German Shepherds lazy? Ultimately, every dog is different. If you have run through all of the above scenarios and nothing is out of the ordinary for your pup, then it is possible that your dog simply does not enjoy exercising. In fact, this may be why you are here today asking this very question.

However, it is important to remember that German Shepherds need a lot of exercises to remain healthy. Just because your dog does not like exercising does not mean that you shouldn’t exercise them. In fact, a dog who does not have enough opportunities to exercise can easily become unhealthy and out of shape, leading to the laziness described above.

Make sure that you are giving your dog the opportunity to get the recommended hour and a half of exercise per day, even if your dog does not seem to want to. Walks and runs are very important to your dog’s health, as is mental stimulation.

Is my lazy German Shepherd normal?

Again, every dog is different. If your German Shepherd simply does not like exercising, it could very well be perfectly normal. However, there is also the chance that it is abnormal.

In addition to the causes we discussed above which could contribute to your German Shepherd’s laziness, there are a number of other factors to consider. For example, your German Shepherd could be depressed or suffering from anxiety related to leaving the house.

If you are concerned that either of these factors may apply to your dog, it is important to seek a professional veterinary opinion. Your vet may suggest medication or some other solutions to make sure that your dog is as happy and healthy as can be.


Are German Shepherds lazy? In general, German Shepherds are very active and energetic working dogs. If you have a German Shepherd who prefers to lounge on the couch all day to exercise, it may well be normal—or it may be a symptom of an underlying cause, such as an unhealthy diet, low fitness level, or even illness or injury.