Keep Your Dog Happy and Healthy in 2022: 21 Places To Take Your Short Haired German Shepherd

german shepherd sitting in a grass field

The short-haired German Shepherd dog is one of America’s most popular breeds. The German Shepherd has remained in the top ten of the most popular breeds since the 1950s. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), this large breed first became number one in the 1920s. Founded in 1884, the AKC is a respected registry of dog pedigrees.

The short-haired German Shepherd is intelligent, calm, confident, protective and eager to please. They can learn any task or trick at lightning speed. They are loyal family dogs that can also hold down a serious job. Their expressive faces and soulful eyes make it easy to communicate with them.

If you get that they are the king of your castle, you can relax and let them serve you. Let them grab the newspaper, close the door behind you, or even load the dishwasher for you. They love being of service!

German Shepherds: Beauty and Brains

They have essential jobs in the U.S. military and police forces across America. They are also Hollywood darlings. In 1922, a German Shepherd named Rin Tin Tin hit the silent movie screen. An American soldier rescued him off of a WWI battlefield in France before becoming a box office hit. Three dogs have their own stars on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame with two stars belonging to German Shepherds. Since the 1960s, German Shepherd dogs get cast more than any other breed.

Their impressive resume also includes being First Dogs. Four U.S. Presidents have chosen German Shepherd dogs. Hoover, FDR, and JFK all had this breed when they served as presidents. President Biden is the most recent, with two German Shepherds.

If this isn’t impressive enough, a German Shepherd dog was the first guide dog in history.

Short-Haired German Shepherd Dogs

Short-haired German Shepherd dogs have double-layered coats. Long-haired German Shepherd dogs often only have an outer coat. This means that a long-haired German Shepherd cannot handle colder temperatures like a short-haired German Shepherd. A long-haired German Shepherd may have less shedding. But, as with most dog breeds, shedding will be an occurrence. Shedding is a healthy part of a dog’s life. Some breeds shed less, some more. With proper care, you can decrease the negative impacts of shedding. The best dog food to combat this is whatever helps nourish dry skin. Adding olive oil to their dog food won’t stop the shedding, but it can help improve the dry and itchy conditions that lead to more shedding.

A recessive gene causes a German Shepherd to have long hair. Thus, a short-haired German Shepherd can produce puppies with long hair and vice versa. Another variety is the plush-haired German Shepherd. Plush fur is neither short nor long hair.

The German Shepherd dog’s most common color pattern is black mixed with tan, red, cream, or silver. A black-tipped coat with a lighter base color of red, tan, gray, or silver refers to a Sable German Shepherd.

Black is the most common gene in canines. A solid black puppy is typical for some breeds, like the Labrador Retriever. A solid black German Shepherd puppy is much rarer. All German Shepherd dogs carry the black gene. But it’s uncommon for a black German Shepherd puppy to remain that color into adulthood.

White is a typical secondary color. More than half of all dogs have some type of white spotting or blocking on their coats. The white color is due to a lack of pigmentation. Only a handful of breeds are only white, like the Maltese and American Eskimo breeds. A white German Shepherd is rare. This rarity is because of decades of German Shepherd breeders trying to breed out the color. Breeding two white German Shepherds is the only way to guarantee a white shepherd puppy.

Blue is another rare color. Even rarer is a lime green German Shepherd puppy born from a white German Shepherd in 2020. The lime green hair will eventually fade to white.

german shepherd tilting its head

Origins of the German Shepherd Dog

The German Shepherd first came to the U.S. in the early 1900s. The breed originated in Germany. In 1899, a Prussian cavalry officer found an intelligent black wolf-like canine at a dog show. This dog had almost supernatural herding skills. He bred this dog to make the perfect working dog. Today’s short-haired German Shepherd didn’t appear as we now know it to be until after WWII. But the blood of that wolf-like dog from 1899 flows through the veins of every German Shepherd today. There is zero doubt that this large breed is the hardest working dog in the world.

German Shepherd Mix Breeds

German Shepherds are crossbred with other famous breeds. As a result, some mixed breeds don’t appear to look like German Shepherds. But many a mixed breed still have desirable German Shepherd traits. Of course, it all depends on which parent’s traits a puppy inherits. A German Shepherd dog rescue is an excellent place to look for a short-haired German Shepherd mix. You will find a German Shepherd rescue in most states. Rescues also have purebred German Shepherds, the same as an AKC breeder.

Chow Shepherd

The Chow Chow dates to ancient China. Their distinctive look includes a lion’s mane and a blue-black tongue. Their thick and long double coats are red, black, blue, cream, or cinnamon in color. Chow Chow’s have heavy shedding year-round. They have cat-like qualities like being aloof, reserved, independent and stubborn. They also clean themselves like a cat does. Chow Chows are more likely to mind their own business than a German Shepherd.

It’s not known why German Shepherds were first mixed with Chow Chows. It’s thought that it might have been to give German Shepherds the Chow Chow’s extra fluffy coat and their expert hunting capabilities. Or, it might have happened naturally without human intervention. The Chow Shepherd puppy mostly takes after their Chow Chow parents as far as appearance. However, they often inherit the short-haired German Shepherd’s muzzle and ears. In addition, they usually inherit the Chow Chow’s hair, so daily grooming will be on the menu. The cross between the two breeds means there will be a lot of shedding. A Chow Shepherd is intelligent, protective, loyal, and happy. They have a lot of energy that you will need to help them burn off.

German Shepherd Yorkie

The Yorkshire Terrier is an affectionate and energetic toy-sized dog. They are also more formidable than they look. Before they were chilling on the laps of Victorian maidens—they earned their keep as rat hunters in mines. A Yorkie was even a WWII war hero. She saved the soldiers’ lives by dragging a communications cable through a gutter. After the war, she became a therapy dog. Possibly the first one in the world.

The Yorkshire Terrier has a flowing silky coat that is hypoallergenic. It’s more like human hair than fur. Because of this, they are not prone to heavy shedding. Their coat color is blue and tan, blue and gold, black and tan, or black and gold.

Developed in the U.K. during the Industrial Revolution was the Yorkshire Terrier. The German Shepherd Yorkie is a newer breed. It weighs between 7 to 50 pounds. Their coat varies, but the dominant colors are usually black and silver, golden brown, or black and gray. As far as temperament much depends on the parents. German Shepherd Yorkies are brilliant, friendly and loyal family dogs with proper socialization.

german shepherd laying in the grass

Golden Shepherd

The Golden Retriever breed came into being in the U.K. circa 1830. First, by breeding a Retriever with a Water Spaniel. Then by breeding their offspring with Irish Setters, Bloodhounds, Retrievers, and St. John’s Water Dogs. They initially bred the Golden Retriever for hunting. This breed is beautiful, friendly and tolerant. They have a luxurious coat that comes in various shades of gold. Shedding happens moderately in the winter and summer, with heavy shedding in the spring and fall.

Breeding with a short-haired German Shepherd results in a dog that loves the action. They are high energy, so they will need your help in making sure they get enough exercise. They are super happy when carrying something in their mouth, so toys are mandatory. Their coats will be black, tan, red, cream, or blue. There will be a lot of shedding too. This mix is a beautiful and affectionate dog that will want lots of one-on-one time with you.

German Shepherd Pointer Mix

The German Shorthaired Pointer originated from Germany a century before the German Shepherd’s appearance. They come from crossbreeding different pointer breeds and a German Bloodhound. They bred the German Shorthaired Pointer to be hunting dogs, especially for birds. German bird-dogs date back to the 1700s in Germany. This breed is one of the best dog swimmers, with webbed feet and a water repellant coat. Their fur is low-maintenance compared to a short-haired German Shepherd’s. Both breeds are affectionate and willing to please.

The Shepherd Pointer mix is a wonderful family dog that is curious and playful. They need a lot of exercise because they are high energy. They may shed a lot if the German Shorthaired Pointer puppy takes after the German Shepherd side.

German Shepherd Beagle Mix

The Beagle is a merry and curious breed. It’s one of the most recognizable breeds, with a line that traces back to the 1500s. They bred Beagles in England to be hunting dogs. But, they became popular in America starting in the 1950s. This was primarily because of the depiction of a Beagle named Snoopy in the Peanuts cartoon series.

The German Shepherd Beagle mix is a unique combination. They are usually medium-sized dogs with a face that looks more like a Beagle than a short-haired German Shepherd. Their ears usually are floppy and their facial expression is cheerful. The bodies of Beagles are usually leaner, like a short-haired German Shepherd. Their coat will be a combination of both parents. This hybrid breed may not shed as much as a short-haired German Shepherd.

german shepherd laying next to a tree

Cattle Shepherd Mix

They bred the Australian Cattle dog for herding. British settlers created the Australian Cattle dog, in the late 1800s, in Australia. They are a cross between the Blue Merle and the wild Australian Dingo. These muscular dogs love to run. A Cattle Shepherd puppy is born with a white coat. This white color turns blue, blue mottled, or blue speckle—possibly with other markings. They are loyal and famous for being smart. However, they are a little mischievous, so it’s crucial they don’t get bored. The Australian Cattle dog sheds twice a year.

The Cattle Shepherd puppy is easy to train due to its intelligence and eagerness to please. It’s essential to get them socialized as a puppy so they don’t end up barking a lot. This hybrid breed loves to run, so it’s important they have a backyard where they live. Their coats will be black, fawn, blue merle, or blue ticked with white. They may shed a bit more if they take after the short-haired German Shepherd parent.

Corman Shepherd

The Corgi is a dwarf herding dog with a line that goes back nearly 1000 years. This breed originated in Wales. Their temperament is bold and kind. They have a medium-length coat of red, sable, fawn, black and tan with white markings. Corgi’s shed year-round.

Corgi’s likely mated with short-haired German Shepherds naturally before humans got involved. Breeding them is a relatively new endeavor. This breed is loyal, courageous and stubborn. They are a bundle of energy, so they must have an outlet. The coat will probably be brown, black, and white. The Corman Shepherd will shed a lot.

Shepherd Husky Mix

The Siberian Husky has one of the oldest dog lines. It dates back thousands of years to Siberia. Because of their origin, they can withstand the harshest climates. They’re friendly and intelligent dogs with a stubborn bent. They have a thicker coat than most other breeds. In colder climates, they shed twice a year. In warmer climates, the shedding happens all year long.

The German Shepherd Husky Mix is a gorgeous dog that first appeared in the 1980s. This breed can have varied characteristics, depending on which parent has the dominant genes. Usually, they have a thick coat like the Husky. Sometimes, they even have different eye colors.

german shepherd wearing a green collar

Breeds Mistaken for German Shepard Dogs

Several dogs get mistaken for a German Shepherd. However, the Belgian Malinois is most often mistaken for them. The significant difference between the two is that the Belgian Malinois is smaller and has shorter hair. This Belgian dog breed was first recognized in the late 1800s. Initially bred to herd sheep, the Belgian Malinois is like the short-haired German Shepherd.

The Dutch Shepherd originated in the Netherlands. This dog results from breeding a Belgian Shepherd and a German Shepherd. They were bred to do whatever was needed on a farm: herding animals, pulling carts and watching over children at night. This breed is smaller than the short-haired German Shepherd and has a brindle coat. Its dark coat, with either a gold or silver undertone, is the only coat accepted by Dutch Shepherd dog clubs. Dog clubs can also find this brindle coat in German Shepherds, but is far rarer and not accepted. They are heavy shedders like short-haired German Shepherds.

21 Places To Take Your Short Haired German Shepherd

Adult short-haired German Shepherd dogs need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation. Being an intelligent breed, they require complex activities that hold their interest. Dogs up to 18 months old need only moderate exercise because of growing bones and ligaments. Senior dogs will need less strenuous exercise.

There is no cooler co-pilot than your short-haired German Shepherd. They want to be with you instead of sitting at home waiting for your return. It’s easy to incorporate them into your errands and other activities out in the world. There are pet-friendly options across the United States and around the world. And don’t discount a trip to the city dump as an adventure for your dog. They will think it rocks!

Here are 21 places to take your short-haired German Shepard. The list is a mix of conventional and unconventional places to visit. German Shepherds are intelligent dogs that need a lot of variety in their lives.

Agility Dog Parks

Instead of a standard dog park, try an agility dog park to challenge their bodies and minds. It’s full of obstacles and objects to climb on and in and through. Some urban areas do this on rooftops. A less metropolitan area, Dog Mountain in Vermont, has an agility course on a 150-acre farm. It also has ponds, hiking trails, a dog chapel, and a dog art gallery. And they throw dog parties in the summer and fall.

german shepherd looking up at the sky

Walking Tours

Be a tourist and take your short-haired German Shepherd for a walking tour of your town. Plenty of dog-friendly walking tours exist. If you can’t find one nearby, create your own and explore a part of the city you want to get to know better. Make sure dog-friendly pit stops exist along the way. Your German Shepherd will love all the unfamiliar sights and sounds and smells. Haunted Haight Walking Tours in San Francisco is dog-friendly. There are park pit stops along the way for your dog to take a break from the ghosts. And there is no better detective than your short-haired German Shepherd to get to the bottom of this ghost business.

Museums and Historic Sites

Believe it or not, some museums do allow dogs. If you are passing through New Mexico, check out the Kit Carson Home and Museum. You can learn about the life and times of the frontiersman while your short-haired German Shepherd checks out some historic artifacts. Other museums and historical sites throughout the country also allow dogs.

Restaurants and Cafes

Most restaurants with seating outdoors allow dogs. Some will even cater to your short-haired German Shepherd with special treats. One such restaurant is Bulls Smoking BBQ in San Diego, which throws down piles of bones for your dog to gnaw on. In Denver, stop by The Watering Bowl. This leash-free bar-and-grill has dog runs. In addition, they donate 15 percent of their profits to help rescue dogs.

The Movies

After taking your short-haired German Shepherd out to dinner, you can take them to the movies! There are options such as rooftop cinemas and theaters that allow dogs on certain days. Most drive-ins allow them too. Also, there are sometimes movies in the park you can take your German Shepherd to during the summer.

german shepherd sitting in the grass

Flyball Training Clubs

Flyball is an intense dog sport that started in the 1960s in Southern California. Teams of dogs race against each other, taking hurdles toward a box shooting out tennis balls. Then, they must run back to their human after catching a ball. Short-haired German Shepherds excel at this game. If you can’t find a match in your community, set one up. If you live in Seattle, you and your dog can drop in on any Sunday to the Seattle FlyDogs to check it out.

Dog Yoga Classes

Dog yoga is an excellent way to spend the afternoon with your short-haired German Shepherd. There are classes throughout the United States. It’s as soothing for your dog as it is for you. It’s a great bonding experience. And it’s pretty entertaining for your dog. Anyone that has worked out at home can attest to their dog wanting to get in on the action. If you can’t find a dog yoga class in your area, see if you can find a dog meditation class. If you can’t find either, book a couple’s massage for you and your German Shepherd. Yes, this is a thing.

Water Parks, River Rafting, and Dog Beaches

If you’re lucky enough to have any one of these options near you, plan an outing with your short-haired German Shepherd soon. All are very stimulating for your dog. They also help with socialization. German Shepherds need this, as they are naturally aloof with strangers. If you are in North Carolina, check out DogWorld Waterpark. It covers 12-acres and has a pool with water slides and another one filled with balls. It also has wading pools. If you are ever in Del Mar, check out their spectacular dog beach.

Wineries and Breweries

Many wineries and breweries are dog-friendly. Jenkins Winery in Julian, California has a 10-acre vineyard you can take a walk through with your short-haired German Shepherd. The United States is the craft beer capital of the world. Many of these breweries allow dogs. Buoy Brewing in Astoria, California welcomes your dog to hang out. Your German Shepherd can watch sea lions through a window on the floor while you enjoy a beer.

The Snow

German Shepherds love playing in the snow. They dig into it to investigate new things. It’s exciting for them. Many cross-country skiing resorts have trails for people to take their dog skiing. Let them jump and roll around in the snow if skiing isn’t your thing. They recently filmed one German Shepherd making snowballs fit for a snowman. For extra fun, throw snowballs for your dog to catch. You will both have a blast!

close up of a german shepherd

Pet-Friendly Resorts

Pet-friendly resorts are a great way to give your pet an extra special treat. Woof Cottages in Nantucket is a luxury resort. It will spoil your short-haired German Shepherd. Your dog will have their own dog concierge and amenities. Yes, they will! Enjoy some coffee while taking in the salt air after morning walks at a nearby beach, park, or preserve. Later, you can take your dog out to a nearby eatery. Check with resorts you would like to visit to see what dog-friendly options are available. Luckily, there are more and more pet-friendly offerings appearing weekly.


German Shepherds love exploring unknown places and doing new things. So, pack up a picnic lunch and head to a new park, woodland area, beach, or other location you’ve never taken your dog. Before eating, play a game of frisbee, tug-of-war, or two-ball fetch. You throw a second ball immediately after your dog returns with the first ball for the latter. After lunch, turn on some music. Either dance with your short-haired German Shepherd or blow dog-safe peanut butter bubbles for him to chase and pop. Then have them help you pack up and load the car before taking a long walk. They want to help. Finally, look for opportunities to use nature as an obstacle course. Find something they can hop over or crawl under or splash in. They will love the unfamiliar smells and varying terrain.

Joy Rides

Whether it be a car, boat, or carriage ride, your short-haired German Shepherd will love taking a joy ride. Head for a destination or just enjoy the journey. Your dog will love the adventure. Rent a convertible and hit the road. Your German Shepherd’s sense of smell is 100,000 times more acute than yours. Imagine the pure joy of having a feast of aromas wash over your dog as you drive. Rent a sailboat or take a tour on a boat with your pup. Or take a leisurely carriage ride through town. In Key Largo, take a ride on the luxury Princess Glass-Bottom Boat with your German Shepherd. Your dog will love seeing the marine life in an undersea park.

german shepherd standing in the woods

Planet Walk

Take your best friend on a trek through the entire solar system at the speed of light. Get to Anchorage, Alaska, first. Planet Walk is a scaled version of the solar system. Each step you and your dog take equals the distance light travels in one second. That’s 186,000 miles. It takes 8 minutes to walk from the scale-model Earth to the Sun. A beam of light will travel from the actual Sun to the real Earth during this same 8 minutes. Getting to Pluto will take over 5 hours.

Challenging Hikes

A challenging hike is uber stimulating for your short-haired German Shepherd. Long walks with complicated terrain stimulate your dog’s senses. If you can make it to Niagara Falls, there are miles of hiking trails in their 1.5 million-acre state park. New Mexico’s Carson National Forest has some of the most magnificent mountain scenery. Your German Shepherd will love hiking on the rugged terrain.

Camping or Glamping

Your German Shepherd will love camping. It combines their two favorite things, the great outdoors and you. There are many fun activities on the menu for your dog, so they are never bored. More campgrounds are accommodating to dogs than ever. It’s essential to check with parks to determine any size or breed restrictions. It’s equally important to ensure there are no restrictions on the activities you want to do with your dog. State and national parks are usually very accommodating. The national park service is an excellent place to plan your trip.

If you want a more pampered experience, try glamorous camping or glamping. There is no need to pitch a tent or rent an R.V. — just show up to your own luxury tent or cabin. Several glamping experiences are very dog-friendly. Ventana Big Sur’s glamping has a luxury safari-style tent with views of a 20-acre canyon. You can even take your dog to a nearby beach restaurant to enjoy a meal. El Cosmico has plush accommodations. You choose from renovated vintage trailers, safari tents, tepees, and yurts in Texas. There is a cool hammock grove and wood-fired hot tubs.

german shepherd with its tongue hanging out

Old West Train Ride

If you and your German Shepherd are ever in Indiana, take the historic French Lick Scenic Railway. The 20-mile train ride gives you the experience of what it was like when traveling by train more than a century ago. Instead of being on display, it’s a train museum you can experience first-hand. They even have staged Wild West holdups. Unfortunately, your dog may not take part in them. Though, they would love to save the day if allowed.

Indoor Dog Parks

While German Shepherds prefer the great outdoors, there might be times when you don’t. An indoor dog park is a perfect alternative that allows your dog to run free in a controlled environment. Indoor dog parks are popping up throughout the United States. Find one near you now or sometime soon. Many of these indoor parks have cool things for both of you to do.

Tracking Events

German Shepherds have stellar sniffers. There’s a reason they are the top breed used for search and rescue. Tracking events helps your dog hone that ability. Or to show it off. The American Kennel Club hosts tracking events across the country. This entertaining dog sport puts your German Shepherd in the driver’s seat of what they are doing. If you want something more low-key, hide treats or toys for them to find at the park.

black german shepherd sitting behind a tree

Washington State

The state of Washington is a happening place for your German Shepherd. It is worth the trip. Ewe-Topia allows your German Shepherd to do what they were born to do — herd livestock. Poochapalooza has a variety of fun activities: races, dancing contests, fashion shows, fortune-telling, wading pools and pie-eating contests. Disney animal actors once lived in the Olympic Game Farm. Their descendants now roam the 84 acres. Your dog will enjoy touring the grounds in your car. Chelan Airways will take you and your dog via seaplane to a remote island for a gourmet picnic.

Vacation Abroad

There are dog-friendly destinations all over the world. For example, there are five-starred Michelin restaurants in Paris to bring your dog to dine. Paris is friendly to dogs, so you have an excellent shot of finding many restaurants that welcome them. At the Le Grand Vefour, the chef will personally greet your dog. And then offer them a special dog-friendly meal. Italy allows dogs in their restaurants too. And just about everywhere else. Italy is one of the friendliest countries for dogs. You can even take them on a gondola ride.

The world’s most famous Carnival celebration is in Rio de Janeiro. Dogs star in their own parade days before the human festivities. Dogs dress up in exotic costumes and strut their stuff at a giant street party. New Zealand has impressive dog-friendly gardens, parks, and beaches. They also have a particular school for dogs that teaches them to paddleboard. Japan has special hot springs for dogs. Switzerland has a fondue tram that takes in the sights of Zurich with your dog in tow.

A Happy and Healthy German Shepherd

Whatever adventures you choose, your short-haired German Shepherd will be happy. Their favorite thing to do is to be with you. So, look for activities that the two of you can do together. The whole point is to stimulate your dog’s natural drives. This is the best way to keep your best friend healthy and happy in 2022 and beyond!

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