More than 70% of Americans are considered overweight or obese, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meanwhile, one in five school children are also obese. Many families want to shape up and get fit, but find it difficult to find the motivation to do so. But this is where the trusted family-friendly dog, the German Shepherd can help. Known for being one of the most energetic dogs on the planet, the German Shepherd will improve your family’s health and ensure you have bundles of fun at the same time.

Walk & shape up

German Shepherds require a minimum of two hours of exercise per day. Although, they won’t complain if you want to give them more. As such, owning one of these loyal breeds will definitely get you and your family up and moving. As German Shepherds are an intelligent, creative, and confident breed, they grow bored easily, so it’s best to do two or three walks per day, exploring different routes each time. During a 30 minute walk with your energetic German Shepherd by your side, you’ll burn between 90 and 200 calories. And, you can keep track of your dog’s calories loss via his very own fitness tracker.

Indulge in training

German Shepherds, including the White Shepherd, Red Shepherd, and Black Shepherd have been bred as working dogs for years. This is because they’re highly intelligent breeds of dogs, who flourish when working alongside law enforcement and on cattle farms. However, regardless of which variation of German Shepherd you choose for your family, he or she will require plenty of training, which, in turn, will get you all up and moving. Getting family members to hide before persuading your German Shepherd to seek them out is good physical exercise for all, and it will stimulate your dog’s mind too.

Beneficial outdoor play

German Shepherds are loyal, affectionate, and playful. As a result, they mix well with children of all ages and will ensure that your offspring get up and about in all weathers. With the right training, they’re able to successfully play frisbee, catch, and retrieve items at your command. Other games German Shepherds love to play include tug of war, find the object, and treasure hunt. For optimum health benefits for both your dog and your family, ensure you all head outdoors to play these games. Not only does being in the open encourage individuals young and old to get physical, but the vitamin D exposure from the sun is good for your bone health, nature is beneficial for your stress levels, and sun exposure can even prevent myopia in children. Meanwhile, your dog will gain from being able to stretch his muscles and joints, which will reduce the likelihood of his or her fitness tracker highlighting mobility concerns.

German Shepherds make great family pets. But, one of their biggest qualities is their infectious energy and enthusiasm which will keep you, your family, and your hound fighting fit.