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7 Best Balls For German Shepherds

German Shepherds are extremely energetic dogs and one of their favorite ways to expend energy is active play.  You can toss Allie any ball and you can be certain she’ll have a blast!  Since balls for dogs are plentiful, this article aims to help you find the best balls for German Shepherds.

Balls are definitely at the top of any GSD’s favorite toys list.  The problem is that it’s hard to find a good ball that will last because German Shepherds are such powerful dogs.

It can be easy to be tempted by the cheaper ball options on the market; however, it’s good to remember that the cheapest balls are typically the ones that end up costing you more because they won’t last a week (or even a day in some cases).

In addition, a punctured, destroyed or deflated ball could be incredibly dangerous for your pup.  Investing in a good ball will end up costing you less in the long run and will guarantee long hours of safe play for your GSD.

*This article may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of the links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you 🙂 .

What to look for in balls for your German Shepherd

When deciding what ball to buy for your German Shepherd you should base your decision on various criteria including size, material, durability, and features.


I personally recommend a ball size of at least 3 inches for German Shepherds.

An official tennis ball is between 2.57-2.70 inches in diameter.  In many cases, a tennis ball in the mouth of a large adult German Shepherd could be a little small.

The last thing I want is for Allie to jump and catch a ball and it gets partially lodged in the back of her throat.  Accordingly, I like to air on the side of caution and go a little bigger in size.  Especially if your dog likes to jump in the air and catch the ball.

The size of the ball you purchase will also vary with the purpose of the ball.  A ball for playing fetch will be smaller so it is easier to run around with and catch.  Whereas, a ball for just playing around the house will usually be bigger in size.

A larger size ball is definitely recommended if your dog is playing independently.


Typically, the best balls for German Shepherds are made out of solid, tough rubber. Avoid materials like PVC, latex and any toxic materials.

Also, stay away from any painted toys because they could be very unsafe if the paint peels off.  In addition, you never know if the paint is laden with lead and other heavy metals.

The best balls for German Shepherds are generally those that are made by manufacturers that proudly label their products.  Find the ones that are labeled toxic-free, BPA-free, and phthalate-free. Also, whenever possible, find toys that are FDA-compliant.


If you own a German Shepherd, you know how important durable toys are.

After your power-chewer has destroyed numerous toys within minutes, it can be easier to settle for toys that last a week (after all a week is better than 5 minutes).  However, don’t just settle!

There are plenty of toys on the market that are made to be more durable for tough chewers like German Shepherds.  Many companies even offer exchanges, or a warranty should your purchase fail to meet your durability expectations.


If your German Shepherd is like Allie, pretty much any ball will make them happy.  However, some added features might make your pooch extra delighted.

Some balls are made to bounce extra high, glow in the dark, or squeak.  If your GSD loves to swim, look for balls that float so they can play ball both in and out of the water.

Top Balls for German Shepherds

There are so many ball options on the market, but these are ones I’ve found that my dog loves.  I recommend these based on my experience in terms of durability, value, and Allie’s enjoyment of course!

Jolly Pets Jolly Soccer Ball

This 8-inch soccer ball by Jolly Pets offers your pup the fun of a regular soccer ball but is lightweight and a great size for big dogs.

It is guaranteed non-toxic and exceptionally durable. In fact, it is so durable that it won’t deflate even if your German Shepherd puts a hole in it.

Apart from durability, what makes the Jolly Soccer Ball a huge step up from a regular soccer ball is that it is bouncy but not too firm so dogs can comfortably grip it with their mouths.

These soccer balls for pets are also scented for added stimulation. The orange ones are vanilla-scented while the green ones smell like green apple. If you or your pup prefer unscented, go for the blue.

What I love:

  • Durable and non-toxic
  • Floats for playing fetch in the water
  • Keeps its shape even when punctured
  • Scented
  • Large sizes for big dogs

Possible downsides:

The ball could possibly get stuck in your German Shepherd’s teeth when they puncture it if they bite very hard.  It is easy to pull off your dog’s teeth if this happens.

And the verdict is…

There are not many balls that can be punctured and still hold its shape.  This alone makes the Jolly Pets Soccer Ball worth it and Allie loves it!

Jolly Pets Bounce-N-Play Ball

The Bounce-N-Play is another winner from Jolly Pets. As with all Jolly Pets products, this ball is made of JollyFlex material, which promises to be toxic-free and extremely durable.

This ball comes in various sizes but I’d go for one of the bigger sizes for a German Shepherd.

As you’d guess from the name, the Bounce-N-Play was designed to be very bouncy. This makes it extremely fun to chase and jump after. Additionally, these float very well and make for excellent toys at the pool, beach, or lake.

Like the Jolly Soccer Ball, these come in different scents that are meant to provide additional stimulation. The blue ones are blueberry, the orange ones are vanilla, and the pink ones are bubblegum.

Unfortunately, these don’t have an unscented variant, but the smells are actually quite pleasant and not overwhelming at all.

What I love:

  • Made of durable, non-toxic polyethylene plastic
  • Bouncy
  • Scented
  • Various sizes for large dogs
  • Floats for guaranteed fun in the water
  • Keeps its shape even when punctured

Possible downsides:

Some people think this toy is too hard for their dogs. It’s much harder than the Jolly Soccer Ball and may be a better bet for independent play rather than fetch.

And the verdict is…

This is a toy I like to bounce or roll around the house for Allie to chase.  Since it’s very firm, I don’t have to worry about Allie chewing a piece of it off if I’m multitasking while playing with her.

Chew King Fetch Ball

These Fetch Balls by Chew King are made of natural rubber that gives it a good bounce. They are durable for aggressive chewers and definitely serve as a safer, better alternative to tennis balls.

These 3-inch balls contain treat holes should your dog ever need extra motivation to play. The treat hole goes all the way through, so it actually acts as an air vent.

Unlike pet balls that have only one hole, these don’t have the tendency to cause suction on the dogs’ tongues. It also makes it easier for the dogs to breathe while they’re carrying this in their mouths


What I love:

  • Dishwasher safe
  • Very bouncy
  • Durability
  • Through-and-through treat holes

Possible downsides:

Because the hole goes through and through, the treats that need to be used with this are limited or else they just easily fall off.

And the verdict is…

This is definitely a good option for dogs that already like tennis balls. The size is similar but it doesn’t have the felt covering that gets really gross and slimy. It is also bouncier, more durable, and is easier to clean.

Kong Extreme Ball

Kong has long been a trusted brand for safe and durable dog toys. While their entire line of products guarantees durability, the Kong Extreme Ball promises to be extremely tough.

It is made of ultra-durable rubber and the Medium/Large variant is the perfect size for German Shepherds at 3 inches.

Although this ball has a treat hole, it has a very solid feel. It bounces very well and doesn’t puncture easily.

What I love:

  • Safe for both fetch time and chew time.
  • Extremely bouncy for even livelier fetch sessions.
  • Durable for independent play
  • Treat hole

Possible downsides:

This is not recommended for young pups because it’s made to be exceptionally tough. It really is better suited for adult German Shepherds or very aggressive chewers.

And the verdict is…

This is a good option for fully-grown German Shepherds because it is guaranteed to live through active fetch sessions as well as long, lazy chew times.

West Paw Jive Dog Ball

West Paw’s Jive Dog Ball in Large is 3.25 inches in diameter. It is made of the company’s proprietary Zogoflex material, which is guaranteed completely non-toxic since they are BPA-free, phthalate-free, latex-free and FDA compliant.

West Paw also offers a Love It Guarantee, which allows you to exchange toys for one of their other products.

The Jive Dog Ball’s not-quite-round shape gives it an erratic bounce, which is extra stimulating for dogs. These balls float and also fit in standard ball launchers.

Additionally, they’re easy to clean with regular soap and running water, they are also dishwasher safe for added convenience.

What I love:

  • Unpredictable bounce
  • Floats
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Not only toxic-free but FDA compliant
  • Bright color makes it easy to find
  • Tough enough to be both a chew and fetch toy

Possible downsides:

This toy is pretty hard and the erratic bounce may be unsafe for indoor use. Dogs might get too excited chasing after these and unwittingly knock some of your stuff over.  This toy is best played with in open spaces and far from breakables.

And the verdict is…

This is a must-have! It can keep our German Shepherd occupied for a long time and the unpredictable bounce makes it so much more engaging and exciting.

Chuckit! Ultra Ball

The Chuckit! Ultra Ball in Large is a 3-inch diameter ball, which is a good size for German Shepherds and large breeds. They are made of thick, natural rubber and are designed to be durable.

They are also made to be very bouncy for more stimulating fetch sessions that make dogs leap and jump.

Additionally, these toys float very well and it’s easy to find them floating on the water because of the bright orange and blue color.

While Chuckit! offers its own ball launcher, the ball fits most standard-sized launchers so you’ll likely be able to use the one you already own

What I love:

  • Bouncy
  • Floats
  • Color makes it easy to spot
  • Fits most launchers for fetching in larger spaces

Possible downsides:

Some people have complained that this could easily be destroyed by power-chewers. However, it’s important to note that this ball is meant for active play and not for chewing.

And the verdict is…

These are great most especially for outdoor play.  This ball is safer and more durable than a tennis ball.   Additionally, its bounciness makes it more exciting than most other fetch toys.

Rocco & Roxie Dog Toy Ball

The Rocco & Roxie is a 4-inch ball that is made of high-quality thermoplastic elastomer material. It is guaranteed non-toxic as it contains no BPA, phthalates, latex, nor heavy metals.

The company is so confident of their products that they offer a money-back guarantee to unsatisfied customers.

The great thing about this ball is that it isn’t rigid. It can be squeezed so it’s easy for dogs to hold it in their mouths.

Additionally, it has a through-and-through hole which guarantees that you pups tongue won’t get suctioned in.  It also makes it easy for your dog to breathe while running and holding this ball their mouth.

What I love:

  • Easy for dogs to grip
  • Non-toxic
  • Through-and-through hole
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Good option for older dogs
  • Great size for large breeds

Possible downsides:

Just like the ChuckIt! Ultra Ball, some people have complained that their dogs easily destroyed this. I haven’t had that problem but I also don’t give this to Allie as a chew toy.  I only take it out when it’s time to play fetch or catch, so it has held up very well for me.

And the verdict is…

As long as you use this solely for playing and provide your dog with another dedicated chew toy, this ball will serve you well. It’s also stylish and fade-resistant. It is definitely one of my favorites!


Playing catch and/or fetch is one of the best ways to develop a special bond with your German Shepherd.  It is also incredibly fun for both you and your dog.

These balls will provide hours of fun for your dog and help them get some exercise too.  Just remember that no matter the size and guaranteed durability of any ball, you should always keep an eye on your dog during playtime to make sure they are always safe.

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