If you spend a lot of time outdoors with your German Shepherd, a dog backpack can help eliminate the need of you having to carry everything for your dog. This article will look at the best dog backpacks for German Shepherds and the key features to look for when selecting a German Shepherd backpack.
*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 A German Shepherd Backpack
German Shepherd Backpack Styling
The best style of backpack for dogs of any size is saddleback. A saddleback backpack is shaped like a horse harness, there is a flat section in the middle that lays on top of your dog’s back, and one storage pouch falls on either side of your dog’s body.
This is the best type of backpack for your German Shepherd because your dog should not carry any weight directly on their backs.
Of course, dog backpacks also come in a variety or color options and the size and look of the bags vary, so you’ll be able to find the right look for your dog’s personality, needs and style.
German Shepherd Backpack Durability
Another factor you should consider is how durable the backpack is. GSD’s aren’t always gentle, and the bag will be getting used outside in all kinds of conditions and activities so it is important to make sure the bag will last through many uses.
The Size of the Backpack
Another consideration is the size of the backpack. German Shepherds are large dogs, so you need to make sure the chosen backpack is large enough to fit around their body, but not so large to be awkward for them to carry.
Each manufacturer has its own sizing guidelines, so be sure to reference those sizing charts before purchasing a German Shepherd backpack. Generally, German Shepherds usually will wear a large or extra-large in size.
To measure your dog for a backpack you need to know their neck girth, chest girth, and back length. You can use a soft measuring tape to measure these three areas.
The chart below will give you a guide on how to measure these areas:
|Body Part||How To Measure Your Dog For A Backpack|
|Neck||Measure around the lower neck of your dog from around the shoulders to right above the front legs.|
|Chest||Measure around the belly right behind the front legs which is the widest part.|
|Back||Measure the length of the dog's back. Make sure the harness measures at least 2-3 inches less than your dog's back length.|
The Weight of the Backpack
As with the size, you want to make sure the weight of the backpack is appropriate for your dog as well. You never want to have your dog carrying more than what is comfortable for them, and you should never overload their backpack.
One general guideline is not to have your dog carry more than 20%-25% of their body weight.
Additionally, you should also consider the age of your pooch and if they have any mobility issues when deciding how much weight they can carry.
Although all dog backpacks are made to carry things, some backpacks for German Shepherds have a few different perks.
Some of these extra perks include reflective trims, a grab handle, extra zippered pockets, water resistance, breathable mesh, detachable bags, and different leash attachments.
Ease of Cleaning
Since dog backpacks are used outside in different kinds of weather conditions and German Shepherds are known to get into all types of things, being able to clean your GSD’s backpack quickly and easily is important.
Lastly, since German Shepherds can be a little rough on things, it is always good to have a warranty in case anything gets damaged, although this isn’t a requirement just a nice extra perk.
Reviews of the Best Backpacks for German Shepherds
RUFFWEAR Backpack for German Shepherds
The RUFFWEAR brand is one that focuses on giving people the ability to share more outdoor experiences with their dogs. They design products with dogs in mind, have a high standard of testing, and have a great guarantee against defects.
Additionally, it has stash pockets on the top of the saddle pouches providing a quick place to stash things without having to stop all the fun. The saddlebags are designed so that the weight of the bags are shifted forward toward your dog’s shoulders which is ideal.
To provide the best fit, the harness can adjust in 5 places to perfectly fit your GSD. There is also a handle at the top so that you can support your dog if they need help navigating more difficult terrain. Lastly, there are two leash connection points as well as reflective trim so your dog can be better seen in the dark.
For adult German Shepherds the Large/X-Large size is recommended but be sure to measure your dog to be certain of sizing.
What I Love:
- RUFFWEAR brand focused on high quality dog products
- Nicely sized front weighted saddlebags
- Stash pockets
- Harness with 5 adjustment points
- Support handle
- Two leash connection points
- Reflective trim
- Not waterproof, only water-resistant
- The beacon light for the light loop is sold separately
Kurgo Baxter Backpack for German Shepherds
The Kurgo brand focuses on giving people the ability to take their dogs everywhere with them in a safe easy manner.
The Kurgo Baxter backpack for dogs is a great option for those larger German Shepherds up to 110lbs. This dog backpack is like a harness and backpack combined in that it has an integrated harness with a leash ring attached at the back, as well as the two-sided packs for storage.
Not only does this pack have bigger storage pockets, but it also has smaller pockets for quick access on the side of the pouches. There is also a large handle at the top of the backpack giving you the ability to quickly grab your dog or help them out of a difficult spot if necessary.
These backpacks come in a four different bright colors for great visibility from a distance and they also have a reflective trim. There are both front and back leash attachments as well as 8 places where the straps can be adjusted for the best fit possible.
To top it all off, there is a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects so you can’t go wrong with the choice. As far sizing, either the Baxter or the Big Baxter could work for German Shepherds, it really just depends on how much your dog weighs.
What I Love:
- Backs for dogs up to 110 lbs.
- Plenty of storage along with extra side pockets
- Acts like a harness with a large handle at the top
- Front and back leash attachments
- Reflective trim
- 8 points of adjustment
- Lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects
- Owners have complained that the design requires many adjustments to get the right fit for your individual dog.
- Not waterproof
Mountainsmith K-9 Dog Pack For German Shepherds
Mountsmith has a 40+ year history of designing products to help both people and dogs have more experiences together. Their goal is to build durable products that are built to last through any adventure you take.
The Mountainsmith K-9 Dog Pack is a part of Mountainsmith’s K-9 line which was first designed over 40 years ago and has been updated and improved upon every since.
The dog backpack has 4 adjustable straps to help it fit comfortably on your dog as well as a separately adjustable harness.
The part of the saddle packs that rests on your dog’s sides are made of a mesh panel and EVA foam for extra comfort. This dog backpack is water resistant, and in addition to the large side packs, also have a convenient front zippered pocket for extra quick storage.
The size of your German Shepherd will dictate the size you need to purchase, as either the Medium or the Large could be appropriate. If you dog is less than 80 pounds get a medium, but if your dog is more than 80 pounds you should purchase a large.
This backpack comes in three color choices and also has a lifetime warranty.
What I Love:
- Mountainsmith has a long history of making dog backpacks
- 4 adjustable straps
- Water resistant
- Comfortable and breathable
- Separately adjustable harness
- Large packs and extra pockets for storage
- Fits dogs up to 120 lbs.
- Not waterproof
- Not the best for dogs who like to pull on their leash as the adjustable harness straps aren’t meant for that type of tension
RUFFWEAR Palisades Dog Pack For German Shepherds
RUFFWEAR made the list twice, this time with the RUFFWEAR Palisades Dog Pack which is a higher-end option dog backpack option for German Shepherds.
This German Shepherd backpack is perfect for multiple day outings as it has more versatility and storage space than some of the other options.
This pack has 5 points of adjustment and two leash points for easy leash attachment. Additionally, it has a padded top handle so you can quickly grab your dog if needed.
An awesome feature of the dog pack is that is has detachable saddle packs, so the side bags can detach if your dog needs a break but you can still leave the harness on. Another great perk is that this pack comes with two BPA free collapsible water bladders to keep your dog hydrated while on the trail.
This dog backpack can fit a larger volume of goodies for your dog so be sure not to overload them with too much stuff. There are also easily accessible stash pockets on the outside for quick storage.
For sizing the large/extra-large is the best option for most German Shepherds and this pack even has a reflective trim.
What I Love:
- Perk filled backpack
- Larger volume of storage
- 5 points of adjustments
- Two leash attachments
- Padded top handle
- Detachable saddle packs
- Two BPA free collapsible water bladders
- Stash pockets
- Reflective trim
- Higher end = higher price
OneTigris Dog Pack For German Shepherds
OneTigris is focused on bringing people and dogs good quality gear for an affordable price. The OneTigris Dog Pack has a nice styling made of a cotton canvas fabric and at a lower price than some of the other options.
The two side packs have zippered compartments to keep your dog’s belongings secure, but also has a pocket on the side that is easily accessible during outings.
The undersides of the packs are made of mesh for a comfortable carrying experience for your GSD.
Additionally, there are front and back leash ring attachments and a top handle that can help you assist your dog but it is not made for lifting your dog. The neck strap and the belly strap are both adjustable and the Large size will suit most German Shepherds.
What I Love:
- Uniquely designed stylish dog backpack
- Affordable price
- Zippered packs
- Mesh undersides
- Open side pockets for quick storage
- Front and back leash rings
- Adjustable neck and belly straps
- The top handle isn’t made for lifting your dog, just guiding your dog
- Not reflective
- Only 2 adjustable straps
- Not waterproof or resistant
Does My German Shepherd Need A Backpack?
Some GSD’s may not need a dog backpack, however, to make this determination you should consider your lifestyle. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, hiking, walking, or camping then a German Shepherd backpack could definitely come in handy.
Additionally, if your dog normally needs to bring a lot of items with them whenever they are out of the house, you should consider a backpack so that you aren’t loaded down with all of their items.
Also, German Shepherds especially working line German Shepherds need a job. So giving your dog the responsibility of carrying their own items will help give them a purpose and help them feel fulfilled which can also result in them being calmer while out and about.
Ultimately whether your dog needs a backpack is only a determination you can make but considering these factors should lead you to the best choice for your individual dog.
If you decided to get a dog backpack for your German Shepherd, hopefully, this guide helped you narrow down the options. If you have an active outdoor life filled with long walks, hiking, and camping a dog backpack purchase is definitely something you should consider.
In addition, German Shepherds like to have a job. Thus, getting them a backpack so that they are responsible for their own items, is a way of giving them purpose on your outings which helps them be more fulfilled. Happy adventures!