12 Best Dog Toys for Australian Shepherd in 2021

Australian Shepherds are intelligent, loyal, and curious. They have high energy and require a lot of exercise plus plenty of mental stimulation to keep them from becoming destructive. If you’ve chosen an Australian Shepherd and you don’t have a working farm, you’ve got your own work cut out for you.

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These dogs can be great family dogs as long as you’re willing to put in the time to entertain and stimulate them. Toys can be a great part of any dog’s life, but for this particular breed, they’re non-negotiable. You’ll need all the help you can get to keep your Australian Shepherd’s mind active and energy spent.

We’ve put together a list of great toys for your Australian Shepherd. They’ll provide you with an arsenal to get rid of excess energy, keep the mind occupied, and hopefully, create a happy home for everyone involved. Plus, we’ve answered some burning questions you may have about the importance of play for your dog and how to do it, so you both benefit. Let’s take a look.

Different Types of Dog Toys for Australian Shepherds

There are many different dog toys, but not all are for the same purpose. Here are a few common types to get you started.

Chew Toys

Chew Toys are great for dogs with teething issues like puppies, or for dog breeds that have a strong drive to chew. Chewing is satisfying for dogs, and a chew toy not only helps keep teeth clean but helps prevent dogs from chewing on your favorite chair.

Puzzle Toys

For highly intelligent or working breeds, puzzle toys keep the mind sharp. Often, they involve a piece of food and a specific series of actions your dog must perform to receive the food. They can help bored dogs during rainy days or stimulate the mind in general for more contentment.

Soft Toys

Soft toys provide comfort, especially for dogs that are new to the household or have experienced some trauma or separation. They provide a soft companion and may help puppies adjust to their new environment.

Sound Toys

Crinkles, bells, squeaks, you name it. Sound toys provide another bit of stimulation for bored dogs or those in need of a pastime. Auditory stimulation is just as crucial as tactile, so make sure you’ve got toys that make some interesting noises to encourage your dog to explore.

Exercise Toys

Anything that gets your dog moving is a great choice. These toys could include rope toys for tug of war, balls for running and fetching, or frisbees for catching. Anything that encourages your dogs to move around and explore while getting some good exercise can help reduce behavioral issues and expend energy.

What to Look for in a Good Toy for Australian Shepherds

Australian Shepherds are high energy working dogs. They were bred to help out on a farm and herd livestock, so their intelligent minds need a lot of stimulation. They also need a ton of exercise if you don’t happen to have a farm on hand.

Toys should work in two different ways. You need things that will encourage your Australian Shepherd to move around and explore. Things like tennis balls or rope toys are great for honing that chewing drive and for getting your Australian Shepherd in the mood to move. Even better if your Aussie has to fetch. That type of activity works wonders for getting out energy.

Your Aussie also needs a lot of mental stimulation. They get bored quickly if they’re left for long periods without a job, so you need toys that become that job. Without those toys, Australian Shepherds may take out their frustration on your furniture or begin herding you.

Puzzle toys are great for stimulation. They tap into your Aussie’s natural sense of curiosity and exploration, giving you the chance to teach them how to think critically (for a dog.) You can also get toys that require them to figure out what to do or how to find the sound. Toys that move around on their own are also great to get Australian Shepherds thinking and acting.

Toys aren’t meant to be a replacement for proper exercise or interaction with you. Toys help fill gaps between those long walks or when you can play with your dog. Even the best toy can’t take your place, but they can give you a better handle on your Australian Shepherd’s needs.

Best Dog Toys for Australian Shepherds

Here is our list of best toys for your Australian Shepherd. There’s something to handle energy, chewing, stimulation, and just about everything else you could need. Let’s take a look.

Chuck It! Rubber Ball Dog Toy

Best Overall

This basic toy is the perfect thing to get your Aussie moving around and help keep energy in check. It features a simple, bright design that travels far and has a really satisfying bounce. It can withstand some chewing better than a standard tennis ball, but still has great air time.

It comes in a two pack that can be used in the water, and you can always invest in the Chuck-It ball launcher to send your Australian Shepherd running even further. You can’t beat a classic toy, and this one is an excellent all-purpose starter.

Kong Extreme Goodie Bone

Best for Aggressive Chewers

Kong is known for durability, and this goodie bone considers dogs that are highly aggressive chewers. If your Aussie chewed through a standard Kong toy, this could be a great alternative. It features ridges on the middle that are not only satisfying but also help keep teeth clean.

The texture provides satisfying mouthfeel, and the ends are rounded enough to prevent injury to the gums. It’s a good size for your Aussie to carry around and the material can be washed thoroughly with soap and water to keep it clean. It won’t stain your carpet or floor like bully sticks and should last a lot longer, too.

Kong Extreme Original Chew Toy

Most Durable Dog Toy

The Kong extreme original is a highly durable kong you can stuff with treats, and your aggressive chewer still won’t be able to chew through. It features the classic Kong design that bounces wildly in unpredictable directions when thrown and has an opening on one end for a treat.

You could even freeze peanut butter inside for a fun treat when your Australian Shepherd is stuck inside. It’s guaranteed not to break and should satisfy your Aussie’s urge to chew for a long time. It comes in a few different sizes, so gauge based on how big your adult Aussie currently is.

Outward Hound Interactive Puzzle

Best Interactive Puzzle Toy

This toy allows you to hide treats inside so that your Aussie has to move pieces around to get to them. It’s highly durable and can withstand some aggressive chewing without breaking or falling apart. Your dog can play again and again, and each experience is just a little different each time. It addresses your Shepherd’s need to think through a puzzle and provides hours of entertainment.

Make sure you supervise your dog while playing with this toy because pieces can eventually come loose after long term play, but overall, it’s durable enough to withstand the unique chewing habits and enthusiasm of Australian Shepherds.

Kurgo Doggie Dart Dog Toy

Best Dog Launcher

The Kurgo doggie dart is an entertaining way to get your dog running and exercising. You never know where the dart is going to come down and it helps your dog make predictions and think ahead for where to go to chase it. It’s a minimal effort for you, but it provides hours and hours of entertainment for your Aussie.

It’s durable enough to handle a little chewing on the way back to you, and it comes in two different colors and uses no toxic plastic for durable, yet safe gameplay. It’s easy to throw and sails through the air with ease.

Frisco Rope with Five Knots

Best Rope Toy

Rope toys are suitable for chewing and for entertainment. This classic design features several knots that feel good when your dog chews them and help keep the toy together for as long as possible. The great part of rope toys is when your dog finally unravels them, but this one will prolong that satisfaction, giving your dog both chewing and mental satisfaction.

Tassels on the end provide extra interest, and it’s long enough for you to grip for tug of war. It’s a bit oversized and should provide hours and hours of entertainment for your Shepherd. It’s also great for daily play.

Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball

Best Treat Dispenser Toy

Treat dispensers are excellent ways to get your dog thinking. This ball requires your Australian Shepherd to think and to move at the same time. Your dog must shake and move the ball to dispense treats, and the ball leaves your Aussie asking for more.

It disassembles for complete cleaning and fits most smaller kibble, so you don’t have to worry as much about extra calories. If you want to feed your dog and reserve a small amount of the daily serving for the ball, your dog can get both exercise and mental stimulation. It’s durable and simple but provides hours of fun.

DuraForce Boomerang ZigZag Toy

Best Squeaky Toy

This isn’t just a squeaky toy. It’s a fetch, chew, and squeak toy all in one. It features an ultra durable woven mesh with squeakers inside to entice your dog to stay interested. When you throw it, it provides a really satisfying flight path that allows your Australian Shepherd to predict where to go and be in the right place to catch. The squeaks keep your dog moving and interested while you throw it to your heart’s content.

You can machine wash it to keep off grime, and it’s also suitable for water play. Reinforced seaming with multiple layers of stitching help protect the toy from your Aussie’s enthusiasm.

USA Bones and Chews Rope Toy

Made In The USA

This toy combines the satisfaction of chew toys with rope to provide an excellent, stimulating toy for your Australian Shepherd. It features a roasted bone, optimized to reduce splintering during chewing while maintaining interest. The rope section makes a great fetch toy and also helps with that chewing instinct.

The different textures provide a lot of interest and a pleasant mouthfeel for Aussies that might bet bored easily. All parts of the toy are made in the USA, and the materials are never treated with harsh chemicals like formaldehyde.

Best Dog Toys for Australian Shepherd Puppies

Puppies have their own unique needs, and providing the right toy can be hard to do if you aren’t sure what your puppy needs. These toys are durable and appropriate for your growing dog’s teeth and jaws.

Nylabone Pacifier Teething Toy

Best for Teething

Nylabone is a classic teething toy for your dog, and this smaller version is perfect for teething puppies. It features smaller versions of the classic Nylabone done just for your teething puppy. The two attachments provide a good mouthfeel while the shape encourages your puppy to get front and back teeth.

Even the ring is chewable, and the entire toy is easy to wash to keep the grime away. It doesn’t have a squeaker, so it won’t drive you crazy, and it’s vet recommended to encourage healthy chewing behavior while helping to keep teeth clean in between brushing. It’s suitable for puppies up to 25 pounds.

Kong Puppy Stages Stick Cleaning Toy

Another Great Teething Toy

Kong is a really durable toy designed to withstand aggressive chewing. If your puppy is a little bit older and still having trouble chewing things it isn’t supposed to, this could help fill the gap. It’s made of a durable, yet flexible rubber that has a satisfying mouthfeel and ridges help clean teeth while in use. It also massages your puppy’s sore gums for some relief from pain and itching during teething.

It comes in two colors that ship randomly, and it’s simple to keep clean. Make sure you always supervise your puppy when playing with these types of toys to prevent injuries if the toy tears or accidental ingestion.

Zippy Paws Skinny Pelts Three Pack

Best Plush Dog Toy

These soft toys provide both comfort and interest for your puppy. They’re designed to minimize stuffing disasters, but they have satisfying squeaky sounds along with the softness your puppy craves. They come in a three pack so you can replace them as your puppy gets bored or offer them all at once for three times the fun.

They’re designed for medium-sized dogs, which should fit well with your Australian Shepherd puppy. You can clean them gently with warm water, and their size and shape are perfect for hours of entertainment and comfort for your sweet new addition. The set includes three woodland creature toys.

Tips for Playing With/Entertaining Your Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherds are highly intelligent dogs with lots of energy. Toys can help minimize damage from boredom or curiosity. They aren’t a substitute for playing with your Shepherd, but they can fill an essential role in your Aussie’s life.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re considering how to play with your Australian Shepherd and its new toys.

  1. Make sure you always supervise play and inspect toys regularly. Hearty chewers like Aussies can tear up a toy really quickly, and if pieces are ingested, it could be a huge problem. Look for cracks, tears, or signs of wear and tear that could endanger your dog.
  2. Change things up regularly. Some people have different containers with toys on different occasions. If your Australian Shepherd is bored with the current toys, it could be great to pack them up and pull out a different container. Changing them regularly keeps things fresh and your Australian Shepherd engaged.
  3. Use play as a training tool. It’s essential to allow your dog to play for learning purposes, and Australian Shepherds could really appreciate play that involves learning a new skill. It stimulates their mind and helps them get used to their environment.
  4. Playtime is also bonding time. Try to see things from your Shepherd’s point of view. You may not want to throw the ball, but your Shepherd is eager to please and eager to really stretch its skills.

Frequently Asked Questions

Check out our commonly asked questions about Aussie’s and their toys.

What toys are best for an Australian Shepherd?

Shepherds need mental and physical stimulation. Toys that blend these two things are excellent options. Puzzle toys that encourage movement, for example, hit those requirements or fetching toys that squeak. Anything that requires your Australian Shepherd to exercise both physical and mental abilities is going to be a huge hit and benefit.

Can toys help with my Australian Shepherd’s destructive chewing?

A toy can help, but you need to engage your Shepherd for best results. If the dog feels lonely, it may resort to chewing your things regardless of how many toys it has.

What toys are best for puppies?

Toys that consider your puppy’s unique mouth and dental shape are essential. Plus, chewing toys and toys that practice early critical thinking skills, i.e., puzzle toys, are a great way to ensure your puppy has the mental stimulation for healthy growth.

Can toys clean my dog’s teeth?

Toys can help keep teeth clean in between grooming, but it’s essential to brush your dog’s teeth regularly even with toys. They aren’t a substitute for good dental hygiene.

How do I keep my Aussie safe during play time?

Your Aussie will need access to plenty of clean water throughout exercise or play sessions to be hydrated. Watch for signs of listlessness or lethargy which could be a sign of dehydration or overheating.

Also, make sure you inspect toys regularly because Aussies are heavy chewers. Toys should have no tears or loose pieces from chewing. Throw away toys that develop sharp pieces or have cracks that could cause pieces to be swallowed accidentally.

Final Thoughts

Toys that blend physical and mental stimulation have excellent benefits for your Australian Shepherd. They should also be durable and able to withstand some massive chewing for best effect. Aussies need all the mental stimulation and exercise they can get, but the good news is that you don’t have to wear yourself out in the pursuit of a healthy Aussie.

Make sure you provide plenty of exercise and interaction with your Australian Shepherd’s toys, and you should find that you have a happy, healthy companion on your hands.

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