8 Best Dog Toys for Blue Heelers/Australian Cattle Dogs in 2020

Blue Heelers (also known as Australian Cattle Dogs) are an active and energetic species.

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They are intelligent, but they also tend to get bored when not actively engaged in tasks, so getting the right toy is crucial to discouraging adventurous behavior.

The best toys for Blue Heelers are tug toys, chew toys, and puzzle toys. Durability is a key factor here.

Blue Heelers can destroy weak toys within minutes of play, so it’s usually better to get an expensive-but-durable toy. In the long run, this costs less than constantly replacing bad toys, and all of our recommendations later in the article are made with this in mind.

Different Types of Dog Toys for Blue Heelers

Tug toys are ideal when Blue Heelers want to actively engage with you. These toys allow them to twist and pull while interacting with you, which helps satisfy their urge to do something. They can play with tug toys on their own, or with another dog, which offers some flexibility and versatility in multi-pet households.

Chew toys help control their urge to bite things. These are among the types of toys most likely to get destroyed no matter what you do, so consider buying in bulk and taking out new ones as needed. Chew toys are particularly useful for discouraging Blue Heelers from biting furniture or other household items.

Puzzle toys are mentally stimulating. They’re also particularly good for addressing the Blue Heelers’ desire to think about what they’re doing and then go do it. By keeping their minds occupied, they won’t go looking for stimulation elsewhere. You should always have at least one puzzle toy around, preferably more, and encourage your pup to play with them.

Having a variety of toys is crucial for keeping Blue Heelers happy. They often prefer different types of activities at different times, and meeting these urges is an essential part of managing their overall behavior.

What to Look for in a Good Toy for Blue Heelers

As we mentioned above, Blue Heelers are smart and active dogs. They strongly prefer to be doing things, so toys that let them move around and burn off their energy are ideal. They’re also powerful chewers, more than most breeds, so toys that address this are particularly important.

Automatic toys are especially useful for puppies of this breed. Launching toys a random distance allows them to run around and fetch things without requiring you to provide quite that much energy every single time they want to play. Chewable toys are also good for young Blue Heelers because they can help teach them that some things are better to chew on than others.

For adults, durability and interaction are the most important things. Durability prevents them from shredding the toy the moment they get it, and if they bond with the toy a little, they’re more likely to play with it than look for something else. Meanwhile, interaction appeals to their intelligence and can keep them mentally engaged throughout the day.

Overall Best Dog Toys for Adult Blue Heelers:

Here are our top choices for adult Blue Heeler toys, chosen for their mix of interactivity, durability, and value for the money.

Benebone Bacon Flavor Zaggler Dog Toy (Medium)

Best Overall

The Benebone bacon-flavored dog toy is an excellent blend of durability, flavor, and interaction. Rather than being a mere chew toy, it’s something you can roll around to let them chase. Meanwhile, its raised design makes it easy for pups to hold. Together, these make it an engaging toy for a breed that needs as much interaction and opportunity to focus as possible.

For aggressive chewers, this product is likely to last six to ten months, which makes it one of the most durable chew toys on the market. As a bonus, it’s available in different sizes. That means you can start a Blue Heeler puppy off with a small one and buy a new one as it grows. This type of familiarity can encourage dogs to keep using specific toys.

Ethical Pet Bambone Plus Beef Dog Toy

This chew toy is a viable alternative for our top choice. Its bamboo fiber/nylon mix makes it particularly durable and good for standing up to the aggressive chewing some Blue Heelers display, while the various nubs help control plaque and tartar in the mouth. It’s a little softer than our top choice, too, which some pet owners prefer.

However, the part I really like is the bone-shaped base of the toy. This is something any dog can hold onto while chewing, and the ability to actively grip something is always good for a Blue Heeler toy. This product comes in four-inch, six-inch, and seven-inch sizes. I recommend the six-inch for Blue Heelers.

All For Paws Mighty Rex Durable Dog Toy

All For Paws’ Mighty Rex is a durable ball toy, capable of withstanding the tough chewing that Blue Heelers display. Unlike our first two products, however, this ball is designed for throwing and playing fetch. It also comes with a small groove that allows you to put treats or peanut butter inside it, providing the sort of interactivity with toys that Blue Heelers love.

As a bonus, this ball toy is sturdy enough to withstand being thrown onto many different surfaces. No toy lasts forever, but this does expand the number of areas you can go to play with a Blue Heeler, and visiting new areas is excellent stimulation for them. Whether you’re focusing on indoor or outdoor play, this product is worth serious attention.

Frisco Hide and Seek Plush Trash Can Puzzle Dog Toy

The previous toys all focused on durability. That’s certainly a worthwhile quality for Blue Heeler toys, but just being tough to chew doesn’t make for a great toy. This well-reviewed hide and seek plush toy offers a puzzle and some engagement, with the possibility of hiding treats or other toys through different holes.

Puzzle toys are especially important for Blue Heelers because they’re an unusually intelligent breed. Many Blue Heelers actively seek to use their intelligence to the fullest, so if you don’t provide them with opportunities for that, they may start testing you instead. The plush toys here won’t stand up to heavy chewing, so consider getting some replacements ready.

Frisco Rope With 5 Knots Dog Toy

From the same manufacturer comes a very different product. This long, knotted rope is durable enough to withstand chewing, but it’s also easy to hold and let a Blue Heeler pull on without forcing you to bend over. Most dogs enjoy playing by themselves, but they also want to play with you at times, and having an extra-long rope is convenient for playing with mid-sized breeds.

The rope itself is a cotton/polyester blend good for playing fetch, and the knots in the rope require them to think a little more about how and where to bite it. Ropes are also useful in multi-dog households because they let dogs play with each other. While canines often have favorite toys, having something they can share on hand is also extremely useful.

JW Pet Hol-ee Football Dog Toy

JW Pet’s Hol-ee football is a great toy for active play. Its traditional shape makes it easy for people to grab and throw, while the holes throughout its structure allow dogs to bite into it and carry it without trouble. Blue Heelers are often aggressive about their toys, so the more the toy can support being bitten during play, the better off you’re going to be.

Usefully, this product is also available in several different sizes, allowing you to buy it when they’re young and graduate to a larger toy once they’re older. The Hol-ee football is particularly good for breeds that get bored easily, which includes Blue Heelers, and it’s something that can keep them occupied thanks to the changes in feel that the holes offer.

Overall Best Dog Toys for Blue Heeler Puppies:

Here are our favorite toys for Blue Heeler puppies. The puppy stage is an important time in their development, so the toys you give during this time can help set their behavior for the rest of their life.

Hartz Dura Play Ball Dog Toy

The Hartz Dura Play ball is one of the highest-selling ball toys of all time, making it a great choice for Blue Heeler puppies. Its bacon scent appeals to dogs’ preference for scent-based toys, which already puts it ahead of unscented ball toys, while the irregular shape provides added stimulation and different ways for a puppy to grab the ball.

This is a reasonably durable product that should last throughout your dog’s puppy stage, and it’s affordable enough to easily replace it if your dog turns out to be an especially aggressive chewer. I also like the softness of this particular toy because teething dogs shouldn’t play with the kinds of tough toys that work better for adults. Overall, it’s an outstanding choice for Blue Heeler puppies.

iDogmate Smart Automatic Pet Launcher Dog Toy

The other toys on this list are simple, affordable, and durable toys that appeal to the unique traits of the Blue Heeler breed. This toy is a little different. iDogmate’s automatic ball launcher is an expensive mechanical toy able to launch balls up to 35 feet away. The varying launch distance keeps pups guessing and gets them to actively engage with it.

Blue Heelers are active dogs who want to herd and chase things, and that can be difficult for owners to keep up with. Toy launchers like this one offer plenty of entertainment for your dog with minimal work for yourself. An included remote control allows you to operate this toy without getting up, too. If your Blue Heeler enjoys it, consider stocking up on extra balls.

Tips for Playing With/Entertaining Your Blue Heeler

Different breeds have different preferences for play, so getting the right toy is crucial to their development. Here are our top tips for playing with Blue Heelers.

  • Mentally stimulating toys are the best. Blue Heelers are significantly more intelligent than most other breeds, and they know it. The more you engage their minds, the better. Toys that offer puzzles, have interesting shapes or otherwise involve more than just biting and carrying are the best choices.
  • Blue Heelers chew roughly. This is mostly due to the wild dingo blood in them, but Blue Heelers can chew harder than most other breeds. Getting toys that can stand up to their biting habits is essential to proper play. They may wreck toys faster than you expect, so consider buying several toys at a time to pace things out.
  • Learn to pace yourself. Blue Heelers are active dogs who love running around outdoors, and they may have more energy than you’re ready to keep up with. Pacing yourself is key to enjoying a good play session and building a stable relationship with your furry friend.
  • Plan multiple play sessions each day. Blue Heelers should get at least two walks of half an hour each, every day, and play times throughout the rest of the day. This helps manage their workaholic personalities.
  • Give them a backpack. This sounds a little odd at first, but wearing a pack with about 15% of their body weight helps give Blue Heelers a sense of purpose that matches their desire to work. This can be extraordinarily calming when they’re misbehaving.
  • Provide consistent training. Blue Heelers like trying to take over situations, so kind but consistent training will help them accept your authority and discourage poor behaviors.
  • Mix psychological and physical activity. For example, you can teach your Blue Heeler to follow specific commands between each time you throw a ball or frisbee. This provides a better playtime for them than just running around, despite how much they love fetch.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most common questions people ask about toys for Blue Heelers.

What toys are best for their activity level?

Blue Heelers do best with toys that permit chewing or playing fetch. As dogs bred for work, they prefer to be doing something most of the time, whether that’s chewing aggressively or running around.

Is smell important in a toy?

Yes. Dogs use their noses far more than their eyes or other senses, so toys with interesting scents are far more engaging and stimulating. That’s important for all dogs, but it’s especially important for Blue Heelers because they’re so active.

Are durable toys better than cheap, replaceable ones?

Yes. Blue Heelers can chew hard, so toys that are moderately durable for most breeds may still get torn apart in minutes. It’s always better to get something tough enough to withstand aggressive behavior.

Conclusion

All of the toys described above are good choices for Blue Heelers. With positive user reviews and distinctive qualities that match their needs as a breed, these toys are worth trying. Dogs have individual preferences, so don’t be afraid to try several different toys over time to figure out what your Blue Heeler likes best.

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