Dog Toys

3 Best Dog Toys for Australian Shepherds

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Australian Shepherds are working dogs that are highly intelligent, beyond energetic, and happiest when given a job to do. So, what are the best dog toys for Australian Shepherds? Before we get into specifics as far as toys are concerned, let’s talk a bit about Australian Shepherds in general.

3 Best Dog Toys for Australian Shepherds On Amazon

Click Below To Go To Amazon Rating Price
The Outward Hound Kyjen 41003 Indoor Agility Kit
Namsan Dog Agility Training Equipment
TRIXIE Dog Activity Flip Board

About the Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is a herding dog with a medium-length coat that can be either straight or wavy. In terms of size, male Australian Shepherds stand 20-23 inches at the shoulder and usually weigh 50-65 pounds. Females are 18-21 inches at the shoulder and weigh 40-55 pounds.

You may have seen ads for miniature, toy or even teacup Australian Shepherds, but please don’t be taken in. The Australian Shepherd was bred to herd stock in adverse conditions – through snowdrifts and/or over rough country – and as such, breeders do not recognize small varieties. For more on the harm that can be done to perfectly good dog breeds thanks to unscrupulous breeders, see Why You Should Walk Away from Teacup Dogs.

It’s very interesting to note that the Australian Shepherd (affectionately known as the “Aussie”) Shepherd didn’t really originate in Australia. It actually came from Spain’s Basque region, was brought to Australia where the breed was refined, and is believed to have made its way to America during the gold rush of the 19th century.

Australian Shepherds are highly protective, and given that they are on the upper end of the “medium-size” spectrum, you can generally count on your Aussie to have the physical wherewithal as well as the attitude necessary to have your back if you should be in danger. This protectiveness also makes the Aussie a bit wary of strangers.

Aussies can be great family animals, but you might find it necessary to work with your dog to control his herding instincts around small children. Sometimes Aussies will bark at kids, stare at them, and might even nip. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that your Aussie always has something to occupy him, and why you need the right toys. The best dog toys for Australian Shepherds are those that provide a challenge.

Properly trained and stimulated, the Aussie can be a great choice for an owner with a bit of know-how when it comes to dog training. He is not, though, generally the best choice for a novice owner.

Playtime and Your Australian Shepherd

An Australian Shepherd needs a good workout every day in order to feel fulfilled. Ideally, this will mean at least a half-hour, and preferably an hour, of vigorous physical activity. This could include obedience training, fetching or running. The most satisfactory play sessions, though, will be the ones that challenge his athletic ability, and this means that among the best dog toys for Australian Shepherds, you could include things as simple as balls or Frisbees, provided that you include yourself in the play – after all, it’s not much fun for a dog to play with “throwing” toys by himself.

In fact, you should make it a point to direct the play when exercising your Australian Shepherd – you’re dealing with a strong-willed dog, and if he’s not clear on the idea that you’re controlling the activity, he may decide that he would like to be the alpha in your relationship. You don’t want him herding you or nipping at you!

If you do have to leave your dog alone for a period of time, you should make sure that he stays suitably entertained. The best dog toys for Australian Shepherds when they must be aloneare those that will provide mental stimulation. If you leave an Aussie alone with a boring toy, he is very likely to show his displeasure by being destructive. So, if you value your furniture, your shoes, your carpets and so on, make sure that your dog gets a lot of mental stimulation in addition to exercise.

Choosing the Best Dog Toys for Australian Shepherds

There are two things that savvy owners will always keep in mind when choosing the best dog toys for Australian Shepherds – the remarkable intelligence of these dogs, and the fact that they are natural athletes, having been bred for generations to have a solid work ethic. So, toys that are geared toward dogs that are happy with a sedentary lifestyle aren’t going to cut it, and neither are toys that aren’t good for much other than chewing.

The best dog toys for Australian Shepherds are, as previously suggested, things that will enable him to get a good physical workout – balls, Frisbees, discs, etc. For mental stimulation, any type of toy that has a puzzle component is good. Of course, all dogs love to chew, but an Aussie is going to get bored in no time at all if that’s all the toy is good for – chew toys for Aussies should always have a puzzle component. If they don’t, the best-case scenario is that your dog will ignore them. Worst case scenario is that your dog will destroy these types of toys.

Now, without further ado, here are my recommendations for the 3 best dog toys for Australian Shepherds

1. Outward Hound Kyjen 41003 Zip Zoom Indoor Dog Agility Starter Kit

The Outward Hound Kyjen 41003 Indoor Agility Kit is the ultimate indoor dog training aid and toy to keep your smart, active Aussie happy with you on days when it’s nasty outside. It’s perfect for beginners, and you can set it up in any decent-size area – a long hallway would be fine, or if you have a garage that’s not getting much use that would be ideal as well.

The starter kit includes 4 weave poles, a high jump, a square tunnel, a storage bag, and a booklet that tells you how to set it up and also offers training tips. You can add other components to the kit if you like, and Outward Hound also makes outdoor agility kits for days when it’s more pleasant outside, or in the event that you want to create a bigger agility course for your dog.

2. Namsan Dog Agility Training Equipment

Namsan Dog Agility Training Equipment is another great way to introduce your Aussie to the world of athletics. This kit is meant exclusively for outdoor use, and it contains a training pole, a jump hoop and a jump bar. These are among the best dog toys for Australian Shepherds when it comes to building confidence, and in fact, they might work wonders for your level of confidence as the owner of an Australian Shepherd, too.

What I mean by this is that you may have contemplated entering your dog in canine sports, but are more concerned about your ability than you are with that of your dog. If you’re concerned that you won’t be able to do a satisfactory job of guiding your dog through an agility course in actual competition, get started with Namsan equipment at home. These toys are so easy to use that you’ll be guiding your dog around the course lie a pro in no time.

3. TRIXIE Dog Activity Flip Board

As I’ve said, mental stimulation is very, very important for your Aussie. Sometimes, if you’re just concentrating on athletic activity (throwing balls and Frisbees, or running, for instance), you might have a tendency to overlook the fact that your dog needs to be challenged mentally. And, as I’ve also mentioned, your furniture and other belongings could end up being the price you pay for neglecting your dog’s need for intellectual challenges.

The TRIXIE Dog Activity Flip Board is one of the very best dog toys for Australian Shepherds because it is actually several toys in one. It’s very much like the playtime activity centers parents typically provide for toddlers, with several different puzzles, each having its own unique solution. Your dog will have hours of fun with this toy, and you’ll enjoy stashing treats for him to find.

The TRIXIE Dog Activity Flip Board will definitely challenge your Aussie – this is because there are no shortcuts and no ways of cheating. Your dog is going to have to use his brain to figure out how to get at the treats, and you can count on this toy providing him with many hours of mental stimulation. If your dog has already had his daily exercise and you need to head out to run a few errands, the TRIXIE Dog Activity Flip Board will keep your dog entertained for a long time.

3 Best Dog Toys for Australian Shepherds On Amazon

Click Below To Go To Amazon Rating Price
The Outward Hound Kyjen 41003 Indoor Agility Kit
Namsan Dog Agility Training Equipment
TRIXIE Dog Activity Flip Board

The Final Word

The best dog toys for Australian Shepherds will stimulate your dog physically, mentally, or both. So, choose toys like the three I’ve recommended if you want to make the most of your dog’s strengths – intelligence and a strong work ethic. These characteristics are hard-wired into the Australian Shepherd, and despite the efforts of some to “dumb down” the breed with miniaturizing, I doubt that this will be bred out of the Aussie anytime soon.

Aussies that are allowed to channel their instincts through physical and mental exercise can be wonderful companions, loyal protectors, and even good family pets. So, make sure that your Aussie has the toys he needs to reach his full potential.

About the Author Ash

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