Few breeds love to play as much as Australian Shepherds. Of course, the right toys can make playtime so much better. Given below are some of the toys you should consider buying your Aussie for maximum impact.
Best Toys for Australian Shepherds
Rubber Ball for Dogs
You are probably used to throwing a tennis ball or something similar for your dog to catch. However, it’s a good idea to buy a toy that has been specifically designed for dogs, for the best results.
For one thing, these balls can travel faster and are also better for their mouths. As they are made from rubber, they will also be softer and more durable. Due to this, you will not have to buy quite as many balls.
Look for balls that are perfectly suited to your dog’s size. Furthermore, always choose rubber balls that are made from safe and approved materials.
Automatic/Manual Ball Launcher
Australian Shepherds are well-known for their speed and agility. In short, they love to cover great distances. This is why fetch is such a great game for them.
Unfortunately, if you lack upper arm strength, fetch can become boring for your pooch as you can fling the ball only so far. This is where a ball launcher comes in. There are two types of launchers – manual and automatic.
The manual launcher looks like a curved, flexible stick. At one end, there is a hollow feature where you can place the ball. Simply hold the launcher, swing it back, and allow the ball to fly out. This should increase the throwing distance up to two or three times what you are already capable of.
Automatic ball launchers are the pricier option but can get even more coverage. They are great for tiring your Australian Shepherd out. With a little training, you can teach your Australian Shepherd to use it on their own.
Push ‘n’ Play Ball for Dogs
Australian Shepherds are known for their herding skills. This is embedded in their DNA and is prominent in virtually all members of the breed. As a result, giving your pooch the space to explore these herding skills can keep them satisfied.
There are push ‘n’ play balls that have been specifically designed for dogs and herding purposes. These are large enough so that your pup can’t put it in their mouth. They are also made of slightly harder plastic ensuring that your dog can’t puncture the toy.
Of course, you don’t have to buy a ball made especially for this purpose. Any ball that is large enough and rolls well enough will do the trick. Just make sure that it is durable enough to withstand nips from your dog and is made from materials that are safe for canines.
Flirt poles are a great way to give your dog a workout with limited space. This toy is made up of a pole, cord, and a dog toy at the end.
When looking for this type of toy, it is a good idea to get a collapsible pole. This way, you can adjust the size according to the space you are playing in with your dog. It also makes the toy easier to store.
Pay attention to the quality of the pole and cord as well. These components will experience some serious wear and tear so you need to know that they won’t break any time soon.
Another thing to consider is the type of dog toy or lure at the end of the cord. This largely depends on what your dog loves playing with on a regular basis. Some toys allow you to change it up, while others are permanently fixed.
Flying Discs for Dogs
Most Australian Shepherds love playing with a Frisbee. It gives them the opportunity to put their speed and agility to the test.
However, most Frisbees can be pretty rough on your dog’s mouth. Due to this, there is an increased risk that they will hurt themselves whenever they grab it in mid-air.
Flying discs for dogs, on the other hand, function in the same way as a Frisbee does. They also can be flung as far and move in curves. The only difference is that it is made of softer material.
If your pooch loves playing with a Frisbee, this is a toy that you will want to try out.
Australian Shepherds are no strangers to agility courses. Not only does this breed loves physical exercise, but they need to be mentally stimulated as well. This is where agility courses come in.
You can set up an agility course yourself, or go ahead and invest in a kit. You should be aware that these kits can vary quite a bit. As such, they may focus on different activities. Some also may have a fewer or greater number of activities.
When choosing an agility kit, think about the skills that you would like your pup to learn. Do you want to focus on jumping, maneuvering, or would you like to teach a little bit of everything?
Many of the kits have additions, allowing you to build them up as you go. Due to this, you can start with a simpler design and then add more as your dog masters one task after another.
If you are serious about teaching your dog agility training, make sure to invest in good quality. Until your pooch gets the hang of it, they could be tearing through the various components rather haphazardly.
Dog Spring Poles
This dog toy works well when your dog loves tug of war but you just don’t have the strength to make it interesting for them. Here, a spring with a toy at the end of it is hung from an elevated position. Your pooch can then pull and play with it.
With this kind of toy, quality is key. So, it is important to invest in one that is high-quality and has been put through various safety tests. If this toy fails, it can potentially end up hurting your dog.
Always test the toy out ahead of time to ensure that it isn’t too springy. Also, make certain that the toy is hung well above the ground so that your pooch won’t get hurt.
It is a good idea to keep an eye on your dog while he or she is playing with this toy, at least until they know how it’s done.
Tug of War Toy
If you aren’t comfortable with the idea of a spring pole, you can go ahead and buy a good old-fashioned tug of war toy.
The traditional tug of war toy involves a thick rope-like toy made from fabric. It often has tassels or a similar feature at one end. These days, though, there are a few more options to choose from.
A popular design is two rings or similarly shaped objects fused together. These are often made of rubber or some other pliable material. When using it, you need to hold onto one end and let your dog pull on the other.
Because your dog will have the toy in his mouth, it is important to make sure that the material is non-toxic and safe for dogs. Furthermore, look for toys that are soft but can’t be easily chewed through. Otherwise, you will find yourself investing in more toys than anticipated.
Composite Food Puzzle
As mentioned, Australian Shepherds are as smart as they come and love being challenged. What’s more, when you throw treats into the mix – watch out!
As you know, food puzzles come in all types and designs. Nevertheless, the goal is the same. Your dog has to figure out how a particular flap works to get the treat out of the space.
It is a good idea to get your dog a few different types of puzzles so that you can swap them out. This way, they won’t get used to the same old toy and are challenged each and every time.
Treat Ball Dog Toy
With this toy, the treats are placed in a ball, with one or more slots around the ball. As your dog rolls the ball around, they have to figure out the specific movement that will dislodge the treat. This is a toy that will keep your dog entertained for hours on end.
This is a great option if you want to keep your pooch occupied while you work around the house or if you will be gone for a few hours. With this item to keep them busy, they won’t even realize that you aren’t around.
Of course, many of these toys aren’t very durable, especially not in the jaws and paws of an Australian Shepherd. As such, you should be prepared to go through a few of them.
These are the top toys that you should consider getting your Australian Shepherd. It is always a good idea to have a variety of toys so that you can switch things up and ensure that your pooch is appropriately entertained at all times.