9 Best Dog Toys For Australian Shepherd Dogs

The Aussie is an ideal working dog. Owners of Australian Shepherds will find them easy to train, born with a love for herding sheep or cattle, and full to the brim with energy.

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It may surprise you to learn that Australian Shepherds are not from Australia. They probably originated in the Basque region of Europe, then taken to the early American West in the 1800s, where they developed into the Aussies we know and love today.

Because Aussies are intelligent and extremely energetic, they tend to get bored if there’s not a herd of animals around. It’s a good idea to keep this breed busy, especially if you have children. Like many herding breeds, the Aussie’s surplus energy can make them a handful with children.

Aussies need plenty of exercise and room to run, so they’re perfect for active families who regularly enjoy a game of frisbee in the park.

Different Types of Toys for Australian Shepherd Dogs

Aussies are smart, versatile animals that can figure out how to have a good time with just about any right-sized dog toy. However, there are some personality traits to consider when choosing the best toys for your Shepherd.

If you want a loyal pet, look no further. The Aussie needs a lot of attention, and they love to play fetching games. A frisbee and a ball the right size for your Shepherd are crucial. You can’t own this breed and not have fetching toys. They also love to jump high, so dangling pole-and-string toys (think oversized cat toys) are an excellent choice for Aussies.

Australian Shepherds have a strong tendency to rally together any animals that are around them, even people. These dogs often consider children as a part of their “flock,” so owners will need to teach their Aussie that nipping and chasing the kids are not allowed. They’re quick learners, so once this lesson is ingrained, they make for excellent family dogs.

Aussies learn best with a challenge and reward. Teach them how to play safely with the help of training rings, like the Puller Standard Fitness Tool, coupled with some tasty treats as a reward.

While Aussies are not known for destroying durable toys, they tend to chew a lot when bored or anxious. For this reason, keep some heavy-duty chew toys around. Aussies respond well to chew toys that dispense treats, as this provides a puzzle for your smart pal to solve.

Best Toys for an Australian Shepherd Dog

Chuckit! Classic Launcher Dog Toy

Key Features :

  • Ergonomic handle for safe and comfortable use
  • Durable, lightweight, flexible plastic
  • It comes with one Chuckit! Brand ball
  • Ships in a variety of colors
Why You Should Buy

Chuckit! Classic Launcher Dog Toy

Chuckit! Classic Launcher Dog Toy is best for playing in open spaces. The Launcher lets you toss three times further than average with less injury risk.

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For a highly active pup that loves to fetch, this toy is a no-brainer. It’ll surprise you how far this thing can throw, and it’ll wear your pup out from all that running.

Aussies are sprinters and do not tire quickly, so a Launcher may turn out to be a staple for this breed. Skip this toy if you’re playing in the apartment, as it’s a toy meant for wide-open spaces, just like your Shepherd.

The Launcher also has a hygienic perk. You’ll never have to worry about picking up that slobbery ball; scoop it up with the handle, mess-free. In these germaphobic times, that’s a blessing for many. The handle is ergonomically designed for a comfortable grip during those long hours with Fido at the park.

Stick with standard tennis balls or 2.5-inch Chuckit! Brand balls for this product. In case you lose one in a pond, it’s an excellent move to stock up on extra balls.

Squishy Face Studio Flirt Pole

Key Features :

  • Lightweight design
  • Non-slip grip and wrist strap for easy handling
  • Tested for durability, strength, and safety
  • Easy to change lures
Why You Should Buy

Squishy Face Studio Flirt Pole

Squishy Face Studio Flirt Pole has a straightforward design. It is a long pole with a cord and a fleece toy at the end. You’ve probably seen similar toys for cats, though this version is larger and more durable.

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To play, grip the pole and sling it around so Fido can chase the toy attached to the end.

Active dogs like Aussies love the Flirt Pole, and all that jumping and sprinting will wear them out quickly. It’s a blessing to have this toy on those busy days when you’re unable to walk your Aussie. Take the Flirt Pole out to the yard and burn off Fido’s excess energy. When playing, stick with wide-open spaces of at least 15 square feet when using a regular-sized Flirt Pole.

This toy is best for Aussies at least a year old, as it’s dangerous for pups to hop around too much before their skeleton is fully developed. Once your Aussie is old enough, this is the perfect toy for when you have some open space but not quite an entire field to play in.

Active dog owners give the Flirt Pole a high rating, and it gets bonus points for its durability. The bungee cord can withstand aggressive chewers, and some reviews put the max weight up to 50 pounds (though it’s a good idea to assume it’s much lower, around 10 pounds).

KONG Wubba Classic Dog Toy

Key Features :

  • A classic tug and toss toy
  • Low cost for high quality, tough nylon
  • Reinforced fabric and stitching
  • Comes in three colors and sizes
Why You Should Buy

KONG Wubba Classic Dog Toy

KONG Wubba Classic Dog Toy can be tossed when tug-o-war starts to be tiring. The ribbons on the end of the toy add some throwing distance, a lovely touch for sprinters like Australian Shepherds.

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Active dogs love toss-and-tug toys, and Kong built this model to last. Kong is a brand renowned for its durable products, and this tug toy is no exception. It’s versatile as well.

There is a tennis ball and a squeaky ball attached to the end of the nylon, so you’ll get a bit of bounce and just enough squeak to satisfy Fido’s predator instinct. Your dog will likely smack themselves in the head with the tassels at the end, but this is harmless and quite funny to watch.

While this product is durable, a determined Aussie may be able to tear at the threads to get to the squeaker inside. It’s best to let your dog play with it while supervised, plus only allowing this toy at playtime will keep your Shepherd from getting bored with it.

Chuckit! Kick Fetch Ball

Key Features :

  • Ridges provide a better grip for you and your pup.
  • Made of firm rubber, EVA foam, and polyester
  • Great for playing in the water
  • Bright color for better visibility
Why You Should Buy

Chuckit! Kick Fetch Ball

Chuckit! Kick Fetch Ball is great for kicking and tossing and will bounce in unpredictable ways.

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Anyone who’s played a game of fetch with their Shepherd knows that an ordinary tennis ball can get a bit stale. This ball from Chuckit! Makes fetch more interesting, designed for both kicking and tossing, while also more manageable for your pup to carry in their mouth. The erratic grooves cause the ball to move in unpredictable ways, adding to the fun when your Aussie goes to capture it.

This product comes in small and large sizes. While Aussies are rugged fellows who will attempt to bring back anything you toss for them, a smaller ball may be ideal if Fido is midsize or on the youthful side. However, this ball’s grooved design makes it much easier for you to throw and for your dog to carry in its mouth.

Aussies love to go long, and this kickball has a vibrant design for easy spotting at a distance, so don’t be shy about giving this toy a good throw or kick. The ball isn’t hefty, so a fully grown Australian Shepherd can probably carry the ball with ease as well.

West Paw Zogoflex Zisc Flying Disc

Key Features :

  • Made with Zogoflex® material that’s easy on dogs’ mouths
  • Durable material that flies like a pro frisbee
  • 100% recyclable, non-toxic, and US-sourced
  • Top-shelf dishwasher safe
Why You Should Buy

West Paw Zogoflex Zisc Flying Disc

The West Paw Zogoflex Zisc Flying Disc has a durable plastic build that is as aerodynamic as a typical frisbee but is still gentle in your dog’s mouth.

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Frisbees are at the top of the list for Australian Shepherds. After all, Aussies are renowned for their athletic prowess, especially when it comes to a game of frisbee. This product earns a high safety rating, too.

The Zisc is easy to throw while also durable enough for a bit of tug-o-war. It comes in small and large sizes, and you can even find models that glow in the dark. While designed to handle some moderate chewing, this is not a chew toy, so try to keep the chewing to a minimum.

Consider the Zisc a must-have, as you can’t have an Aussie and not own a frisbee. The Zisc lasts longer than a cheap frisbee and sports a design that has your pup’s safety in mind. Zogoflex® material is BPA and phthalate-free, non-toxic, and FDA-compliant. Not to mention, it’s 100% recyclable, so you can rest easy when it’s time to retire the Zisc for a newer model.

Puller Standard Fitness Tool

Key Features :

  • Gentle on teeth and gums
  • Malleable enough to handle biting pressure for long periods
  • Non-toxic
  • Floats on water and vibrant enough to spot at a distance
Why You Should Buy

Puller Standard Fitness Tool

Puller Standard Fitness Tool is a lightweight exercise toy that has it all. Toss it, give it a roll, play tug-o-war, throw it in the water. Because it floats, it’s an ideal toy for the beach or the lake.

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This awesome toy is odorless, so you won’t end up with that odd smell on your hands for which many dog toys are notorious.

Of course, you love your Aussie, and that means you want only the safest toys. The Puller Fitness Tool is non-toxic and gentle on your dog’s mouth, so your Aussie can safely play for long periods. You’ll notice some teeth marks, but this is a natural effect of the material design to hold its form during extended use.

Australian Shepherds join their owners at the hip, so this highly interactive toy is the perfect match. It’s a great training tool for teaching your Aussie basic commands and obedience. Try using two of these toys together; throw one ring at a time overhand and in opposite directions (so that the toy rolls a great distance) for a lively game of fetch. By the way, this makes for an excellent toy if you have multiple Aussies.

Chuckit! Paraflight Flyer Dog Toy

Key Features :

  • Durable, multilayered design
  • Bright color for better visibility
  • Excellent water toy
  • Aerodynamic shape for long-distance fetch
Why You Should Buy

Chuckit! Paraflight Flyer Dog Toy

Another great frisbee-type toy for Aussies is the Chuckit! Paraflight Flyer. Meant mainly for watersports, you can chuck this one a great distance, and it’ll float on water.

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The Chuckit! Paraflight Flyer Dog Toy comes in two sizes, as do many toys on this list, so remember to choose the best size for your pup.

The outer foam ring and nylon fabric interior can withstand biting and doesn’t harm your dog’s teeth or gums. It’s a highly rated frisbee by Aussie lovers and typically lasts a year or longer with frequent use. However, it’s not a chew toy, so keep it tucked away for playtime, or it may get chewed up.

The Paraflight Flyer is lightweight, making it easy to throw and carry around. It also clocks some serious airtime. Your Aussie will enjoy trying to catch the frisbee in mid-air.

These frisbees can get dirty with extended use, but give it a light rinse, and your Shepherd won’t mind. Keep the damage down by playing with two frisbees; that way, you can avoid too much tug-o-war. Some people report a sharp left curve if you put too much torque into the throw, but you’ll get a feel for it after a game or two of fetch with your Aussie.

Trixie Agility Dog Training Hurdle

Key Features :

  • Includes two plastic posts, one height-adjustable pole, and two supports
  • Easy setup and dismantling for on-the-go training
  • Durable plastic
  • Comes with a booklet of dog training instructions
Why You Should Buy

Trixie Agility Dog Training Hurdle

Trixie Agility Dog Training Hurdle is lightweight, heavy-duty, and extremely easy to set up and dismantle. It is an excellent addition to both the backyard and a visit to the park.

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Not many dog owners think of buying a hurdle for their pooch. However, you’d be seriously discounting your Aussie’s intelligence and stamina if you’re not trying out a hurdle (also called an “agility bar”). Australian Shepherds love to sprint, and they love to leap. That’s why they’re a common breed for tricks and dog athletics.

Many people may dismiss a hurdle as too much trouble. Still, if you willingly bought an Aussie, you’re probably not the type to neglect extra work and playtime with the pup.

Training your Aussie to jump ever-higher can be loads of fun, and it’ll wear them out in the way only a half-hour of jumping can do. The product comes with an instruction manual that will walk you through training your Shepherd for the doggie Olympics. Aussies love a challenge, so here’s their chance to show you they can go pro.

Starmark Treat Dispensing Chew Ball

Key Features :

  • Reduces anxiety and boredom
  • Floats in water
  • Compatible with a variety of treats
  • Dishwasher-safe and phthalate-free
Why You Should Buy

Starmark Treat Dispensing Chew Ball

Starmark Treat Dispensing Chew Ball is great for your energetic Aussie as it can dispense treats, it’s dishwasher safe, and it’s versatile.

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While Aussies aren’t known for being excessive chewers, it makes sense to have a chew ball on this list. Starmark’s Treat Dispensing Chew Ball will keep your pup busy while you’re away. Plus, it makes for an excellent distraction if you need to slip out the door without Fido tailing behind.

Australian Shepherds will bore quickly without space to sprint around, and they don’t take to solitude very well. It’s crucial to keep your Aussie occupied when you’re away or if you’re unable to take them for a walk, and that’s where a versatile chew toy comes in handy.

Adding various treats inside the Chew Ball gives your pup an incentive to play without them getting too rowdy. Consider this toy if you’ll be away from your Aussie for a while. Your furniture will thank you for it.

Coming in three sizes and durable enough to handle a lot of chewing, the main things to watch out for is the ball rolling under furniture or accumulating oils and slobber on the inside. Luckily, this is top-shelf dishwasher safe. Wash the Chew Ball, slap some peanut butter and kibble inside, and run out the door before Fido catches you!

What to Look for in a Good Toy for Australian Shepherd Dogs

Australian Shepherds are a lively breed, perhaps why Aussies earned their fame at rodeos and as service animals. Aussies are agile, obedient, and eager to please, making them one of the best breeds for a game of fetch or frisbee.

So what does that mean when it comes to buying the perfect toy for an Aussie? Like any mid-sized or larger dog, the toy must be both durable and safe on your pal’s teeth and gums. If you buy a frisbee-type toy, be sure the material is designed for dogs and not made of cheap, chemical-laden plastic.

When shopping for toss-able toys like balls, make sure the product is non-toxic and hardy enough for prolonged use and aggressive chewing. You’ll be chucking fetch toys quite far to satisfy an Aussie, so be sure to select vibrant colors that are easy to spot at a distance or on a cloudy day.

Rope and elastic toys should tick all of the boxes of the other toy types mentioned. Be sure to pick a product without too many negative reviews, such as threads coming undone too quickly.

Tips for Playing with Your Australian Shepherd

Aussies are considered “Velcro dogs” for their desire to always be near people they’ve bonded with. They need at least one hour of playtime with their owner each day. Aussies get along well with children and love to romp, but an Aussie’s excess energy means they’re safer with kids above the age of eight.

  1. Play fetch with a frisbee or tennis ball in the back yard or the park.
  2. Challenge your Aussie with a speed training tunnel or height-adjustable hurdle.
  3. Keep your pup on the move by tossing fitness rings in opposite directions.
  4. Swing around a flirt pole and see how high your dog can jump.

FAQs on the Best Toys for Australian Shepherd Dogs

Is it better to have two Australian Shepherds?

If you have the space for them, Aussies are great in pairs. Having a buddy to romp around with helps expend all that excess energy for which Shepherds are known. Also, having a partner means your dogs can learn from each other. Aussies are very smart, so you’ll be surprised at what they will teach one another. Plus, having two Aussies makes playtime much more interesting (and exhausting).

Are Aussies high maintenance pets?

A big fat “yes” for this one! With seemingly endless energy and high intellect, your Aussie may pull a fast one on you if you’re not stern about household rules. For this high-maintenance breed, you’ll need to think of creative ways to keep your pup occupied. Explore the list of Aussie-approved toys from earlier for ideas.

Are Australian Shepherds aggressive chewers?

While they’re not typically associated with heavy chewing, and we’re not talking about bulldogs here, Aussies are energetic and, when bored, may chew on anything to stay occupied. Be sure to have a durable but challenging chew toy around, preferably one that you can stuff some kibbles inside. Aussies are intelligent dogs, so they’ll enjoy the challenge of getting to the treats inside a chew toy.

Conclusion

It’s time to play! Your Aussie will love the durable, high-activity toys in this list. From frisbees to chew toys, this guide to the best toys out there for Australian Shepherds can help you find the best fit for your pet.

Chelsea Kuhel

Chelsea is the owner of a very huggable Boxer/Pitbull mix named Miles. When time allows she also cares for her 4 other animals, I mean children.

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