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Top 10 Toys For Australian Shepherd

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

I. Introduction

A. Brief about Australian Shepherds

Top 10 Toys For Australian Shepherd
An Aussie resting after a herding ball session

The Australian Shepherd, also known as the "Aussie", is a popular breed of working dog originally developed in the United States. Despite its name, this breed originated from Basque shepherds who brought their dogs with them to Australia and then later moved on to California. Australian Shepherds are highly intelligent, energetic, and versatile dogs that excel in various activities such as herding, agility, and obedience.

An Australian Shepherd is a confident dog that livestock owners and farmers rely on to herd their animals. With their excess energy, they are also a great companion for active individuals or families who can provide them with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.

B. Importance of toys for their physical and mental health

 Australian Shepherd with CollieBall - Original Herding Ball
An Australian Shepherd ready to herd the herding ball

As with any breed, Australian Shepherds require both physical and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. Toys play an important role in providing this stimulation for Australian Shepherds, as they not only provide a source of physical exercise but also help keep their minds active and prevent boredom or destructive behaviors.

Choosing the best toy for your Aussie can greatly benefit their overall well-being and strengthen the bond between you and your furry companion.

Why is Collieball one of The Best top 10 Toys for Australian shepherd?

CollieBall is a popular toy among herding dogs, and for good reason. This simple yet entertaining game was originally designed for Border Collies but has been enjoyed by other dogs as well, especially Australian Shepherds, even smaller dogs like corgis.

It stimulates the herding behavior in dogs by providing a clear goal – to push the ball through the designated goal posts. This mimics their natural instinct to herd and chase after moving objects, making it an engaging physical and mental exercise for your Aussie.

Moreover, CollieBall is a great toy for training and reinforcing commands. You can use it to practice basic obedience commands such as 'come' or 'stay' while playing with your Aussie. This not only adds an element of fun to training sessions but also helps improve their response time and focus.

Australian Shepherd and Herding Ball
An Australian Shepherd excited with his red color herding ball.

CollieBall is a perfect toy that can be played outdoors, making it suitable for all weather conditions. It's also lightweight and easy to transport, so you can take it with you on hikes or trips to the park with your Aussie.

Overall, CollieBall is an excellent toy for herding dogs as it satisfies their natural instincts while providing a fun and stimulating activity. So grab a ball, some goal posts, and get ready to have a blast playing Collieball with your Aussie!

II. Criteria for Choosing Toys

When selecting toys for your Australian Shepherd, it's important to consider their individual needs and preferences. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

A. Size and Durability

Australian Shepherd playing with CollieBall
Two Aussies chasing their herding ball - the collieball

Australian Shepherds are medium-sized dogs with a strong herding instinct, so it's important to choose toys that are the right size and durability for their breed. Look for toys made with durable material that can withstand rough play and won't easily be torn apart. Heavy chewers like an Australian shepherd or a German Shepherd can destroy any toy that was not made with a great material. Any pick toys need to be made up of durable rubber.

When you seek durable toys, you need to be careful about your dog's teeth. Even if your Australian shepherd is a heavy chewer, the health of your dog's mouth comes first before fun.

B. Mental Stimulation

As highly intelligent dogs, Australian Shepherds require mental stimulation in addition to physical exercise. Look for puzzle toys or interactive games that will challenge your Aussie's problem-solving skills and keep their mind engaged.

Toys can offer mental stimulation by challenging your Australian Shepherd's cognitive abilities. Puzzle toys, for instance, require dogs to figure out how to retrieve a treat or another reward, which engages their problem-solving skills.

Similarly, interactive toys, such as those that move or make sounds in response to your dog's actions, such as a squeaky ball, can stimulate their curiosity and reward their keen sense of observation.

Australian Shepherd and Herding Ball
A Happy Austalian Shepherd with tongue out and his navy color herding ball

Other mentally stimulating toys include hide-and-seek toys, where the dog has to find hidden treats or smaller toys and like a chew toy require persistent effort to reach a tucked-away reward. These toys can keep your Aussie's mind sharp and engaged, making playtime both fun and beneficial for their mental well-being.

C. Active Play

Since Australian Shepherds are known for their high energy levels, it's important to provide them with toys that encourage active play. Look for toys that can be thrown or tossed for your Australian shepherd to retrieve, such as a tennis ball or frisbee as fetch objects

D. Variety

As with any dog, Australian Shepherds can quickly become bored with the same toys. It's important to provide a variety of different types of dog toys for australian shepherds to keep your Aussie engaged and interested.

Australian Shepherd just played herding ball
An Aussie with tongue out excited with his red herding ball.

E. Safety

Always prioritize your Australian Shepherd's safety when choosing toys for them. The best toys for Australian shepherds are the safest ones. Avoid toys with small parts that could be easily swallowed, as well as those made with toxic materials., because chewing is a natural urge for dogs, and Australian shepherds are heavy chewers.

Australian Shepherd and Herding Ball
Top 10 Toys For Australian Shepherd

It's also important to regularly check your Aussie's toys for any signs of wear and tear, and replace them as needed. Check the dog toy whether is made of durable rubber, or not. Dog owners sometimes forget how quickly an Australian shepherd can destroy toys, so it's important to regularly assess and replace any worn or damaged toys. It is also important for the dental hygiene of your dog.

F. Interaction with Owner

Australian Shepherds are known for being highly social and affectionate dogs, so it's important to incorporate playtime with their owners into their daily routine. Playing together not only strengthens the bond between dog and owner but also provides

III. Types of Toys

Toys for Australian shepherds are in great variety. Many different types of toys can be suitable for Australian Shepherds. Here are ten best toys for Australian shepherds to consider:

Australian Shepherd playing with CollieBall
An Aussie happily chasing the herding ball in the grassland

1. Rope Toys

Rope toys are perfect toys for tug-of-war games and can also help keep your Aussie's teeth clean by acting as a natural floss. Just make sure to supervise your dog while playing with it to avoid any potential choking hazards.

Rope toys are excellent toys and can be a fun and enriching activity for your Australian Shepherd. Start by shaking the rope toy in front of your Aussie to spark their interest. Once they've grabbed onto the rope with their mouth, gently pull on the other end to initiate a game of tug-of-war.

Remember to let your dog win occasionally to keep them engaged. You can also toss the rope toy for a game of fetch, which is a great way to satisfy your Aussie's instinctual urge to chase. Always supervise playtime with rope toys to prevent any potential choking hazards. Choose the ones that are made of durable materials. After playing, inspect the rope toy for any signs of fraying or damage and replace if necessary.

2. Interactive Treat Toys

These types of toys require your Aussie to problem solve to get a treat, providing mental stimulation and a reward for their efforts.

Using interactive treat toys with your Australian Shepherd is a delightful way to not only entertain them but also mentally stimulate them. Begin by choosing a high-value treat that your Aussie loves, then insert this treat into the toy. Show the toy to your dog, allowing them to sniff and investigate.

Australian Shepherd herding a Ball
Top 10 Toys For Australian Shepherd

They will soon understand that they need to interact with the toy to extract the treat. You can encourage your Aussie by shaking the toy gently or rolling it on the floor to release some of the treats.

As your dog becomes more adept at using the toy, consider using treats that are more challenging to extract, providing longer-lasting entertainment and mental exercise. Always supervise your dog while they're using interactive treat toys to ensure their safety.

3. Chew Toys

Australian Shepherds are natural chewers, so it's important to have designated chew toys for them to keep their teeth and gums healthy. Look for durable options made specifically for stroong chewers.

Playing with chew toys can be a fun and engaging activity for your Australian Shepherd. Start by choosing a robust chew toy that is appropriate for your Aussie's size and chewing strength. Introduce the toy during a calm moment, allowing your dog to explore and chew at their own pace. You can occasionally join in the fun by holding one end of the toy while your Aussie chews on the other, enhancing the bond between you. For an extra challenge, consider chew toys that can be filled with treats or peanut butter.

Australian Shepherd got tired after herding ball session
Top 10 Toys For Australian Shepherd

These types of chew toys provide additional mental stimulation as your Aussie works to extract the treats. Always monitor your dog while they're engaging with a chew toy to ensure they aren't biting off and swallowing large pieces that could pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockages. Don't forget to regularly inspect chew toys for signs of wear and replace them when necessary.

4. Puzzle Toys

Similar to interactive treat toys, puzzle toys challenge your Aussie's problem-solving skills while keeping them entertained.

Australian Shepherds chasing a herding Ball
Top 10 Toys For Australian Shepherd

Puzzle toys present a delightful way to keep your Australian Shepherd mentally stimulated. To get started, select a puzzle toy that is suitable for your Aussie's level of experience. For beginners, consider a straightforward toy with fewer compartments or moving parts.

Show your dog how the toy works by demonstrating how to access the hidden treats. This can be done by poking the compartments or sliding the pieces around. Once your dog is intrigued by the demonstration, give them the toy and encourage them to try. Be patient as they learn to manipulate the toy and access the treats – remember, the goal is mental stimulation, not immediate gratification.

For advanced puzzle toys, it may take several sessions before your Aussie fully masters the toy. Always be present during puzzle toy sessions to ensure your dog doesn’t become frustrated or destructive, and to prevent them from accidentally swallowing small parts. Puzzle toys, like all dog toys, should be regularly inspected for damage and replaced when necessary.

5. Frisbees

Frisbees are a classic toy for Australian Shepherds, as they love to run and catch. Look for frisbees made specifically for dogs to ensure durability.

two Australian Shepherds with CollieBall
Top 10 Toys for Australian Shepherd

Playing with frisbees offers an excellent opportunity for you to bond with your Australian Shepherd while providing them with both mental and physical stimulation.

To start, choose a location with plenty of space for your dog to run and catch. Throw the frisbee at a low level at first to allow your Aussie to get acclimated to the game.

The key is to ensure the frisbee is within their line of sight, so they can anticipate and track its flight. As your dog becomes more confident, you can start throwing the frisbee higher and further. Remember, the goal is not just about them catching the frisbee, but also about enjoying the chase and the excitement of the game. Safety should always be your top priority, so avoid playing in areas with potential hazards like traffic or deep water, and ensure your dog is not overexerting themselves. With practice and patience, your Australian Shepherd will soon become a frisbee-catching expert, eagerly looking forward to these play sessions.

6. Balls

Whether playing fetch or just chasing around in the yard, balls are a simple yet excellent toy for Aussies. CollieBall, The Original Herding Ball, is one of the best top 10 toys for Australian Shepherds.

happy Australian Shepherd with his CollieBall - original Herding Ball
Top 10 Toys for Australian Shepherd

Playing with a herding ball offers an excellent way to stimulate your Australian Shepherd's instinctual drive to herd. To play, simply introduce the ball to your dog in a safe, spacious area and encourage them to chase and push the ball around with their nose or paws. The sheer size of the herding ball makes it impossible for your dog to carry it in their mouth, forcing them to use their herding skills instead.

The Collieball, The Original Herding Ball, stands out as the best choice for Aussies due to its durability and size. This ball is designed to withstand the rough play of herding dogs, and its large size makes it ideal for herding. Also, it's made from a non-toxic material, ensuring the safety of your dog. With the CollieBall, your Aussie dog mentally try to herd the toy, thereby promoting both physical exercise and mental stimulation.

7. Squeaky Toys

If your Aussie loves the sound of a squeaker, these toys can provide hours of entertainment. Just make sure to supervise and remove any loose or broken pieces.

Playing with squeaky toys can be an enjoyable activity for your Australian Shepherd. These toys can stimulate your dog's senses and keep them entertained for hours on end. Start by introducing the squeaky toy to your Aussie, allowing them to explore it at their own pace. They'll likely be intrigued by the sound it produces.

Australian Shepherd next to CollieBall Herding BAll
Top 10 Toys for Australian Shepherd

Encourage your dog to interact with the toy by squeaking it gently and tossing it a short distance. Make sure to reward your dog with praise or a treat each time they engage with the toy. As your Aussie grows more comfortable, you can use the toy for games of fetch or hide-and-seek, providing both physical exercise and mental stimulation. However, remember to monitor your dog while they're playing with squeaky toys — these toys can potentially be ripped apart, with the small squeaker presenting a choking hazard. Therefore, any damaged toys should be immediately removed to ensure your Australian Shepherd's safety.

8. Plush Toys

While not always the most durable option, plush toys can be comforting for Aussies and provide a sense of security. Look for ones with reinforced stitching to make them last longer.

Introducing plush toys to your Australian Shepherd can also add variety to their playtime. These soft toys can be particularly comforting for your furry friend, often providing a sense of security and companionship. To begin with, allow your Aussie to explore the plush toy at their own pace. Encourage interaction by lightly shaking the toy or dragging it along the ground to ignite their chasing instincts. You can also use plush toys for a gentle game of tug-of-war, which can help strengthen the bond between you and your pet.

Australian Shepherd are chasing a CollieBall - original Herding Ball
Top 10 toys for Australian Shepherd

However, supervision is key when your Aussie is playing with plush toys. Some dogs have a tendency to chew and tear these toys apart, which could lead to ingestion of stuffing material and pose a potential health risk. Regularly inspect the toy for any sign of damage, and replace it immediately if it's worn out. Always prioritize your dog's safety when introducing any new toy.

9. Water Toys

With their love for swimming, Aussies can have a blast playing with water toys in the pool or at the lake. Just be sure to use caution and choose appropriate toys for your dog's size and ability.

Playing with water toys can be a fun and refreshing activity for your Australian Shepherd, especially during hot summer months. When introducing water toys, it's essential to ease your Aussie into it. Start by letting your dog examine the toy in a non-threatening environment, such as on dry land. You can then gradually move the toy towards the water, encouraging your pet to follow it. Make sure to praise and reward your Aussie for showing interest in the toy and for any interaction with it in the water.

Some popular water games include fetch in the pool or lake, where you throw the water toy and your Aussie retrieves it, or tug-of-war in the shallow end. Always ensure that the toys are suitable for the water and are of a size and material that your Aussie can comfortably grip and carry in their mouth without swallowing water.

Most importantly, safety should be your top priority. Never leave your Aussie unsupervised around the water, and always make sure they are wearing a life vest in deeper waters. Monitor their energy levels during play to prevent exhaustion. Remember, the goal is to have a fun, safe time while helping your Australian Shepherd enjoy their natural love for water.

Happy Australian Shepherd with Herding Ball
Top 10 Toys for Australian Shepherd

10. DIY Toys

Don't forget to get creative and make some toys for your Aussie at home! Old t-shirts, rope, and water bottles can be turned into fun toys that will keep them entertained. Just make sure to use safe materials and supervise during playtime.

When it comes to playing with DIY toys, variety is key. You can start by playing a simple game of fetch using a ball made from old t-shirts. Just roll the t-shirts tightly into a ball shape and secure it. The softness yet firm grip of the t-shirt ball would be appealing for your Aussie.

Australian Shepherd with Red CollieBall
Top 10 Toys for Australian Shepherd

Another fun way to use DIY toys is to create a 'seek and find' game using a water bottle filled with treats. Make small holes in the bottle where treats can fall out, then roll it along the floor and encourage your Aussie to roll it around, the treats will spill out as a reward. This game is not only fun but also stimulates your Aussie's problem-solving abilities.

Lastly, a DIY tug-of-war rope made from old t-shirts or ropes can be a great bonding tool. Engage in a friendly tug-of-war game, which can help build trust and understanding between you and your Aussie.

Always remember, while playing with DIY toys, it's crucial to ensure all materials used are safe, and there are no loose parts that your Aussie might accidentally ingest. Remember to supervise playtime to keep it fun and safe.


With their high energy and intelligence, Aussies need plenty of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy. Investing in a variety of toys that cater to these needs can help keep your Aussie entertained and prevent destructive behaviors. Remember to always supervise your dog during playtime and choose appropriate toys for their size and ability. With the right toys, playtime can be a fun and bonding experience for you and your Australian Shepherd. So, consider adding some of these recommended toys to your Aussie's toy collection today!

Happy playing! 🐾 👨‍👩‍👧

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