The Australian Shepherd is a beautiful and confident dog who has plenty of energy. And what better way to burn his excess energy off than with dog toys? There are some dog owners out there who think that dog toys are just for fun. But they are much more than that! Dog toys are a necessity for a happy mind, and overall, a happy pup. So, we’re really glad that you are here.
Like us humans, every Australian Shepherd is unique and has different tastes when it comes to playtime. So, regardless of whether your Aussie is a chewer, a fetcher, or an intellectual problem solver, we’ve got a toy here for every man and his Aussie. Our selection consists of highly rated dog toys made by well-known brands, so you can be sure that they are safe for your dog. And lots of fun to match his personality.
So, whether you’re here for the recommendations, or you’re here because you need guidance on how to pick the best toy for your Aussie, we’ve got it covered. Let’s dive in and help you find the perfect toys for your Aussie!
At a Glance: Top Toys For Australian Shepherds
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- 1 Buyer’s Guide
- 2 Best Dog Toys for Australian Shepherds
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
- 4 Final Thoughts
Here in this buyer’s guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about toys. Because there’s much more to them than you think! From the type of play you need to focus on to the materials to search for (and avoid!). As well as the durability you should be looking for and how to know whether they are safe or not. Sound a bit confusing? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
Type of Play
First and foremost, the type of toy you choose is one of the most important things to think about. For example, many senior dogs don’t play with balls or sticks, so there’s no point in wasting money on these toy types. Instead, if your dog loves to chew, you may end up with a bucket full of chew toys. That might seem boring to some dogs, but it might be perfect for yours.
So, you need to work out how your Aussie likes to play. If you are about to welcome an Australian Shepherd pup into your life, you probably don’t know yet. For you guys, we’d suggest investing in a selection of toys so that you can discover what he likes. Make sure you include a rubber toy because teething pups love to sink their sore teeth into rubber.
If you already know what he wants, focus your efforts on these toys. Some toys double up as two toy types, and some simple yet super effective. If you have an Aussie that loves food or is a clever canine, invest in a treat-dispensing toy or puzzle game. If he loves to fetch, get something he can bring back to you. Tug of war ropes are ideal for interactive play with humans and other dogs. It really is as simple as that!
Durability is another important consideration to make when picking a toy for your Aussie. If he is a gentle pooch, he won’t need an indestructible strength toy (although no dog toy is truly indestructible). But if he is a heavy chewer, you’ll need to look for toys that can withstand the damage.
Either way, the quality of the toy determines how long it lasts. By spending that little bit more on a toy, you can be sure it’s better value for money. After all, there’s no point in buying a toy that lasts less than five minutes. In our recommendations, we’ve balanced durability and cost. Making sure your Aussie gets the best, and so does your wallet.
Following on from durability, the material that you choose tells you a lot about whether it is durable or not. Aussies are active pooches that spend hours playing, so you need to be sure that the toy you choose for him can take hours worth of activity. Here we have listed the most common materials used, some better than others.
Rubber: Rubber is a great material because it is both fun to chew and durable. Not only will it last much longer than other materials, but it also feels good on your Aussies teeth and gums. Especially if he is a teething pup. Look for a toy made with natural rubber. Rubber is easy to wash, too, meaning you can wash the slobber off after every session, ready for the next.
Nylon: Nylon is the next best choice on the list, but it tends not to be as long-lasting as rope or rubber. But, if your Aussie is not a rubber fan, nylon is the next best option. Nylon toys should be well stitched around every edge rather than glued to increase durability. Many chew toys are made out of nylon, which are great alternatives to bones. Plus, they are shaped and flavored, making them more enjoyable.
Rope: Rope is another durable material that is tough to break, making it an ideal choice for your Aussie. Ropes are great for interactive tug of war games, both you human on dog and dog on dog. Or to play fetch and tussle with. Plus, the fibers in the rope help with his dental hygiene by acting as a flossing agent.
Polyester and Plush: These are the least durable toys, making them unsuitable for chewers. But for those Aussies who are gentle and like to fetch or simply cuddle, these are an option to consider. Polyester is not that strong, and when it encases plush stuffing, it makes it a choking hazard for chewers. Cute and cuddly, yes. Safe for chewers and long-lasting, definitely not.
What’s the point of a toy if it isn’t fun, right? But if it’s dangerous, it’s not fun for anyone. So, safety should always come first. Unfortunately, there are many dog toys out there that are not fit for purpose and are dangerous. By choosing highly-rated toys made by well-known brands, you can be certain that the toy is more likely to be safe than a cheap toy bought from the store.
Always read the product instructions, and understand what you are buying. Look for natural rubber as it is safe and toxin-free. Avoid anything plastic that does not state it is BPA free as this is toxic to dogs. If it is cheap or not made well, it breaks down quickly. And anything inside, including plush material and squeakers, becomes a choking hazard. As soon as you notice a toy is deteriorating, you should throw it away and get a new one. Buying a new toy is much cheaper than a trip to the emergency vet!
The standard-sized Australian Shepherd is a medium-sized dog, and so he’ll need a medium-sized toy at the very least. Some brands suggest a toy size based on weight, whereas some recommend a size based on his breed. The most important consideration to make here is that he cannot swallow the toy whole. Yes, it’s more common than you think, with many dogs being found with multiple toys lodged in their belly! The toy must be bigger than his mouth. Puppies need even smaller toys made of softer rubber to soothe their teeth.
While most dog toys aren’t going to break the bank, budget is still important. Aussies aren’t too terribly expensive to care for, compared to other bigger dogs. Still, you’ll likely want to save money so you can equip your Aussie with the right harness, dog crate, dog bed, and other gear.
Best Dog Toys for Australian Shepherds
Now we have arrived at the recommendation section – hopefully, the exciting part! After reading the buying guide, you should have an idea about what type of toy to focus on for your Aussie and the materials that will be the best for your pooch. All of our top picks are safe, durable, and good value for money.
All you need to do is read through each toy review and work out which one will be the biggest hit for your bestie. As the Aussie likes to run, we’ve tried to include several options that you can chuck and throw for extra distance. So, in no particular order, let’s take a look.
KONG Squeezz Ball Dog Toy
- Irregular shape and bounce pattern.
- Durable Plastic Material.
- Great for fetch and interactive play.
- Recessed squeakers.
- Assorted random colors.
- KONG brand & reputation.
The KONG Squeezz Ball Dog toy is a perfect companion for your Aussie. It’s durable and safe. Aussies are known for loving to run and fetch out in the open field. This particular toy squeaks and is a great match for dogs with shorter attention spans. Aussies are extremely intelligent dogs. But squeaks are almost impossible for them to resist.
This squeaky ball has recessed squeakers that are hidden. This makes it more difficult for Aussies to surgically remove the squeaker with their teeth. They also continue to perform, even when they are punctured. It’s perfect for indoor or outdoor play. Because of the irregular pattern on the outside of the ball, it bounces all over the place.
We love that toy is strong enough for even the most aggressive Aussie chewers. It’s great for fetch and keeping your dog’s energy under control.
Zippy Paws Skinny Peltz
- Three different animal shapes.
- Durable plush toy.
- Contains no stuffing.
- Includes two squeakers.
- Replacement squeakers available.
- Perfect for medium-sized Aussies.
- Great for fetch or interactive play.
This option perfect for dogs with a higher prey drive. Most plush dog toys don’t hold up to chewers like the Aussie. The Skinny Peltz toy is durable, but it also doesn’t contain stuffing. This means if your pup does tear through it, they shouldn’t have anything they can ingest that would harm them. It’s also budget-friendly, and there are three different plush toys for each package.
There are also two squeakers in each toy. This means if Fido tears one open and finds it, there’s at least another to keep your dog busy. You’ll want to keep your eyes open to make sure they aren’t swallowed though. Because of the size of these plush toys, they are perfect for medium-sized pups like the Australian Shepherd.
We love that this toy provides three different woodland creatures (squirrel, raccoon, and a fox). This means it’s a great option for inquisitive Aussies. Or those that love a soft and squeaky option or love to play hide and squeak! They also sell replacement squeakers if your toy stays intact but the squeaker doesn’t.
KONG Extreme Dog Toy
- Durable BPA free rubber.
- Hollow interior for treats.
- Unpredictable bounce patterns.
- Great for aggressive chewing.
- Soothes gums during play.
- KONG brand reputation.
- Made in the United States.
Most of us dog owners have had a Kong toy at some point, or at least heard of them. This Kong toy is slightly different from the classic Kong in that it is the extreme version, which is why it is black. Made for extreme and tough chewers, the natural and safe rubber can take a lot of bite power. This rubber toy comes in a variety of sizes, but remember to get the option best for his size.
It is a great option for those Aussies who are captivated by yummy treats. Put his favorite treat inside, and it’ll keep him entertained for hours. It is also a great option for those who like to catch or fetch objects. The ribbed and tapered shape means that it bounces in all different directions. Keeping him on his toes because no landing is the same. With a variety of purposes, this toy is a must for most Aussies. It is easily washable, too, making your life much easier.
We love that this toy is ideal for heavy chewers, be that strong chewers or those that spend hours chewing every day. It’s great for teething puppies and anxious Aussies too.
Chuckit! Sport Launcher Dog Toy
This toy is a ball, but it isn’t just any ball. It is a Chuckit! ball and launcher, which means it is highly rated, lots of fun, and much better than your standard rubber ball. The sport launcher provides you with extra throwing power, meaning the ball can cover up to three times the distance you can throw on your own. Extending fetch time means more energy burned.
The launcher also means that you do not have to touch the slobbery ball either. Hands free pickup means clean hands for your walkies. The launcher is compatible with all their launcher balls, and if you lose one, it’s simple to order a few more. The launcher is lightweight and ergonomically designed for your comfort. It’s a great option for those owners with mobility issues as there’s little work for you to do.
We love that this toy is the best option for those Aussies who love to run and fetch. The sport launcher gives you up to two to three times extra throwing power. This means much more fun for your Aussie and no extra work from you!
Benebone Bacon Flavored Wishbone
- Great for chewers.
- Ergonomic design.
- Easy to hold and grip.
- Long-lasting bacon flavor.
- Satisfies the natural urge to chew.
- Made in the United States.
- Supports animal welfare organizations.
This is our chew toy option. Benebone is well-known for its chewing toy options, and this one is ergonomically designed for your Aussie’s comfort. Your Aussie can get a good grip and chew it with ease. It is made from durable and safe nylon, meaning it poses no choking hazards like bones and sticks. Nylon lasts much longer, too, making it better value for money.
It satisfies his need to chew and provides hours of solo entertainment. Chewing is also known to alleviate anxiety. It is flavored with real bacon, and the taste lasts the entire way through as opposed to a thin outside coating. Meaning it’ll keep your Aussies interest until the very end. It is made in the USA with USA sourced ingredients, so you can be sure that it is safe for him to play with.
We love that this is the best option for those Aussies who love to chew sticks, bones, and just about anything else they can get their paws on. It lasts much longer too!
Westpaw Zogoflex Zisc Flying Disc
- Great for agility and flyer trials.
- Durable materials promote longevity.
- Made from recyclable materials.
- Extremely durable disc design.
- Can even be used for tug-o-war.
- BPA and toxin-free.
- Made in the United States.
This is another toy that is designed to fly much further than the average fetch toy. This frisbee acts like a hard frisbee in that it holds its shape and flies the distance. But it is made with an exclusive thermoplastic elastomer named Zogoflex. Which is much softer on your Aussies’s mouth when he fetches it. It is not designed to be a chew toy, but it can take the bite of your pooch when playing.
The main attraction is that it floats on water, so it will not join the hundreds of tennis balls that you’ve lost to the bottom of your local like. Many owners use it as a distraction for bath time too. It can also be used for tug of war games, and it also has an erratic bounce, making catching it much more fun for your dog. It is made in the USA with USA sourced materials, and it also comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
We love that this toy floats on water, meaning it is the best choice for those active Aussies who love to splash around while they fetch objects.
Frisco Fetch Squeaking Tennis Balls
- Lowest budget toy on this list.
- Three different colored balls.
- Not expensive to replace.
- Great for fetch.
- Bright colors for low light conditions.
- Gentle on your dog’s teeth.
- Built-in squeakers.
What toy list would be complete without a pack of tennis balls to play fetch with? Frisco’s tennis ball pack contains three different colored tennis balls. They are brightly colored and easy for dogs to see. This tennis ball pack is extremely budget-friendly and gives you three different balls to choose from.
Each of these balls has a built-in squeaker. Because of the cost, don’t expect these tennis balls to last the same amount of time as a KONG extreme. Rather these are built for a lower budget point and expected to be replaced once your Aussie has had their way with them. The balls are non-abrasive, which means they are gentle on your dog’s gums. Don’t leave your dog alone for long periods with this toy, as tennis balls are notorious for being ripped down.
We love that these tennis balls are brightly colored. This makes it easy for your Aussie to see them in longer grass or lower light conditions. It’s also very easy on your wallet.
Frisco Muscle Plush Squeaking Toy
- Durable plush toy.
- Large-sized, and easy to grip.
- Great for games of fetch.
- Can also be used in interactive play.
- Design makes it easy to grip.
- Durable materials.
- Soft material for snuggling.
The Frisco Muscle Plush Squeaking Wolf Dog toy is another plush toy, and it’s one of the few we recommend. It’s easy on the budget, and is good for small dogs and up. It features a squeaker that’s built inside, but difficult for most dogs to find. Because it’s large, some smaller dogs get a thrill out of exercising their dominance over a larger toy, satisfying their inner small dog syndrome.
The Plush Wolf is great for fetch, or other types of interactive play. Because it’s a plush toy, it should not be used without supervision. Any soft interior of the toy that comes out could pose a choking hazard if your dog is unsupervised. This toy is durable though, so if properly cared for, it should last your Aussie for quite some time. It’s also easy on your wallet.
We love that the Plush Wolf Dog toy is made of materials specifically engineered for energetic dogs. It’s cheap, but still high quality, and should last your Aussie for a long time if properly cared for.
KONG Wubba Dog Toy
- Ballistic Nylon reinforced fabric.
- Great for fetching, and chew sessions.
- Squeaks inside.
- Extremely durable.
- Can be used for tug-o-war.
- Three different colors.
- Kong brand reputation.
If you’ve never used a Wubba with a dog before, you are in for a treat! Wubbas are fantastic, and are a great interactive toy for both fetching and chewing. They are also great for tug-o-war. It’s made with ballistic grade nylon reinforced fabric, which means it can stand up to even the more aggressive Aussies. The toy contains two tennis balls to help it bounce.
The Wubba is enjoyed by dogs of all different sizes, and is backed by the same brand reputation of other KONG toys. We don’t recommend this toy for unsupervised play, but it’s definitely more durable than plush toys. The squeaker inside will drive your Aussie crazy for hours. It’s also budget-friendly.
We love the Wubba for dogs of all different sizes. It’s great for an active breed like the Australian Shepherd, and keeps your pup busy for hours on end.
Frequently Asked Questions
What types of toys are best for my Aussie?
Every Australian Shepherd is different. So the answer to this question is that it all depends on how your Aussie likes to play and what materials he prefers. If you know what he has previously liked to play with, sticking with these types of toys will be a surefire winner. If you have a brand new Aussie pup, it’s a great idea to invest in a selection of toys to see what he likes. You never know, he might like them all!
Are there any toys that my Aussie won’t break apart?
No. Dog toys aren’t meant to last forever. They are intended to provide him with lots of fun and to keep him stimulated. We have yet to find a totally indestructible dog toy. The Aussie does not have the toughest of jaws compared to a German Shepherd or a Rottie. So thankfully, the toys that you choose for him should last that little bit longer. If your Aussie is a tough chewer, you need to look for tough toys such as the Extreme Kong toy recommended above.
Is one toy enough for my Aussie?
No, one toy is not enough. Toys are not a luxury, they are a necessary part of his daily life. Especially for active dogs like the Aussie. With just one toy around, he is sure to get bored and turn his attention onto your sneakers or furniture. Invest in a few toys that capture his attention, and rotate them so that he never gets bored.
Are some materials dangerous for my Australian Shepherd?
Yes, some materials are dangerous for dogs. This is why it is important to read the product description and do your own research. But all of the recommendations above are safe and non-toxic. Look for materials that are made from 100% natural rubber, and are latex-free and BPA free too.
The Australian Shepherd is active, energetic, and intelligent. Meaning that you need to provide him with an outlay for his energy. Toys do not replace the need for exercise. Instead, they make exercise more fun and worthwhile. They also offer him the opportunity for solo playtime when you need to get some chores done.
Invest in the toys that you know he likes, or one of everything if you have a pup. And if your Aussie only likes one type of play like my boy, just get him a few of the same thing but in different shapes and styles. There is no one rule for all, except that all Aussies need toys in their life. By sticking to our recommendations above, you can be sure that your Australian Shepherd will be a very happy pooch indeed!