Australian Shepherds need exercise to be happy. This hyperactive dog breed can't stand staying still for too long. As such, as an Australian Shepherd owner, it's very important that you have enough time and energy to provide them with the physical activity that they need.

How Do I Entertain My Australian Shepherd?

The Best Games for Australian Shepherds

Playtime with your dog can kill two birds with one stone. Not only is it fun for your pooch, but it can also be used to further their dog training. Australian Shepherds were originally bred as working dogs, and they haven't lost any of their work ethic! They like to feel useful while exerting themselves. To this end, opt for games that allow your dog to run.

  • Ball Games: Playing ball is a proven classic. It requires minimum investment from you, the owner. Choose good, strong, quality dog balls to avoid your pooch ingesting small pieces of broken fabric or material. Watch out: Ball games should not be seen as a cure-all for dog games. They actually tend to encourage the predation instincts in an Australian Shepherd, who is not normally a hunting dog. This could interfere with your dog's understanding of other animals, especially cats.

  • Frisbee: This works on the same premise as playing ball. Again, you don't have to do much, which means that you can indulge your furry friend until they’re satisfactorily tired out. Australian Shepherds love to jump, so they'll have a lot of fun catching the frisbee in mid-air. Please note: Frisbee is not a suitable game to play with Australian Shepherd puppies.

  • Brain Games: These are a great way to keep your dog busy while you're out.

The Best Activities for Australian Shepherds

Australian Shepherds are sporty animals through and through and will exercise whenever they get the chance. Regular physical activity is essential for your dog, and inactivity could very quickly affect their physical and mental wellbeing. These are some great options for activities to engage in with your Australian Shepherd:

  • Agility: This increasingly popular activity is ideal for your Australian Shepherd.  It helps your four-legged friend to maintain a good physical and mental balance, while also improving their concentration and ability to adapt. During an agility session, your pooch has to traverse an obstacle course as quickly as possible, guided by the voice of their master. Australian Shepherds excel at this, thanks to their natural agility and great obedience.

  • Treibball: This discipline is more recent. It is a positive-reinforcement, competitive dog sport which involves the dog pushing a large exercise ball between two goal posts, with direction from their master.

  • Flyball: This is another fun activity to do with your Australian Shepherd. The aim of flyball is to race over a line of hurdles while playing with a ball. Flyball courses consist of 4 hurdles, and between each hurdle is a spring-loaded pad which releases a ball for your dog to catch and bring back to you.

These games and activities don't only serve to get your dog running, they also form an essential part of the bond between you and your Australian Shepherd. Additionally, physical games and activities tire your dog out, which helps to guarantee them good quality sleep.


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What Are the Best Toys for Australian Shepherd Puppies?

Puppies can't do the same activities as adult dogs. In fact, some activities could seriously endanger your puppy's health. Avoid uncontrolled jumps and skids which could damage their joints and cause serious health problems. On the other hand, Australian Shepherd puppies are full of energy, so it's important to know how to entertain them safely. You also need to teach them to be alone and handle boredom sometimes. Always keep in mind that your baby Australian Shepherd needs a lot of love and attention.

Puzzle Toys

Australian Shepherds are intelligent dogs who need regular intellectual stimulation. Opt for puzzles games that offer them a reward.

Knotted Rope

It couldn't be simpler: your puppy grabs the rope and pulls and chews on it. Beyond its rather basic appearance, the knotted rope helps your pooch to learn self-control and to manage their emotions.


Kongs are classic toys for puppies and dogs. They keep your pooch occupied for long periods. The premise is simple: a treat is hidden inside the Kong and it's up to your dog to get it out. For puppies, make sure you choose a Kong proportional to the size of their jaw and check the quality of the item carefully. It needs to be properly resistant to your Australian Shepherd's teeth.

Squeaky Toys

You'll need to be a patient master to put up with the sound of these, but they're great for your young pup. The squeaky sound stimulates the puppy, encouraging them to nibble the toy, which helps to ease tension and calm the animal.

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