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The Australian Cattle Dog (ACD) is a tireless, high-energy herding dog. ACDs are also extremely intelligent. It is essential to start socializing and training your ACD from an early age. If you did not get your ACD while still a puppy, then begin her training as soon as possible. You will need to keep this extremely active, highly intelligent dog entertained to the fullest possible extent. With this in mind, you may be wondering, what are the best toys for Australian Cattle dogs?
Breed Appropriate Toys for the Australian Cattle Dog
One thing you know for sure about your ACD is that she was bred to herd cattle. As you most likely don’t have a herd of cattle in your backyard, one great substitute would be to train her to herd balls. You may or may not have heard of the sport of treibball. Treibball is a sport that can be played for fun or as a competitive sport.
The sport consists of a dog herding several balls from a distance to a goal where their handler remains. This sport is sometimes referred to as urban herding as it can be played anywhere as long as you have access to the required space and have the balls for your dog to herd.
NATE (National Association of Treibball Enthusiasts) suggests training your dog to learn this fun sport using exercise balls. The size of the balls will vary depending upon the height of your dog at the shoulder. However, as we are discussing ACDs here, you will most likely require a Medium-sized exercise ball.
A medium-sized exercise ball can be purchased anywhere that sells exercise balls. For example, Amazon sells a wide variety of exercise balls ranging from small to extra extra large. Training your dog for treibball will be a mentally stimulating activity for her!
Stimulate Your Australian Cattle Dog’s Mind With a Puzzle Toy
Puzzle toys are an excellent way to keep your dog from getting bored. She won’t get bored because she is trying to solve a treat puzzle. Puzzle toys come in a variety of shapes, and sizes, as well as levels of difficulty. If your dog has never attempted or even seen a puzzle toy before, it might be best to start at the Easy level, especially if this is for a young dog.
Some puzzle toys are not separated into levels of difficulty. This doesn’t mean it is a bad toy, it might be suitable and fun for any level of difficulty. Sometimes the puzzle toy may come in different sizes, such as small or large.
Another Example of a Puzzle Toy
Another type of puzzle toy that your ACD will be sure to enjoy is the treat dispensing ball. You put small treats or kibble into the ball and give it to your dog. Your dog must roll the ball around to dispense treats. Make sure the treats are small enough to easily dispense when your dog rolls the ball correctly.
If your ACD gobbles her food down, you can feed her all or part of her dinner using this ball, or other puzzle-treat toys. This will slow down her eating and prevent her from getting bloat, a very serious condition that can be fatal.
Most Australian Cattle Dogs Love to Play Ball
Another great toy for your ACD is a Kong ball. These balls are virtually indestructible, especially if you select the one for aggressive chewers. Many Kong toys have a version of the toy that is for aggressive chewers. Many ACDs are aggressive chewers, however, some may not be.
I have two ACDs one is an aggressive chewer the other is not. You should select a ball that is best for your ACD. These balls bounce very high and my ACD loves to jump up high and catch the ball in her mouth. She really is great at this!
Flirt Poles Are Great Fun For Your Australian Cattle Dog
Another type of toy that your ACD will love is a flirt pole. A flirt pole consists of a pole that’s about 3 feet long with a rope attached to it. Attached to the rope is a squeaky furry small toy. This is definitely an interactive toy that you and your dog play with.
Once the toy is attached, get your dog interested in it by squeaking the toy a couple of times. Then let her see it up close and before she grabs it, jerk up on the pole and the toy will fly up and your dog will too! This is a great exercise for her and not so much for you.
You won’t have to chase after anything because the toy is attached to the wand. I have one of these and my dog loves this toy! She can be entertained forever with this toy. It is quite durable so you can allow her to catch the toy so she will have some success and enjoy it more.
If you are not familiar with flirt poles, or even if you are, enjoy the video below that shows how much fun this can be for your ACD.
While these products are completely different from each other, they all have in common two things: They are all toys that an Australian Cattle Dog would love, and they all have a large number of reviews, with the lowest rating at 3.9/5 with 23,385 reviews. So all of these products would be a great choice for your Australian Cattle Dog.
|Preview||Name||Rating||Review Count as of 6/23/2022|
|Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Dog Smart Orange Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy||4.4/5||80,746|
|Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball – Adjustable Dog Treat Dog Ball & Treat Dispensing Dog Toys||3.9/5||23,385|
|Outward Hound Tail Teaser Durable Dog Wand with Soft Plush Toys||4.4/5||10,829|
|KONG – Extreme Ball – Durable Rubber Dog Toy for Power Chewers, Black – for Medium/Large Dogs||4.7/5||16,859|
|URBNFit Exercise Ball – Yoga Ball for Workout Pregnancy Stability||4.6/5||37,283|
More Product Information
Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Dog Smart Orange Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy
Puzzle toys are great for Australian Cattle Dogs. If your dog has never worked with a puzzle toy before and has never played games where she had to figure out how to do something, then I would start her on an Easy puzzle.
Have patience with her as she learns how to solve puzzles. She is a very intelligent dog so she will figure it out but don’t put pressure on her, just keep it fun. If your dog does have prior experience with puzzle toys, then you might consider starting her out on a medium level of difficulty.
Puzzles make excellent toys for ACDs. It will help keep her mentally stimulated.
- Engaging and Mentally Stimulating for your Dog
- Keeps your dog from getting bored
- Constructed with food-safe material for your dog’s safety
- Easy to clean
- Dogs should not play with this without supervision
Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball – Adjustable Dog Treat Dog Ball & Treat Dispensing Dog Toys (Dog Puzzle Toys, Dog Enrichment Toys, and Interactive Dog Toys in One) Great Alternative to Snuffle Mat for Dogs – 4″
The Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball is another toy that would be played with and loved by an Australian Cattle dog. Your dog will have a great time rolling this ball around trying to get the treats to fall out. This toy provides her with exercise and mental stimulation.
This is also a good way to slow down dogs that gobble their food down. Feed her all or part of her dinner in this ball and let her work (play) for her food. Ear eating will slow down as she moves around the room moving the ball and dispensing her dinner.
- Great exercise and mental stimulation for your dog
- Adjustable level of difficulty
- Gets your dog to eat slower while getting exercise
- Easy to use and clean
- This ball is meant to be rolled not chewed so not for every dog
Outward Hound Tail Teaser Durable Dog Wand with Soft Plush Toys
Your Australian Cattle dog will love this toy! It provides her with great fun and exercise. As you swing the little toy around she will jump up and continue to try and catch it. You can wear your dog out with this toy and she will love it!
I have a flirt pole that I play with my ACD and she can’t get enough of it! She doesn’t want to stop! You should let her catch the toy sometimes so she feels like she has succeeded and will remain interested. You can also use this toy to train her to ‘Drop it’ when she catches the toy and you want her to release it.
The pole is 36″ and the cord is 45″, plus a 6-inch long fuzzy toy on the end. It’s very sturdy and dogs love it!
- Great exercise for your dog without a lot of effort on your part
- Comes with 2 squeaky toys that go on the end of the rope.
- You can purchase replacements for the squeaky toys your dog tears up
- Can be used indoors or outdoors
- Provides a great bonding experience with your dog
- Not suitable for power chewers
KONG – Extreme Ball – Durable Rubber Dog Toy for Power Chewers, Black – for Medium/Large Dogs
You just can’t go wrong with a Kong ball. Most dogs love balls, and my ACD is no exception. If she can’t find her Kong ball she drives me nuts until it is found. She gets great exercise when I throw the ball for her and bounce it really high, and she jumps up very high and catches it.
She is very athletic and can jump extremely high. This is an extremely durable fetch toy. You don’t have to worry if your dog is a power chewer, this ball is made for power chewers!
- Great for power chewers
- Extremely high bounce for endless fun
- Very durable and sturdy
- Comes with a hole drilled through it to place a rope
- You can also stuff the hole with peanut butter, your dog will love that!
- Some extreme power chewers, such as pit bulls, etc. might be able to destroy this ball, but it is rare
URBNFit Exercise Ball – Yoga Ball for Workout Pregnancy Stability – AntiBurst Swiss Balance Ball w/ Pump – Fitness Ball Chair for Office, Home Gym
The reason I selected an exercise ball as a toy is that this is the type and size of the ball that is required in the sport of Treibball. There are plenty of other push balls that your dog will enjoy, but this one is what your dog should learn with if she is going to play treibball.
Treibball is such a great sport for any dog but especially herding dogs. Your ACD will love this game if you are interested in it and would like to train her for it. If not, then that’s fine there are other toys in this selection that are great toys for ACDs. Or you can look somewhere else if you prefer a different selection of toys.
If you are interested in treibball, contact NATE (National Association of Treibball Enthusiasts). You can find out the rules, and try to locate a trainer near you.
- Perfect ball for your dog to learn Treibball
- Comes with a pump for inflation
- Made with high-quality PVC Material
- this ball can handle the most rigorous of workouts
- The ball is anti-burst and anti-slip, which is great for both you and your dog
- A few complaints of pump seizing up
Which is the Best Toy for an Australian Cattle Dog?
Since these products are all completely different from each other I will reach my selection of best toys from my experience with my own Australian Cattle dog, Luna. I have already purchased the exercise ball as I want to train her for Treibball.
So, of the remaining toys, I will go with Luna’s choices, which I’m certain would be the Kong Ball and the Outward Hound Tail Teaser Durable Dog Wand with Soft Plush Toys.
She absolutely loves these toys so those would be my choice for her.
When it comes to your best friend, your baby, her happiness is of great importance. You want her to have the highest possible quality and quantity of life. Australian Cattle Dogs require a tremendous amount of activity, both mental and physical, to provide them with the best life possible.
Whatever ways you provide mental and physical activity for your dog are fine as long as she remains happy and healthy.
Please feel free to comment on any experience you have had with cattle dogs and your opinions of what makes great toys for them.