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Best Dog Toys for Herding Dogs

Dog Toys August 15, 2019
Best Dog Toys for Herding Dogs
Amy

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Best Dog Toys for Herding Dogs

Best Dog Toys for Herding Dogs

Herding dogs have a strong natural instinct to herd livestock, which is what they were originally bred for. They are incredibly smart and once spent their days moving livestock such as cattle, and sheep from one place to another. Unfortunately, there are probably no cattle around your yard for your herding dog to herd, which could lead to behavioral issues.

To keep your herding dog from unwanted behavior, try engaging him with dog toys that play to his natural herding instinct. Herding dogs do require physical and mental activity every single day, in order to keep them from boredom and to manage their high energy levels.

Here is a breakdown of the best dog toys for herding dogs and their purpose.

Quick Links: Our Picks for The 5 Best Dog Toys for Herding Dogs

  1. Best OverallChuckit! Classic Launcher
  2. Best for Treats – Kong Classic Dog Toy
  3. Best for Large Breeds – Jolly Pets Push and Play Dog Toy
  4. Best Fetch Toy – Chuckit! Ultra Rubber Ball Dog Toy
  5. Best for Teething PuppiesZippyPaws Burrow Squeaky Hide and Seek Plush Toy

How We Tested the Dog Toys:

  • We purchased the best dog toys for herding dogs.
  • We spent a few hours testing these toys on our dogs.
  • We put safety first when selecting dog toys to review.
  • These products were purchased with our own money, and were not received in exchange for a favorable review.

Dog Toy Types

Here are several types of dog toys to consider for your pups playtime needs. You may want to buy one of each kind to give him plenty of opportunities to release energy.

  • Fetch Toys – Fetch toys are rubber balls, plush balls, discs, sticks, frisbees, and more in this category. Some might bounce, float, glide or glow in the dark. Some are great for use in the house, in the pool or water and even in low light. Playing fetch with your dog keeps him moving and can also strengthen your bond.
  • Chew Toys – Chew toys are important in preventing behavior problems and discouraging your dog from chewing on inappropriate items. Chewing on certain types of chew toys can keep his teeth clean, and his mind occupied. A dog that has chewed for 30 minutes is busy, happy and more likely to take a nap than chew the furniture.
  • Plush Toys – Plush toys are a favorite for dogs, but unfortunately they are not always safe. Plush toys can still be fun for your dog when supervised to make sure they are not being torn apart. Plush toys are great for puppies to snuggle up with at night before the teething stage.
  • Rope and Tug Toys – Rope and tug toys are specifically designed to be yanked back and forth by you and your dog without breaking. These toys come in many shapes and sizes and are designed for gripping with your hands and the dogs mouth. These toys can also be used for fetching purposes too.
  • Interactive Toys – Interactive toys were designed to entertain your pup when you are not around and to keep him from being bored and lonely. Some come with compartments to hide treats, puzzles to explore or hide and seek toys within a toy.
Herding dogs are considered to be among the smartest dog breeds.

Dog Toy Safety

There are many things to consider when choosing a safe toy for your dog. A number of them depend on the size of your dog, activity level and play preferences. It is also important to consider the environment where your dog spends his play time.

While there are no guarantees on how safe a dog toy is, we can offer some guidelines for making safe choices when buying dog toys.

  • Size – Buy toys of appropriate size for your dog. Toys that are too small may be swallowed or become lodged in your dog’s throat.
  • Washable – You should be able to put a toy the dishwasher or washing machine to be periodically cleaned and disinfected.
  • Chemicals – Avoid toys treated with fire retardants or stain guard, as they may contain formaldehyde and other chemicals.
  • Suction Traps – Avoid balls with single air holes, which can create a deadly suction trap on your pups mouth.
  • Noise Makers – Beware of toys with bells and squeakers because your dog may chew them out and swallow them.
  • Rips and Tears – Dispose of dog toys when they start to break into pieces or are torn.
  • Check Labels – Look for labels that indicate dog toys are “phthalate free” and “BPA free.
  • Avoid Natural Bones – Dogs can break their teeth on rib bones, cow hooves, and pig bones. Dental bones are safer.

The 5 Best Dog Toys for Herding Dogs Reviewed

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Exercise your dog while saving your arm
  • No need to touch slobbery ball
  • Launcher throws ball extremely far
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  • Ultra durable design
  • Reduces boredom, and separation anxiety
  • Erratic bouncing for longer play
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
  • Ideal for use in the water
  • Made in the USA
  • High price range
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  • Features and extra-thick rubber core
  • Quality material that floats
  • Comes in several sizes
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  • Toy meerkats make squeaking sounds
  • Keeps your dog entertained for hours
  • Refillable meerkats available for purchase
VIEW LATEST PRICE →

Chuckit! Classic Launcher

Features:

  • Fetch toy with an ergonomic handle for comfort and control
  • Made of durable lightweight flexible plastic
  • Low price range
  • Hands free ball pick up

Pros:

  • Exercise your dog while saving your arm
  • No need to touch slobbery ball
  • Launcher throws ball extremely far

Cons:

  • Aggressive chewers may destroy ball
  • Ball not as durable as launcher

With the Chuckit! Classic Ball Launcher, you will easily be able to throw three times further and without ever bending over or touching a slobbery ball again. Use the comfortable handle to press down on the ball, and let it fly. You will wear your energetic herding dog out in no time.

This is a perfect toy for the dog park and wide open spaces. You can also use any 2.5 inch size Chuckit! ball with the launcher and it is available in different colors.

KONG Classic Dog Toy

Features:

  • Treat fill-able chew toy
  • Used by veterinarians and trainers for over 40 years
  • Made in the USA from globally sourced materials
  • Mid price range

Pros:

  • Ultra durable design
  • Reduces boredom, and separation anxiety
  • Erratic bouncing for longer play

Cons:

  • Needs to stuff with treats to keep dogs interested
  • Treats fall out easily

KONG is the classic tough and reliable dog toy. The Classic’s unique all-natural red rubber formula is ultra-durable, with an erratic bounce that is ideal for dogs that like to chew, while also fulfilling their need to play. This toy is virtually indestructible making it perfect for mouthy herding dogs.

The classic Kong dog toy can be stuffed with KONG’s Stuff’N Easy Treat, Snacks or Ziggies (sold separately) or any of your dogs favorite rewards like peanut butter, yogurt or kibble.

Jolly Pets Push-n-Play Dog Toy

Features:

  • Designed to be pushed and nosed around
  • Ideal for use in the water
  • Made in the USA
  • High price range

Pros:

  • Great for energetic dogs
  • Comes in different colors
  • Can be used to play soccer with your pup

Cons:

  • Some dogs are afraid of it
  • Some dogs are able to chew through

Your herding dog will spend hours nosing and pushing around the Push-N-Play dog toy from Jolly Pets. This giant ball will impress medium to large herding dogs with its 14-inch size, and will keep him moving.

These balls can roll, run and float making them great for water play. You may want to make an interactive game of soccer with your pup for bonding. The ball comes in 3 colors and is made with hard plastic materials.

Chuckit! Ultra Rubber Ball Dog Toy

Features:

  • Fetch ball made of high-quality materials
  • Can be used in the water
  • Bright color gives increased visibility
  • Low price range

Pros:

  • Features and extra-thick rubber core
  • Quality material that floats
  • Comes in several sizes

Cons:

  • Chewers may destroy fast if allowed
  • Sizes run small

The Chuckit rubber ball is made of high-quality materials and designed for the game of fetch. It is a very bouncy and durable ball for your herding dog, whether you play fetch on land or in the water.

It is made with an extra-thick rubber core and a bright color for improved visibility reducing the chances of losing your ball. This ball also comes in several sizes to accommodate all sizes of dogs who want to fetch. This can also be used with the Chuckit! Launcher, sold separately.

ZippyPaws Burrow Squeaky Hide and Seek Plush Dog Toy

Features:

  • Interactive play challenges your dog
  • Made of soft but sturdy material
  • Machine washable
  • Mid price range

Pros:

  • Toy meerkats make squeaking sounds
  • Keeps your dog entertained for hours
  • Refillable meerkats available for purchase

Cons:

  • Not recommended for strong chewers
  • Difficult for some dogs to get in den compartment

If your dog enjoys burying his nose into burrows or playing hide and seek, this maybe the toy for him. You are able to hide one, two or all three of the included squeaky meerkats in the den, while this interactive plush toy will challenge your dog as he works to dig them out.

You can purchase the squeaky meerkats on their own if more are needed. This interactive toy is great for herding dogs who need to stimulate their brain. However it may not be the best toy for your pup if he is an aggressive chewer. It is machine washable, making cleaning a breeze.

Conclusion

It may be impossible to eliminate your herding dogs natural herding behavior. It is possible to deflect behaviors to other outlets like toys and lots of exercise. Herding behavior usually occurs when your herding dog becomes bored or has too much energy.

Amy

Amy Brown is a lifelong animal enthusiast who enjoys writing about dogs and rescuing them. She writes for various pet related websites, including her own, CatMania.net.
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