A few days ago, I visited a friend of mine to catch up. She owns an australian shepherd like me. We got to talking about aussies and then she asked, “how do you entertain your australian shepherds so they don’t get bored?”
Her dog was chewing up shoes and the couch. She figured the problem was because her dog was bored and had too much energy.
Dogs need physical activity because it’s what they were bred to do. The simplest way you can entertain your Australian Shepherd is with simple physical activities such as tug of war and playing fetch.
In this article I go deeper on this subject and give you 11 fun activities and exercises you can do with your australian shepherd to keep him busy and entertained!
Australian Shepherds need Fun Physical Activities
Before I get into the ways you can keep your dog entertained, I want to talk about how important physical activity is for you aussie.
Obviously, australian shepherds were bred to herd animals right? The word “shepherd” is in their name.
To do this sort of activity, australian shepherds need to have a ton of energy, and to be very athletic.
This is why your aussie is often super hyper all the time. This can be a problem if your aussie is mainly an indoor dog. If he has no way to let out all of his energy, he will find other ways to spend his time.
…Like chewing up your shoes, pillows, and even more valuable items.
Also, a hyper dog can be a problem when you have guests over. I always notice when I visit friends with hyper australian shepherds, their dogs always jump on me and crowd my personal space.
Personally I love dogs and this isn’t too big of a problem for me, but for most people, this can become an issue.
Especially if you want your guests to enjoy your home. A simple way to fix that is with daily physical play with your aussie.
Fun Outdoor Activities for your Aussie:
How original, huh?
I truly love to play fetch with my dogs. It is a great way to exercise my aussies because, if you think about it…
Everytime you throw your ball your dog is sprinting to retrieve the toy.
It is sorta like doing wind sprints for your aussie!
Plus, it can be more fun when you take your dog to a wide open area like a public park. You can even run with your dog and make him chase you and the toy, that’s what I do.
Build your Aussie a Dinosaur SandBox
Here is something that came to mind while writing this article and I think it’s absolutely brilliant.
The goal is for your dog to dig up bones that you buried in a sandbox.
If you love woodworking, this can be a fun activity for you.
Now, I am no sandbox building expert, but I am sure you can find a video on youtube that will teach you how to do it.
After you build a sandbox, next you need the bones. Go to your local butcher and buy some beef shank. This will work perfectly and I find my dogs absolutely love chewing on these.
Plus, they are super cheap too. After you get the bones then just go home and bury them in the sandbox and violah!
Take your Dog for a Swim
Behind playing fetch at the park, taking my dog for a swim is a close second in fun things to do. This can really get your aussie huffing and puffing.
Usually, I play fetch with my dogs in the water. Instead of my pups running to retrieve a ball, they are swimming. As you know, swimming is one of the best forms of exercise because it works nearly every muscle in your body.
This is a great activity to entertain your dog!
Read this article that talks about australian shepherds and the benefits of swimming.
Have a Doggy Playdate
I own three australian shepherds and they are always playing around keeping each other busy. I don’t know what my dogs would do if they didn’t have each other.
If you own only one dog, I highly recommend you have him meet and play with other dogs. It can be extremely enjoyable for them to meet a new face. So call up a fellow dog owning friend of yours and arrange a playdate at the park or your backyard.
You can also take some toys to add some additional excitement.
Go Hiking with you Australian Shepherd
In my local town we have a mountain that is perfect for hiking. Almost every weekend I take my dogs hiking up the mountain with me and it is something that they look forward to all the time.
Nothing beats the scenery and the feeling you get when you are in the true outdoors.
Take your Aussie Running with You
Do you like to run or is running something you would like to get into?
Take your dog next time you decide to go. It gives your dog the opportunity to see the world and experience new things.
Plus, this is a great way for both of you to burn off some energy and benefit your cardiovascular health.
Make sure you get the appropriate leash when you go running to avoid any accidents. I use a hands free dog leash that prevents the momentum of my arms swings from jerking my dogs.
I find this works extremely well for jogging. You can check out the running dog leash by clicking here on amazon.
Teach your Aussie New Tricks
I love learning new tricks to teach my dog and I am sure he loves learning new things as well.
Teaching your dog new tricks is entertaining and a great way to keep him mentally sharp. Plus, nothing beats that rewarding feeling you get when you teach your australian shepherd a new trick.
A good way to teach your buddy a new trick is to reward them when they do something good. I find rewarding my dog with a treat works wonders when teaching my aussies new skills.
Check out these dog treats from amazon that would be perfect for training your australian shepherd.
Indoor Activities for your Australian Shepherd:
When I get on all floors in the living room, my dogs know it’s go time. We love wrestling each other ever so often.
All my dogs will jump on me and try and keep my on the ground while I “fight” my way back up. It is extremely fun for the both of us and not to mention it is a good workout for me and the dogs.
If your dogs are well trained, this shouldn’t make them more aggressive. My Aussies understand when it is time for respect and when it is okay to rough house.
Tug of War
Tug of war is another fun activity I love doing with my dogs and they love this!
Also, if you have more than one dog, this can be a great way for them to entertain themselves without you having to join in.
All three of my dogs are constantly playing tug of war with each other and it is enjoyable to watch.
Click here to check out the tug of war rope I use.
Get your Aussie a Chew Toy
My dog bo, always has a chew toy with him. Like, I am talking 24/7. He should be on the show, “my Strange addiction.”
He can literally entertain himself all day with the right chew toy, so if you don’t have one already, invest in a good chew toy.
Click here to check amazon for some awesome chew toy options.
Play hide and seek
I am an extreme believer in playing hide and seek with my dogs. This is beneficial on so many levels.
Hide and seek has taught my dogs to constantly pay attention to me. This is great if we are out in public or if I take my dogs to the park. Losing me is impossible since it is ingrained in my aussies to keep their eyes on me 24/7.
I highly recommend you play some sort of hide and seek game. Usually, if I am watching tv and I notice my aussie falls asleep, I will run into a closet and call his name and wait for him to find me.
You can also play this game by making your dog stay somewhere while you go hide. Then when you find a hiding place you can call his name to make him come find you. Sooner or later this will teach your australian shepherd to always be alert of where you are located.
Benefits of Keeping your Australian Shepherd Entertained with Physical and Mental Activity.
I am a huge believer in physical activity making our dogs more intelligent and more disciplined.
An australian shepherd that isn’t exercised often can build up so much energy that he becomes difficult to manage.
This often leads to him not obeying you.
I think the reason is because a dog becomes super reactive and relies on a lot of instinct in their lives. When you never physically exhaust your dog, he never has the opportunity to slow down enough to use the thinking side of his brain.
I notice my dogs are more manageable in several different situations when I entertain them with enjoyable physical and mental activities.
They also aren’t a hassle to keep up with when I take them out into the public. Getting along with other dogs isn’t that big of a deal anymore. And I don’t have to worry about my dogs constantly pulling on the leash when I take them for walks.
As you can see, there are many different ways you can keep your australian shepherd entertained. If you notice your dog is experiencing issues with boredom and restlessness, try implementing one of these activities in your daily schedule. I am sure you will find one of these ideas to be enjoyable for you and your aussie.
Thanks for reading!