The 8 Best Toys For Herding Dogs

Dogs Jun 12, 2021
Written by | Updated Jun 13, 2021
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The 8 Best Toys For Herding Dogs

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Herding dogs are great companions because of their loyal and friendly personalities. Their inherent instinct to work means that these loveable pups are also highly active and have a very high-drive. However, without constant physical and mental stimulation, your herding dog may get a bit mischievous. 

Our herding dog, a Belgian Shepherd Malinois named Hyper, has been with us for over 5 years. I’ve noticed rises in mischievous behavior and dips in his morale depending on the amount of physical and mental stimulation he gets. 

Hyper does not get out to play as much as he’d like or needs because we have full-time jobs and live in an apartment. So, we have been on a long time search for games and toys that are durable, and of course, that Hyper enjoys! 

Finding these types of games and toys for my active herding dog has been quite a challenge because he always finds the quickest way to destroy the items. For this reason, I think that the durability and material of the items are key. This is why I have put together The 8 Best Dog Toys for Herding Dogs! 

At a Glance: The Best Dog Toys For Herding Dogs To Buy

We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product. You’ll also find more detailed information about each product later in the article.

Compare Best Dog Toys for Herding Dogs

Overall Best
AMZpets Dog Toys for Aggressive Chewers

1. AMZpets Dog Toys for Aggressive Chewers

Best Outdoor Toy
Chuckit! Classic Launcher Dog Toy

2. Chuckit! Classic Launcher Dog Toy

Best Indoor Toy
Squeak and Fetch Toy

3. Squeak and Fetch Toy

Best Tug Rope Toy
Pacific Pup Tug Rope

4. Pacific Pup Tug Rope

Best Dry-Treat Dispenser
Busy Buddy Magic Mushroom Treat Dispenser Dog Toy

5. Busy Buddy Magic Mushroom Treat Dispenser Dog Toy

Best Wet Treat Dispenser
KONG Classic Dog Toy

6. KONG Classic Dog Toy

Best Dry Or Wet Treat Dispenser
Lickimat Classic Playdate

7. Lickimat Classic Playdate

Best Tug and Squeak Toy
Fire Hose Dog Tug Toy with Squeakers

8. Fire Hose Dog Tug Toy with Squeakers

Price range
Mid-high
Price range
Low
Price range
Low
Price range
Low
Price range
Low-mid
Price range
Low
Price range
Low
Price range
Low
Material
Cotton
Material
plastic launcher and rubber ball
Material
Non-toxic natural rubber
Material
Cotton
Material
plastic – non-toxic and BPA free
Material
Natural rubber
Material
Food grade TPR rubber
Material
Firehose
Size
3.79 pounds
Size
26 inches, 0.16 ounces
Size
6.5 inches X 2.7 inches, 9.6 ounces
Size
21 inches, 13.8 ounces
Size
12.8 ounces
Size
7.2 ounces
Size
7.4 ounces
Size
27 inches long, 3.2 ounces
Made In
China
Made In
United States
Made In
China
Made In
China
Made In
China
Made In
USA
Made In
China
Made In
China

How The Toys Were Tested:

  • We used our own money to purchase all the toys. The toys were not purchased in exchange for positive reviews. 
  • Each toy was carefully chosen depending on quality, material, price range, and durability. 
  • We spent a few hours each day testing the toys  

Our Top Picks For The Best Dog Toys For Herding Dogs

Our herding dog LOVED this experiment, he was able to play and interact with so many new toys to create this list. In other words, Hyper has given all the items 5 stars and barking reviews! 

The most effective toys and games give our pups both interactive dependent and independent play to keep their minds and bodies stimulated and active. 

Overall Best
1.

AMZpets Dog Toys for Aggressive Chewers

Product Info

  • Price range: Mid-high
  • Material: Cotton
  • Size: 3.79 pounds
  • Made In: China
Pros
  • Veterinarian Approved
  • 100% Cotton
  • Safe to use
Cons
  • Not recommended for overly aggressive chewers
  • Nondurable
AMZpets Large Dogs Toy Set is a set of 7 indestructible dog toys that will keep your dogs entertained for a while with all the different shapes and sizes for playing fetch, tug of war, or to endlessly gnaw or shake.

The ropes are made from high-quality chew toys and throwing ropes with knots. This is a safe, long-lasting dog toy that is great for games, fetch and play.
Best Outdoor Toy
2.

Chuckit! Classic Launcher Dog Toy

Product Info

  • Price range: Low
  • Material: plastic launcher and rubber ball
  • Size: 26 inches, 0.16 ounces
  • Made In: United States
Pros
  • Lightweight and available in many sizes
  • Keeps your hands clean from slobbery and muddy balls
  • Regular tennis-sized balls fit in the launcher
  • Balls are easily wiped down
  • Can be used in water and outdoor playtime
  • Increases your pup’s exercise time by catapulting the ball far
Cons
  • The ball may be destroyed by active chewers
  • Lightweight plastic material can also be destroyed by active chewers
The ChuckIt! Ball and Launcher allows you to enhance your pup’s fetch game. The lightweight plastic launcher lets you pick up the ball with ease, keeping your hands clean while catapulting the orange and blue ball across the park or any other outdoor space you and your pup go to.
Best Indoor Toy
3.

Squeak and Fetch Toy

Product Info

  • Price range: Low
  • Material: Non-toxic natural rubber
  • Size: 6.5 inches X 2.7 inches, 9.6 ounces
  • Made In: China
Pros
  • Non-toxic, eco-friendly, natural rubber
  • Made with 100% beef that is only detectable by your pup’s nose
  • Is durable enough for tough chewers
  • The company offers a Lifetime Replacement Guarantee
Cons
  • Heavier than typical fetch toys
  • Does not bounce
This squeaky toy is made with large dogs that are classified as aggressive chewers in mind. It is made from non-toxic, eco-friendly, natural rubber that is manufactured in an FDA compliant factory. Hyper is attached to this toy!

I think it is because of the 100% real beef flavor that this toy has. Lucky for us, however, the smell is only detectable by a dog’s nose. We play fetch and tug with this toy and also use it to quickly get his attention.
Best Tug Rope Toy
4.

Pacific Pup Tug Rope

Product Info

  • Price range: Low
  • Material: Cotton
  • Size: 21 inches, 13.8 ounces
  • Made In: China
Pros
  • Made from safe, non-toxic material
  • Passes the ASTM F-963 Children Toys Safety Standards
  • Proceeds help rescue dogs from high-kill shelters
  • Acts as playtime dental floss for your pup
Cons
  • Frayed edges may be torn off
Your herding dog will love this high-quality twisted and knotted rope. It is tough and can withstand hours of playtime with your lovable pup. Each purchase of these rope toys benefits a non-profit dog rescue called Pacific Pup Rescue.

Pacific Pup Rescue helps rescue dogs from high-kill shelters and find them their forever homes. We love toys that support good causes. Without a doubt, this is a win-win!
Best Dry Treat Dispenser
5.

Busy Buddy Magic Mushroom Treat Dispenser Dog Toy

Product Info

  • Price range: Low-mid
  • Material: plastic – non-toxic and BPA free
  • Size: 12.8 ounces
  • Made In: China
Pros
  • Food chamber holds around 1 cup, depending on treat size
  • Openings are adjustable
  • Exercises and feeds your dog at the same time
  • Made from non-toxic and BPA free plastic
Cons
  • The lightweight plastic means that it is not as durable as others in this category
The Busy Buddy Magic Mushroom turns mealtime into playtime! The treat dispenser is available in two different sizes, small and medium/large. The dispenser spins, rolls, and flips as your dog works hard to release his or her tasty treats. This dispenser stimulates your dog, both mentally and physically.

Therefore, it can reduce boredom and separation anxiety. The adjustable openings allow you to use different types of dry treats and increase or decrease the difficulty of the toy. Cleaning is very easy and it is dishwasher safe (top rack only)! The mushroom has a simple screw off mechanism allowing you to disassemble into 4 pieces.
Best Wet Treat Dispenser
6.

KONG Classic Dog Toy

Product Info

  • Price range: Low
  • Material: Natural rubber
  • Size: 7.2 ounces
  • Made In: USA
Pros
  • Classic and durable design
  • Available in many different sizes (X-small – XX large)
  • You can use different types of treats. Hyper loves to stick with the classics – Peanut Butter
  • Easy clean up with warm soapy water and a bottle brush
  • Can reduce boredom and separation anxiety
Cons
  • Dry treats will fall out of the toy
  • Not challenged by the hole in the Kong
Kong Classic Dog Toys are simple and effective toys that have been around since the 1970s. The design makes it easy for your pup to play independently. You can fill the Kong with almost any type of treat, wet or dry.

The Kong Classic Dog Toys come in different sizes, ranging from X-Small to XX-Large, and differs according to your dog’s chewer profile. Freezing the Kong with wet treats, like peanut butter, makes for long-lasting fun!
Best Dry Or Wet Treat Dispenser
7.

Lickimat Classic Playdate

Product Info

  • Price range: Low
  • Material: Food grade TPR rubber
  • Size: 7.4 ounces
  • Made In: China
Pros
  • Promotes healthy tongues, gum, teeth, and breath
  • Made from food-grade TPR rubber: Nontoxic, durable, PVC and BPA free, and freezable.
  • Licking helps soothe and calm your dog
  • Can reduce boredom and separation anxiety
Cons
  • The ridges sometimes trap food
  • Not dishwasher safe
The LickiMat Boredom Buster is made from food-grade TPR rubber. So, this means that it is non-toxic, durable, PVC and BPA free. The design of the mat means that your dog will be licking the peanut butter, yogurt, cottage cheese, or anything else you decided to use for hours – especially if you freeze it!

Dogs often lick to ease their anxieties, this action can help calm your dog down, reduce boredom, and separation anxiety. The ridges also stimulate saliva production, this promotes clean dog tongues, gum, teeth, and breath!
Best Tug and Squeak Toy
8.

Fire Hose Dog Tug Toy with Squeakers

Product Info

  • Price range: Low
  • Material: Firehose
  • Size: 27 inches long, 3.2 ounces
  • Made In: China
Pros
  • Made from real durable firehose material that is extremely hard to destroy
  • Three separate squeakers
  • No stuffing! You won’t need to clean up the stuffing if your pup destroys the firehose
  • Well made and cute designs
Cons
  • Always monitor your dog while playing with this kind of toy
  • Lizard legs can tear off
Fire Biterz toys are made with durable tightly woven layers of the fire hose material. This lets your dog play as rough as he or she can with a toy made to withstand tons of pressure! The toys are used for all types of playtime, including tug of war.

Additionally, the Fire Biterz are not made with stuffing. This means that if your pup DOES destroy it – because no toy is completely indestructible- there will be no stuffing thrown around your home. No. Stuffing. Thrown. Around. Your. Home! The squeakers also are durable, long-lasting, and will boost your dog’s playtime excitement.

Types Of Dog Toys We Considered For Herding Dogs:

There are many types of dog toys available for your pup to play with. When researching toys for your herding dog, you should consider your dog’s preferences for one type over another, material, price, and durability.  

  • Fetch: Playing fetch with your pup will engage both their minds and bodies. Herding dogs need a lot of physical and mental stimulation. Playing fetch helps your pup get all the exercise needed! Keeping their eye on the ball, racing after it, and bringing it back will tire your pup out both mentally and physically. You can play fetch with many different types of toys. Such as: rubber balls, plush balls, tennis balls, frisbees, sticks, and more.
  • Chew: Herding dogs have a natural instinct to search and chew. Chew toys are a great and tasty way to keep your herding dog occupied. There are many different types on the market. Some can even help improve dental hygiene and clean their teeth. Prior to choosing the best chew toy, you should determine what type of chewer your pup is. Does your pup destroy everything he or she gets their paws on? That will help you figure out the type of chew toy you should get. 
  • Plush: Plush toys can be really fun for your pup and can also cross over into tug toys. Your pup’s ability and drive to destroy will help you determine if this kind of toy works for you and your dog. Plush toys are great for smaller dogs and puppies. Hyper tends to destroy anything with stuffing, sending fluffy material all over the apartment. That means that we look for stuffing-less toys. 
  • Tug: Tug and rope toys are great for interactive dependent play, especially for those living in smaller spaces. These toys are typically very durable and are available in many shapes, sizes, types, and colors. There are many benefits to playing tug with your herding dog. An intense and short game of tug engages your dog’s body. This is a great physical and mental workout!
  • Interactive games: Interactive games are designed to keep your pup entertained and engaged with tasty treats. Giving your herding dog interactive games will help them feel challenged and useful! There are many different types available, puzzles, treat dispensers, and more. These toys target your pup’s mind, keeping them busy and happy, sometimes for hours.

You know your playful pup the best, and know what types of toys he or she will like most. Your dog’s activity level – both indoor and outdoor, their ability and drive to destroy toys, and the size of your dog will help you figure out the best toys for them. 

Safety Information:

There are many different types of toys made by many different manufacturers. New toys should always be introduced with supervision. As a rule, you should monitor your dog’s interaction to ensure safety. Some toys should always be played with under supervision, for example, chews or bones. It is important to remember that no toy is completely indestructible. For that reason, you should periodically inspect your herding dog’s toys for signs of wear and tear.  

Here are some guidelines to consider when conducting your own research.

  • Size: You should always buy toys that fit your dog’s size. In particular, large dogs can easily swallow and choke on small toys. 
  • Washability: Keeping your pup’s toys clean is very important. Always check to make sure that the toys can be machine washed, wiped down, dishwasher safe, or hand washed. This is critical in keeping your pup not only happy – but healthy! 
  • Material: The material of the toy is very important. Most dogs love licking and tend to explore the world through their mouths. Since there are no federal regulations on dog toys, they can be made with almost anything. Thus, you need to make sure to do your research! 

Final Thoughts:

The best thing that we can do for our dogs is to challenge them, both physically and mentally, to keep them happy and healthy. I hope that you and your herding dog find this list of The 8 Best Dog Toys for Herding Dogs helpful and that you and your dog have fun playing with these toys!

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Avital lives in Los Angeles and enjoys exploring the outdoors with her pups!
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