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How to Keep an Australian Shepherd Busy: 9 Great Options

Written by: Patricia Dickson

Last Updated on May 22, 2024 by Dogster Team

Cute australian shepherd dog at kitchen, modern interior

How to Keep an Australian Shepherd Busy: 9 Great Options


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Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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If you’re the proud pet parent of an Australian Shepherd, you know how intelligent and sports-minded they are. Aussies love to be outdoors and would rather be working than stuck in a house, but if their owners want to sit on the couch and watch movies, they are going to be right there with them.

Aussies are loyal, protective, and loving, but they need exercise and mental stimulation to keep them healthy. However, you have to work, and you’re worried about how you’re going to keep your Aussie busy when you have to be away from it. Never fear; we’ll give you nine great options for keeping your Aussie healthy, happy, and busy.


The 9 Ways to Keep an Australian Shepherd Happily Busy

1. Frozen Treats

Giving your Aussie a frozen treat is an excellent way not only to keep them busy but to keep them hydrated as well. It’s great for those hot days when it’s scorching in the shade.

Frozen treats are simple to make. Simply fill a bowl with chicken or beef broth, put his favorite chew toy inside of the bowl, and let it freeze. Once the treat is frozen, put it in the backyard, let your Aussie outside, and watch them have fun with the frozen treat.

australian shepherd dog having treat
Image by: Christian Mueller, Shutterstock

2. Run Short Errands Together

Although you might not be thrilled to run errands on your day off, the opposite is true for your Aussie. The breed loves to go anywhere with their pet parents, and running to the bank, the electric company, or even just to the corner store is thrilling for them.

They’ll enjoy the ride, and it’ll give you time to spend with your canine pal. Running short errands is the perfect way to bond with your Aussie and keep them busy at the same time.

3. Puzzle Games

Another way to keep your Australian Shepherd busy is by giving them puzzle games. They will stimulate them mentally and physically at the same time. You can purchase brands with different levels of difficulty, which will encourage your pet paw to roll over and take some of the pieces out using their mouth.

The dog’s reward at the end of solving the puzzle is a delicious dog treat, so it’s one game they’ll never grow tired of playing.

Australian shepherd playing nose work puzzle game outdoor
Image by: EkaterinaSid, Shutterstock

4. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise

While it’s a must to take your Aussie for a walk daily, there are many other forms of exercise that your Aussie will enjoy as well. Exercising is beneficial for you both, as your dog will expend energy, and you’ll get the exercise you need to be healthy and live a long life as well.

Running, hiking, playing in the park, and daily walks will go a long way toward keeping your energetic Aussie healthy.

5. Canine Sports

There are several sports you can get your Aussie involved in that they will love. There’s scenting, disc chasing, dock diving, flyball, herding, freestyle, and agility training to name a few. Aussies are great at these sports and other activities that’ll keep them busy and help them burn off the energy they always have.

There are many canine sporting events that you and your Aussie can join as well.

Toy Australian Shepherd playing with a frisbee
Image by: Wolfgang Hasselmann, Unsplash

6. Get Your Aussie a Job

You can let your Aussie help you do things around the house, such as retrieving items or even going with you to the nearest pet store. If you’re including your Aussie, it not only keeps them busy but makes them feel important.

Aussies also make excellent service dogs, and quite a few jobs will keep your pet busy and help the community.

7. Enroll Your Aussie in Obedience Class

While your Aussie probably doesn’t need to be taught how to behave, they could be kept busy and benefit from being enrolled in obedience classes. This will be beneficial to you and your Aussie.

Talk to your vet for recommendations, or look online to find obedience classes in your area for you and your pet to enroll in. Even though your Aussie might be well-behaved, it can’t hurt to have them trained by a professional.

Australian Shepherd at a Dog Show
Image by: LRuss, Pixabay

8. Trick Training

Trick training is another way to keep your Aussie busy. Make sure you have plenty of patience and several treats to pull this one off. Your dog is intelligent, and training should come naturally to them. The more time your Aussie spends with you, the happier they will be.

9. Socialize Your Aussie

One of the best ways to keep your Aussie busy is by socializing them and letting them be around other dogs. This keeps them from becoming aggressive and will keep them occupied while playing with other canines. The dog park is a great place to take your pet so that they can get exercise, be busy, and socialize.



Australian Shepherds are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and high energy levels. The breed has quite a bit of stamina and would rather be working than sitting around inside. If you’re looking for ways to keep your Aussie busy, whether because you’re away from the house or looking for things to do together, our suggestions above should work well for you.

Featured Image Credit: OlgaOvcharenko, Shutterstock

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