The Australian Cattle Dog was bred to have stamina. On top of this, they are highly intelligent. Any Cattle Dog that doesn't have a chance to exercise its mind as well as its body is likely to convey his frustration in less than favorable ways. Although the Cattle Dog is one to forgive the occasional day of inclement weather, an owner who expects the breed to make do in a tiny apartment or languish in a dog run should probably consider giving the dog a better home. The Australian Cattle Dog relies greatly on everyday interaction and requires activity, whether it's running through the fields, a long walk around the neighborhood or a light jog on the beach.
One way to give an Australian Cattle Dog plenty to keep its mind and body busy is with an agility course. These are often found at dog parks or small course pieces can be bought and set up in a backyard. It is a great way for a dog to get a good amount of exercise in an outdoor space even if it is not very big. Since the Cattle Dog was bred to maneuver around large herds of animals, it is naturally drawn to activities that put these skills to use. There are not only hurdles to jump but weave poles, tunnels and simple A frames. Many Cattle Dogs are found making good names for themselves in agility course events.
Although an Australian Cattle Dog likes to keep busy, it does not always need to be out running to and fro. There is nothing this breed likes more than interaction with its owner. A simple game of catch or tag makes a Cattle Dog more than happy. Teaching the dog to stay put while playing hide and seek or hiding treats is a combination of fun and obedience training. The dog will need to learn to wait for the right command in order to get their treats or find their owner. This may be a challenge with the mind of its own Cattle Dog, but it is good practice nonetheless. If properly socialized, a Cattle Dog can pair up with other dogs of the same energy level and keep each other busy for hours.
Many owners of this breed keep their Cattle Dog busy with toys such as treat dispensing Kongs or thick chew ropes. Australian Cattle dogs are known to make short work of small plastic toys, stuffed animals or playthings that have squeakers in them. The breed is one that will definitely need heavy duty toys and other items for strong jaws and serious chewers. For the most part, the Cattle Dog's most favorite toy is said to be a simple ball. Whether it is a tennis ball or soccer ball, the breed is said to have a distinct attraction to round objects, no matter what the size.