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Are Australian Shepherds Destructive Chewers? Preventing Aussie Chewing Behaviors (2024)

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are australian shepherds big chewersYou think Australian Shepherds can’t be destructive chewers?

These highly energetic working dogs need ample physical and mental exercise to prevent problem behaviors like chewing.

Fail to meet their needs for activity and stimulation, and your shoes, furniture, and drywall don’t stand a chance.

But have no fear – with some diligent training and plenty of chew toys, your Aussie can curb those chewing urges.

Now let’s talk prevention strategies and training tips to save your belongings.

Key Takeaways

  • Australian Shepherds are intelligent working dogs not inherently prone to excessive chewing, but may develop the habit if needs are unmet.
  • Chewing tendencies arise when Australian Shepherds lack sufficient physical and mental exercise.
  • Preventing and stopping chewing requires providing ample stimulation through routines, toys, training.
  • Chewing is a natural dog instinct; Australian Shepherds need constructive outlets to satisfy urges.

Australian Shepherd Chewing Tendencies

Australian Shepherd Chewing Tendencies
Australian Shepherds don’t tend to be big chewers by nature.

Their chewing habits typically arise from unmet needs for mental and physical stimulation.

As intelligent working dogs bred to herd livestock, they require ample exercise varieties and interactive toys to prevent boredom.

Chewing can also manifest when the Aussie lacks a strong bond and sense of purpose.

By providing ample mental enrichment, bonding activities, and job assignments tailored to their breed-specific needs, you can curb destructive chewing behaviors in Australian Shepherds.

Rather than scolding them, view chewing as a coping skill resulting from insufficient outlets for their energy and instincts.

Fulfill their requirements for an active lifestyle and close companionship to prevent problematic chewing.

Preventing Chewing Behaviors

Preventing Chewing Behaviors
Start preventing chewing habits by providing your Aussie:

  • Plenty of exercise
  • Mental stimulation
  • Attention
  • Appropriate chew toys

Establish daily exercise routines like long walks, runs, or playing fetch to meet their high activity needs.

Rotate a variety of interactive toys and enrichment activities to keep their quick minds engaged.


  • Food puzzles
  • Hide-and-seek games
  • Obedience training
  • Agility courses

Continue reinforcing wanted behaviors through positive behavioral training.

Reward them with praise, affection, or treats when chewing approved toys.

Meet their instinctual needs to work, herd, and problem solve.

Mentally challenge them by teaching advanced tricks or commands.

Fulfill their emotional needs by giving them focused one-on-one time daily.

Stopping Existing Chewing Habits

Stopping Existing Chewing Habits
In addition to preventing chewing behaviors, you’re going to have to redirect your Aussie’s chewing tendencies by swapping out inappropriate chew items for durable, tasty chew toys whenever you catch them in the act.

Use behavior modification techniques like positive reinforcement training to teach your Aussie what’s okay to chew.

Rotate a variety of puzzle feeders, interactive toys, and enrichment activities to keep their mind engaged.

Meet their instinctual needs through regular outdoor adventures and physical activities.

If the chewing persists, consult a certified dog trainer to identify the root causes and create a customized training plan.

Importance of Chewing for Dogs

Importance of Chewing for Dogs
The significance of chewing lets you understand it as a natural canine instinct that shouldn’t be fully discouraged.

Chewing provides dogs mental and physical benefits.

It promotes dental health by reducing plaque and preventing gum disease.

The act of chewing works to relieve stress and anxiety.

For some dogs, having an appropriate chew toy allows them to focus their energy in a constructive way.

Chewing also satisfies dogs’ innate urge to explore objects with their mouths in order to gather information.

While destructive chewing of household items should be redirected, providing dogs with suitable chew toys activates their natural chewing instinct in a healthy way.

Overall, chewing holds value for a dog’s enrichment, development, and well-being when applied properly.

Australian Shepherd Characteristics

Australian Shepherd Characteristics
Australian Shepherds are highly energetic working dogs that need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. If their needs aren’t properly met, they may engage in destructive behaviors like chewing.

As herding dogs, Aussies are intelligent, driven, and athletic. They thrive when given jobs to do and new skills to master. Without proper outlets, their pent-up energy may lead to boredom and chewing habits.

It’s essential to meet their needs through vigorous daily exercise, obedience training, interactive toys and games, and quality time bonding with their owner.

Invest the time and Aussies will reward you with unwavering loyalty, affection, and an eagerness to work.

Australian Shepherd Exercise Needs

Australian Shepherd Exercise Needs
Australian shepherds need 30-60 minutes of daily exercise from brisk walks, rousing games of fetch or frisbee to fulfill their high activity requirements.

These energetic pups thrive on daily outdoor adventures:

  • Hiking mountain trails
  • Swimming laps at the lake
  • Joining you on a run through the park

Engaging in playful exercises like taking your Aussie to an obstacle course or enrolling them in agility training classes are enriching bonding activities.

Clever games that challenge their minds like hide and seek combined with fulfilling their exercise needs prevent boredom chewing behaviors in Australian shepherds.

Meeting their demands for vigorous intelligent interaction curbs destructive tendencies and helps them happily channel energy into constructive outlets.

Australian Shepherd Mental Stimulation

Australian Shepherd Mental Stimulation
Frequently, you’ll need to provide your Aussie with mental exercise.

To prevent boredom and curb destructive chewing habits:

  • Teach them new tricks.
  • Introduce puzzle toys.
  • Play interactive games.

Rotate through mental stimulation activities to keep your Australian Shepherd engaged and challenged.

Interactive puzzle toys that require manipulation to access hidden treats provide cognitive enrichment.

Incorporate training sessions to have your Aussie practice known cues and learn new ones, strengthening your bond through this mental workout.

Change locations for enrichment games to add variety and novelty.

Seeking novel experiences and conquering new challenges satisfies an Aussie’s innate curiosity.

Providing regular mental exercise activates your dog’s problem-solving skills, fulfilling their need for purposeful work.

Training Your Australian Shepherd

Training Your Australian Shepherd
How can you effectively train your Aussie to prevent destructive chewing behaviors?

Start with basic obedience training to establish yourself as the pack leader.

Focus on more advanced training methods like:

  • Interactive play sessions to challenge your Aussie mentally and physically through games of fetch, hide-and-seek, or agility courses.
  • Enrichment toys and training devices to keep their clever minds engaged.
  • Formal behavioral training from a certified professional, if necessary, to curb persistent chewing habits.

Bond extensively with your Aussie through outdoor adventures and by giving them special jobs or duties around your home or farm.

An invested owner who provides their energetic herding dog with plenty of stimulation is crucial for preventing problematic chewing behaviors.

Bonding With Your Australian Shepherd

Bonding With Your Australian Shepherd
As your trusted companion, an Australian Shepherd needs a strong bond with you to thrive.

Commit to:

  • Interactive playtime
  • Open communication
  • Quality time together

To establish a profound connection:

  • Simple activities like fetch, hide-and-seek, and trick training facilitate bonding while meeting your Aussie’s needs for stimulation.
  • Consistency and positive rewards nurture trust in the relationship.
  • Schedule focused activities to prioritize your bond amidst life’s demands.

An Australian Shepherd will reciprocate that commitment tenfold as your loyal adventure partner.

Activity Benefit Example

Interactive Play


Quality Time

Providing Your Aussie With a Job

Providing Your Aussie With a Job
You’ll want to give your energetic Aussie a purposeful job that engages its natural herding instincts and intelligence.

Interactive tasks like agility courses, frisbee catching, or obstacle navigating provide physical and mental stimulation.

Assign job responsibilities like retrieving objects, tidying toys, or patrolling your home’s perimeter.

Schedule daily enriching activities to occupy your Aussie’s active working mind.

For example, hide-and-seek games, obedience training sessions, or shepherding balls engage task-oriented focus.

Rotating novel occupational challenges prevents boredom while fulfilling instinctive needs, ultimately curbing destructive chewing tendencies.

Incorporate chew toys into playtime for beneficial chewing habits.

An occupied Aussie is a happy, well-behaved companion.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What types of chew toys are best for Australian Shepherds?

Choose durable rubber chew toys to satisfy the Australian Shepherd’s instinct to chew.

Strong textures give them an outlet for their energy, and interactive toys pique their desire to play, herd, and work.

Monitor use to prevent choking hazards.

How can I puppy-proof my home for an Australian Shepherd?

  • Eliminate access to valuables.
  • Provide durable, safe chew toys.
  • Puppy-proof by:
    • Removing temptations
    • Using bitter deterrent sprays
    • Providing mental enrichment
    • Redirecting chewing to appropriate items through positive reinforcement training
  • Supervise closely and set your pup up for success.

Are Australian Shepherds prone to separation anxiety that may lead to chewing behaviors?

Australian Shepherds are prone to separation anxiety if left alone for long periods.

This may manifest in destructive chewing behaviors.

Providing adequate mental stimulation, exercise, and bonding time can help prevent boredom and anxiety when left home alone.

How much space and yard access does an Australian Shepherd need?

Australian Shepherds are working dogs that need sufficient outdoor space and yard access to meet their high exercise requirements.

A large, fenced yard allows them to run freely.

Daily walks, playtime, and opportunities to herd are also essential for their well-being.

What health issues may contribute to excessive chewing in Australian Shepherds?

Excessive chewing in Aussies may stem from:

  • Anxiety
  • Boredom
  • Health issues like dental disease

Providing adequate:

  • Exercise
  • Mental stimulation
  • Veterinary care

Can curb problematic chewing.


As an endless ball of energy, your Australian Shepherd’s powerful jaws could gnaw through metal if their chewing urges go unchecked.

Save your home from utter demolition and provide this working breed ample outlets before their tornado of teeth devours everything in sight.

With proper prevention tactics, even Aussies’ destructive tendencies stand no chance against an owner dedicated to curbing chewing behaviors.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.