Puzzle & Enrichment Toys for Blue Heelers

PORTLAND, ME - MARCH 25: Nine week-old Wazzi, an Australian Cattle Dog, plays in the snow while walking with his owner Hayley Charest at Deering Oaks Park on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Many people are bonding with their pets to help them cope with stress caused by the coronavirus crisis, and also helping them cope with challenges introduce by social distancing. (Staff photo by Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
(Staff photo by Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

Toys are an excellent way to provide mental stimulation and enrichment for your Australian Cattle Dog. Heelers are high energy and require plenty of exercise. For a guide to exercise for a Blue Heeler see here. They are also extremely smart and it is just as important to exercise their minds.

Mental exercise can tire a dog just as much as physical activity. Mental enrichment is important for a Blue Heeler to keep them occupied and prevent boredom. Boredom is one of the major causes of behavior issues in dogs. To learn about the six types of enrichment for your Blue Heeler see here.

Puzzle toys for Blue Heelers

Most puzzle toys, with some exceptions, require your dog working out how to get a treat out. When selecting puzzle toys for your Australian Cattle Dog it is important to choose toys that are a little more difficult. Alternatively, puzzle toys that have different levels of difficulty are a good idea.

Here are our top picks for the best puzzle toys for Blue Heelers.

Tornado Puzzle

The Tornado puzzle has three layers that spin and has four compartments on each level. It also has bone puzzle pieces that you can place over the treats to add a level of difficulty.

Your dog needs to figure out how to spin the layers enough to get to the treat. The only potential issue is if your dog cheats and flips the puzzle over. If they do you will need to teach them to use it properly.

View the Tornado Puzzle Toy on Amazon US, UK, Canada.

Busy Buddy Tug a Jug

Not just a puzzle toy but can be used as a toy without the treats. It also has a dental gum massaging top and rope. The Tug a Jug is quite durable and can hold a good volume of food. This makes it good as a feeder for food enrichment.

What makes this toy more challenging for your Blue Heeler is that they have to figure out they will need to pull the rope to release the treat.

View the Busy Buddy Tug a Jug on Amazon US, UK, Canada

Petgeek Fooodie Orb

This automatic rolling treat ball from Petgeek is activated by a soft touch from your dog and can last for up to 7 hours. It requires two AAA batteries and goes into sleep mode after a period of no activity.

Can hold up to 380ml of kibble or small treats(sized up to 0.3 inches). Not just a treat ball for your Blue Heeler. The fact that it moves around on its own is engaging your Heelers natural herding drive.

View the Petgeek Foodie Orb on Amazon

Trixie Memory Trainer Game

The Trixie Memory Game is challenging and may take some initial training to teach your dog how it works. Since Australian Cattle Dogs are smart this shouldn’t take long.

It works by your dog pressing the remote control and then your dog gets the reward.

Move the remote control either close to the dispenser, in another room or even in the garden to make it even more challenging.

It also comes with a ground spike for putting in the ground outside and a suction cup for attaching to the wall. Runs off batteries or also comes with USB power cable. Certainly different from any other puzzle toy I have seen.

View the Trixie Memory Trainer Game on Amazon

Dog Casino Puzzle

The Dog Casino Puzzle has small bone-shaped covers on the top and drawers on the side. Initially, you can leave the draws unlocked until your Blue Heeler understands how to open draw.

To make the task more difficult you can lock the puzzle pieces so your dog has to twist to unlock them and then lift the bone or pull the draws out.

View the Casino Dog Puzzle on Amazon



The Puppod is like a computer for smart dogs. It encourages your dog to figure out the game starting off simple such as rewarding them for going close to the toy. As they get better it automatically makes the game harder.

It works for a mobile phone app that signals you when to reward your dog. There an optional extra automatic Bluetooth treat dispenser available so your dog can play it when your not home.

View the Puppod on Amazon

Enrichment toys for Blue Heelers

There are many other toys for your Blue Heeler to provide enrichment apart from puzzle toys. These include toys that provide both exercise and mental stimulation such as Herding Balls.

Food enrichment is another great way to challenge your dog by making them work for their food. Using these food dispensing and stuffing toys to feed your Heeler instead of just feeding them from a bowl is an opportunity to provide mental stimulation.

Here are our top picks for the best enrichment toys for Blue Heelers.

Snuffle Mat

This is a great way to provide good enrichment for your Blue Heeler.

A Snuffe mat is a mat that is made of fleece and you can hide dry food or treats into it. If you are someone that is good at crafts you can try to make one yourself or check out the range of Snuffle Mats at Amazon.

Kong Wobbler

The Kong Wobbler is another great way to provide food enrichment and have your Blue Heeler work for their food. These come available in two sizes. I recommend the large for a Blue Heeler as the smaller version doesn’t hold as much food.

Also great for dogs that gobble down their food too fast and will keep them occupied for a good amount of time.

View the Kong Wobbler on Amazon

Herding balls

Herding balls are an excellent way for herding dog breeds to burn off energy while catering to their natural herding instinct. It is like cattle herding without the cattle and is similar to the herding dog sport Treiball.

Blue Heelers were bred to chase and control moving objects. Teaching your dog to play herding games will actually reduce their desire to herd people and other dogs as herding breeds often do.

Jolly Ball

The Jolly Ball was the original herding ball for dogs and is inexpensive. It is made from hard plastic and is virtually indestructible. However, some dogs are able to scratch the surface with their teeth or claws which can leave sharp ridges on the toy. It can also be filled with water or sand to add weight to give more resistance to the workout.

View Jolly Balls on Amazon US, UK, Canada.

The Jolly ball also comes in a range of sizes from 4 1/2 inches to 14 inches so you can choose the size that is best suited to your particular dog. A further option is the Jolly Soccer Ball if you want to be able to kick it yourself. This ball floats on water and will not puncture.

Blue Jolly Soccer Ball

Virtually Indestructible Ball

The Virtually Indestructible Ball is super tough and is slightly more expensive. It also comes in a range of sizes to suit your particular dog.

View Virtually Indestructible Balls on Amazon US, UK, Canada


Many Blue Heelers are diggers. Digging is a natural behavior for dogs. This becomes a problem if they are digging up your yard or even your carpet and furniture. You can train a natural behavior out of a dog, but you can redirect.

The iDigg is the first dog toy to cater to their natural digging instinct. It comes in two models. The iDigg Go which has a soft case to make it easy to pack up and take with you and the iDigg Stay which has a hard outer case.

You simply hide their favorite toy or treats in the flaps and let them dig away to uncover the hidden treasure. Not only will the action of digging help burn off pent-up energy, but the mental challenge of working out how to get to the goodies will help to tire them also.

Check out the video to see how this works or view the iDig Go and Stay on Amazon.

For more dog toys for diggers see here.


  • Joseph Coleman

    A lifelong writer and proud dog dad. Joseph started this blog dedicated to helping other dog owners find accurate information on how to keep their pets at their healthiest through exercise and nutrition. His passion for all things canine shines through in his writing, and he believes that every dog deserves the best possible care. If you're a dog owner looking for reliable advice on how to keep your pup healthy and happy, be sure to check out Joseph's work.