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I have a 3 yo Australian Cattle Dog named Doppler that I adopted a couple of months ago. We have 2 other dogs at home (both Lahsa Apsos) but I think their novelty has worn off and now on him and I need to find something good to keep him occupied both during the day while we are at work as well as after I get home so that he is not wanting to play literally every 5 minutes.

Does anyone have any good suggestions for a mental stimulating toy? I've looked at the treat toys, but the problem with those are that my other 2 dogs are food mongers and will follow him around the house and then steal the treats when Doppler get them out of the toy. Needless to say this causes more issues than it solves.

Any ideas?
 

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Wow! Talk about a step up, energy-wise!

Honestly I would just make puzzle-toys a backyard thing with him. Or put the lhasas in the backyard and him in the house with a puzzle toy. Just separate them somehow.

There are some toys out there like the Jolly Ball that dogs can sometimes amuse themselves with but IME unless there is food or a person involved, they are usually not interested in toys for very long.

Another thing you might want to try is rotating toys, decommissioning them for about 3 weeks or so and then bringing them out again so that you can reap the full benefit of the novelty effect.
 

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For non-treat toys, my herders are completely obsessed with their Varsity Ball. It's basically just a huge plastic ball, but it's solid plastic, so they can't puncture it. I actually have to regulate my boy aussie's access to it because he will play himself into exhaustion with it -- it's an almost-scary level of obsession. (The other dogs are much more reasonable with it.) The Varsity Ball is expensive for what it is, though, so I'd make sure that he's interested in herding balls before buying it -- maybe test him with a yoga ball at the thrift store or one of those big inflatable bouncy balls for kids they have at the dollar store.

If you're able to separate them during the day so that the lhasas can't steal his treats, here are some good treat toy suggestions:

1. Anything made by Nina Ottosson. These are, hands down, the best treat toys on the market. They're complicated, stimulating and reasonably durable. She has over a dozen different types and pretty much all of them are awesome. They're also more difficult than they look -- watch YouTube videos of dogs trying to figure them out to get a better gauge of their difficulty level.

2. Kong Wobbler. It's a hollow snow-man shaped container that has a weighted base and a hole in the side. The dog kicks it over and it pops back up because of the weighted base (like "Weebles wobble but they don't fall down," which I have still never heard of except EVERYONE says that when you explain the Wobbler to them, so apparently it is a popular thing whatever it is). If the dog kicks it over in the right direction, it spits out a few pieces of food. Plus, dogs seem to enjoy watching it "break physics" by standing back up again. It definitely engages curiosity, at least for the first several sessions when they aren't used to it.

3. I don't know if it's in full production yet, but look into the Foobler. It's a food-dispensing ball that has several chambers inside that you can set to dispense at different times, so that he doesn't empty the whole thing in ten minutes and then spend the rest of the day bored. This way he gets several short sessions of emptying the toy without you having to refill it.

4. Kong stuffed with something nutritious, frozen. Takes them a surprisingly long amount of time to empty them out.

5. Everlasting Treat Ball. Not everlasting, but more durable than I was expecting it to be by a long shot. It takes my aussies several hours to go through them. They're expensive as a daily thing, but might be a good supplement to add to your toy rotation.
 

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I would have to second large balls that the dog can herd around. Blaze is a cattle dog mix and he will play with jolly balls for hours by himself with no one out there, completely ecstatic. It's so weird to watch out a window. We bought a jolly egg recently too - and he plays with it, but not as much as other toys because it doesn't roll as well in the grass. It wobbles around great on flooring though, we just don't have carpet so the noise of jolly balls on hard wood floors would drive us insane. The jolly egg isn't as well made (it's hollow while our other similar looking jolly ball is hard plastic all the way through) - but we also got ours off of amazon for $7. It's shaped so that the dog can grab the smaller end in their mouth, but it "squirts" out of their mouth when they try to carry it. Compared to some of the other more expensive toys we've bought, it may not be his favorite but it was definitely worth the price, and if your dog wasn't crazy about it it wouldn't be a huge loss.
 
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