Most people know Australian Shepherds as absolutely incredible dogs. Not only are they highly intelligent and sweet, but they’re also fiercely loyal and fabulous family dogs. They are hard workers, bred as one of Europe’s finest herders. They’re so smart, they perform all kinds of jobs today, such as therapy dogs, drug detectors, and search and rescue dogs. One might also be in your home right at this moment, lovingly attending to being your very best friend.
There can be a downside to having such an active, intelligent dog, however. If she is not properly stimulated, this pent-up energy can quickly turn to anxiety and destruction. A lot of people ask, “How can I calm my Australian Shepherd?” Luckily, there are a variety of methods that pet parents can try at home that are very simple and effective.
What are the Best Calming Products for Australian Shepherds?
- Best Overall: Organic Hemp Oil by The Anxious Pet
- Best Calming Vest: Anxiety & Calming Aid for Dogs by ThunderShirt
- Best Calming Bed: Best Friends by Sheri, Original Calming Shag Vegan
- Best Calming Treats: CBD Infused Wellness Dog Bites by Austin and Kat
- Hemp Calming Anxiety & Hyperactivity Soft Chews Dog Supplement by PetHonesty
- Hemp Elements Calming Nutrastix Behavior Dog Supplement by Zesty Paws
- Calming Care Probiotic Dog Supplement by Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets
- Hemp Calm Down with Hemp Seed by Healthy Solutions for Pets
- Calm Stress & Anxiety Relief Melatonin Dog Supplement by Waggedy
- Calm, Full Spectrum Hemp Extract by CBD Dog Health
- CBD Dog Treats + Stress & Anxiety Relief by Holistapet
- Full Spectrum CBD Supplements by Canna-Pet
- Pet CBD Oil by Pure Relief
5 Different Types of Products to help Calm an Australian Shepherd
- Calming Bites: Calming dog treats are very handy, because you can take them on the go, don’t have to have sizing dimensions to consider, and often act fairly quickly. They are simply treats, usually chews or cookies, that you feed your dog with enough time in mind for the treat to digest. Their calming properties usually come from natural ingredients that act to help your dog ease into a state of relaxation. If you know your dog wouldn’t do well with a vest or crate, they are a very useful alternate option.
- CBD Oils: CBD oil works in a similar way to calming treats. The difference is that instead of giving your dog something that she has to chew and therefore may not be interested in eating, you can simply put the oil either in her food or water or directly in her mouth to ensure that she gets her calming dose. CBD, or cannabidiol, is an ingredient that comes from cannabis and hemp; it does not come from marijuana or have psychoactive THC, making it safe for dog use. CBD affects your dog’s nervous system receptors in a way that causes it to produce serotonin, which is a natural calming hormone created in the body.
- Calming Vest: Touch therapy and deep pressure are the techniques behind these calming aids. As one swaddles a crying baby to soothe them, calming vests achieve a similar effect. By applying consistent pressure either to specific parts or the entire body, it deactivates the “fight or flight” instinct and helps your dog’s parasympathetic nervous system take over and trigger the “relax” response.
- Crates: Most pet parents use a crate and know that it helps their dogs, but they may not know why. It gives a dog a space to call their own and provides a sense of safety so she can relax. However, all kinds of crates do many different things, and some do a more specific job of helping your dog relax than others. For the panic-stricken, hyperactive dog, there are reinforced crates that won’t let her hurt herself. For the anxious dog who can’t stand the sound of silence, some crates play music or television. For dogs who just need an extra boost of calm, some crates spray relaxing essential oil mists. You will need to know your dog’s personality and what she will best respond to.
- Beds: There are few things as comforting for people as crawling into bed after a long, stressful day, and it can be the same way for dogs. Many dog beds can be a safe space for dogs without being in the specific calming design, but for the specifically-calming dog beds, it’s about returning to the beginning of the dog’s life. When she’s a deaf and blind puppy, the only sense of comfort she got was in nuzzling close to her warm, soft mother and siblings. With round, nest-like calming dog beds, they are self-soothing, extremely soft, and often self-heating to replicate that sensation and calm the dog down.
5 Key Considerations When Looking for a Product to Calm an Australian Shepherd
- Age: Your Aussie’s age can play a big part in how anxious or overactive she is. If she’s young, she may be going through a phase, and an expensive, permanent crate may not be a necessary solution. If she’s older, something that will last could be a worthwhile investment. Also, keep in mind how much a young Australian Shepherd will grow if you pick a physical calming aid instead of an edible one.
- Size: Nearly all calming aids will have a size and weight factor to be sure that your dog gets the right care. With edible aids, you want to make sure you know your dog’s weight so she gets a proper dosage. With physical calming aids, you want to make sure you know her dimensions to get something that’s not too big or small for her comfort.
- Severity of anxiety: When it comes to calming your dog, not all calming aids will have the same effect. In more severe cases, you will likely need something very potent. Also, if she goes on a destructive rampage because of her level of anxiety, you probably want something somewhat fast-acting. Get to know your dog very well, so that you can help her the best, and look at reviews from owners who have a similar situation for helping, informative information.
- Level of activity: Whether it’s anxiety or just pent-up energy causing your dog to be overactive, how she deals with the stressors is also an important factor. If she’s unlikely to sit still long enough to enjoy a bed or crate, you’ll want an edible calming aid. If she is a picky eater, you may want CBD oil instead of chews. Forcing any kind of calming aid that she won’t like on a dog will only increase her stress.
- Source of product: Be sure you are buying from a reliable, credible source. Take a good look at ingredients, sourcing, and reviews for helpful hints about what you’re getting into. You’ll want to be particularly careful with edible aids. It’s one thing if you get a calming vest from an unreliable source that falls apart, but it’s entirely another if you get a calming aid that turns out to have harmful health side effects because the source is illegitimate. Take your time sourcing the product; it’s okay to be choosy when it comes to providing the best for your dog.
Best Calming Products for Australian Shepherds
- Edible calming aid
- 800mg CBD oil /200mg CBD soft chews
- For use in dogs 15 pounds and over
- Daily use
- Organic ingredients
Best Overall – Who doesn’t love a bonus product with their purchase? Anxious Pet gives you soft chews along when you buy their organic hemp oil, so you can test which delivery system works best for your dog. Their formula is something to brag about, with just two ingredients that you can feel good about: organic coconut oil and full-spectrum organic hemp oil. Their site says the oil helps in taking care of inflammation, skin allergies, and nervous behavior in your dog. Know that you’re getting great quality, as it’s third-party lab tested.
If you’re pinching pennies right now, you may find the price tag a bit of a concern, as it’s a bit higher than other products out there. Plus, there are no reviews posted on Anxious Pet’s site itself, which can also be a concern. The good news is that this product was formulated by a veterinarian, and advertises a sustainability focus by the company.
- Organic ingredients
- Helpful measurements
- Bonus chews included
- Full-spectrum formula
- Also helps bone and joint health
- No reviews on the website
- Wraparound vest design
- Large variety of sizing
- Heather gray color
- Pressure point therapy
Best Calming Vest – ThunderShirt certainly has the main name in town when it comes to calming vests. Like a sort of gentle, constant hug, it puts light pressure on specific points on your dog’s body to calm the fight or flight response. This aids in alleviating anxiety, fear, and over-excitement, which is handy when she’s dealing with fireworks, thunder, separation, travel, vet visits, grooming, whatever stresses her out! ThunderShirt boasts that through using their product, you won’t need to use medication or training.
Not only does ThunderShirt have almost 700 reviews on the Chewy website, but they also did some surveying of their own. Among their buyers, ThunderShirt took a poll and reported that their calming vest was effective for 80% of dogs. The downside: this isn’t a fix you can use the minute you open the box. ThunderShirt suggests phasing your dog into first positively associating the vest, and then gradually easing into wearing it. This could take a few days at the very least, so if you need something to work the same way, you may need to find another aid.
- Patented design
- Free shipping on orders over $49
- Helps with excessive jumping, barking, and marking
- Over 600 reviews
- Effective in over 80% of dogs in surveyed customers
- Only one color
- Can be confusing to put on in the first try
- Heated dog bed
- Round, cuddler shape
- Vegan shag lining
- Polyfill interior
Best Calming Bed – Some dogs just need a place to curl up when they’re feeling off. Sheri offers the perfect bed for this. It’s an adorable, nest-like shape that is incredibly soft. This lets your dog burrow, nuzzle, and cuddle up when she’s feeling stressed, or if she just wants a great night’s sleep. The walls are a bit higher than the average pillow bed, so this should give her a feeling of safety when she rests. Also, if you have a standard-sized or mini Aussie, you can find the size you need with the bed’s great variety of size options.
What’s more difficult with this bed is that it’s filled with polyester instead of something more supportive like memory foam. This means that this bed may not last the longest, because it will lose its shape more quickly than beds with more support. A more destructive Aussie may also see it as a chew toy, so you probably won’t want to leave her alone with the bed.
- Over 1,000 4.5/5 average reviews
- Free shipping over $49
- Less supportive
- Only two color selections
- Cookie-like treat
- Hemp-based edible aid
- Three treat sizes
- US-grown extract
Best Calming Treats – Be careful that you don’t confuse these delicious-looking cookies for human treats! They’re made with natural ingredients like apples, peanut butter, and coconut oil, so they might be tempting. The active ingredient is the hemp oil with its naturally-occurring CBD. Plus, the effects last between 4 and 8 hours, which is pretty great for a calming treat!
Austin and Kat helpfully provide snacks in three different sizes. The pricing is very reasonable, even with the larger sizes. Additionally, you can save 15% with their subscription service. The CBD works the best with small amounts of food, or better yet, on an empty stomach. They should kick in within 30-45 minutes for your dog’s relaxing pleasure.
- Lab-tested for purity
- 15% off with subscription service
- Free shipping on orders over $50
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Over 1,500 4.6/5 star reviews
- Non-organic ingredients
9 Other Top Rated Australian Shepherd Calming Products
One great feature about these chews from PetHonesty is that with the auto-ship option, you won’t run out when you need them the most! You’ll even save 5%, which is a nice bonus. They come in a package of 90 and have a natural chicken flavor, so your dog can chow down while they receive the calming properties from the natural organic hemp powder, chamomile, ginger, and valerian root. The effect time is about 30-45 minutes, which is on the faster side for calming chews, but it’s not an instant fix for a stressful situation if you’re thrust into one. The great news is that there are no side effects like drowsiness. You’ll also feel great knowing that these are all-natural and have no GMOs, wheat, corn, soy, or preservatives.
If you have a dog who’s not only stressed out but also has terrible breath, these are the chews for you! They come in an actual chew stick form that your dog can gnaw on and be distracted by; meanwhile, the peppermint flavor will get to work on freshening her mouth. Plus, the hemp, melatonin, chamomile, valerian root, and suntheanine will help her stay nice and calm. These chews are very reasonably priced and come in 12 or 25-ounces.
This supplement is a little different than most. The purchase grants you 45 packages of calming powder supplements that last about six weeks. Just tear open a packet and pour it over your dog’s food for it to work, which is a nice way of disguising it for picky eaters. Not only is the delivery system different and handy, but the ingredients also aren’t something you see every day. Purina puts in a strain of beneficial bacteria known as BL999 that has a calming effect on canines. All in all, it can be a bit pricier for penny-pinchers, but it’s well-reviewed at 200 reviews of 4/5 stars.
Here’s a chew that’s easy on your dog’s stomach. There’s added ginger for ease of use on your dog’s tummy. Other active ingredients include chamomile, thiamine, L-Tryptophan, melatonin, and hemp oil with naturally occurring CBD to help aid in your dog’s relaxation. They take hold in about 30 minutes, which is a decent reaction time for edible chews. The downside is not many reviews on the site, which is a little concerning, but since they’re so reasonably-priced, you may be willing to try them out regardless.
Lots of reasonably-priced options are handy to have, so here’s another! Waggedy provides 60 chews with all-natural relief for your dog. There’s also a handy subscription option, so you can save just a bit and also have peace of mind knowing that you’ll always have some in store. In the production, these chews are US-made and contain the active ingredients of melatonin, L-Tryptophan, chamomile flower, passion-flower, and ginger. They also have a 30-minute window of reaction, so it’s another quicker time for an edible calming aid.
If you’ve ever been to a spa, you were probably lulled by the scent of lavender essential oil. It’s a high-quality ingredient used for both humans and animals to help them relax. That’s the big secret behind these CALM treats. Plus, they’re a full-spectrum product, so they’re high on purity and power. The CBD extract inside is 100% food-grade and made with CO2 extraction. This means you won’t see any chemical solvents inside these treats, like butane, and they can attest to this with third-party tested certificates of analysis for your peace of mind. However, these treats don’t start working for an entire two hours, and even once they do, they dissipate after four to six hours.
When you read the ingredients in these HolistaPet treats of peanut butter and apple, your own mouth might start watering. Then you read that they’re non-GMO, non-gluten, and dairy-free, and you feel great about giving these to your dog. The active ingredients are wholesome and natural, like hemp seed powder, pure CBD oil, L-Theanine, and chamomile for increased alpha wave generation, according to HolistaPet. Save 10% with the subscription service.
If you’re looking for more calming aid options that are powder instead of chews because you have a picky eater, Canna-Pet has a great one. Their calming aids contain a fine powder contained within clear, vegetarian capsules, and were produced in a cGMP-compliant facility for safety and purity. As opposed to having to coax your pet into eating his calming aid, you can simply open up the capsule over her favorite food, or even hide the capsule in a pill pocket, both of which are convenient options not found in many calming chews. A month’s supply or auto-delivery are both available, and this product has over 900 reviews at over 4.5/5 stars.
If coaxing your uber-picky eater into consuming calming chews or even his favorite food sprinkled with calming powder doesn’t sound like fun, rest assured that CBD oil is a convenient alternative. Just use this Pure Relief oil like so: drop a dose under his tongue, and off it goes. This is a fairly inexpensive CBD oil option, which is a great find. However, there aren’t many reviews on their site, and the information provided is fairly minimal. This doesn’t leave a lot to go off of, but if you’ve been itching to try CBD oil at a fair price, this may be your ticket.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- What is the Best Way to Calm my Australian Shepherd Puppy? Australian Shepherds were bred to be working dogs. Once upon a time, they spent much of their time herding various animals for their masters in Europe. Now, they are your house pet and companion, but that doesn’t mean that the breed is ready to just sit back and relax. Be sure to give your young Australian Shepherd plenty of exercise, both mental and physical. Aussies are extremely smart, so a simple game may not cut it with them. They need to be challenged to thrive. If you’ve worn out your Aussie as much as you can and she is still raring to go, try one of many calming aids that can help her get to her happy place.
- Why is my Australian Shepherd so hyper? Australian Shepherds are high-energy, highly-athletic dogs. Chances are, yours may not be getting enough stimulation daily. She would enjoy going on runs with you, jogging alongside your bike, trying out flyball, or even lure-chasing. Australian Shepherds could require up to two hours of exercise a day, so if you are only considering getting one at this point, be sure to keep this in mind! If you already have one that you love, be sure to get her out and about as much as possible to ensure she gets her exercise needs met!
- At what age do Australian Shepherds start to calm down? This ranges from Aussie to Aussie. They all can develop extremely unique personalities that differ widely from one Aussie to another. As a general rule of thumb, it’s good to remember that all dogs are more active and playful when they are puppies. Once they get closer to their full-grown, adult point of life, they tend to transition to less activity. For Australian Shepherds, this age is usually around two to three years.
If Australian Shepherds had a personality type, it’d probably be Type A! They always want to be on-the-go and discover their next adventure. But their loyal and loving personalities win their owners over time after time, even throughout bouts of hyperactivity or anxiety. Even if you have to do a little extra work to ensure that your Australian Shepherd is calm throughout the day, you know just by looking into her beautiful eyes that she is entirely worth it.