An Australian shepherd, commonly known as the Aussie is an active, energetic breed. They are great at dog sports, learn tricks quickly and are quite obedient. Taking care of one does not stop at feeding the best food or getting the best brush for an Australian Shepherd. This breed needs human interaction to engage the mind as much as they need to burn pent-up energy. Read the full overview of this breed at DogStruggles.
Before you set out to exercise your Australian Shepherd, it is essential to understand that it depends on the size of your dog. There are three sizes; the toy, mini and standard. That means the standard might need a little more time exercising than the toy. But, this is not a significant concern as they are all active in equal measure.
How Much Exercise an Australian Shepherd Needs
The Australian Shepherd was initially bred as a working dog, so if you have one as a pet, they are probably not getting as much as they need. The minimum amount of time during exercise should be one to two hours daily. You can exercise your dog by walking them, purposeful activity and mental stimulation.
These types of exercises are recommended for a healthy adult dog. Puppies require much less activity since they are growing and developing. Also, senior dogs above eight years of age will need less exercise to match their energy levels. However, it is still vital to ensure sufficient exercise to maintain a healthy weight and keep the muscles strong.
Walking an Australian Shepherd
Walking is a simple exercise for all dogs, and the Australian Shepherd is no exception. The daily walk is crucial to use up all the built-up energy while stimulating the dog’s mind. When in the outdoors, your Australian Shepherd will come across new things, hear sounds and smell things along the way.
The length of the walk is limited to your energy as this dog can walk all day. Ideally, you should aim for about 45 to 60 minutes once or twice a day. This depends on whether there is additional exercise back at home. When it comes to the environment, a simple walk at the park, around the block or trails is sufficient.
Remember, this dog is relatively high-energy; therefore, you will need to control its movement. On this note, you need to ensure you have a retractable leash to allow them freedom while keeping them under control. Dogs like routine, so you can try and schedule the walk around the same time each day.
Australian Shepherd Activity Ideas
The Australian Shepherd is strong, active and energetic. You want to find activities that will burn energy in a short period while using these skills. These can be high-intensity games and strength training; essential to keep their muscles in the best condition. In turn, this supports the joints and tendons cushioning them from injury.
Here are various exercises you can try:
Australian Shepherd has a natural herding instinct, and herding balls can cater to that while ensuring they burn off energy. This breed was bred to chase and control moving objects; therefore, a herding ball will allow them to do just that.
You can get the Jolly ball, or the virtually indestructible ball if your Aussie Shepherd is an aggressive chewer.
Most dogs can run after a ball and catch it, but a Frisbee requires a little more coordination and timing. The Australian Shepherd is great at this, and with its agility, it is known for its incredible performance with Frisbees.
Frisbees are great for training your dog and at the same time, ensure it gets the exercise it needs daily.
Playing fetch with your Aussie is another excellent way to burn off energy. As a working dog, the Australian Shepherd enjoys fetching far more than you are willing to do. If you are limited on time, you could get an automatic ball launcher for dogs and let your Aussie play by themselves. This and a short walk in the evening will cater to the exercise requirements of your dog.
Exercising your Australian Shepherd is not anything out of the ordinary. A simple walk around the block, an hour of fetch or Frisbees is sufficient to burn pent-up energy and keep your Aussie strong and healthy.
Do you have an Aussie? Let us know in the comments below!