It is amazing feeling getting your new active Australian Shepherd home and watching them run around like a maniac. However there is a certain amount of time you will need to wait before taking your pup on jogs with yourself and family.
So how long do I have to wait before running with my Australian Shepherd?
Your Australian Shepherd should be around a year old before you take them on long distance runs and preferably around 18 months since they will definitely be full grown by then. Trail runs and such I would wait to take them on until around 8 months since they are better able to control their balance (less clumsy) by then.
This definitely isn’t to say that your Australian Shepherd won’t run around all day on their own once they reach around 6 months of age. You just shouldn’t be pushing to hard until they are fully developed.
Their bones and muscles need to be matured before they do long strenuous and continuous activities. Below we will be going over tactics to get your Aussie to run with you among other exercises to keep them physically and mentally challenged. We also have gone out and gathered information from actually Aussie owners to get their opinions.
We curated this information from several different forums and sub reddits. We have only corrected some spelling and grammar other then that the answers have remained the same.
How Long Until I Can Start Running With My Aussie?
Real Aussie Owner Opinions
1. Snoralax “Vet okayed my Aussie at 10 months” – I’ve heard some mixed ranges as well and not sure if there is one consensus but
most seems to be a year or so, (longer for larger dogs that take longer to mature.) A jog around the block is probably fine. My vet okay’d
running at 10 months but we didn’t do more than a mile or so on pavement until later. Of course, now that I’m running 3 miles a few times a
week and Jasper is older he decides it’s not much fun!
The dog is setting the pace when they are playing fetch or chasing something and it is usually done on soft ground. Sudden stops or jumping
from high surfaces can still be rough on their joints though. Running on grass/trails when they’re young is fine as long as it’s not forced.
Jogging/running on pavement is much more repetitive and the joints get more impact.
2. Damon’s Mom “Wait until 15 months” – I would not start running with a dog until it is at least 15 months old. You want all the
growth plates to be closed, etc. As for a plan start with walk your puppy everyday, go for short hikes, play fetch, run around off leash in the
yard together. Just keep it moderate and don’t over do it. If the puppy ever wants to stop, stop. Forced exercise on a puppy can be bad and
can result in joint problems, etc. Once the pup gets older you can add in some uphill walking, hiking, and fetch into the mix as well. Then
once the dog is older you can add in a sequence of walking then jogging for a short period of time. Such as walk for 5 minutes, Jog for 1-3
minutes. You will want to slowly increase this to mostly jogging and then you can introduce running for short periods of time/ short
distances. Work your way up to longer and longer times. Such as run half a mile for a week and if the dog seems okay with that add a little
more time the next week and slowly increase as your dog adapts.
Also remember to work hard on leash skills as well, Aussies are herding dogs and some will try to herd anything that moves. Which includes
you, cars, motorcycles, other animals, etc. Aussies also have long coats, with undercoat and they can overheat. Just keep an eye out and make
sure he/she has plenty of water and if they ever start to lag behind, limp, stop all together, or pant excessively take a break or quit for the day
all together. Also while physical exercise is great they will also need mental exercise, such as training and interactive toys. Maybe you can do
some training classes or just buy some books and train at home. Aussies love to learn tricks and tend to pick up things fast. I would
recommend Ian Dunbar’s books, and kikopup’s videos on YouTube. They are both excellent for learning how to train a pup/dog. (I have a list
of books I recommend reading if you want them)
3. Kyndall54 “Start off slow” – I can’t wait to start doing agility and jogging with my aussie, and maybe throwing some rollerblading in
there too. She’s only 6 months now though :(. If you have a pool or a lake near by swimming really builds up their muscles and it’s really low
stress on their joints. It also depends on how flat/mountainous your area is. My area has a lot of mountains so we’ll definitely start off slow
going up and down the hills/elevations to increase her endurance.
Now of course the next question is:
Are Australian Shepherds Good To Run With?
Yes Australian Shepherds will definitely take on the task of running with their owner and will love every minute of it once they are of age. They need 30-60 minutes a day of high energy activity and running definitely falls into that category. Running trails and different areas will help keep them mentally sharp on top of physically challenged.
How Far Can I Run With My Australian Shepherd?
This will vary from from Aussie to Aussie along with the weather and other conditions. However an Aussie in mild temperatures can sustain a pretty good pace up to 4-6 miles if they are in good health and shape.
You definitely shouldn’t push it this far in the beginning but work your way up to that point. Also make sure you are taking intermittent breaks along the way to check on their breathing. Panting is okay as that is how they keep themselves cool, but if they sprint for too long and aren’t able to pant they suffer serious health risks such as heat stroke.
Start off with around a mile or so and see how they do and react. Build your base from there increasing steadily over the days and weeks until you get too 4-6 miles. They can go further then that as well around 8 miles, but use your best judgement and make sure you take your Aussie to yearly vet checkups to check on any heart conditions that have developed.
Can You Run With Mini Australian Shepherds?
Yes you can definitely run with Mini and Toy Australian Shepherds just like with normal sized Aussies. Minis are just as energetic as their bigger cousins so they need the same 30-60 minutes a day of strenuous activity where running fits right into.
Start them off at slower pace then you would normally run and stop every 1/4 to 1/2 mile to see how they are doing. Once you get too a mile call it a day and repeat until they get into better shape. Keep increasing the pace and distance until you get to around 5 miles then I wouldn’t push it much further then that.
Keep watching their breathing make sure they don’t go from panting to not panting even though you are increasing the pace and distance since that is where health problems can arise like heat stroke.
Outside of that have fun with them they will absolutely love getting out their with their owner. Take them off the leash if you are able as well and they will love doing some trail running. Switch up the routes and trails so it also challenges them mentally.
One of the best things to do is if there is a dog park within a few miles then run to their let them play around take a break. Maybe take in a snack then walk back to your place with them to wind them down a bit. That way they are very calm for the evening or day.
How Much Exercise Does An Australian Shepherd Puppy Need?
Aussies need around 30-60 minutes of daily higher energy exercise that involves challenging them mentally. Running is a great way to get that time in for both the owner and dog.
If you can switch up your trails as well so the Australian Shepherd has to think a bit more and react to the terrain rather then just doing it subconsciously.
How Long To Walk Australian Shepherd Puppy?
You can walk your Australian Shepherd puppy for around 30 minutes but I wouldn’t push it past that. Start with walks around the yard or around your apartment and increase. Watch their breathing and panting especially if the weather is warmer. I wouldn’t really start goig for hour long walks until they are 8 months or even a year old.
Keep them on a leash as much as possible so they know who is boss and in charge. The leash time can decrease once they know commands and stay by your side.
How To Tire Out An Australian Shepherd?
Yes Australian Shepherds are high energy, but with the correct challenging tasks they can be calmed down pretty easily. Simple games of fetch can tire them out.
Now with technology you can get a ball thrower that allows you to throw the ball further with ease or even an automatic thrower where you don’t do anything.
One way to challenge them is to have them fetch multiple balls at the same time bringing each one back before going after the next. Honestly one of the best ways to wear down your Aussie in a healthy way is to get them fetching balls in the water so they are swimming. This works great for most dogs as well. Yes they will get wet but Aussies coats actually are made great for the water.
Just dry with towel and brush off afterward and you should be all set.
Australian Shepherd Best Hiking & Running Dogs Out There
There are many reasons why Aussies make great adventure dogs for activities like running and hiking.
Here are just a few of them:
- Agility – We put this at number one because this is what Aussies are mainly known for is their agility. So where does that come into affect with running and hiking? Well if you are on trails, going up and down stairs or whatever it may be they will take on the task with delight and love the challenge. They absolutely love changes in terrain because they are very agile and light on their feet. They easily can leap and crawl up ledges and hills.
- Size – Aussies are the perfect size dog for hiking and running. If you start out from your home that is great, but even if you have to get them in the car and take them somewhere to hike they are the perfect size for that. Even mini Aussies are great size for hiking and running some trails. But also lets say you get out somewhere and your dog does get injured and is unable to continue. Well the next step is you are going to have to carry them out. They are a lighter dog where minis come in at around 15-25 lbs and full size are 25-45 which is definitely doable.
- Alertness – Aussies are always on alert almost like having that Spider-man sense around you at all times. So if you are embarking out in the wilderness why wouldn’t you want a dog that is going to alert you of any danger like a close incoming bear or mountain lion.
- Herding Instinct – How does the Aussies herding instinct help you while out running? Well even though they like to run ahead they also will always stop and wait for you to catch up before starting again. This is a great habit they have so they won’t and shouldn’t ever run away as they are very attached to their owners.
- Long Lasting Stamina – Aussies have the ability to sustain a high energy level for a long period of time. This is why the love running and mental stimulation. This is why they love hiking in crazy terrain where it changes levels a lot and they may need to figure out how to get up and down a certain trail.