Though the name is Australian Shepherd, this dog breed is not originated from Australia. It is originated from the western U.S. Aussies, or Australian Shepherds are considered as the perfect dog breed for running.
Some dog breeds love running while some do not. For any dog breed, exercising is very important. Some breeds require comparatively less exercise than other breeds. This is because the energy level will also vary from one breed to another. Talking about Aussies, they require so much exercise and physical activities. So, running with Australian Shepherds is a great idea.
The reason why Australian Shepherds have a greater level of energy, and the energy needs to be spent on a daily basis. When your Aussie does not spend time on running, walking, etc. on a daily basis, it may lead to destructive behavior. This will be the reaction of not utilizing plenty of energy in your dog in the right place.
There are so many disadvantages of not focusing on physical activities. Your Australian Shepherd will start chewing excessively and barking for longer periods. Exercises like running, walking, etc. don’t just help to improve the physical health of the dog, but also improve mental health. Ultimately, it helps to avoid destructive and improper behavior.
First of all, let’s understand the personality of the Australian Shepherds. Understanding this breed’s personality will help you understand how you should react with your dog.
The Personality of Australian Shepherds
We have described the personality of Australian Shepherds with the help of different points:
1. General Temperament
Aussies are smart, energetic, loyal, hardworking, and intelligent. They are constantly moving; they are always in the process of doing something. Unlike low-energy (lazy) dog breeds, they don’t like to sit alone for long hours. Their high energy level makes them love physical activities, exercising, and active adventures. For an Australian Shepherd dog owner, it is important to focus on regular exercises and walking. This way, the dog can utilize energy in the right place.
2. Family-friendly or not?
Aussies are good family-friendly dogs. They are sociable, loyal, and loveable. The best thing is Aussies are good with kids. If you have a child, an Aussie could be a good dog breed. You need to provide proper training to your Aussie in order to avoid nipping behaviors.
Australian Shepherds are high-energy, protective, alert, and loyal dogs. Their protective and guarding behavior makes them one of the best family-friendly dog breeds. So for the person looking for a family-friendly and kid-friendly protective breed, Australian Shepherd could be the right choice.
4. Energy level
Australian Shepherds are not lazy at all. They are alert and they have great energy levels. As they have great energy levels, one of the major requirements is plenty of exercises, to body and mind. In the absence of enough exercise and mental stimulation, the Australian Shepherd will get bored and will build destructive behavior. The destructive includes – chewing excessively, barking long, etc. This will be the way of a dog to utilize his excess energy. So make sure you have enough time for exercising and mental stimulation for your Aussie dog.
Are Australian Shepherds Good to Run With?
Australian shepherds have a great energy level and it is essential to spend that energy in the right place. Not spending your dog’s energy in the right place will lead to destructive behavior. As they have a higher energy level, when they do not spend utilize their energy in physical activities like running, walking, etc., it is obvious to see unusual behavior.
So are Australian shepherds good to run with?
Yes, they are good to run with and they will love doing so. It is very unlikely that your Aussie Shepherd will resist running. Apart from running, Aussies are also good at walking, frisbee, and swimming. These are the best ways to spend your dog’s energy in the correct place for avoiding destructive behavior.
Now, the question you may have – how much exercise does an Australian shepherd need?
The answer to this question varies depending on the exercises. It is different for high-intensity activities and low-intensity activities. For high intense activities, 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day is great and for low intense activities, your Aussie will require around two hours of exercise in a day.
The high intense activities include swimming, frisbee, running, etc. The less intense activities include walking.
Depending on your dog breed, it varies whether it is ideal to run with or not. Running should be avoided with low-energy dog breeds. Dog breeds like Newfoundland, Saint Bernard, Basset Hound, Great Dane, and English Toy Spaniel are low energy dog breeds. With these dog breeds, it is not advisable to run with.
Australian shepherds are smart, loyal, and full of energy. Aussies are one of the best dog breeds to run with. With full of energy, they are willing to play, exercise, walk and run with their owner. Just because they are good to run with, make sure you avoid long runs during hot days.
So, if you have an Aussie Shepherd, you can run with him.
When and How To Start Running With Your Aussie: Owners Opinions
You don’t have to believe us as to whether Aussies are great to run with or not. We have gone out and gathered information from other dog forums and Aussie websites to bring the info back to you.
We curated this information and only changed the spelling/grammar where needed.
1. Damon’s Mom “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)
I have not ran with my boy. We train in obedience, herding, fly ball, disk, tracking, play fetch, hike, swimming, etc. We will be starting agility at 18-24 months old. I do however run with 4 of my other dogs from time to time. My Miniature pinscher, and my boxer and I sometimes run 7 miles or so. My Lab mix and basenji will sometimes run 5 miles with me. I don’t do much running anymore with them because we are training for other things. And I usually only ran them 3 times a week when we did do it. My dogs have a great recall so they ran off leash with me.
2. PatsFanboston “Shorter Runs At First” – So, to summarize, you are proposing two (2) 30-minute jogs per day, one (1) hour of fetch or Frisbee per day, one (1) hour-long walk, and two (2) hours of obedience training per normal weekday, plus more active weekends?
First of all, how much hands-on interaction do you have with your current dog (the retriever)?
Secondly, a two hour chunk of obedience training is not likely to go well. Dogs do best when they have shorter training sessions sprinkled throughout the day; the ASPCA recommends keeping training sessions to 15 minutes (Training Your Dog | ASPCA).
Depending on the age of the dog, one total hour of fast-paced jogging plus one hour of fetch/Frisbee, a one-hour walk (in addition to other potty walks), and a couple of obedience sessions throughout the day with an additional lengthy (more than an hour) fetch/frisbee game in the evening (in lieu of the hugely long training session) should be adequate, especially if you change things up — swap out one of the fetch/frisbee games for a challenging hike or bicycling with the dog running alongside every once in a while, teach indoor games like “find it” or hide and seek and mix those in, etc.
If you are intending to get an Australian Shepherd puppy, be advised first of all that young puppies (ask your vet what age they think is OK to start!!!!) should not be jogging partners. Additionally, puppies have intense bursts of energy, so the puppy may seem to be worn out after one activity and might even fall asleep as soon as you get home, but 1-2 hours later s/he’ll be back up and rearin’ to go.
It sounds like you lead an active lifestyle. I’d just recommend doing a trial run of your exercise/training plans either with your retriever (if s/he is healthy enough) or by yourself to see whether you’ll be able to handle that level of activity seven days a week.
It’s also good that you plan to give your dog a job. I’d recommend planning to train him/her to do things like bring you the mail, close the fridge door, etc. — herding dogs LOVE to have a job and it keeps their minds busy.
Finally, be aware that having access to a yard does not mean a dog will play in the yard. In fact, most dogs, left to their own devices, will not do much of anything in a yard.
And just one last consideration – you could foster an Australian shepherd for a rescue group to get a better idea of the breed and its needs without a permanent commitment, although fostering is still a commitment (and can last anywhere from a few weeks to over a year).
3. Kyndall54 “Swimming earlier if you want more exercise” – 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.
4. DashDog “Get them doing Agility and Obedience First” – You do not need real agility equipment to do some of the things a dog does in agility nor do you need to compete as doing it just for fun is a lot of fun for both of you and good exercise and even bonding too.That is one thing I love about agility the fact the dog does learn to focus on you and it strengthens the bond as you become a team, which will also happen with many dog sports. Even just kicking a soccer ball like you are playing soccer with a dog can be great mental stimulation . I use to see a guy that played soccer against his 5 border collies and those dogs coud move that ball down the field keeping it away from him very well. There is a new herding game Treibball out there that is done with large balls not sheep, ducks , cows, or even kids.
You can make many things used in agility out of PVC piping or just do some some fun things like make shift hurdles such as downed trees, low bars all type of things out there. Jazz learned to weave as a puppy before we started agility training as there is a parking lot with posts evenly spaced that seperate a place to walk so we used that and once she got that concept I soon had her weaving between my legs as I walked ( if I told her weave that is ) a tree stump becomes a pause table where I can send my dogs and instruct her to either sit or down on it. Ikea use to have a kids nylon tunnel no it is not even half as big as the real things but dogs have fun running through it. I use to set it up in my living room and as I sat doing something else I would give the tunnel command and Jazz and Dash would race through it come look at me and I would give the command over and over it seemed to never get boring for them. Just spicing up a walk with a few jumps or weaves or what ever will mentally stimulate the dog and the herding breeds love mental stimulation and it will tire them out as a bored herding dog will find ways to stimulate itself and those may be things you do not like. Keep in mind not all Aussies are crazy fools some have less energy and can be very laid back. Be creative and have fun! My walks with my dogs tend to be so much fun that I am never thinking ” oh I HAVE to walk the dogs” as I enjoy it.
How Fast Can Australian Shepherd Run?
It is about whether your dog breed is full of energy or it is low energy. With low-energy dog breeds, running with them would not be possible in the first place.
Depending on the dog breed, the running speed will differ. An average dog can run up to 19 miles per hour. Some highly energetic breeds can run up to 42 miles per hour.
Australian Shepherd is a hard-working and energetic dog breed. With such high energy, Aussies can top up to 37 miles per hour.
When Can I Run With My Australian Shepherd Puppy?
Just because the Australian shepherd breed is very energetic and good to run with, it does not mean you should be running with an Aussie puppy. Running with an Australian Shepherd dog at an early age can be risky.
At 4 or 6 months, your Aussie would be very small to run with. The recommended age you can run with the Australian Shepherd puppy is 12 months to 18 months. If your Australian Shepherd puppy is less than a year old, we do not recommend running with him. At this age, the dog would be very small to run. It’s not just about running, you should also avoid long walks, exercises, etc. when your puppy is less than 1 year old.
Starting exercising and running to your Australian Shepherd puppy is actually a bad idea when they are less than 1 year because they will start growing up, it will start asking for more long walks, exercising, running, etc.
During the young age of your puppy, it is advisable to focus on providing proper training when you take it for walks. It is the time when your puppy should have normal workouts at home.
Keep in mind providing exercises and having long walks & running sessions with the young Aussie will result in a requirement for so much exercise in the later stage. By doing this, when your dog will start growing, it will start asking for intensive running & walk sessions and exercises.
Now, if your Australian shepherd dog is old enough, you can run with him. The minimum age for that should be somewhere between 12 months to 18 months.
Tips to Run with Your Australian Shepherd Dog
If you are a first-time dog adopter, you must be not knowing how actually to run with the dog. It is the dream of every dog owner to run with their Aussie. As we have seen, running and long walks are ideal recommend for Aussies that age more than a year.
For young Aussies, you can provide normal workouts at your home and give training while during the walks and running is not advisable. If you are facing difficulty running with your Aussie, these tips will help you. To have a good experience running with your dog, it is important to have precautions. In the absence of proper care and precautions, there will be a risk of injury to your dog. Here are some of the best tips to run with your Australian Shepherd dog:
1. Get a pulling dog harness
The first important thing to consider before running with your Aussie is safety. You need to make sure your Aussie is safe when you go running with him. For the safety of your dog, you should get a good pulling dog harness. Getting a premium quality pulling dog harness will not just keep your dog in check, but it will also prevent hurting your dog because of pulling.
2. Make sure your dog is old enough
If your dog is young, it is not advisable to run with him. New dog owners often make this mistake. New dog owners have no idea what is the right age to run with the Australian Shepherd. The dog needs to be at least one year old to be able to run with. If you run with a young dog, later it will start requiring more and more intensive exercise and running as it gets older. Apart from this, running for long with your puppy will create joint issues
3. Condition your dog
Make sure to condition your dog to run long distances. Obviously, your dog can run 6 to 8 miles in the one go. But, as a responsible and caring owner, you need to manage the running distance and duration. You can slowly start extending the distance and duration after passing each round.
4. Obedience training
Providing proper training and commands to your dog is also very essential before running. Providing obedience training commands are important to have safe experience during running. You can teach and train your dog with popular commands like stop, slow, pull, turn, etc. Providing proper obedience training becomes more important when you are running on a bike. This way, you can make sure your dog gets proper direction.
Aussies have high-energy levels. In order to utilize your Aussie’s energy in the right place, it is important to focus on exercises like walking, running, swimming, etc. Not focusing enough on exercising your dog will lead to destructive behavior in him.
So one of the best ways to utilize your dog’s energy is by running. Make sure your Aussie is of at least 12 months to 18 months old before you run with him. Running with the young dog ( of less than 1-year-old) can be risky and it may lead to joint pain.