Why Is My Aussie Breathing So Fast?

aussie panting

Aussies are very athletic and love to move around most parts of the day. So it is hard for an Australian Shepherd to be out of shape for this very reason.

Why is my Australian Shepherd breathing so fast?

Your Aussie is more then likely just breathing fast or panting because they are very hot. This is their way to cool down. If they are not hot you should take or call the vet. You can cool down with ice water on their feet, feed ice cubes and cool water as well. 

If they haven’t had this issue before and you are worried it may be serious take to the vet so they can rule it out. However with Aussies being very high energy they can also have high anxiety.

Could be due to a variety of normal reasons including excitement, overtired or just full of energy. We will go over ways of calming them down and dealing with these normal situations below.

Also have gone out and gathered information and percentages from other Aussie Owners on what is going on with their dog when they a panting.


Australian Shepherd Rapid Breathing

As long as the litter and parents haven’t had any problems with breathing conditions then you should be in the clear. That first time dealing with this I would suggest at least calling the vet or taking your Aussie to the vet. After they rule out anything serious you can follow these instructions to deal normal circumstances.

Excitement – Aussies get excited for various reasons, but especially when the owner gets home from an extended period away from work. If you would like them to stop panting and getting overly excited when you get home you will need to start ignoring your Aussie until they calm down. This will take a long time to overcome as they have probably had this habit for a long time.

Another reason for their excitement they could have gotten into something like the garbage or chewed on something they know they weren’t supposed to. This can be dealt with by positive reinforcement and is probably due to them not getting enough one on one time or exercise.

Overtired – Your Aussie may be run down especially if you have moved or been on the road a lot more lately. A small change can set an Australian Shepherd off as they are very attentive to details. If you haven’t noticed but when you pack up luggage or something they know you are getting ready to leave for an extended period of time and usually won’t sleep during that duration.

One way of fixing this is honestly just relaxing and cuddling with your Aussie they will sleep if you sleep. So maybe take a nap or sleep in some morning so they can get caught up on their sleep as well.

Full Of Energy – Aussies although they can seem to have unlimited energy they actually do tire out and just need around 60 minutes of daily activity to do so. So plan on going for a later in the evening walk if possible they love the outdoors. Not only will taking them for a walk wear them down physically it will also do so mentally. As they stay alert at all times which causes them to not relax until they are home.

It is normal for Aussies to be full of energy when you first get home from work or just even a couple hours of shopping. Try to keep working on ignoring them until they settle down once they do reward them with a treat and some attention.

We love our Aussies but don’t believe us check out opinions of other owners on this matter. We have curated information from several other websites and forums including sub reddits.

We took this information and brought it all here for your viewing. We have corrected grammar and spelling where needed, but other then that we have left the opinions the same.

Why Is My Aussie Breathing Rapidly?

Real Aussie Owner Answers

1. BW1870 “Panting happens for number of reasons” – When does this happen? Panting happens for a number of reasons.

Obviously when they are hot, but also when stressed or nervous, excited, physical problems. Also, some dogs simply pant more than others.

Where are you? Is it winter or summer now? Making sure her coat is well brushed, especially the under coat, will help her maintain a

comfortable body temp, since clumps or knots in their hair keeps air from circulating properly.

My dog pants a lot during the summer time and she gets hot quickly – like 5-10 minutes of play time and she’s ready to go inside and will pant

for another half hour once inside – drooling everywhere.

If she seems healthy, my guess is she probably is, but if you’re concerned it’s always best to take her in to the vet.

2. Turlian “Doesn’t have to be heat related” – Our 8 month old Tri pants quite a bit, and breathes more heavily when sleeping –

compared to our 7 y/o blue merle.

Doesn’t seem to be heat related, as she does this while in the snow as well.

3. Erroneousdetails “Vet call” – When in doubt: Vet.

4. Jm1778 “My Aussie pants a lot” – Definitely get a vet’s opinion, but my Aussie pants a lot too. Please do not shave your dog (just in

case you were thinking about that). The best thing to do is to make sure the coat is brushed out well – hopefully get all the dead coat out. I

asked my vet about my dog’s panting and he wasn’t too concerned. I watched a friend’s Aussie puppy and he pants a lot, too.

5. _Lucky_Devil “Could be a wide variety of things” – Just realize that a dog has senses far superior to our own (except long distance

eyesight and color perception). If it has been windy, and there are Coyotes 25 miles away, your dog knows. If a critter has created a nest in

the crawlspace under your house, your dog knows. If a bird has created a nest in your attic, your dog knows. Or, as the other poster

mentioned, it could be weather related.

Just because you can’t hear it, or smell it, or feel it, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.

6. NotTheFakeHigh “My Aussie breaths fast and freaks out” – My dog went through something that sounds very similar. Like

almost exactly the same, except she was a bit older at the time, maybe 9 or 10. I’ll tell you what my vet told me, after we ruled out everything

else medically.

She gave 2 possible causes. She said, because of age, my pup may be developing some type of doggy dementia. So she may actually be afraid

and confused. She may not know the time of day, or recognize her surroundings, and it may be frightening. This was thankfully not the case

for my dog, and it doesn’t sound like your dog either, but I thought Id share that with you.

The second thing, is basically what the other commenter has mentioned. I kept telling my vet that my dog was acting like she does with

fireworks or thunderstorms. But we had neither. Well, we think we finally solved it by watching the weather. There were huge storms hitting

the ocean, about a 100 miles from us. We couldn’t hear them, and obviously we couldn’t feel them, but they really affected my sweet dog.

Whether she could hear them, or it was just the pressure changes, we don’t know. But after about 2 months of storms hitting the coast, the

storms finally broke, and as soon as they left, she went back to herself.

As far as what you can do, regardless of the cause, that is tricky. It sounds like maybe if you changed your walk schedule, so the in the

evenings before your dog gets anxious, it’s time to take her on a walk, take her to the car, or anything to tire her out.

There is also some new medication that helps dogs with reaction to the sounds of storms. I wish I had more info, all I remember is that it’s a

liquid. for some dogs it’s really supposed to help, and it doesn’t do that doing thing that makes them high.

Good luck!

7. BugDog1 “A smell they don’t like” – It could be a scent that he has a negative association with. So for example if your dog was afraid

of fireworks, something that smells like spent fireworks. Or if he was rescued, the aftershave scent associated with memories of an abuser.

My friend has a weimeraner who will go ballistic at the smell of pot for that reason.

8. Tuckr “something in attic they hear” – My dog behaved similarly when a rat made its way into our attic. We couldn’t figure it out

until I was sitting and reading at 4 am before work in complete silence, and heard the thing chewing on something right above my head. The

dog could hear it all the time though.

Many other opinions out there as well, but around 87% of all opinions from real Aussie owners suggest either in the beginning of their

response or somewhere in there to call the vet.

So we highly suggest if this is the first time this has happened to call the vet. Get the serious issues ruled out then you can dive in and start

eliminating why your Aussie is breathing hard and panting.

Australian Shepherd Breathing Problems

There can be many different kinds of breathing problems in all dogs not just Aussies these are just a couple that may come up as always see your vet and get your Aussie taken care of.

Anxiety – Australian Shepherds are very attached to their owners so if you aren’t around as much or maybe just not helping them get their exercise in they may show signs of anxiety. This can be a problem that escalates their breathing and hard for them to calm down over time. Separation anxiety is another thing that you can come across as well. These habits need to be taught young or you may be adding meds to their diet via your vet.

Some Aussies just can’t control themselves as much and yelling at them will not help but just keep the anxiety and heart rate heightened which leads to excessive breathing and panting. Positive reinforcement is a must, reward them with attention and treats when they calm down.

CBD and Hemp Oil for dogs is a new thing and something we may be introducing to one of our Toy Aussies that has bad anxiety and also issues with seizures. Other things and tactics haven’t been working as well.

Irregular Heartbeat –  Arrhythmia in dogs is something the Aussie just can’t control which causes additional breathing and panting. This is a definite vet matter. They may put a heart rate monitor on the dog for 12 hours to figure out what is going on. Unfortunately heart medicine is the only thing that will help here. And there may be a little trial and error until the dosage is correct.

This the same as in humans as well so medicine can solve the issue and they can live a long happy life. Just listen to your vet and/or maybe get a second opinion from another vet.

Cushings – we have been around mostly horses that have had cushings, but have heard of dogs having as well. This is basically where an Aussies body makes too much of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol isn’t a bad thing unless you get too much of it.

Once diagnosed medicine is the usual path your vet will want to follow. There is a surgery but that will have a lot of factors the main one is your dogs age and overall health.

Australian Shepherd Puppy Breathing Fast While Sleeping

Aussie Puppies breathing fast while sleeping can be pretty normal. If your puppy was running around a lot before sleeping their body is probably just catching up and this is how they do that.

Over exerting is common in puppies and Aussies in general.

  • Dreaming – they could be dreaming. This is normal and it could be because they were just running around while awake so they are just continuing to do that while they are asleep.
  • Growing fast – they are growing fast just like a little baby. So rapid breathing is a part of that development.

As usual any concerns contact your vet.



Tab Winner

Hello my name is Tab Winner. My wife and I have been around Australian shepherds for 20+ years and we definitely love them. We currently have a pair of Toy Aussies one is a Tri-color and the other is a blue merle that are both 10 and 11 years old.

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