Exercising Your Aussie

by Jill Porter, QUALITY AUSSIES
(reprinted with the author's permission)

 



This is a breed that does tend to need regular exercise, though some Aussies are considerably more active than others.   It may depend on your dog's age and bloodlines, but most will require some daily activity.   This can be a walk for older dogs, but for younger or more active ones, a good hard run is called for.
    
Besides traditional stock work for which Aussies were bred, other things you can do to exercise your Aussie include training games such as hide and seek, agility training, Frisbee, biking or jogging with your dog.   Be careful NOT to do any real jumping or hard running until the dog it at LEAST a year old.  This includes some of the agility obstacles, jumping for a ball or Frisbee, biking or jogging especially on hard surfaces, and other similar activities.  You can do running on grass but start slow with a pup or young dog, or even an out of shape dog.    In warm or hot weather, it's best to exercise early in the morning or later in the evening.   Carry water and watch your dog for signs of distress.   When in doubt stop or don't even go if it's very hot and humid.   Many Aussies are so eager to please they will over do it.   This can be true even with a dog playing alone with a ball toy, as they like to "herd" them and may not stop in time.
 
Even doing obedience training is a form of exercising as the dog is using its brain.  That can be as tiring as physical work, and it's also rewarding for both dog and human as it helps foster a good bond.   Please consider using positive methods over old style "choke chain" methods.   Your dog will learn better for it, and you will feel better about training.

In the end, finding activities you and your dog enjoy will be a big part of the joy you share in each others' company.

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