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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, I just signed up here yesterday so I'm not quite sure where I should be making this thread. I tried looking around for the best spot, and this seemed to be it. If not, please let me know.

So here's the deal. About two months ago my husband and I adopted an Aussie/Border mix pup that happened to be around 6/7 months old. Now he's somewhere between 8-10. (No one really knows when he was born, as they found him and his mama wondering the streets.) He is my first medium breed. I've had active dogs before, but they were quite a bit smaller.

When we got him, he had no training what-so-ever. He was left outside when no one was around to watch him, and was spoiled rotten when inside. (Because he was not house broken...:ponder:) Honestly, I didn't have a problem with that. I've trained my other dogs, and raised many a puppy. (I think my current count has been 5 dogs that I've taken care of from 8weeks to well into their teens.) I know how important feeding schedules and potty breaks are. He's been doing great as far as that goes! He's not had an accident that wasn't entirely my fault now for over three weeks. (The one's that were my fault only happened twice in that same time frame, I got lax about keeping a close eye on him. Can't blame him for that.)

His obedience training could be going better, as in he should be farther along, but he is doing everything I ask exceptionally well. I just need to be working with him on more advanced things. ( I was worried about over-loading him, seems I need to make it more challenging now.)

The only problem we seem to be having with him is his energy level. Now before you start thinking that I've adopted an aussie mix without considering what breed he was, I did my research. I know they take a LOT of work and need to be exercised well. We've been trying to give this to him, but I'm afraid of over doing it before his joints mature. Currently I take him on roughly mile and a half walk at least once a day. (Which takes at least 30 minutes.) An then that is supplemented with 30 mins of playing in the backyard or going on another walk.

Last week, we decided to go ahead and invest in the walkydog bike attachment, and we've been doing the same mile and a half but with him trotting along instead of walking. He LOVES going with us on the bike. The problem is that once we finish he is still full of energy and ready to go some more.

I've been reading about how much would be too much for him, but Holy Crap there's a lot of conflicting information about that.

Some say limit dogs under a year old to a maximum of 2 hours (easy) exercise a day. Others say as long as they are worked up to it, you can work them as often and as hard as needed to get them tired.

I've read that you -should not- run a dog under a year next to a bike, and then an article later it says "Go for it!"

It's driving me nuts. This dog HAS to get this crazy energy out, or he drives us crazy by just trying to play. I know he's not getting enough exercise to tire him out, but is that too much for his growing bones?

Honestly if it weren't for the fact that he's started boredom digging in the yard, i wouldn't be overly concerned. Like I said before, he's a good listener, and loves to work with me. But I need some help in figuring out the best way to work him without overworking him.

Thanks in advance for any helpful advice!
 

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Sorry, I'm not going to be of any help, I just want you to know I understand your position.

Hubby talked me into getting an ACD which was NEVER on my list of dogs I wanted. I love Applejack, but being alone with her all day and primary care giver all the time, it is starting to drive me a little bonkers. She's 13 weeks old today, and I can't excersize her enough to tire her and follow all the guidelines. And she's got a minute attention span, so games to tire her don't last long.

Again, don't get me wrong. She's a sweet puppy and I love her to bits, but we'd both be happier if she would settle down a notch.
 

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You need to focus more on mental work...Work on puzzle games, train him to do tricks, try nosework.

Also, some dogs don't come with an "off switch", you have to train it. If you are constantly entertaining him, he'll never learn to settle and be ok being ignored. Focusing only on physical exercise can turn a drivey dog into an adrenaline junkie too.
 

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I would definitely suggest more mental stimulation. Physical exercise is great! If I don't exercise my dog Potter (he's 7 months) regularly, once every two hours, he'll drive me insane. However, I don't always do physical exercise, I switch it up. In the morning we go on a walk, he chills for two hours, and then we do a training session. After two or so hours, we'll go play in the backyard until he's nice and tired. And then later we'll do another training session.

Puzzle toys are also great. I'm going to be investing in one of those puzzle food bowls for him to help stimulate his mind more (and to slow down how quickly he eats). Especially since you have an aussie/border mix. Your dog is going to want a job to do.

You should also work on capturing calmness.


I've found this to be really helpful with my dog Potter. Where as he used to pace with all of his energy that we didn't get rid of, he's now content to lay down with us when we aren't exercising him in some way or another. It tends to take a little while for them to completely understand, but it's really helpful.
 

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I totally agree with giving him some mental stimulation. Exercise is great, and it's necessary, but if you feel like it's getting out of hand, training can be done without putting a strain on your puppy's growing bones. And a lot of times it's just as tiring. It doesn't have to be a total drag either; in fact, it shouldn't be. Teach him some fun tricks, like spinning, shaking hands, or rolling over. I'm sure all that thinking will wear him out
 

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You could add a flirt pole to help him focus and clicker training is great for a
Aussies. They are so smart and love to learn new things. I saw a huge difference in my dogs when I started clicker training while on walks. They would come home and crash for hours after the walk. The physical and the mental together make for one tired pup. Love Kikopup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all for the advice. He does get a lot of metal stimulation, and we both work with him learning new cues. It's just that we're trying to make sure he gets enough physical work too. We're trying to limit the number of treats he gets each day, and so we really need to have a good balance of how much physical exercise would be good for him compared to how much training he gets. So if anyone as any other information about physical exercise I'd love to hear it.


I did create a flirt pole for him this evening, and he loved that. Wore himself out within ten minutes of playing with it. Really got to see the herder come out in him. It was extremely fun, and will be adding it to our arsenal of dog tiring games.
 

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If he's got a good food drive use his kibble for his training treats as much as possible. You can take about half of his breakfast to use for training, and most of his lunch as well as long as you're training through-out the day.

Also try feeding some or all of his meals using Kongs or similer type stuffing toys and/or puzzle toys.
 

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Also exercise on soft ground is better for the joints than exercise on pavement. So if you Do feel he needs more physical exercise using a flirt pole on soft turf us better than an additional run on pavement. Or if you can bike on trails instead of the road.
 

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My dog is also very high energy, and I really thought that I would be able to tire him out every day with exercise---Hah! It is simply not possible! He can be in day care all day, then come home and want to play fetch ALL evening--literally for hours. So the point that the others are making is that, if you are giving him a reasonable amount of exercise, which it sounds like you definitely are, then at some point what he is missing is mental stimulation (if he is still driving you bonkers).

I have found that if I can set up a couple rounds of "find it", where my dog waits in another room and I hide small treats around the room for him to find, he is much more willing to settle down (I give him either a bully stick or hard rawhide at that point). Training sessions, or walks where he can sniff things out, also have the same effect. For a young dog, I think exposing him to new environments or situations would be helpful. I'm still figuring out the best mix, but I know now that I cannot get there with just physical exercise.
 
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