Australian Shepherds and Poodles are both very active breeds. If you are considering a mix between the two, known as an Aussiedoodle or an Aussiepoo, then having some concerns about the amount of exercise needed is very normal.
Aussiedoodles have varying energy requirements depending on their age. Adults need roughly an hour of intense activity per day, split into two sessions. As they age, the intensity required may decrease. Puppies should never be exercised for longer than 5 minutes for every month they have been alive.
Let’s dive into the details of why these dogs need so much exercise. We’ll also look at different ways that you can entertain your Aussiepoo if outdoor exercise is not possible.
Why Do Aussiedoodles Need Exercise
Aussiedoodles are a smaller breed. Many people assume that they do not eat much because of this but they can have a ferocious appetite. Because of this, it can be rather difficult to maintain their weight.
This is especially true if they are trained with treats.
There are many issues that may result from a dog being overweight. Some of these include a decreased heat tolerance, and even increased risk for some cancers.
This is why exercise for weight management becomes very crucial in these highly active breeds.
Aussiepoos are extremely intelligent. They pick up on tricks very easily and they seem to understand the world around them in a way that other dogs may not be able to.
This usually adds to the appeal of the Aussiepoo because it means that they love to be around people and other animals, interacting with them. But, they get bored extremely quickly if left unattended.
If you do not provide entertainment, they will provide it themselves; destructively. It may present in the form of chewing on hard objects – as the legs of my dining room table can attest – or digging massive holes in your garden.
Aussiepoos are also renowned escape artists. They will use their size and agility to their advantage, getting out of your home in ways that you did not even think were possible. So, make sure to take your Aussiedoodle on a walk, or it will take itself.
Aussiedoodles can suffer from depression. As can many other active breeds such as the Poodle or Australian Shepherd.
Boredom and loneliness can lead to a decrease in the mood of your pet. Usually, this is not the biggest problem, but it can present itself in the form of aggression if it is not attended to. This is particularly worrisome for families with young children.
Young Aussiedoodles are balls of excitement and energy. If this is your first time having an Aussiedoodle you may be surprised to see that, unlike other puppies, after a quick power nap your puppy is ready to go again.
Although they seem to be very eager for exercise, it is important to note that it is not always the best for them.
Excessive exercise may lead to damage in their delicate, developing joints. This can lead to problems such as hip and elbow dysplasia, as well as arthritis in later years. The Aussiedoodle breed is already prone to these issues so it is best to err on the side of caution.
As a rule, puppies should do no more than five minutes of intense activity every month that they age. Intense activity includes active training, running, and more.
In other words, a three-month-old puppy should be active for 15 minutes every day. A six-month-old can have up to 30 minutes of exercise. After eighteen months, they can have as much as they want without worrying, although it is best to consult a vet to confirm that their joints have finished growing.
Throughout the rest of the day, you can compensate for the lack of physical activity with mental games. These can include puzzles or general play on the living room floor. We taught our puppy to play hide and seek, which often resulted in a twenty-minute nap.
Aussiedoodles are considered adults at different ages, depending on their size. Smaller Aussiepoos, which result from smaller variations of Poodles or Australian Shepherds, are considered fully grown earlier than larger ones.
Adult Aussiedoodles should get at least 60 minutes of exercise. This can be done in one large chunk, although it is best to split it into two intervals. Doing this will minimize your Aussiepoo’s boredom.
It is best if this exercise is high-intensity. This can include going for a run by your side. However, if you do not have the fitness for this, you can use products that make it easy to throw balls like this one long distances. This forces the dog to run fast and far, while you are stationary.
These dogs still get bored in between sessions, so make sure that they have access to a backyard or toys and puzzles like this one that they can use to entertain themselves.
Even the smaller Aussiedoodles can put up with a lot of activity, so don’t be afraid to overdo it. If your dog has had enough, it will let you know. My dog sits next to me and refuses to chase the ball anymore when this happens.
Senior Aussiedoodles vary incredibly. Breeding, as well as early injuries, can affect the mobility of these very active dogs.
If your Aussiedoodle is experiencing joint issues, it may be best to consult your vet before exercising it vigorously. For most Senior Aussiedoodles with no injuries, about 45 minutes split into two or three increments should be plenty.
Senior Aussiepoos are a lot calmer than adults, but they still need mental stimulation. Instead of decreasing their exercise, rather think of substituting some of it with other activities.
Tug toys like this one and running use very different muscles, but both do the same thing in theory. Finding the best way to exercise your senior Aussiedoodle may take some trial and error.
If you have any doubts about how much you should be doing with your older dog, consult your vet.
Walks on and off leash are a great way to exercise your Aussiedoodle. Both result in a large amount of physical activity.
When your Aussiepoo is on-leash, there is the added mental stimulation of having to focus on you. Your Aussiedoodle needs to be aware of where you are at all times.
When your Aussiedoodle is off-leash it will run around, smelling everything that it can. This is one of my favorite ways to exhaust my dog. The mental stimulation of walks like this seems incredibly effective.
Image shared with permission from I.Am.Willow.Pup.
Playing in the backyard is also a great way to exercise your Aussiedoodle. They do not always have to run very far. Throwing a ball from one side of your backyard to the other, letting them smell the flowers, and even swimming, are all great ways to encourage activity in your Aussiepoo.
You also do not have to supervise them all the time. This means that you are able to let them play for longer periods while you get some work done.
If you are not confident with intense exercise in the form of running or throwing a ball all the time, consider some active games. These are great if you live in an apartment and don’t have much space.
Tug-of-war is one of many options, although playing hide and seek with your dog can also encourage them to let out a lot of energy.
Training doesn’t have to consist of only sitting and rolling over. There are many different ways that you can train your dog, and encourage it to exercise more vigorously at the same time.
Mental stimulation is tiring for any creature, but when you combine it with needing to move a lot it can be very effective.
Some tricks include movements like weaving through your legs. Or teaching your dog to balance on its hind legs. Getting your Aussiepoo to find some of its toys by name is more difficult, but also possible.
The opportunities are endless.
It is important that you consider the energy requirements of the breed carefully before you get one. Aussiedoodles are not a short-term commitment. You need to ensure that you are prepared for their high levels of energy and intelligence before it arrives in your home.
If you are already in the possession of an Aussiepoo and want to know what they will be like as they grow, rather prepare for the extreme. There may be some variance among the breed but they all love to exercise.
Remember, each dog is different, but rather be prepared to give them the most exercise that you can and adjust based on what you observe.
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