How to Exercise an Australian Shepherd – 6 Unique Exercises to Try

exercise australian shepherd

A few years ago when I moved into an apartment for college, I brought my best buddy, My australian shepherd named Bo, along with me to be my roommate.

Back home, we always had a huge backyard for Bo to play in. However, shortly after moving into a single bedroom apartment, I quickly noticed Bo had tons of energy.

He was hyper ALL THE TIME. He drove me nuts for a good week while I was transitioning into the apartment life.

The reason for this was most likely because he was used to playing outside in the backyard all day. Plus, I was having to leave him in a crate for 4 hours every morning while I was at school.

I needed to exercise Bo quickly while also keeping it enjoyable for the both of us. This way, he would be more tolerable in the evenings and would sleep for a majority of his crate time at night.

After a bit of trial and error, I figured out the quickest way to tire out your australian shepherd is with high intensity exercise such as playing fetch or going for a run.

This seemed to do the job pretty well, but I don’t like repetitiveness. This can make things boring after a while. Below I provide 6 unique ways you can exercise your australian shepherd.

A Simple Game of Fetch with your Aussie

Ahh… playing fetch will never go out of style. Especially when it comes to giving your dog a good workout.

I personally find this to be the best way to exercise my australian shepherds. If you think about it, dogs are basically doing wind springs when they chase after their ball.

After about 5 or 10 times of throwing the ball for your dog, you should notice he is huffing and puffing. I always play for about 10 minutes and then I’ll give him a 5 minute break and then I will continue for another 15 or 20 minutes with breaks if he needs them.

A great thing about fetch is you can do this almost anywhere. If you have a large backyard, get out his favorite ball and get to slinging!

If you currently live somewhere with no backyard, no worries. Find a local park with plenty of space for fetch. I always enjoyed taking my dogs out to the state park where they have tons of open grasslands and plenty of beautiful hills.

Playing fetch will always be an enjoyable time for Bo and I. He gets to run and I get to imagine I am playing football again.

Water Play

If it is summer time you better believe I am out at the lake or river with my dogs.

Playing in the water is perfect for tiring out and exercising your australian shepherd. Even better, it is a great way for me to get a sweet tan! (I can’t be looking pasty on my morning runs with my dogs.)

Being in the water requires tremendous effort to get around. As you may know, swimming works nearly every muscle in your body.

This is why I frequently take my dogs to swim during the summer months.

Some days, I just enjoy walking the bank of the river to check out all the scenery. Meanwhile, my aussie puppies are usually swimming down in the water having a good time.

If I really want to exercise my dogs I will play a game of fetch with them in the water. Except, instead of running to retrieve a ball, they are swimming out to it.

If your dog is comfortable in the water, this is a great way to entertain him while he exercises. All you need is a good toy that floats in the water and doesn’t sink. That way, your dog will be able to retrieve it and you won’t lose any toys.

If you are hesitant about taking your aussie for a swim, read this article I wrote about australian shepherds and swimming.

Go to the Dog Park

I don’t know about you, but my australian shepherds love meeting other dogs. This is why I take them to the dog park as often as I can.

Seeing some new faces can be exciting! Not to mention,the countless number of dogs that will be keeping your best friend busy and entertained.

Every time we go, Bo always finds a few buddies to play “tag” with. These dogs will chase each other back and forth for hours it seems.

An even more exciting time is when I bring Bo’s favorite ball with us. I will toss it for the dogs to chase and then when one gets ahold of it, all the dogs will start to chase him.

Dog parks are also a great way to meet other fellow dog enthusiasts! You can always learn new tips and tricks when chatting with other dog owners.

This is another exciting way to exhaust a hyper Aussie.

Playing with the Water Hose

I wasn’t able to do this activity when I lived at the apartments, but when I moved into a home with a backyard, this became my dog’s favorite games to play.

I discovered this one morning while spraying down the backyard patio with my water hose. After a few minutes of spraying, my youngest australian shepherd pup, Daisy, started chasing the stream of water.

Thus, a new game was born. I cannot tell you how much Daisy loves chasing the water! On hot summer days when I need to water the grass, I will bring out the hose for Daisy to chase.

After a few short minutes you better believe she is huffing and puffing. If you have access to a backyard and a water hose, give this method a try. It can be a great way to give your aussie some exercise while you are watering the grass.

Teaching your Australian Shepherd New Tricks

Don’t forget brain games!

Mentally challenging your australian shepherd can also be a great way to tire out your dog. Go on youtube or google and search up some basic tricks. There are endless amounts of ideas you can choose from.

Spend a few days or weeks learning that trick then you can progress onto something more challenging.

One awesome trick I taught Bo was how to catch the ball in mid air. I’ll make Bo sit about 10 to 15 yards away from and then I will toss the ball up in his direction and he will jump in the air and catch it in his mouth!

It’s the most fascinating thing! He should be playing in the NFL as a wide receiver if you ask me.

Another cute trick that I taught my other aussie, Lady, is how to shake my hand. This always gets a bunch of laughs when I have guests over, plus it teaches Lady to be respectful.

Take your Australian Shepherd Hiking

Hiking is one of my favorite pastimes! And bringing my aussies along for the trip makes it an even better experience. I personally like to choose the steepest hills to hike because it makes for a great workout for me and my pups.

To make it more entertaining for my aussies, I will pick up rocks along the way and toss them for my dogs to fetch. This way, they are getting double the exercise- climbing up steep hills while chasing rocks!

Talk about a workout.

If your aussie has a favorite ball, you can bring this instead of using rocks, but be careful not to lose your toy! Hikes are another great way for you to meet other dog people too, if socializing is your thing.

In the summer months, I like to go in the evenings after work when it’s nice and cool.

Summing it Up

Well, there you have it! 6 different ways you can tire out your australian shepherd.

I recommend experimenting with a couple of these activities to see which one best fits your schedule. I know a lot of people have work and only so much time to exercise their dog.

That is why I made sure to provide several different activities that could work for different situations. Whether you live in an apartment or live somewhere with a backyard, one of these ideas should work for you.

It is also a smart idea to keep these activities enjoyable for both you and your dog! Anyways, I hope this answers your question.

Thank you for reading!


Hi, I'm the owner of Juniper Pets! You can often find me playing fetch with my dogs, working out or cooking up something legendary in the kitchen. Hope you enjoy my blog!

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