Introduction & Exercise Question

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Barked: Tue Jun 14, '11 6:44pm PST 
My husband and I just brought home our 10 week old red merle, Ruby, a few weeks ago. We're first time Aussie owners, so I might be by to pick some brains in the future smile

We did quite a bit of research on Aussies before taking the leap and brining Ruby home. She has been absolutely wonderful and we can tell she's going to be a fantastic dog. Just had a question about age appropriate Aussie exercise:

Because she isn't fully vaccinated yet, we feel pretty limited on the length of walks we can take Ruby on and the places we can go. However, we do take her on at least 2-3 walks over several blocks each day. She also has free time to play in our fenced in (small city) backyard. Does this seem like a good amount of exercise for her age? Most of the time she's pretty calm and well behaved, but she has a little spurt of what we're calling "Aussie Time!" each evening where she wants to go a little crazy. Always fun with the new pups smile

Barked: Thu Jun 30, '11 1:05pm PST 
Hi- congratulations on your new pup; i got my first Aussie yesterday and he is crazy but great fun!

At 10 weeks she doesn't really need proper 'exercise'. The dashing around and playing at home will use her energy for now. Over-exercising is dangerous for young pups as their bones/joints/etc are still growing, and can do damage for later in life.
Right now, being carried around in your arms (i know- they're heavy!) will be good for socialisation- getting her used to sights, sounds, places and smells she will encounter when she's older, and is really all she needs to leave the house for at the moment. After her vaccinations, there's generally a 'five minute per month' rule- so for example, at 12 weeks, a 15 minute walk will be plenty. So if you take her to a park or something, and it's five minutes walk there, you stay for five minutes and then walk home, gradually increasing the time as she grows and becomes fitter and more active. 6 months 30 minutes, 9 months 45 minutes, so on. It shouldn't hurt if you do a little more, but she shouldn't be exercised to exhaustion- they need lots of energy to learn and grow. I think it's a good rule to try to stick to... as i say, you can carry her around as much as you like really, to get her out of the house and used to everything now.

Hope this has helped. Good luck with yours- think i'll need it with mine winklaugh out loud

play hard, power- nap, eat fast.
Barked: Sun Jul 24, '11 6:49pm PST 
Yes I will agree, be careful not to inadvertantly 'train' your dog to need too much excercise. I carried both my youngest when out and about until they had all their vaccines. Only use up as much excercise/brain work/ training sessions with your dog as needed to keep it from looking for trouble. A tired and worked herder is a happy herder but it just means it will look for a bit more tomorrow so we go with the theory that less is better as long as they are not eating/digging you out of walls and yard you are doing good. It is actually more important at this time to use short training sessions to teach the basics with positive reinforcement. By 3 mos old all of mine learn sit, stay, laydown and come (the most important in my opinion) and leave it and are in the process of learning the fun ones like shake, high 5, roll over etc. People discount the benefit of working their brains as much as their bodies but it is so helpful in their develpment of self control and of a bond with you.


My head is too- heavy!
Barked: Tue Aug 23, '11 12:35am PST 
Teach your dog to self direct in play - that is - NOT ALL PLAY is with you. Best thing I ever did was teach Namio he can roll his own ball and get it for himself. There is a limit to how many times I want a ball rolled between the small of my back and the chair. He happily carries his toys around and amuses himself for a good part of the day, though of course he is ready for action the moment I make myself available (if I use the bathroom or happen to cough...it's still a work in progress).

I also agree with mental games - I find that games of tracking, finding, red light green light and show me the tree (he runs up to a tree, gets up on his hind legs and barks like there's a squirrel) are just as exhausting as frisbee for him and you only need to do a few minutes before they need a break. Oh, and I am a studio potter, so I have trained him to get my tools when I drop them under the benches - so he has a job smile He also picks up my laundry.

Edited by author Tue Aug 23, '11 12:39am PST