It’s not long before Aussie owners start wondering when their hyperactive pup will finally calm down… I know, I’ve been there myself. This article will explain everything about hyper Australian shepherds, what you can do to keep them calm and yourself sane!
Australian shepherds usually calm down between 2-4 years of age, with females calming down quicker than males. It’s important for owners to realize that age alone will not produce a quiet Aussie, owners must be proactive in managing hyperactivity.
When Do Australian Shepherds Calm Down?
Many owners ask the question: “What age do Australian shepherds calm down?”
In most cases, once an Australian shepherd matures mentally (2-4 years) their behavior does seem to calm down and mellow out slightly. “slightly” being a keyword there!
However, one thing I try to stress to all owners is that age alone isn’t the best solution to the problem at hand: the problem being hyperactivity.
Ultimately, If the causes of the hyperactivity are not addressed, then age won’t really have as big as an impact as you might be hoping for.
5 Main Reasons Why Australian Shepherds Are So Hyper
Let’s explain why Australian shepherds are so hyper in the first place. Of course, not all Aussies are as equally hyper and for some, hyper behavior might be more of an issue than for others. Remember to consider all points and take everything into context for your own situation with your Aussie.
1. It’s Normal
First and foremost, it’s normal! To some extent. Australian shepherds are an energetic breed, they always have been and always will be. Aussies are hard-working dogs and are accustomed to entire days of non-stop activity and work. This breed is one of the most active we know of, and so it’s only natural to expect high energy.
2. Insufficient exercise routine (and timings)
It’s a standard one, but we must cover it and explain it. Most owners already know that an Aussie (10-12 months and over) should be receiving at least 1 hour of dedicated exercise per day.
Ideally, an Aussie would have 30-45 minutes in the morning and another 30-45 minutes of intensive exercise in the evening. Exercising your Aussie first thing will drastically help if you aren’t already. Expending some of their energy from the start of the day will instantly help go towards a calmer Aussie throughout the afternoon.
3. Insufficient mental stimulation (bored)
In addition to physical exercise, we have mental exercise (mental stimulation). The truth is that without mental stimulation, it doesn’t matter how much physical exercise you provide, your Aussie will never be truly tired.
Australian shepherds are overthinkers and constantly alert, if you want to satisfy and calm your Aussie down, you must get them solving challenges and exhaust their minds. Training, socialization, mental stimulation games, and interaction are all necessary to have a calm and content Aussie. Many owners overlook the sheer importance of this.
4. Being left alone too much
Australian shepherds hate being left alone. Aussies are a working breed that gets quickly attached to their owners and loved ones… spending any amount of time without company is not appreciated by the average Aussie.
Being left alone can cause boredom, frustration, stress, anxiety, and ultimately hyperactive behavior when their owners finally arrive back home. Simply being overwhelmed by having company again can lead to ecstatic behavior.
5. Accidentally reinforcing hyperactivity
Naturally, we want to react to our Aussie’s hyperactive behavior by responding to them, taking them out, playing with them, and so forth (in order to make them stop). Although our intentions are to stop the hyper behavior, we are actually reinforcing to our Aussie that their hyper behavior is exactly what gets our attention. And suddenly, just like that, we’ve reinforced a habit/behavior pattern that we don’t want.
The way around this is to figure out the cause (whether it be insufficient stimulation, exercise, spending time alone) and address it directly. If we take action before the hyper behavior happens, then hopefully we avoid it and avoid having to react to it. Please let me know if this didn’t make sense and I’ll reword it. contact us
Consider Your Aussie’s Daily Routine
Hopefully from reading the 5 main causes of hyperactivity above, you already have some ideas as to what could be causing the hyper behavior.
Consider your Aussie’s daily routine and the following:
In most cases, after speaking to owners about this issue, it always seemed to be that at least two or three of these were not quite satisfied. *Usually leaving their Aussie home alone too long, not exercising first thing, and neglecting training.
Adjusting your Aussie’s daily routine and making up for anything that’s lacking, could see a significant improvement in their behavior.
Can Australian Shepherds Be Calm Dogs?
Yes, Australian shepherds can be calm dogs despite their abundance of energy. With a combination of age, sufficient exercise, stimulation, and a satisfying routine, an Aussie can be mellow and relaxed during all other times.
It’s also worth noting that not all Aussies are excessively hyper anyway. Many Australian shepherds have a rather relaxed and “chilled out” temperament.
Although I wouldn’t count on any Aussie being naturally calm, it’s best not to paint the wrong picture of them by saying they are all excessively hyper, because they’re not.
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