Skip to Content
The Puppy Mag is an Amazon associate and earns a commission for qualifying purchases. Affiliate Disclosure

Running With Australian Shepherds: ALL You Need To Know

Aussies are highly active with amazing stamina, so that means they’ll be great running partners, right?

This article dives into running with your Aussie, and how to do it safely. We’ll cover all of the important topics such as when you can safely start running with your Aussie, as well as how far they can go.

Everything you need to know is covered below, so let’s get into it.

running with australian shepherd

Are Australian Shepherds Good Running Partners?

Absolutely! Australian Shepherds make excellent running partners. Known for their agility and high energy levels, these dogs love a good workout.

Aussies are a herding breed, which means they’re designed for sustained periods of physical activity.

However, their suitability as a running partner can be influenced by a few factors such as their health, age, and individual personality. Some Aussies might be more enthusiastic about running than others. Always make sure your furry friend is enjoying the activity as much as you are!

Can You Run with an Australian Shepherd?

The short answer is yes, but with some caveats. Running with an Australian Shepherd can be a fantastic way to exercise both you and your dog, but it’s important to make sure you’re doing so safely.

This includes ensuring your Aussie is old enough to handle the physical demands of running, monitoring weather conditions (since Aussies can be susceptible to heat), and keeping up with regular vet check-ups to ensure they’re fit and healthy.

Additionally, because each dog is an individual, it’s a good idea to gradually introduce your Aussie to running and watch for signs of fatigue or discomfort. Not all dogs love running, and that’s okay. Find an activity both you and your pet enjoy!

When Can You Start Running with Your Aussie (What Age)?

You can start light training with your Aussie when they’re around six months old, but you should wait until your Aussie is at least one year old before introducing them to running.

➡️ This is because their joints and bones are still developing and excessive exercise can lead to potential health problems in the future.

Before starting any rigorous physical activity, it’s a good idea to consult your vet. They can provide guidance based on your dog’s specific needs and health status.

The last thing we want to do is injure our Aussie pups by trying to exercise them too much, too soon!

How Far Can Aussies Run with You?

A healthy, adult Australian Shepherd can typically run between 5 and 10 miles depending on their fitness level and training.

However, this can vary greatly depending on the dog. Factors such as age, health, and temperature can all affect how far an Aussie can comfortably run.

➡️ But remember, an Aussie brand new to running should not run 5-10 miles! They should start with something signficantly easier like 1-2 miles. This can be slowly increased over the course of weeks/months.

Never push your Aussie to run farther than they’re comfortable with. Pay close attention to their behavior during and after runs. If they show signs of extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, limping, or reluctance to run, it’s time to take a break or stop.

Identifying Signs of Injury or Fatigue in Your Aussie

Knowing the signs that your Aussie may be injured or fatigued from running is crucial to ensure their wellbeing. While Australian Shepherds are high-energy dogs, they, like us, can have off days, get injured, or simply need a rest.

➡️ Here are some of the key indicators that your Aussie might need a temporary or longer break from running:

Physical Signs

  • Limping or favoring one leg: This could indicate a sprain, strain, or other injury. If your dog is limping, stop running immediately and consult a vet.
  • Panting excessively or having trouble breathing: While dogs pant to cool down, excessive panting can be a sign of overexertion or heatstroke.
  • Slowing down or lagging behind: If your typically energetic Aussie starts falling behind or doesn’t seem excited to run, they might be tired or not feeling well.

Behavioral Changes

  • Loss of appetite or changes in drinking habits: A sudden change in eating or drinking habits after running can indicate that your Aussie is overexerted or not feeling well.
  • Change in mood or behavior: If your Aussie seems unusually quiet, grumpy, or disinterested after a run, it may be a sign they are tired or in pain.

Physical Condition

  • Check their paws regularly: Running can be hard on a dog’s paws. Look for signs of cracked pads, foreign objects, or other injuries.
  • Unusual body condition or weight loss: Rapid weight loss or a change in your dog’s coat condition can be signs of overexertion.

Always trust your instincts. You know your Aussie better than anyone. If they seem off, it’s better to be safe and take a break.

Best Practices for Running with Your Aussie

Let’s run through four important points to consider before running with your Aussie. These best practices will ensure your Aussie remains safe and healthy at all times.

✅ Build Their Endurance Slowly

Start slow and gradually increase distance and speed over time. Begin with a brisk walk, gradually introducing short periods of running. Slowly increase the running intervals over several weeks. This approach allows your Aussie to build up endurance and muscle strength, reducing the risk of injury.

✅ Use a Hands Free Leash

A hands-free leash is a fantastic option for running with your Aussie. This allows you to maintain a natural running posture and keeps your hands free. The leash should be sturdy, but with a bit of elasticity to absorb shocks from sudden pulls. And no, it’s never advised to run with your Aussie off-leash, no matter how cool it might look!

✅ Keep Them by Your Side

To keep your Aussie by your side, it’s beneficial to work on basic obedience and leash training. Commands like ‘heel,’ ‘sit,’ ‘stay,’ and ‘come’ are essential. Reward them for good behavior to encourage them to keep up the good work. Consistent training will make your runs smoother and more enjoyable for both of you. Never let your Aussie trail behind you!

✅ Run In Safe Areas & Plan Your Routine

Plan your route to run in a safe area that’s suitable for running with a dog. This means avoiding busy roads and places in general with a lot of traffic/foot traffic. While you might think it’s a good idea to run in the park, if there’s tons of dogs off leash there at all times, this could prove to be more trouble than it’s worth. It’s best to plan a route that’s away from roads, generally quiet, and not too far from home.

General Safety Guidelines for Running with Any Dog

Here are some general safety guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Always carry water for both you and your Aussie. Dehydration can be dangerous.
  • Avoid running during peak heat to prevent overheating. Early morning or late evening runs are best.
  • Check their paws regularly for signs of wear or injury, especially after running on rough terrain.
  • Regular vet check-ups are essential to ensure your Aussie is fit and healthy.

Remember, your Australian Shepherd’s health and wellbeing should be your top priority. Happy running!

Last Thoughts

Running with your Australian Shepherd can be an incredibly rewarding experience for both of you. It’s a fantastic way to bond, explore your surroundings, and keep both you and your furry friend in great shape. However, it’s essential to remember that safety and comfort should always come first.

Take the time to understand your Aussie’s running abilities and preferences. Every dog is unique and may require a different approach to running. Start slow, be patient, and pay close attention to how your dog reacts to the new exercise regimen.

Most importantly, have fun with it! Running is just as much a mental game as it is a physical one. It’s an adventure that you and your Aussie are embarking on together. Encourage them with praise and treats, mix up your routes to keep things interesting, and make each run a positive and enjoyable experience.

More Aussie Articles


Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.