When Do Australian Shepherds Calm Down? (+ What NOT to do)

It’s not long before new Aussie owners start to wonder when their hyperenergetic pup will calm down. It’s important to know that that age or time will not produce a quiet Aussie, owners must take steps to manage hyperactivity.

Australian shepherds usually calm down between 2-4 years of age, with females calming down quicker than males. Some people believe that Australian Shepherds are never really “calm.” They are herding dogs, after all, and herding dogs are bred to be active and alert. However, they can learn to settle down when they need to. It just takes a little patience and training.

 

At What Age Do Australian Shepherds Calm Down?

Australian Shepherds naturally calm down around 2 to 4 years of age when they mature and are considered adult dogs. This is not the case for every Australian Shepherd since the breed is very enthusiastic about life and naturally has a lot of energy. For some dogs, it may take until their senior years for them to calm down.

It’s important to remember that Australian Shepherds are active dogs and they will never be “calm” all the time. They need daily exercise to stay healthy and happy. Most of the time the problem comes from them being hyperactive and not just active.

That’s why its best make sure to give him or her plenty of opportunities to exercise, run, play, and just be a dog. Combine that with some training to help them manage their active levels, and your Australian Shepherd will learn to settle down when needed.

 

Are All Australian Shepherds Hyper?

Most of them are yes. However, each aussie is unique and some are more calm than others. Keep in mind that almost all puppies are also very active, so combine an energetic breed and being an energetic puppy – most of them have a lot of energy while young.

Also Puppyhood is often a short time that’s around 18 months long. Yet some dog breeds will have a puppyhood that can last longer. The Australian Shepherd breed is among the few that are affected by this.

This means it may take longer for your aussie to mature. They may have more years of hyper puppy energy which means you’ll want to start training them early (as soon as you can).

 

Why Do Australian Shepherds Have So Much Energy?

It’s Normal For Them

We just covered that their breed is typically active being bred for working and herding animals. They also can have extended puppy periods where they retain their energy for longer.

So expect a lot of energy!

 

Not Enough Exercise

This is a common thing overlooked for a lot of aussies. They need exercise! Aussies should be getting at least 1 hour of dedicated exercise a day.

Ideally, an Aussie would have 30-45 minutes minutes multiple times (2-4) of the day. Exercising your Aussie will drastically help if you aren’t right now. Expending some of their energy from the start of the day will instantly help go towards a calmer Aussie in general.

 

Being Left Alone

It is not recommended to leave Australian Shepherds alone for long periods of time. Remember, Aussies are a working breed that need exercise and mental stimulation. They also become attached to their owners quickly. If aussies are forced to spend time alone or away from their owner, they will hate it.

Aussies become bored after being left for too long. It can also cause them to become stress, anxious, or even hyperactive. After returning to them after a long period of time, they may become overwhelmed which will feed a cycle of hyperactivity.

 

How to Calm Down An Australian Shepherd

It’s not your Aussie’s fault that they’re super energetic, but you can help them by giving them activities to do every day. Typically its best to aim for two hours of daily exercise at least. The more time you have to commit, is better. Optimally your aussie should get three to four hours if you’re able to.

Here are some things you can do to tire out your Australian Shepherd.

 

Exercise Your Australian Shepherd

Go For a Walk

Walking is a low-impact way to give your Aussie the exercise he or she needs. It’s also a great bonding activity for the two of you. Longer walks are great but any amount of walking per day is better than none. You can be sure that by the time your walk is over, your Aussie will be ready to rest for a while.

Taking walks is great for your Aussie’s energy, plus it can reduce your pup’s stress, strengthen bones, muscles, decrease blood pressure, and improve cardiovascular health.

It’s great for bonding, creating memories, and building your relationship with your pup. Plus all the outdoor time will supply you with vitamin D too. On top of that, you and your aussie will burn plenty of calories.

 

Take Them to The Beach

australian shepherd on the beach

Take your Australian Shepherd to the beach. They’ll love running along the sand, and they will have a blast swimming in the water. Bring toys to include more things to do while there.

It’s a great way to get your aussie running and swimming all day. Not to mention being out in the sun, your Aussie will expend all or close to all their energy. Do make sure you keep an eye on your dog. If the sand is too hot, consider getting them shoes to protect their paws. Make sure to bring an umbrella for shade if needed. Also include portable water and food bowls, and make sure they get plenty of water.

Go to The Dog Park

If you have a dog park near you, take your Australian Shepherd there. It’s the perfect place for them to run around and socialize with other dogs.

Your Aussie will be able to expend all their energy while at the dog park. They’ll also be able to play with other dogs which is great for socialization. If you don’t have a dog park near you, consider finding a place where your Aussie can run off-leash.

 

Buy Them Dog Toys

Buying them dog toys is a great way to calm down your aussie. This will give your Aussie something to focus their energy on instead of being hyperactive.

Toys that are interactive and require your pup to think are the best kinds. For example, food puzzles or Kongs are perfect. You can also get them dog toys that they can play with by themselves like chew toys.

Here’s Some of Our Favorite Mental Stimulation Toys/Activities

  • Licking Mats are great for mental stimulation and to keep an aussie occupied. We typically use peanut butter and a little bit goes a long way! We can keep our aussie occupied for a little bit just by putting the mat in front of them. Here’s a licking mat on amazon (affiliate link) that we got for our aussie and she loves it!
  • Ball Treat Dispensers are entertaining for both you and your aussie. This is a great toy to keep aussies occupied and busy without having to worry if they are breaking anything. Here is a ball treat dispenser toy on amazon (affiliate link) we trust for our aussie. There’s also the original and cheaper Kong treat dispenser on amazon (affiliate link) that has the same effect. If you’ve ever watched an aussie try to get a treat out of one of these toys its both entertaining and fun (for them too).
  • Hide and Seek is a great game for aussies. You can play by hiding one of their favorite toys and watching them dig around for it. If your aussie is obsessed with tennis balls, you can wrap one up in a blanket and watch them dig around to find it.

 

Train Them

The best time to start teaching your Australian Shepherd to “settle” is when he or she is still a puppy. Puppies have shorter attention spans than adult dogs, so you’ll need to be patient and keep the training sessions short.

Reinforce good behavior with treats and praise, and when they behave badly, ignore, don’t react to them. By ignoring, you’ll be sending them a signal the behavior is not okay. Often, your dog will be vocal when trying to get your attention.

If your aussie has a problem with jumping (a lot of them do) then an easy trick to get them to sit is to hold a treat above their head and only give it to them once they sit their butt on the ground. This will slowly train them to sit to keep from jumping.

Another good trick is to teach your puppy to lie down on cue. Once your puppy is consistently lying down on cue, you can begin adding in a duration. For example, you can start with asking your puppy to lie down for 1 second. If he or she is successful, then slowly increase the duration until your puppy can stay in a down position for 30 seconds or more.

After they can settle on cue, you can begin working on adding in distractions. This is where patience and training really come in handy. Start with distractions that are low-key. If your dog can stay in a down position despite these distractions, then you can gradually increase the difficulty of the distractions.

 

Neuter or Spay Them

As a disclaimer, this is not a sure-fix or the answer to your aussie having aggression, hyperactivity, or behavior problems. This is something to consider as it may help your Australian Shepherd mellow down. This process will remove glands that produce the hormones (testosterone or estrogen) that are part of the reason for their energy.

Not only will this help with hyperactivity, but it can also help with other behavioral problems like aggression and marking territories. If you are planning on breeding your Aussie, then you obviously won’t want to do this. But if not, then neutering or spaying your dog is definitely something to consider.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About When Aussies Calm Down

At what age do Aussies mellow out?

There’s no definite answer to this as all dogs are different. However, most Aussies will mellow out by the time they’re 2-3 years old. Some may take longer, and some may calm down sooner. It really just depends on the dog.

 

Do Australian Shepherds calm down after being fixed?

There’s no definite answer as all dogs are different. However, many Aussies will calm down after they’ve been spayed or neutered. This is due to the removal of glands that produce hormones like testosterone and estrogen. If your Aussie is still hyperactive after being spayed or neutered, then it’s likely not related to their hormones.

 

What if my Aussie never calms down?

Australian Shepherds are high-energy dogs that need a lot of exercise and stimulation. If you can’t provide this for them, then it’s not fair to keep them in a home where they’re not happy. There are plenty of other families out there who would love to have an Aussie as part of their family. If you feel like rehoming your dog is the best option, then please do so responsibly by finding a good home for them and making sure they will be well-cared for.

 

Why do Australian Shepherds run in circles?

There could be a number of reasons why your Aussie is running in circles. It could be that they’re trying to herd something, they’re excited, or they’re just plain silly. It’s most likely a random burst of energy. However, if you think it’s something more serious, then you should consult with your veterinarian.

 

How often should I walk my Australian Shepherd?

Australian Shepherds need a lot of exercise, so you should be walking them at least once a day. If you can, try to walk them twice a day or take them on a lengthy hike once a week. Remember, it’s important to wear them out so they’ll be calm when they’re inside the house.

 

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