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Need Tips For An Extremely Active Australian Shepherd
One year ago my wife and I adopted an Australian Shepherd and named him Ace. We did quite a bit of research on the breed, and had a fairly good understanding of their behavior and need for exercise and engagement. This didn't seem overly daunting because we are dog people and enjoy spending time with them and also being outside exercising with them. Ace will turn one in three days and we have seen very little progress in his behavior and ability to curb his energy levels.
He gets a minimum of two hours a day exercise, and sometimes up to 3 hours. This consists of runs/walks, rollerblading, bike riding, and dog park—usually a combination of those things every day. We have tried frisbee and fetch with him as these come recommended, but he usually loses interest within a few minutes of playing. He also has been enrolled in several doggy day cares, but has gotten kennel cough twice, and in the winter months (when they are not outside), he always come home smelling like urine from rolling in the mats that the dogs openly pee on.
We have a fairly large kitchen, and he is currently penned inside when he is not outside. He has destroyed just about everything in the kitchen from the dining room table to the window sills, to the drywall on the walls. If we try and put a doggy bed down for him, he will destroy that too. If we leave anything inadvertently in the kitchen on the counter or on the floor, you guessed it, he will destroy it. He still exhibits this behavior after getting 7-10 miles of exercise, 2 or 3 times a day. When we let him into the main part of the house, he is an absolute wrecking ball. He knocks over lamps, shelves, plants, gets into EVERYTHING, and never calms down. We've tried letting him be in the house and we will follow him and correct him, sometimes for hours, and he never calms down. My wife and I joke that he has two speeds—tornado or sleep.
The kicker to the whole situation is that my wife is now 7 months pregnant and I don't know where we are going to afford more time in our day to cater to Ace after the baby comes. We love him, and we hope that as he grows out of this puppy phase so he may become the loving family dog we were hoping for.
Any thoughts on tips to help, or when you've noticed your Aussie mellow out a little would be greatly appreciated. We love him and are willing to try anything, we don't want to give up on him!