Thinking About Having An Australian Shepherd

by Pedro
(Sintra, Portugal)

Hi. I used to be a cat person but a few months ago something triggered a huge desire of having a dog. I've read and read and seen videos all the time since May and Australian Shepherd is the breed that fits better in my lifestyle. However I have some questions:

I am a runner, would an Australian Shepherd be happy with 30/40 minutes of running (I run fast) and 10 minutes of mental exercise a day? He would be alone for 5/6 hours a day, and of course during the day I'll play and stimulate him and I will exercise him more that that, I'm just thinking about some days that can be more complicated.

Also, another thing that I'm afraid is hip displasya. At what time could he start running with me (I would start slowly)? I don't want to take any chances.

How much grams of top quality food does an adult aussie eats a day? (more or less)

I have a yard and a place where we have barbecues that is protected from wind and rain. Could I let him out there when he is a pup when no one is home? It's a place that is opened to outside but I would put a pen so he couldn't go outside. I'm just afraid that he will be afraid of rain and the sound of the wind since I'm getting him in the winter (I live in Portugal and the worst temperatures are 4ºC or so. I don't want him to get used to soil in the house (even if it is on journal paper or a place established by me).

Will it be difficult to get them to poop and pee while it is raining? How should I do it? With an umbrella?

The question that is more important to be answered is the one with the exercise because in some places I read that they need 2-3 hours a day of running which is absurd, and I've also seen that they only need 30 minutes of running a day. How do you exercise your Aussies in a normal day?

Also, I leave with my dad, mom and brother. I read that they tend to specially bond with one person. If I am gone for 2-3 weeks, will he be very sad because he misses me a lot or will be ok because he still has my parents or brother?

Thank you.

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