Why Won't My Two Year Old Aussie Run Or Play?

by Cassie
(Houston, TX)

I just adopted the most sweet gentle two year old Aussie from a rescue in August of 2011. I had just lost my Border Collie of 13 years and was left with a broken heart. When I saw Mandy she was shy and reserved and l could tell see was in need of a loving home. We have bonded and she won't leave my side, she is fully house broken and gets along with my ten year old cats.

We go to the park and she won't run or play, I get different toys and treats, nothing interests her except me. She is perfectly happy laying on the couch and not getting up for anything, including the door bell. I have never heard her whine, whimper or bark. This is the strangest personality I have encountered with a herding breed. It's as if she doesn't know how to be a dog! I have had her with other dogs in the neighborhood and she just watches them run circles around her.

If anyone has any suggestions about this behavior and how to get her to play, I would be very happy for her! My vet checked her and can find nothing physical or medical wrong with her.

Questions About Your Aussie? Australian Shepherd Lover's Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Comments for Why Won't My Two Year Old Aussie Run Or Play?

Click here to add your own comments

don't worry so much
by: Anonymous

Why are you so worried? she sounds like she is content and happy to be near you and in a loving home; maybe she just needs time, of reassurance that you won't leave, or disappear, who knows, but regardless, enjoy her company, and let her be who she is. if she wants to play, she will all in good time. I have three dogs, one always wants to play to the point of exhausting the others, the other two, not so much. one is old, so that's understandable, the other is only 3 years old, yet when he turned 2, he turned into this little old man, as I call him, he just wants to lay around, and watch. he does bark when people pass by, or come too close, but out side of an occasiional toy toss, or run, he's quite content just to be; if you're really concerned, try enrolling him in an agility class, maybe he just needs alittle stimulation. best to you both, an keep us posted.

by: Gayle-- Big Run Aussies

My guess is that your girl was never taught to play. She may just need more time to feel comfortable leaving you to run and play. She might fear that you will leave her as she had been left before. Aussies are little shadows and love to be by their people constantly. She may never play, but she will always be your best buddy. I just think she needs more time to adjust to her new situation.

Aussie won't play
by: Anne

As a rescue, you don't know what she went through before you got her. I find with shy aussies that they usually pick a dog friend and learn from that dog what to do. It sounds funny but the humans in her life have never taught her how to play and run and that it is OKAY to play and as you say, be a dog. Patience, time and exposeure to other dogs playing will help her a lot.
I have some stories and suggestions for you.
You can e-mail me privately.

Anne Calmes
Gold Ring Aussies
Louisiana, USA

Thank you
by: Cassie

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. It was nice to hear that my girl isn't alone when it comes to being relaxed. I guess I was all geared up to go and when she didn't show any interest, I got worried. True to the fact I don't know what her past is, her behavior tells me if I had to guess was a Puppy Mill, caged, with no interaction from humans. She has had at least one litter of pups that we can tell and the area she was found is infamous for puppy mills. I have taken her to the dog park, and will continue to love and praise her as she should be, because she is a princess!

by: Peggy in Colorado

Your story is my exact story. I too rescued a 1-2 year old aussie mix female. She is the perfect dog. Never barks, loves to go on walks, good with children of all ages, good with other dogs, always at my side, BUT, she does not know how to play. I have another dog that tries to get her to play, but she just doesn't seem to get it. I have had her for 2 months, and just recently has had some moments of playfullness, so hopefully as other posters have said, in time she will play. Until then, she is the love of my life.

Aussie love
by: Anonymous

My aussie is the same way. He is super content just to be close to me. At all times. He watches TV in my lap. Sleeps with me and my daughter every night. Wont go outside, unless I go too. And waits for me to return in our sitting window seal. So I run, so he runs. I chase a ball alongside him. He won't play unless I am also playing. Its a very close unique relationship. He is my best friend!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Australian Shepherd Q & A.

Australian-Shepherd-Lovers.com icon

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Have Dog Training Questions?

Check out these introductory dog training videos...

I want some help training my new puppy.

I want my dog to stop barking at everything.

I want my dog to walk nicely and calmly on the leash.

I want my dog to listen and come every time I call!

I want my dog to stop being aggressive.