Shelties are an extremely active breed and require a fair amount of exercise to be happy and healthy. They're also very much "people dogs", so they will get the most joy out of exercise with their owners. Without the appropriate amount of exercise, your sheltie may become extremely rambunctious in the house and may even become destructive or begin digging your yard. But, just a little time spent attending to their need for physical activity is all it takes to ensure that your sheltie is in his best condition.
Having a fenced yard is great for shelties, because it gives them the opportunity to run off leash, which they love. It's quite helpful for shelties to get a fair amount of their exercise off leash, but you shouldn't expect them to run around outside alone. They'll be far happier and get far more exercise if you're out in the yard interacting with them. Play a game of fetch or Frisbee and you'll both get a good amount of exercise. Another great way to keep your sheltie occupied while in the yard is to hide bits of food in places and send him out to find them. This is a great challenge both for his mind and his body. Shelties are great at hide and seek, and can also be taught to find toys you've hidden.
Though shelties need time to run off leash, it's important that they be carefully monitored. Shelties love to chase moving things; especially cars. You should never leave your sheltie outdoors unsupervised and unconfined.
Shelties are also great walking or running companions. They leash train very easily and love being out and about with their owners. Daily walks or runs with your sheltie is another great way to keep both of you in top physical condition.
Shelties also excel at agility training, which is also great exercise for them. Agility courses give the sheltie the opportunity to use both their bodies and their minds to complete the agility obstacles. Because shelties are so intelligent, they learn agility skills with ease and they enjoy the mental challenge agility courses require. They also thrive on pursuing such an activity with their owner. If you choose to enroll your sheltie in agility courses, plan to handle him yourself. This common activity will strengthen the bond between you.
The sheltie is a lively breed with a fun and adventurous personality. These personality traits combined with the natural energy that shelties possess make some form of daily exercise critical to their mental well being. In addition, regular exercise will keep your dog physically healthy too, helping to ensure that he'll live a long life. Pursue regular activities with your sheltie to ensure that he's happy, healthy and active for many years to come.