Is An Australian Shepherd a Good Family Dog?
Is an Australian Shepherd a Good Family Dog? We KNOW they were bred for herding, which makes them a pretty good “outdoor” dog, but how are they for families?
These brilliant yet high-energy dogs are becoming immensely popular, and for a good reason. But is an Australian Shepherd a good fit for your family? Let us find out.
Is an Australian Shepherd a Good Family Dog?
Are they going to treat the kids as sheep and herd them, nipping at their heels if they don’t move fast enough? Will be they be trainable? Are they sweet enough to cuddle with? Will they be good for protection?
We plan to answer all of that, and more – let’s go!
Are they smart?
Contrary to popular belief, the Australian Shepherds are brilliant and intelligent dogs, coming in at almost the top of the charts compared to other breeds. They are revered for their obedience training and incomparable work intelligence. Many experts classify them as a breed with average intelligence, but they can pick up things quickly.
The Australian Shepherd works extremely hard, and they tend to have a calm nature. They are quieter compared to the other dog breeds out there. One should note here that since these are high-energy dogs, they always need a purpose in their lives. So, if you are keen on getting an Australian Shepherd for your family, try to read about the species as much as possible before going for it.
It doesn’t matter if the task is playing fetch or working on that new bone you got from the local butcher – they will take their task seriously and go after it with their whole heart.
Are Australian Shepherd good with kids?
The Australian Shepherd is known to be a friendly dog and having such a dog can bring lots of cheer and happiness for the family, including the kids. In general, the Australian shepherds are friendly with the kids and even with the babies. It is essential to understand that Australian shepherds love spending time outdoors, and the good thing is that even kids love to play outdoors.
The worst thing that can happen is that an Australian shepherd can be indifferent to the kids or stay calm when it encounters the children. If this happens, supervised socialization would be the best approach…just to make sure that the herding instinct isn’t going into over drive.
Are Australian Shepherds good with cats?
The Australian Shepherd is generally good with cats, but it does not mean that all are. The Australian shepherds are intelligent dogs, and they understand that they will not gain anything by harming an animal like a cat.
If you are starting an Australian Shepherd and a cat from a very young age, then they will get along very well, but if you are introducing an adult shepherd in the company of a cat or vice-versa, then you cannot ask them to get along without any fuss! Socialization training is of paramount importance and is vital to make things work.
In our house? The cats started using their paws to swipe at our Australian Shepherd and the dog picked up on it as a play move. She started doing the same thing back to the cats and only one side sees it as play. (Hint: it isn’t the cats)
Are Australian Shepherds good with other dogs?
We all know that Australian Shepherds are always happy and loyal to the owners. They love to play a lot, and they get along very well with humans. However, this does not guarantee that they will bond well with other dogs too. Right? Suppose you wonder whether your Australian Shepherd will behave well with other dogs. In that case, you will be happy to note that Australian Shepherds generally do not have any problem with other dogs.
Some may want to make new friends, some are shy, and a few can be indifferent to the other dogs in the initial stages. They do not have a habit of picking up with other dogs as they possess a friendly personality. So you can shed all your concerns regarding the attitude of an Australian Shepherd towards other dogs.
If you frequent your local dog park, your Australian Shepherd will be the fan favorite in no time. Our is slightly submissive – unless a male gets to amorous. THEN she pulls out all the stops as she tells him off. Then she is back to Miss Wonderful Princess Furry Butt.
Will my Australian Shepherd protect me?
The Australian Shepherd is loyal to the owners and will do everything in its capacity to keep the owner away from danger. In a nutshell, they are excellent watchdogs. The protective nature of the Australian Shepherd comes from the herding instinct since the dogs were originally meant to work on farms. Their job was to protect the animals from bears and wolves.
The same mindset is still there; the only difference is that your Aussie now deals with humans. It is essential to remember that protection is not their primary instinct. They will bark at strangers at the gate, but they will not display aggressiveness or threaten to bite strangers. The appearance of the Australian Shepherd does not suit the role of a ferocious ‘protector’.
Let the surprise your uninvited guest …
Does the Australian Shepherd like to cuddle?
Are you wondering whether your Aussie baby would cuddle or not? They do like to cuddle, but only with the family members, they are living with. They would not want to cuddle with someone they are not familiar with. They are affectionate and friendly but only with the owners, no one else. It also depends on how he has been brought up. For this reason, socialization is essential for the Australian Shepherd.
We use the code word “snuggles”.
“Do you want snuggles?”
She runs to the couch, sits down, and waits for us to sit too – and half lays on our lap, half off it for snuggle time. Yes, snuggle time involves scritches behind the ear. Check out our article on ways to bond with your dog for more ideas.
Do they bark a lot?
Yes, to give you a straightforward answer, the Australian Shepherd is noisy, and they do bark a lot. They will bark at other animals, strangers, and even at the source of any loud noise. All this happens because of their herding heritage, and it is common to find an Australian Shepherd barking while playing.
Rest assured, it isn’t that high-pitched “yip” you get from some breeds – no eardrum splitting pain here! And once you acknowledge what they are warning you about, they quiet down quickly.
But if you are worried that your dog is barking excessively, you can undertake various approaches so that the Australian shepherd exhibits calmer behavior. Remember that a bored Australian shepherd would bark more frequently, so make sure that the dog exercises for at least 60 minutes per day and takes part in various activities to channel its energy correctly.
You will love your Aussie!
Seriously, they are incredibly fantastic family dogs. We whipped up a fun free printable for you – 10 fun house rules for Australian Shepherds. You can get it below.
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