Are Australian Shepherds protective? Do they make good guard dogs?
Australian Shepherds are beautiful dogs loved by many across America – especially those who live in rural communities. Despite their name, Australian Shepherds (or Aussies as they're sometimes called) are an American breed that originated in the mid-1800s.
These pups are excellent herding dogs and love to be put to work. They also make amazing family pets and are very loving.
But are Australian Shepherds protective? Do they make great guard dogs? Here's what you need to know about these beautiful dogs' temperament and protective capabilities.
Australian Shepherd Temperament
Like many herding pups, Aussies are a highly intelligent dog breed. They love to have a task to do – whether that's herding sheep, playing with a favorite toy, or leading their family on an adventurous hike. They excel in all sorts of canine training, especially dog sports, obedience class, and intelligence tasks.
As you can imagine from a dog that's most at home on an enormous American ranch, these pups need a lot of exercise and have a lot of energy.
They love to have space to roam and run in and enjoy long fetch games in the park. Like many energetic dogs, if their exercise requirements aren't met, they can turn destructive and even aggressive.
But it's not all about their bodies. Aussies are one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world, and mental stimulation is crucial too. Whenever they're not out and about running, you need to make sure they have enough toys and space to keep themselves occupied.
Aussies love to be with their families. They form strong bonds with all members and can be pretty protective. This protective streak comes from their herding dog heritage. Many believe that herding is just chasing sheep or cattle into pens, but herding breeds have to work as guard dogs too.
They have to protect their flock from predators such as wolves, bears, and other animals. And whilst they might not be protecting you from bears, for them, the mailman is just as intimidating.
Are Aussies aggressive?
Most Australian Shepherds are not naturally aggressive. They can be a little wary of strangers, and their protective nature can make them reserved around new people.
Still, well-socialized dogs shouldn't show signs of aggression. If an Australian Shepherd is overly aggressive, this will usually be down to their upbringing, lack of training, boredom, or irresponsible breeding (such as puppy mills).
Are Australian Shepherd dogs good at guarding?
Suppose you want to get a guard dog that will fight off any intruders and protect you, your property, and your family. In that case, you'd be better off looking at different breeds.
Other dogs such as Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Bullmastiffs make excellent guard dogs that don't mind fighting off potential threats.
An Aussie, however, is an excellent watchdog. They are highly-attentive working dogs that will be happy to alert you to any suspicious activity or intruders. This breed is an excellent protection dog that is particularly sensitive to loud noises and unusual sounds.
An Australian Shepherd puppy can easily be trained to protect and guard people and property. Still, it's unlikely that they'll show any real signs of aggression.
So, will an Australian Shepherd protect you? The answer is yes and no. These dogs can be reserved around new people and want to protect their families from potential threats.
They're not, however, likely to be aggressive if needed. An Australian Shepherd is not the best guard dog out there, but their herding instinct makes them wonderful watchdogs. Their loving and friendly nature also makes them great family pets!
Which breed of dog would you get if you needed a guard dog?
I’m Charlotte, a content and copywriter from the North of England and currently living in Berlin. Animals have always been a huge part of my life, so writing about dogs is a total pleasure! I love all kinds of dogs and their cheeky personalities, but I’d have to say Weimaraners are my favourite!