If you’re thinking about getting an Australian shepherd, you may be wondering whether or not they’re good family dogs. In this article, you’ll find out 5 reasons Australian shepherds make great family dogs, how to introduce them to your family, and whether you can leave them alone or not!
So keep reading to find out!
Are Australian Shepherds Good Family Dogs?
Australian Shepherds are friendly dogs known for their affection and obedience. They listen to their human companions and are eager to please.
But are Australian Shepherds friendly enough for families? Australian Shepherds are excellent family dogs because of their patience. Aussies make loving canine companions who get along well with other pets.
The following article will discuss the importance of the Australian Shepherd’s temperament on families and other pets.
Are Australian Shepherds Friendly?
Australian Shepherds (also referred to as Aussies) are friendly dogs that make great family pets. Aussies are fantastic with children because of their high patience level. When young children are exploring the world, Australian Shepherds are happy to explore it together!
However, Aussies do not make instant friends with strangers. These timid dogs may be apprehensive when confronting new people because of their protective nature. The way a pet is raised impacts its behavior, but usually, the Australian Shepherd focuses on protecting its human companion. Meeting new people makes them anxious and can cause them to act defensively.
Obedience is a key personality trait when adopting a new dog into your family. A dog who listens is more likely to remain calm when meeting new people. Dogs who are not socialized or who frequently meet new people might react defensively. While limiting exposure to these harsh circumstances would be ideal, obedience will minimize containment during this time.
Do Australian Shepherds Make Good House Dogs?
Australian Shepherds make great house dogs because they form pack-like bonds with their human families. The loyal Australian Shepherd is a patient dog who cares about its human companion’s well-being. With an instinct to herd, these dogs have excessive energy levels.
The perfect household for the Australian Shepherd has a high activity level. Australian Shepherds are great household dogs for energetic families, especially homes with young children. Australian Shepherds are friendly and obedient by nature.
An Australian Shepherd requires at least one hour of vigorous exercise every day. Exercise includes playing fetch, going on daily walks, taking your Australian Shepherd adventures, and more. If you are an active household, the Aussie is a great breed choice.
Australian Shepherds love to cuddle as well, which makes them incredible house dogs too. The close relationships they form make these dogs easy to train. Aussies are also protective of their human companions. The protective and friendly nature of these dogs makes them wonderful house dogs.
How to Introduce Australian Shepherds To The Family
Take your time when introducing an Aussie pup to the family. Welcoming a new dog to the household is an exciting time that can be intimidating for all of you. Australian Shepherds are loving dogs that quickly become affectionate over time.
It takes only a little time for Australian Shepherds to become close to their owners. Be patient as your Australian Shepherd opens up.
Depending on your Aussies age, it may take longer for them to open up. Previously-homed adult Aussies might be more difficult to connect with than puppies. Staying patient while getting to know your Australian Shepherd is critical.
Introducing Australian Shepherd Puppies
Puppies are forming connections for the first time with their owners. These pups make connections easier than dogs who are homing into families for the second or third time.
After leaving their litter for the first time, it can be intimidating for a new pup to form new relationships. Your Australian Shepherd will bond with you and begin to see you as their new parental figure.
Socialize and play with puppies daily to form relationships with them. Give them positive praise and cuddle with them daily. Always remember to train your Australian Shepherd early. These are highly intelligent dogs. If you start their training as puppies, their capabilities are endless!
Introducing an Adult Australian Shepherd
When introducing an adult Australian Shepherd to the family, you must be patient. It will take time for them to open up. An adult Australian Shepherd that has previously formed relationships before may have a difficult time forming new relationships.
Australian Shepherds may also whine for their previous owners. Remain patient as your Australian Shepherd adjusts to its new life. It is a whole new experience, and the adult Aussie has already formed deep connections before coming into your household.
Since your adult Australian Shepherd has been a part of at least one family before yours, forming connections with strangers can be difficult for the Australian Shepherd. Aussies become connected with their human companions, and your Australian Shepherd will always cherish these bonds. Moving to a new home means you are asking them to move on and let go of their previous relationship.
To let go of the memories, they shared with their previous human is asking a lot from them!
Introducing Australian Shepherd Rescues
Introducing Australian Shepherd rescues can be an unpredictable process mainly because rescues have unknown backgrounds. Many dogs experience trauma while living in shelters. Whether it be from the lack of socialization or the improper exercise routine, Aussies become agitated when they live in shelters for excessive amounts of time.
The first few weeks after rescuing your Australian Shepherd can be difficult because of your Aussie’s lack of trust. Aussies with previous social connections may have a hard time forming connections with new people. When living in shelters, Australian Shepherds develop trust issues and find it difficult to form lasting relationships. The lack of trust is most common when Aussies are placed in the fostering system and moved around frequently.
Constant moving from household to household makes it difficult for Australian Shepherds to form meaningful connections. It can take time to form a connection with your canine companion. However, the relationship you form with your rescue, but once you do, it will be strong and withstanding.
Overcome previous trauma by socializing with your traumatized rescue dog and praising them for good behavior. Avoiding yelling, physically punishing, or scold your dog for normal behavior since these may evoke trauma. Most important of all, stay patient with your Australian Shepherd and respect their boundaries. It may take time, but a rescue pet will open up eventually!
Introducing Australian Shepherds to Other Pets
Australian Shepherds are friendly with other dogs, but they do not particularly enjoy living with other dogs. An Australian Shepherd would much rather live in a single-dog household mostly because they want all your attention. If you have one or more pets at home, socialize your pets slowly. Allow them to meet over time and accommodate themselves to each other’s smells.
Australian Shepherds may feel neglected if they must compete for attention with other dogs, so consider the amount of attention you give each pet.
When it comes to meeting strangers at the dog park, Australian Shepherds make friends slowly. Give your Australian Shepherd time to warm up to new dogs and never force a relationship on them. Do not introduce your Australian Shepherd to other dogs until you have trained them in basic commands. Although your Aussie may be friendly, you cannot expect that all other dogs are well-trained.
The Australian Shepherd may be a friendly dog but always remember they will do everything possible to protect their human companions. Australian Shepherds are protective canines who are willing to fight hard for their territory.
Are Australian Shepherds Cuddly?
Australian Shepherds are mostly cuddly with their owners. They love affection and cuddling with their family, but they can be resistant to affection from strangers.
Although your Australian Shepherd may usually want to cuddle, not all Aussies will want to cuddle every day. Every dog has a different personality so give your Australian Shepherd time by themselves now and then.
The following are a few reasons that your Australian Shepherd may not want to cuddle:
- Health problems
- Personality (just do not want to!)
- Increasing age
- Uninterested at the moment (I’m busy, mom!)
- Trauma from past families or living in rescue shelters
- Timidity or no close relationship yet
Now and then, your canine companion may want time on their own, but odds are they will be cuddled up at your side anytime they get the chance. The loving Australian Shepherd loves spending time with their humans! Once you connect, it will be hard to separate the two of you.
Some owners even claim that Australian Shepherds might as well be velcro with how attached they become to you. Dog owners looking for a sidekick in life should look no further than an Australian Shepherd.
Read these quotes below from real Australian Shepherd owners talking about their close and cuddly relationships with their Aussies:
“I call them the tripping-over dogs. They will always be right there with you. Watch out behind you—most likely, he or she is there. You’ll never go to the bathroom alone. They will not be left out of anything. This is why many call them ‘Velcro dogs.’ I am always in awe of their extreme loyalty.” Francine Guerra – Alias Aussies
“Intelligence, humor, loyalty, and endurance. When you have an Aussie, you will always have a best friend always willing to stay by your side.” Ashley Bryan – Ashley’s Aussies
“I believe it is important to decide beforehand what type of personality would best suit your lifestyle and family. Typically, puppies show you the personality they will have as an adult dog as early as four to six weeks.” Jessica Faber, Red Oak Trail Ranch
Can Australian Shepherds Be Left Alone?
Australian Shepherds do not like being left alone. Leaving an Australian Shepherd alone for long periods can make your dog feel abandoned. It may seem like your dog is jumping to conclusions, but in their mind, this is realistic. Long-term separation from their human companion can cause your adorable Aussie severe anxiety.
When your Aussie is left alone, they may begin to complain in the form of loud and repetitive barking. Over time, your Australian Shepherd may begin to develop lasting resentment toward you. An ongoing rift in your relationship can cause them to put a wall in your relationship.
If you have a job that keeps you long hours, an Australian Shepherd may not be the best dog breed for you. Consider a less social breed like the Basset Hound, Labrador, or Greyhound. People who work longer than a regular 9-5 shift should adopt more self-sufficient dog breeds.
Australian Shepherds love spending time with their owners and do not like to be left alone. Dogs who are left alone may feel abandoned by their owners.
Read the quotes below from real Australian Shepherd owners:
“[W]hen [Australian Shepherds] leave their litters, they will look to their new owners as the pack leader while they find their place in the world. Leaving them alone for extended periods of time can cause separation anxiety, and they will often cause damage to the home or themselves if not safely confined.” Ashley Bryan – Ashley’s Aussies
“Aussies form strong bonds with those around them; it may take a few weeks for them to adjust being away from their previous bonds… [be patient and] soon they will be bonded with you, and that loneliness for their previous bonds will be replaced…” Jessica Faber – Red Oak Trail Ranch
“I call them the tripping-over dogs. They will always be right there with you. Watch out behind you—most likely, they are there. You’ll never go to the bathroom alone. They will not be left out of anything. This is why many call them ‘Velcro dogs.’ I am always in awe of their extreme loyalty.” Francine Guerra – Alias Aussies
Do Australian Shepherds Bark a Lot?
The typical Australian Shepherd tends to bark a lot. Australian Shepherds are vocal dogs who communicate with their human companions through barks. Barking is a natural behavior, and you should never punish your pup for doing so. However, unnecessary barking can cause a disturbance in your everyday life.
There are several reasons that your Australian Shepherd may bark. The most common reason that Australian Shepherds bark is because they are trying to communicate their demands. An Aussie may be trying to get your attention and tell you that they require attention. Give your Australian Shepherd affection as soon as possible, or they may continue barking all day!
On the other hand, it should come as no surprise that your Aussie barks to get a reaction out of you. The more annoyed you get when your Australian Shepherd barks, the more they will continue barking. One of the best ways to stop a dog from unnecessary barking is to ignore them. Ignore your dog’s barking by turning your back or pushing your focus on something else.
Training Aussies is an easy task because these canines are obedient, smart, and eager to please their human companions. Your Australian Shepherd should have no trouble learning their new trick.
Although you cannot stop all barking behavior immediately, you can use the tricks below to handle excessive barking behavior from Australian Shepherds:
- Do not leave your dog alone for long periods.
- Take your Aussie outside for bathroom breaks regularly.
- Yelling and scolding your dog leads to reaction barking.
- Use positive reinforcement when training your dog.
- Send your Australian Shepherd to obedience school for commands.
When training your Australian Shepherd to stop excessive barking, choose humane methods. Dogs develop resentment against owners who use inhumane training methods like shock collars and spray bottles. Consider the health and feelings of your Australian Shepherd and use positive reinforcement to teach them good behavior. With positive reinforcement, you reward your awesome Aussie for being the good dog they are!
Want To Train Your Australian Shepherd With Peace Of Mind?
If you haven’t trained your Australian Shepherd properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.
The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.
With Brain Training For Dogs you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact, you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.
So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!
And in most cases it’s still going to be:
- Cheaper than hiring a professional.
- Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
- And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.
Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your Australian Shepherd completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them, will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT.
And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try!
So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior, or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results!
(You can also check out a full review here, to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)
Are Australian Shepherds Playful Dogs?
Aussies are very playful, which is a key reason why they are so compatible with young children.
Do Australian Shepherds Get Along With Kids?
Australian Shepherds are patient dogs who get along well with kids. The patience of Australian Shepherds makes these dogs perfect for watching over and protecting young children.
Are Australian Shepherds High Maintenance?
Australian Shepherds are not high maintenance, but they do require attention from their owners. Leaving them alone for long amounts of time can cause them to develop resentment for their owners.
The Bottom Line
Aussies make excellent companions, but you must consider your dog’s needs before adopting one. Australian Shepherds are dogs who love interaction, play, and affection from their owners.
On the other hand, abandonment and constantly leaving these canines alone can cause them to develop resentment.
Spend time with your Australian Shepherd daily by playing fetch and going on daily walks. Maintaining your Aussies’ weight and energy level will keep them happy.
An Australian Shepherd is Perfect For Your Family if…
- You have energetic kids
- You are an active family
- You love doggy snuggles!
- You own a large piece of property
- You are in need of a herding dog
An Australian Shepherd May NOT Be The Best Choice For Your Family if…
- You live in a low activity household
- You do not have time for a high-energy dog
- You work long hours or leave the house frequently
- You do not like snuggling or cuddling with your pets