Are Australian Shepherds Good Guard Dogs? |Behavior Revealed

  • By: Justin
  • Date: April 26, 2022
  • Time to read: 8 min.

Nothing says, beauty and energy like a classic Australian Shepherd. These dogs are lively, active, and gorgeous. They’re fabulous companions.

And, are incredibly loyal, watchful, and loving. Also, while being keen on danger. Yes! they are very brave.

But, the question remains. Are Australian shepherds good guard dogs?

Are Australian Shepherds Good Guard Dogs?

Are Australian Shepherds Good Guard Dogs?

Yes, Australian shepherds can be trained to be guard dogs. Since, their natural inclination is toward, herding. They can also, be fantastic watchdogs. Certainly, with good specific training. But, generally, these canines are superb for protective detail.

Does An Australian Shepherd Have the Capacity to Protect You?

Yes, an Australian Shepherd will protect you, at least to some degree.

They’re very wary of anyone who isn’t part of their household. While some Aussies will become dependent and shy. Others could be the total opposite, by being aggressive. And, not to mention the complete barking.

But, as we mentioned before, just like any guard dog. They will be great with good training. And, with that get the best of this incredible breed.

Although, their looks may not be as intimidating. Certainly, they will get rid of any evil home invader.

Can an Australian Shepherd be a Good Guard Dog?

Are Australian Shepherds Aggressive?

Although it’s not part of an Aussie’s nature, to be aggressive. Certainly, if not train properly, they can be somewhat bossy with smaller animals, and sometimes their owners. So, training is always a must.

They’re often very affectionate and docile. But, because of their herding instincts, they will nip and bark if not sufficiently socialized.

Can an Australian Shepherd Be Train As A Guard Dog

Can an Australian Shepherd Be Train As A Guard Dog

First and foremost, It is absolutely necessary to understand the difference, between Guard dog training, and watchdog training.

It all depends on, whether you are willing to spend the money or time that the dog needs for the right training. And with that, understanding the difference could be a lifesaver.

They have a natural propensity toward protectiveness, so it would make sense to use them for guarding.

But, in order to become a protective dog, they have to be thought to engage in attacking or restrain on command.

And, that will require a high level of aggression. And, the obedience to be very strict. And, to do that may be a hard task for this breed.

Not every dog is able to let go of the pray after the rush of adrenaline they get.

Their genesis occurred to be slightly aggressive herding dogs.

So, that tells us that it may be possible to train them. But, it is not recommended.

Is Police Work Good For An Australian Shepherd?

Yes, Aussies make excellent policing canines. Their athleticism, protectiveness, and patrolling capabilities make them fabulously adept at this kind of work.

Australian Shepherds are very active and energetic, so it’s an ideal job for them.

They’re careful watchers, easy to train, and great for extra defense in delicate situations.

Aussies are excellent retrievers, so they’re good rescue dogs as well. Their sense of smell is also great. So, they are used for sniffing drugs as well.

Will Australian Shepherds Guard Livestock?

Absolutely! It is the whole reason why Australian Shepherds are perfect for livestock.

Not to mention, the courage they display, also herding bulls, and strong animals as such. According, to the American kennel club (AKC)

They’re watchdogs of the most superb levels. And, are more than ideal for watching cows, sheep, pigs and etc.

They’re keen alert and are effective at warding off threats, and potential dangers surrounding them.

In fact, American Ranchers love this breed. They are not only hard workers but always trying to please their masters.

What is the General Temperament of An Australian Shepherd?

Aussies are very docile, calm, even-tempered, and loving dogs.

But, it’s not uncommon for them to be overprotective, somewhat aggressive, and extremely distrusting of anyone who isn’t a family member.

This is why it’s important to spend some time socializing with your Australian Shepherd the moment you bring them home.

Are Australian Shepherds Good For First Time Owners?

Typically speaking, Australian Shepherds aren’t ideal as the first dogs.

Unless you are planning to have a good training put in place. Since these dogs require decisive leadership from their owners.

And, not to mention plenty of exercises. Because Aussies can be very intelligent and energetic.

It is important to be aware of the dedication, you need to give them. They are not going to be like a lap dogs always.

So, here is a good list of what to do and not to do:

-Daily walk

-Practice obedience training

-Give them lots of attention

-Give them a healthy diet made specifically for high energy dogs

-Since they are intelligent, avoid yelling and hitting them.

-Avoid small children around them

-Show them tricks


The only exception to getting an Aussie as your first dog is if it fits your active lifestyle.

Are Australian Shepherds Good With Other Dogs?

Considering how aggressive and standoffish Aussies can be, you wouldn’t think they’d be good with other dogs.

But, good news! because on the contrary, they don’t seem to have problems being around other dogs, either their own breed or different ones.

That said, individual Aussies have varying behaviors. Some love to make new friends, while others are shy and don’t take well to socializing.

However, they rarely fight with other dogs because they do generally tend to be docile.

Do Australian Shepherds Bark A Lot?

Australian Shepherds are persistent barkers. This can be bad enough to interfere with daily life.

While the barking is good for warning and alerting potential danger, they can bark at anything from passing cars and passersby to leaves falling from trees and chipmunks running across the street.

Training will become imperative if your Aussie barks excessively.

It will be the only way to tame and control this to give yourself, and your neighbors, peace of mind.

Are Australian Shepherds Prone To Biting?

Due to their herding natures, Australian Shepherds do and can bite people. It’s part of their instinct to do so.

But, there are many variables involved that will determine whether an Aussie will bite or not.

The more calm and docile types generally don’t bite often.

But, if they’re more aggressive than the average of their breed, they may bite more than you would like.

Are Australian Shepherds Good With Kids?

Whether Australian Shepherds are good with kids or not is not a simple yes-or-no answer. There are a lot of mixed reviews and for good reason.

On the one hand, they’re very good playmates for older children and are loving with a docile nature.

But, for small children, can present something of a danger. They’ll try to herd them by nipping at their heels.

However, if you get an Aussie puppy when the small child is around three years old, you can avoid this kind of behavior.

Also, regardless of the age of the children, it’s a good idea to get the dog socialized.

Do Australian Shepherds Have Behavioral Problems?

Typically, Aussies don’t have behavioral issues. They’re often very kind, sweet, loving, and playful with their families.

But, some Australian Shepherds will display aggressive tendencies if they aren’t properly trained and socialized.

Of course, as with any dog, they can have behavioral problems when previous owners abuse or neglect them.

will an australian shepherd attack an intruder

Australian Shepherds Strenghts And Weaknesses

There are a lot of benefits to owning such a dog, but there is an equal number of downsides.

As a brief overview, Australian Shepherds are easy to train, eager to learn, and loving.

However, they have some health problems, shed profuse amounts of fur, and have more energy than most people can manage.


  • Personable:

 Aussies are some of the most friendly and loving dogs around. They aren’t usually aggressive and make an ideal companion.

  • Trainable: 

Because Australian Shepherds are incredibly smart and intelligent with an eagerness to learn and please, they’re easily trained. They perform well with solid results, making them excellent for more complex training in things like policing, hunting, or guardianship, herding, hearing dogs, drug-sniffing dogs.

  • Loyal: 

The innate protective nature Aussies have along with their unconditional love makes them very loyal indeed. They thrive on pleasing their owners and always look to them for reassurance and support.

  • Adaptable: 

The long hair, double-coated fur of an Australian Shepherd means they can adapt to almost any climate. The fur provides a waterproof barrier from rain and snow but it’s also breathable enough to accommodate humidity or dry, arid conditions.

  • Sizable: 

Aussies are mid-sized dogs, ranging in weight between 40 and 65 pounds with a height of 23 inches. This is ideal for leashed walks, training, or car transportation. Their need for activity and exercise prevents them from gaining too much weight as well.


  • Diligent Biters: 

They do tend to nip and bite at people in an attempt to herd them. This is particularly true when it comes to small children.

  • Untrusting of Strangers: 

While their aversion to others not part of the household is invaluable for guardianship duties, it’s not so good when friends and extended family come to visit.

  • High Energy: 

Bred to be working and herding dogs, Australian Shepherds have a high level of energy. Some would even classify it as exuberant amounts of energy. Therefore, they have to have lots of exercises. If they don’t get the daily requirement, they will be somewhat destructive.

  • Profuse Shedders: 

Aussies have tons of fur. This means there will be tufts of hair strewn all about the house and collect in sleeping, resting, and eating areas. Therefore, grooming will have to be a top priority. You must brush them once a day with a thorough brushing once per week.

  • Eye Problems: 

Australian Shepherds have a genetic predisposition to colobomas, cataracts, retinal detachment, and many other serious eye diseases. Regular eye exams will be imperative.

  • Hip Problems: 

Aussies share the same problem many dogs tend to have, hip dysplasia. This is a painful joint condition that includes arthritis, pain, and surgery. You can start this off with proper exercise and diet.

Final Thoughts-Will an Australian Shepherd Attack An Intruder

Australian Shepherds are famous for being loyal protectors of their families and the property left in their care. So, they are incomparable in many ways when it comes to guardianship duties. However, they are specific to herding. So, while guarding may not be natural to their mode of being, you can train them for more intensity.

Australian Shepherds are amazing dogs that provide unconditional love and companionship.

They make excellent watchdogs because of their natural propensity toward protection and herding.

If you have small children, you may want to take some proactive, precautionary measures.

But, all in all, if your lifestyle matches the dog’s personality, it will be a match made in heaven.

Looking For Watch Dog Guides?

If you’re looking for more guard dogs resources, consider checking out our other post on guard dogs.

Justin- Writer & Chief Editor of


Justin is a protection dog enthusiast. He has years of experience teaching and training dogs. He enjoys sharing what he’s learned. Read More

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