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Are Australian Shepherds Typically Aggressive? Important Facts for Owners

Patricia Dickson

By Patricia Dickson

australian shepherd lying in the forest

If you’re considering adopting an Australian Shepherd, whether it’s a Mini Aussie or a Standard Aussie, you first need to know everything you can about the breed you’re bringing into your home around your family. One question most potential Australian Shepherd owners have is whether the Aussie is typically aggressive or not.

The answer to this question is no, in most cases. As with any dog, you must be careful how you train, socialize, and treat your Aussie. In this article, we’ll discuss whether Aussies are aggressive and more to help you determine if this breed is the right choice for you and your family.

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Are Australian Shepherds Aggressive?

Aussies are not usually an aggressive breed. Instead, they are loyal, loving, and very affectionate. However, the Aussies were bred to be herding dogs, so they have a herding instinct.

That means they can be bossy, especially if you have other pets in the home. The herding instinct also makes them pretty stubborn animals.

smiling australian shepherd waling in the field
Image Credit: Daniel Albany, Pixabay

Are Aussies Aggressive to Humans?

Aussies are an eager-to-please breed that grows attached to its pet parents. They usually aren’t aggressive to humans in most cases. However, if you put the dog in a situation that makes them feel uncomfortable and like they are being threatened, it could become aggressive.

The dog can also be aggressive when it comes to food. However, this can be stopped if you train your Aussie when it’s a puppy not to be. You want to train and socialize your Aussie from a young age because if the dog isn’t socialized, it will become stubborn and more likely to show signs of aggression.

Are Aussies Aggressive with Children?

While Aussies aren’t usually aggressive with children, it’s best to keep a close eye on the situation when children are around. Babies and toddlers don’t know how to interact with a dog and could injure your Aussie or end up becoming injured themselves.

Aussies get along great with older children if they are trained and socialized to do so when they’re puppies.

Are Aussies Aggressive with Strangers?

How your Aussie reacts to strangers coming onto your property or into your home depends on how well-trained and socialized the dog is. The breed can be friendly with strangers you meet when you’re out and about. However, they can lash out and be aloof if they feel threatened or feel that the stranger is threatening you.

Again, training is essential in this area. Aussies are protectors, and you need the dog to tell the difference between a friend and someone trying to hurt you, your family, or the dog itself.

australian shepherd dog and female owner are walking together
Image Credit: Anna Pozzi – Zoophotos, Shutterstock

Are Aussies Aggressive to Other Animals?

In most cases, Aussies are okay with having other animals around. They may sniff the animal out of curiosity, but they usually aren’t aggressive. They may try to herd a smaller pet as that’s their instinct, but overall, Aussies love other people and animals and get along with almost any of them.

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Wrap Up

Australian Shepherds are not typically aggressive if you train and socialize the dog when it’s a puppy in the way it should act. They are a protective breed, and you must train your dog to know when there’s a threat from an intruder and when the stranger you meet or coming up to your home is a friend.

Remember, adopting a pet is a huge responsibility, so make sure you’re ready to take on the task of being a pet parent before you make that final decision to give an Aussie a forever home.

Featured Image Credit: torstensimon, Pixabay

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