| Pet Care Advice By Veterinarians |

Are Australian Shepherds Good Guard Dogs? (Answered!)



Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Robertson

Learn more about us.

The Aussie is a very versatile dog. They were bred to herd, but they have proved themselves as successful in other fields. Besides being excellent herders, Australian Shepherds also excel in working as service dogs, canine sports, agility contests, and emotional support. Also, they are lovely home pets.

The Aussie has enough love for the entire family. They love working and playing. These dogs will spend as much time as possible near their owners. They are good with children and provide fun for the entire homestead.

However, some owners can demand more of their dogs. Certain people want their canine buddies to guard and protect their homes and families. So, are Australian Shepherds good guard dogs? Here are the findings of my research.

Key Takeaway

  • Australian Shepherds can make good guard dogs due to their protective nature, reserved behavior around new people, and strong herding instincts, although they are primarily valued as watchdogs and not typically trained for personal protection.
  • Australian Shepherds are considered good guarding dogs due to their inherent protective nature, strong herding instincts, and a certain level of reservation around strangers, which combined with training can make them effective watchdogs.

Are Australian Shepherds Good Guard Dogs?

Are Australian Shepherds Good Guard Dogs

Yes. Australian Shepherds are excellent guard dogs because they are active and alert, which means they are quick to notice anything out of the ordinary.

They are also loyal and protective of their family and home, making them natural guardians. Australian Shepherds are also intelligent and trainable, so you can teach them specific guard dog duties if you wish.

If you need a watchdog, the Australian Shepherd is a good pup for you. They are attentive, loyal, and wise.

Why Australian Shepherds Are Considered Good Guarding Dogs

Here is why Australian Shepherds are considered good guarding dogs:

Aussies are cautious and observant

The Australian Shepherd is a naturally cautious dog. They are built to take care of animals and people. Aussies are standoffish with strangers and other animals.

It takes some time before these dogs offer their friendship to unknown subjects. Early socialization is essential in overcoming this problem. However, even if socialized, the Aussie will always remain alert.

If the Australian Shepherd feels an imminent threat to you and your household, it will start barking. However, you should train your dog not to bark at everything.

The Aussie will take its job as a watchdog very seriously. Your pup will take good care your you and your family. Be aware that you and your Aussie don’t have the same perception of threats. However, listen to your dog. It means only good.

Australian Shepherds bark frequently

If you’re thinking about buying an Australian Shepherd, prepare yourself for some barking. Aussies love to bark. These dogs often need to be trained not to bark so much.

Sometimes, the barking will be helpful. However, nobody wants a dog that barks at pedestrians or passing vehicles.

The frequent barking of the Aussies makes them suitable for watch duty. When the dog feels that something’s not right, it will warn you. So, if there’s a burglar in your home, your Aussie will sense it and alert you. At the same time, the burglar might get scared and run away.

Many times, the Aussie will bark differently, depending on the reason. Sometimes these dogs bark when bored. They also react to cats, people, or thunders.

Besides training, you need to learn what every bark means by the sound of it. Hopefully, it will never be a warning one says Spirit Dog Training.

Aussies have plenty of energy

The Australian Shepherds have an almost endless amount of stamina. These dogs are very energetic and tireless. Daily exercises are a must for these pups. You will have to take your dog outside for at least two to three hours every day.

Your Aussie can accompany you in almost every activity. They are good at running, hiking, playing catch, swimming, and a plethora of other ventures. The Aussie will become destructive and anxious if not exercised.

The massive energy of the Australian Shepherds is another factor that makes them excellent watchdogs. Your Aussie will be vigilant at times when everybody in the home is asleep.

This dog will take care of you during your rest time. The Aussie sleeps light, and nothing can go past it. Each and every sound will be heard, inspected, and, if needed, reported to the owner.

Australian Shepherds are large enough to intimidate

The Australian Shepherd stands between 20 to 23 inches tall. The weight of these dogs can be 45 to 65 pounds. This makes the Aussie a medium-sized dog. However, these dogs are still big enough to intimidate people and other animals.

When it comes to guarding dogs, size does matter—the bigger the dog, the better. Psychologically, intruders and burglars can be more intimidated by a big dog rather than a small one. With their size, Aussies are well-built for watchdogs.

Aussies are overly protective toward their owners

If an Australian Shepherd loves you, it will do anything in its power to protect you. Aussies bond with humans. They will always act protectively towards you and your property. This kind of behavior does not require training. It is written in the Aussie’s DNA.

However, you will have to socialize with this dog to adjust the level of protective behavior. I already mentioned that Aussies are wary of strangers. You don’t want your dog to act aggressively when an unknown person approaches you or your home.

Australian Shepherds are herding dogs

Aussies are the 12th most popular dog breed in the United States. Before they became family pets, these dogs performed at rodeo shows. But prior to all these, the Australian Shepherds were herding livestock on the American ranches.

The Aussies were bred to be herding dogs. It is their primary job, and they excel at it. Herding is written in their genes and will remain there forever. Home-kept Australian Shepherds need training to minimize herding behavior.

As herders, these dogs had to watch over their flock. If necessary, they would also protect the animals from predators. These dogs are fearless and would chase away a wolf. So, when living with a family, the humans are the Aussie’s flock.

Protective behavior runs into the blood of these pups. That characteristic makes them excellent guard dogs. If the Aussie is not afraid of a wolf, it won’t feel intimidated by an intruder in your home.

Are Australian Shepherds Friendly To Strangers?

Are Australian Shepherds Good Guard Dogs

Generally speaking, Australian Shepherds are friendly dogs that enjoy being around people. However, if they have not been properly socialized, they may be shy or even aggressive towards strangers.

The best way to ensure that your Australian Shepherd is friendly to strangers is to expose them to as many different people as possible from a young age. This will help them to become comfortable and confident around new people, and less likely to be fearful or aggressive in new situations.

If you have an Australian Shepherd who is shy or hesitant around new people, there are still some things you can do to help them feel more comfortable.

For example, you can try having friends and family come over to your house more often so that your dog can get used to having new people around.

You can also take them to doggy daycare or dog parks on a regular basis so that they can interact with other dogs and people in a safe and controlled environment.

If you have an Australian Shepherd that is already pretty outgoing, then you’re in luck! These dogs are typically very friendly and love meeting new people.

They make great family pets as well as therapy dogs because of their gentle nature and loving personality. So if you’re looking for a social pup, an Aussie is definitely the way to go!


Q: Can Australian Shepherds be used as herding dogs?

A: Yes, Australian Shepherds are highly regarded as herding dogs. They have a strong herding instinct and unparalleled working ability, which makes them excellent at herding livestock.

Q: Do Australian Shepherds require a lot of exercise?

A: Yes, Australian Shepherds are energetic dogs that require plenty of exercise. They thrive on physical and mental stimulation, so daily walks, playtime, and training sessions are essential for their well-being.

Q: Are Australian Shepherds good with children?

A: Australian Shepherds are generally good with children, especially when properly socialized from an early age. They are known to be gentle, affectionate, and protective towards their young family members.

Q: Do Australian Shepherds shed a lot?

A: Yes, Australian Shepherds are moderate to heavy shedders. They have a thick double coat which requires regular brushing to reduce shedding and keep their coat healthy.

Q: Are Australian Shepherds easy to train?

A: Australian Shepherds are highly intelligent and trainable dogs. With their eagerness to please and quick learning ability, they respond well to positive reinforcement training methods.

Q: Do Australian Shepherds get along well with other pets?

A: Australian Shepherds can get along well with other pets if properly socialized. However, their natural herding instincts may make them want to chase smaller animals, so early socialization and supervision are important.

Q: Are Australian Shepherds good for first-time dog owners?

A: Australian Shepherds are intelligent and active dogs that require experienced and committed owners. While they can make wonderful companions, they may not be the best choice for first-time dog owners due to their high energy levels and need for mental stimulation.

Q: Do Australian Shepherds have any common health problems?

A: Australian Shepherds are generally a healthy breed, but they can be prone to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and various eye problems. Regular veterinary check-ups and a balanced diet can help maintain their overall health.

Q: How long do Australian Shepherds live?

A: On average, Australian Shepherds have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. Proper nutrition, regular exercise, and routine healthcare can contribute to their longevity and quality of life.

Conclusion and final thoughts

After discussing the various characteristics and behaviors of Australian Shepherds, it is evident that they can make great guard dogs.

Their instinct to protect their family and territory combined with their high intelligence and trainability make them well-suited for this role.

However, it is important to note that every dog is an individual and their behavior can also be influenced by proper training and socialization.

Please take the time and leave a comment below if this article helped you, or you have any additional questions.

Learn more about us.

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Latest posts

DMCA.com Protection Status