Are Australian Shepherds Good Family Dogs?
The Australian Shepherd offers the best of two worlds: a herding dog’s loyal companionship and a ranch hand’s hardworking ethic. But are they good family dogs?
Originally bred for herding, this canine breed has successfully transformed into a popular all-around family pet. Australian Shepherds are active, loyal, intelligent, and perhaps most importantly, adaptive.
The key attribute here is “adaptive” since not all dog breeds do well in every family setting. But Australian Shepherds are known for being able to adapt to almost any situation, whether it’s a family with young kids or one with older adults.
Fun Fact: Australian Shepherds aren’t actually from Australia. They were bred in America by Basque sheepherders who emigrated from Australia in the 1800s. Most experts trace their lineage to two breeds: Collie and Spanish herding dog. In this blog post we will help answer ‘Are Australian Shepherds good family dogs?’ by diving into their characteristics, temper, health, willingness to train, their activity levels and personality traits.
The Australian Shepherd is a medium-sized dog breed, standing at about 18-23 inches tall and weighing anywhere from 40-65 pounds. They have a long head with naturally floppy ears, and their coat comes in a wide array of colours, i.e., blue merle, red merle, black, and red.
Grooming is no issue, even with a medium double coat. A weekly brushing will suffice, although you may need to do it more often during shedding season. Remember not to shave your Aussie, as their coat protects against the elements.
Australian Shepherds are incredibly intelligent dogs. They were bred for herding, so it’s natural for them to work and be active. Aussies, as they’re nicknamed, are loyal and devoted to their family.
They’re also very friendly towards people and other animals, although they may initially be a little reserved around strangers. But it’s natural for them to want to protect their family, so they make excellent guard dogs.
This breed isn’t for everyone, though. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance dog that can just lounge around the house all day, then an Australian Shepherd is probably not the right breed for you.
These dogs require a lot of exercise and stimulation, or they’ll become bored and destructive. Aussies are also known for being “escape artists,” so if you have one, ensure your yard is secure.
Overall, the Australian Shepherd is a healthy dog breed with an average lifespan of 12-15 years. But like all breeds, they’re susceptible to certain health conditions.
Some of Aussies’ most common health problems include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and cataracts. Hip and elbow dysplasia are two hereditary conditions that affect the joints, while PRA is a degenerative eye disease that could ultimately lead to blindness.
Cataracts are another eye condition that’s relatively common in Australian Shepherds. But unlike PRA, cataracts can be surgically removed and don’t always lead to blindness.
Australian Shepherds are highly trainable dogs. They were bred to work, so they naturally wanted to please their owners. They’re also quick learners, but they can also be stubborn. The key to training an Australian Shepherd is to be consistent and patient.
If you’re considering getting an Australian Shepherd, prepare for training and exercise. But if you’re up for the challenge, an Aussie will make a loyal and loving family companion.
What Makes Them the Ideal Family Dog?
Active and Easy-Going
They’re easy-going and love to play with your kids. It means they’ll be happy to run around in the backyard with your kids or go on long walks with you. Like most dog breeds, they’ll feel sad if they’re not included in family activities.
Australian Shepherds crave attention, which is why you can’t have one if you’re out all week and never home.
This isn’t a surprise as Aussies are herding dogs. They’ve been bred to protect sheep from predators, so they have a propensity to protect their family and home.
If you’re hoping to adopt a dog breed that will make a great guard dog, then an Australian Shepherd is a good choice. That being said, they’re not aggressive dogs by nature, so proper training is essential.
Fun Fact: Did you know that Aussies are becoming the preferred breed for police and narcotics detection training? It’s because of their high intelligence and great sense of smell.
Australian Shepherds are incredibly loyal to their families. They make great cuddle buddies and will follow you wherever you are. Once they’ve bonded with you, they’ll want to be around you all the time.
The truth is you’ll likely end up getting annoyed at some point because they just won’t leave you alone! But that’s the price you must pay for having such a loyal furry friend.
Things To Consider Before Getting One
Australian Shepherds are high-energy dogs, which means exercise is a critical part of their daily routine. If you aren’t willing to commit to at least half an hour of exercise per day, then an Aussie is probably not the right breed.
They’re also known for being “barkers,” so the noise could be an issue if you have close neighbours. This breed is unlikely a good fit if you live in an apartment because they require a lot of space to run around. A house with a backyard is ideal. If you don’t have enough space, you can remedy it by taking them on long walks or runs.
So if you’re wondering are Australian Shepherds good family dogs? Yes. Australian Shepherds deserve a place in your home as they’re well-adjusted to family life. But just like how you’d prepare for the entry of any type of dog into your life, you must see to it that there’s a conducive environment for your Aussie to thrive in.