Will an Australian Shepherd protect you?

Last updated on September 23, 2022

The Australian Shepherd can play many different roles. Due to their high intelligence and endless stamina, Aussies can serve as working dogs and house pets. These dogs were bred to herd, and they excel at it. However, their capabilities are much more extensive than just taking care of animals.

People have realized how bright the Australian Shepherd is, and they began utilizing them for different tasks. Aussies make excellent watchdogs, emotional support dogs, or drug detection dogs. However, as the owner, you must also know if the dog can protect you.

Will an Australian Shepherd protect you?

Yes, your Australian Shepherd will protect you, your family, and your home. However, their protective instincts might not always be enough. An untrained Aussie is less likely to protect. Or, better said, your dog will only watch over you. But if you need a fierce, protective canine, maybe you should look for another breed.

The Australian Shepherd is a protective breed

Australian Shepherds are brave dogs. However, when it comes to attacking an intruder, they might not always react as classic guard dogs. You will need to train your Aussie to properly serve as a guard dog. They are a herding breed, and as such, they tend to be overly protective towards the livestock and their humans. Also, they are standoffish with strangers and don’t trust them instantly. Yet, if untrained to protect, the usual maximum you can get is barking when a stranger approaches.

On the other hand, Aussies make excellent watchdogs. Your Aussie will watch over your homestead with attention. Expect a vocal alert when an unknown person or an animal is approaching. Also, if your Australian Shepherd feels an imminent danger, it will bark. They do not trust strangers. This behavior might be a problem when taking your dog for a walk. However, proper socialization will overcome this issue when outside with your pup. At home, the Aussie will always be watchful and attentive. 

Can you train an Australian Shepherd to protect you?

There’s nothing you cannot train your Australian Shepherd to do. In other words, yes, you can teach your Aussie to serve as a protection dog.  These dogs are super intelligent and clever. Besides, they’re also obedient, love to please the owner, and are eager to learn new skills. Protection training shouldn’t be an issue for the Aussie Shepherd with all this considered.

However, do not expect your Aussie to be as successful at protection as other breeds. They’re not built for this. Yes, an Aussie Shepherd will chase off a wolf if the livestock is endangered. Still, they’re not the best breed to choose as a protection canine.

Another issue affecting their status as protection dogs is the socialization we often recommend. A well-socialized Australian Shepherd will learn to trust strangers. Not entirely, of course, but it will not react to every unknown person or animal as a threat. Again, at home, it will be a different story. Your pup will still be the loyal watcher of the house. 

It is entirely up to you to choose the direction your Aussie will develop. You’ll have to choose between socialization or protection training. You cannot choose both. My recommendation is that you socialize your Aussie Shepherd. Leave the protection to the breeds that are good at it. Let the Aussie be the loving, affectionate, and playful pup we all love so much.

Are Aussies loyal?

Australian Shepherds are known as one of the most loyal breeds. These dogs love being around humans. The Aussies are typical Velcro dogs, meaning they will be by their owners at all times. Clingy as they are, Aussies get anxious when left alone for long periods. When unattended and bored, they tend to get destructive and misbehave.

Aussie Shepherds have one favorite person. They will follow this person everywhere. If you’re thinking about getting an Aussie, prepare yourself for a second shadow. Wherever you go, your dog will follow. However, the Aussie will get along with everybody in the family. Loyal as they are, your dog will love you unconditionally.

Will an Australian Shepherd attack an intruder?

The following factors affect this question: socialization, training, and temperament.

Socialization is the key factor when it comes to your Aussie aggression. The more socialized the dog is, the lesser the chances for your Aussie attacking an intruder are. A well-socialized dog will most likely attack somebody if scared or threatened directly.

It also depends on whether you’ve trained your dog to protect. As I previously mentioned, Aussies have no instincts to attack. Proper training is needed to turn this herding dog into a protector.

Lastly, the Aussie is usually not an aggressive dog. They are kind, loving, and good-hearted canines. Aussies are known to nip and bite while herding, but their aggression stops there. However, this is very individual. Not all Aussies are identical so some specimens might be more aggressive than others.

What are the best dogs for protection?

All dogs are born with different instincts. As Aussies are bred to herd, others are born to protect. The Australian Shepherd is exceptionally loyal and obedient, which are characteristics of a good protection dog. However, if you are looking for a canine that will protect you and your family, some breeds will be a better choice for you. These are the top ten best dogs for protection: 

  • Tibetan Mastiff – bred to protect caravans and fight snow leopards
  • Akita – bred to guard Japanese royalties 
  • Rottweiler – an excellent protection dog, loyal and aggressive
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback – needs no training to protect humans and property
  • Doberman – aggressive, yet affectionate, naturally protective
  • Bullmastiff – produced to repel poachers and protect animals
  • German Shepherd – favored among the military, loyal and protective
  • Belgian Malinois – excellent protection dog, commonly serving as police canine
  • Komondor – a large canine, bred to protect and guard livestock
  • Cane Corso – used in war, born to do guard duties

Final words

The Australian Shepherd is not a protection dog. If you must, train it to protect you. However, leaving this dog be a loving and fun furry companion is the best thing you can do. Obedient, intelligent, loyal, and affectionate, this dog will do everything it can to please you.

Even though you can quickly train your Aussie to protect, it still might not excel in this job. Socialize your dog and train it in other directions. There are many different reasons to love this dog, even if it doesn’t protect you when the time comes.

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