Australian Shepherd Temperament

Australian Shepherd temperamentWhether you are looking for a devoted pet for an active family, a possible service dog, or an extra hand on the farm, look no further than the Australian Shepherd. The unique Australian Shepherd temperament makes them well-suited to fit your needs.

A member of the AKC herding group, the Australian Shepherd was actually developed in the United States to serve as herding animals for ranches and farms. They require a lot of exercise and love to work, and so will benefit from any mentally and physically involving activity. They excel at dog sports, such as agility competitions or playing Frisbee with the kids. A bored “Aussie” may tend to hyperactive or destructive behavior without enough exercise. This breed loves being given a job to do, and daily stimulating activities are necessary to harness its boundless energy and keep it from becoming frustrated. They thrive in rural, ranch settings, but can be just as happy in urban areas as long as they have enough space to run and play. A few hours of mental and physical exercise daily will keep this breed happy.

The Australian Shepherd temperament bonds them closely with their human companions, although they can be shy with strangers. Protective and affectionate, they crave human interaction, but should be socialized at an early age. They are sometimes referred to as “Velcro” dogs for their ability to form intense, devoted bonds with their special human friends. They will often follow their owners from room to room, and adore going for a ride or running errands with their beloved master. This temperament, combined with their high intelligence, also makes them ideal service or guide dogs.

The Australian Shepherd Temperament with Kids

With children, the Australian Shepherd is a playful, protective companion. His dynamic temperament loves being part of the hustle and bustle of a lively, growing family. Natural herding instincts may result in nipping or chasing, so best keep a watchful eye, especially with smaller children. Training can help channel this behavior, for this is a deeply ingrained trait of the Australian Shepherd temperament. Give your Aussie a job to do, like waking the family up and herding them to breakfast, or else he may create his own! This canine was bred to bring order out of chaos, so incorporate his natural instincts and make him a working member of the family.

That inbred instinct of the Australian Shepherd temperament for controlling chaos is what makes this breed a highly valued working dog on ranches and farms. Some ranchers think they are the ultimate working dog as their natural herding instincts and easy trainability make them great for working with all types of livestock, farm fowl, even rabbits. The dog can think for itself and adapts as the situation needs. Its protective instincts ensure it will look after the owner’s property, and makes him an excellent watch dog.

This clever canine can be trained for a multitude of tasks and is a quick learner. A favorite breed for rodeo and circus performing, this versatile dog is now commonly used as a rescue or search animal as well. Positive reinforcement is usually all that is required, as the natural desire to please that is part of the Australian Shepherd temperament ensures he will adapt. Consistency is key, as the authority this dog uses for working could lead to him trying to boss you. Let him know early on which behaviors are acceptable and establish your role as pack leader.

In short, this is not a breed best suited to the casual dog owner. The Australian Shepherd temperament melds best with someone who is looking to spend time with their pet, in both physical and mental daily activities. But those who do will find in the Aussie and delightful and devoted companion.