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Are Australian Shepherds Good With Kids? Advice For Parents

If you have kids in your home, you may be searching for the perfect pup for your family. Many dog breeds are known for being good with kids, but are Australian Shepherds one of them?

In general, Australian Shepherds are great with kids. Aussies are friendly, playful, and love human interaction.

That said, Australian shepherds need to be trained, stimulated, and well-exercised to behave appropriately.

This article guides owners and parents through everything they need to know about Aussies around kids.


Are Australian Shepherds Suitable For Kids?

Though they may have a few quirks that need to be tailored, Aussies can be a wonderful addition to any home with kids. As long as the children understand respect for their canine friends, your Aussie will be thrilled to have their friendship.

Australian Shepherds are an energetic breed with plenty of love to offer. Their dedication to their family makes them a loyal companion to have at your side, while their playful nature makes for an endless source of fun. 

Aussies love to work, whether it’s accompanying you on hikes or learning new tricks. This ingrained need to work can be a wonderful trait in most homes, as long as you are dedicated to keeping them busy. 

As we mentioned above, Aussies were originally bred to herd livestock alongside their ranch hand. This does mean the breed is typically a bit pushy by nature, but this trait can be corrected with obedience training. As long as you implement basic obedience skills from the moment they enter your home, their bossy nature should subside. 

Popular article: Can Australian Shepherds be service/therapy dogs? 

Are Australian Shepherds Good With Kids?

Australian Shepherds are wonderful with kids when given the tools to do so. Aussies love to play at any given chance, and kids tend to offer plenty of opportunities for playtime.

There is nothing an Aussie enjoys more than a dedicated friend, making them incredible furry friends for children. 

As we just mentioned, Australian Shepherds need to be given the tools to be the best version of themselves.

Aussies can be a bit bossy with a need to ‘herd’ others, and these traits can take over if they are not properly trained. 

When an Aussie is taught basic obedience and receives proper socialization, they can be great with children. A well-rounded Aussie is a wonderful addition to any family, especially those with kids. 

Are Australian Shepherds Good Family Dogs?

Australian Shepherds thrive in family units for multiple reasons. Aussies love to be part of a group, they love to participate in fun activities, and they love getting attention from all their favorite people. Being a part of a family fulfills all of these desires for a lovable Australian Shepherd. 

Not only do Aussies love being part of a family, but they do best in the care of an active family. Aussies have plenty of energy to burn each day, so they truly shine with a family that enjoys adventure and activity. 

How To Make This Relationship Work

Australian Shepherds are not an aggressive breed by any means. Just like any other pup, they simply require a bit of fine-tuning to make sure they are kid-friendly in the long run. To help you ensure safety in your home, let’s discuss some of the best ways to help your Aussie become a wonderful companion to your children. 

1. Training Your Aussie

Proper training of an Australian Shepherd should involve teaching basic commands. An Aussie will attempt to be the boss of a situation, so it’s important to guide them away from this understanding going forward. 

The best way to establish this is by teaching your Aussie basic obedience, and implementing these tricks each day. A daily refresher from everyone in the home can help your Aussie respect each member of your family, as well as strengthen the bond you share. 

2. Socializing Your Aussie

Aussies are typically friendly and outgoing but can be a bit nervous around people and animals they don’t know. Proper socialization is key for a growing Aussie, as this will help them move away from any phobias or fear-related behavior. 

The best socialization methods for an Aussie involve introducing them to new people, dogs, settings, and even sounds. The more experiences your Aussie can collect with you at their side, the better behaved they will be. 

3. Exercising Your Aussie

The most important part of having a well-behaved Aussie is offering them plenty of daily exercise. Most Australian Shepherds need a bare minimum of 45 minutes of activity, with some requiring up to an hour and a half. 

Some of the best activities for an Australian Shepherd include long walks, taking them on hikes, playing fetch, tug of war, swimming, and any other activity they can do with their favorite humans. Aussies especially love time spent outdoors, so any exercise outside is a bonus. 

4. Educating Children On Aussie Behavior

Not all of the responsibility is on our Aussie’s shoulders when it comes to safe interaction with children. Any dog can misbehave in the presence of a child that does not understand canine respect. 

Dogs have boundaries, and it’s important for children to understand those needs in our canine friends. From the moment your Aussie enters your home, it’s critical to establish some ground rules with all children that interact with your pup. 

These rules can include never bothering a dog while they are eating, not waking a sleeping dog, not pinching or poking dogs, and staying away from their face when possible. As long as your kids practice safe interaction, everyone should have a wonderful time together. 

Are Australian Shepherds Aggressive Around Kids?

Australian Shepherds are not often aggressive by nature. Aussies are naturally kind and playful, but their ingrained need to work can cause challenging behaviors to shine through if their exercise needs are not met. 

Aussies require daily stimulation, both physically and mentally. An Australian Shepherd with pent-up energy can fall into patterns of undesirable behavior, many of which reflect their herding past. Aussies are known to nip at their owner’s ankles in an attempt to herd them, but this mostly occurs when they are lacking daily exercise.  

The best way to prevent any forms of aggression in your Aussie is by offering them plenty of daily exercise, attention, and obedience training. Just like any other breed, Aussies need a bit of extra care to become well-rounded pups. 

Will An Australian Shepherd Bite a Kid?

The most common biting behavior that your Aussie can display is nipping at your heels. This is due to their past in herding livestock, as this action was used to keep their herd in line. While useful on the ranch, this behavior can be extremely frustrating for an Aussie owner. 

The best way to prevent this habit is by implementing obedience training from the moment your Aussie enters your home. This will allow them to not only understand that they are not in charge of the home, but that certain behaviors are expected of them. 

Obedience training can also teach your Aussie proper correction methods, meaning they will quickly respond to a correction tone if they do begin to nip at your heels. Once your Aussie understands that this behavior is not tolerated, they will shy away from the action altogether. 

So Are Aussies Good In Homes With Kids?

So to wrap it up, yes, Aussies are good in homes with children. Aussies can be some of the best furry companions around, and would love nothing more than to be a part of a big family. As long as you implement the tips we discussed above, your Australian Shepherd will have the tools they need to be the best pup possible!

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Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.