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Are Australian Shepherds Good With Kids? – Everything You Need To Know

Yes. Australian Shepherds are great with kids with proper training and socialization. They are easy-going, friendly, and generally get along well with kids. That said, Australian Shepherds are known for their herding instincts and may try to herd smaller kids thinking of them as flocks. However, Australian Shepherds will make the best companions for your kids when appropriately trained, stimulated, and exercised.

Australian Shepherd Basic Information

  • Name: Australian Shepherd 
  • Height: 18 – 23 inches
  • Weight: 40 – 65 pounds
  • Coat: Double-layer, medium length with a curly or wavy texture
  • Color: Black, red, blue merle, red merle, with tan or white and without tan or white
  • Energy: High
  • Activities: Companion, sports, obedience, agility
  • Group: Working
  • Barking Level: Medium to high
  • Shedding Level: Medium to high
  • Hypoallergenic: No 
  • Litter Size: 6 to 7 puppies
  • Life Span: 12 – 16 years
  • Other names: Spanish Shepherd, Pastor dogs, BobTails, Blue Heelers, New Mexican Shepherds, California Shepherds.

Australian Shepherd – An Overview

Australian Shepherds are medium-sized, quick-witted, fun-filled pooches that promise to bring new energy and happiness. They are known for their gorgeous shiny coats and appearance and are beautiful dogs who find joy in working and being busy. Australian Shepherd is believed to have originated from the Pyrenees Mountains between Spain and France. Australian Shepherd dogs initially herd sheep and cattle in rugged terrains. They are loyal and brilliant. So Australian Shepherds are called due to their connection with the shepherds who migrated to the United States. They excel in competitive shows like agility, flyball, and herding tests. However, Australian Shepherds are best in canine careers like being assistance dogs, hearing dogs, police dogs, guide dogs, and search and rescue dogs. They are intelligent, versatile, hard-working dogs and are a combination of beauty with brains.

Australian Shepherds and Children

Australian Shepherds have got so much to offer while with kids. They are a playful, loving, affectionate, complete bundle of joy and fun. Below are the ways Australian Shepherds benefit kids and also likewise. 

  • Exercising: Australian Shepherds are highly energetic dogs and have high exercise needs. They make a perfect backyard playmate for your kids. He loves to run and play with children in backyards, providing great mental and physical stimulation for both kids and the dog. Exercise and outdoor activities keep both kids and your Australian Shepherd happy and healthy.
  • Trust and loyalty: Australian Shepherds are loyal and affectionate dogs. Early socialization and puppy training will help to create trust in children. This benefits both the kids and the dog to bond strongly and relieves you from stress. Trusting each other also allows children to learn how to behave with dogs and be more confident around them.
  • Fun and happiness: Australian Shepherds are outdoor dogs who love running, hiking, and playing endlessly. Games and playing with children help in mental stimulation, thus keeping the dogs and kids happy.

Are Australian Shepherds aggressive with kids?

Australian Shepherds usually are friendly dogs but are sometimes aggressive with smaller kids. They are primarily herding dogs bred to herd flocks and cattle. Also called Aussies, they have a natural herding instinct. Hence, they may tend to herd smaller kids thinking of them as their flocks. They try to control and herd them by nipping and biting. However, this can be called their natural spirit rather than aggressive and can be controlled. You can control their herding instincts with early socialization, training, and exercise. Australian Shepherds are highly energetic and high-spirited dogs who love to play with older kids and can be an endless source of fun.

Are Australian Shepherds good with babies?

Though Aussies are great with kids, it’s not advisable to let babies with them alone or with supervision. Furthermore, it is recommended not to let babies with any dogs, even under supervision in that case. Australian Shepherds are high-energy dogs and can cause harm to babies playfully. Therefore, it is best not to allow babies near the dog until they reach a certain age. 

Will Australian Shepherds bite kids?

Australian Shepherds get along very well with both older and smaller children. They are not aggressive but highly energetic dogs who love to be busy. They usually don’t harm kids or bite them. However, they have a natural instinct to herd smaller children as they are primarily herding dogs. They may try to control and herd children by nipping, which may sometimes be frustrating. They usually nip the ankles and try to lead or herd the small kids. However, this can be controlled with obedience training, exercises, and behavior correction training. A well-trained Aussie will be all that you will want in a dog and be your child’s best friend.

Things to keep in mind before training an Australian Shepherd

Before training Australian Shepherds on how to behave with children, a few things must be kept in mind. You should learn about their characteristics and temperament and begin the training sessions accordingly. Look into the below checkpoints.

  • Active dogs
  • Highly-energetic
  • Outdoor dogs
  • Intelligent
  • Loves to be around their humans
  • Love to play a lot
  • Easy to train
  • Patience and consistency 
  • Needs to be trained in commands

How to train Australian Shepherds not to herd children?

Australian Shepherds are easy to train and are always eager to please. Proper training helps with their behavioral correction towards children. Aussies are generally good around children and are great family dogs.

  • Puppy training: Australian Shepherds need to be introduced to training at the puppy stage and need early socialization. Puppy training helps them to learn quickly and at more ease. Even if your dog is older, it is best to start training soon.
  • Behavioral correction: Know about their herding instincts and plan training sessions accordingly. Obedience training helps to control this behavior and helps their bonding with children. Always have an eye if they try to herd by nipping and biting.
  • Teaching commands: Australian Shepherds must be taught commands early to control their herding behavior. It is essential to teach commands like “sit,” “stop,” and “come here .”Commands help to make your dog obey you.
  • Exercises: Australian Shepherds have high exercise needs and love to be busy and working. Inadequate exercise and activity lead to boredom and destructive behavior. To stop them herding your kids, train them to play with your kids in parks or big yards under your supervision. Accompany your dog and kids, and always try to be part of the training or games. While training Aussies, patience and consistent training are required to stop herding instinct.
  • Professional help: Never hesitate to get professional help as professionals can be an expert with animals and will know how to fix the problem quickly. Owners who are enabled to dedicate some time to their dog can call dog trainers, which can ease the problem.

Train kids along with Australian Shepherds

  • Alongside your dog, also teach the kids the basic commands. They should know to calm the dog if it gets agitated. Once the Australian Shepherds start obeying kids, they’ll think of them as their owners and start to respect them.
  • Teach the kids not to panic while with the dog. They need to learn not to panic while the dog is agitated. You must teach kids that Australian Shepherds are friendly and will never hurt them.
  • Never let babies near the dog until they reach a certain age. Australian Shepherds are highly energetic and can be a risk to let babies play with the dog even with supervision. 
  • Train kids to play patiently with the dog and not to get aggressive or highly enthusiastic. This might both hurt the dog and the kid.

Adding an Australian Shepherd to Your Family

Cost of an Australian Shepherd $600 – $1000

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are Australian Shepherds good with kids?

Yes, Australian Shepherds get along well with kids. However, like any other dog, they need early socialization and training.

Are Australian Shepherds easy to train?

Yes. Australian Shepherds are working dogs and easy to train.

Are Australian Shepherds good around babies?

Australian Shepherds are generally good with kids. However, they have a strong herding instinct, so it is best to keep the baby away from the dog until a certain age.

Are Australian Shepherds cuddly?

Australian Shepherds are friendly, affectionate, and cuddly dogs. They make a loving family companion.

Final Thoughts

Australian Shepherds are loving, affectionate family dogs and get along well with children. They have a natural herding instinct and love to herd smaller children. Due to this, they may get aggressive sometimes around smaller kids without proper training. However, they are active and high-spirited dogs and can make a lovely family companion.

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