Australian Shepherd Temperament (Aussie Personality & Character )

The Australian Shepherd or Aussie is a medium-sized dog breed. From the name of the breed, it seems that it was originated in Australia. But, in reality, the Australian Shepherd dog breed was originated in the Western United States, during the 1840s.

If we talk about Australian Shepherd temperament, they are active, good-natured, loving, affectionate, intelligent, and protective. These characteristics of Aussies make them ideal for adopting. If you are planning to adopt a new dog, Aussie could be the right choice.

One of the main temperament characteristics of the Australian shepherd is their activeness. The breed is so active and energetic. Aussies are happy when they have something to do. In short, you can’t keep this breed keep alone, without doing anything, for a longer period. When you keep an Aussie dog alone without providing any physical activity or any job, you have to deal with destructive and negative behavior.

Hence, if you want to adopt an Aussie dog, keep in mind that you have to provide your Aussie with regular exercise and physical activities. Aussies are very energetic and after adopting an Aussie, it is essential to focus on physical activities. When you stop providing enough exercise and physical activities to your Aussie, he finds his way to burn his excessive energy. This is what leads to destructive and negative behavior like excessive chewing, destroying household items, excessive barking, etc.


Are Australian Shepherds A Good Family Dog?

Are you planning to gift an Australian shepherd to your family? Yes? Choosing the wrong dog breed for your family may lead to problems. Before adopting any dog, it is essential to check out whether the dog’s breed is affectionate, loving, and family-friendly or not.

The answer to your question is – YES, Australian Shepherds are good family dogs. If you and your family members are looking for a loving, affectionate, and friendly breed dog, then the Australian shepherd is the right one. Apart from being affectionate and friendly, the breed will also be very smart and focused.

Before adopting an Australian shepherd breed, you need to have a clear idea about its requirements. The first and important thing you need to keep in mind before adopting an Aussie dog is its exercise and physical activity needs. Aussies are very energetic and they have high exercise needs. After getting this breed dog, you have to provide high-intensity workouts and physical activities regularly.

When you don’t provide your Australian shepherd physical activities for a longer period, it will lead to negative behavior in him. When you don’t help your Aussie to burn his excess energy, he will find his own way to do that. You will notice that, after not providing enough exercise for a bit longer, your dog’s behavior will turn destructive. He will start barking excessively, chewing different items excessively, etc.

In short, if you want to adopt an Aussie dog for your family, make sure you and your family have an active lifestyle. Your Australian shepherd will be happy when he has always something to do. So, if you are looking for a good family dog, Aussie can be a great choice. The condition is you have to provide regular physical activities to this breed.

Characteristics or Temperaments of Australian Shepherds

The temperament of dogs varies from one dog breed to another. Before adopting any dog breed, it is essential to understand the temperament and characteristics of that dog breed. It gives you an idea about what you can expect from that dog breed, after adopting it. In this post, we will talk about some characteristics or temperaments of Australian shepherd dogs that make them a great pet dog.

1. Protectiveness

The first temperament of Aussies that attracts us toward them is their protectiveness. The breed is very protective. Just like other herding breeds, Australian shepherds are also protective in nature. Aussies get cautious when they meet new people. Sometimes, they can be aggressive when they are around with people they don’t know. If you want your Aussie dog to get along with strangers, you will need to provide him socialization training.

2. Intelligence

Australian shepherds are very smart and intelligent. This one is among the smartest of all dog breeds. Do you know this breed is tied for the 66th smartest dog breed for obedience and working intelligence? The intelligence was measured through Coren’s Dog Intelligence Criteria, which was focused on the dog’s obedience and working intelligence. The smartness and intelligence of Aussies make it easy to train them.

3. Affectionate

Australian shepherds are very affectionate, friendly, and loving. If your family can spend the whole day with the dog, the Australian shepherd is the right choice. Aussies are highly affectionate and they enjoy spending time with their loved ones. Before adopting an Aussie, keep in mind that this breed dogs do not like it when they are left alone for longer periods. To keep your Aussie happy, you need to always give him some job and also stay around with him.

4. Energetic

The Australian shepherd is a highly energetic and vigorous dog breed. If you want a family-friendly and energetic dog, this dog breed is the right one. If you have an active lifestyle, it would be easy for your Aussie to get along. Due to the high energy level, Aussies require a focus on regular exercising and physical activities. Not providing enough physical activities and exercise would lead to destructive and negative behavior in them.

Do Australian Shepherds Bark A Lot?

The Australian Shepherd is a working breed, which has high energy and intelligence. If you are finding a couch potato dog breed, the Australian shepherd is not for you. The Australian Shepherd is considered a noisy dog breed. This breed tends to bark at strangers and other animals. One thing you need to keep in mind here is the personality may differ from one Aussie dog to another.

If your Aussie dog barks a lot, first of all, you have to understand the reason behind his excess barking. Find out whether your dog is barking due to some reasons or it’s been his nature. There can be various reasons behind your Aussie barking excessively.

Your Aussie may be barking excessively because you have not provided him enough exercise and physical stimulation. This active and energetic dog breed has high exercise needs. In this case, when you do not provide enough exercise, and when you do not help him burn his energy regularly, he is prone to become destructive. You will notice that after you do not provide your Australian shepherd with sufficient workout, his behavior becomes negative and he starts becoming destructive.

Now, the question comes here, How can you stop your Australian shepherd from barking excessively? Simple. You need to train him. Basically, you need to help your dog understand that he does not need to bark on a passing car, squirrels, etc.

If you do not provide intense exercise to your Australian shepherd daily, it is obvious to face the issue of excess bark. To provide proper physical and mental stimulation to your dog, it is very important to focus on a regular intense workout. This way, you will be helping your dog burn off his excess energy in the right way. To keep the body and mind of Australian shepherds occupied, they require 30 minutes to 60 minutes of intense exercise daily.

Are Australian Shepherds Cuddly?

Whether an Australian shepherd is cuddly or not will differ from one individual Aussie dog to another. Basically, the personality of all individual dogs is different. From a particular dog breed’s temperament and characteristics, we cannot say that all the dogs of that breed will have the exact same temperament. It differs from one individual dog to another.

Now the question is, are Australian shepherds cuddly?

Though the answer to this question will be different from one individual Aussie to another. In general, Australian shepherds are very cuddly. They love to cuddle all the time. Aussies are active and they are always ready to play with kids. If you have an active lifestyle and you love playing with dogs, Aussie is for you.

Are Australian Shepherds Protective?

The answer is Yes, Aussies are protective. This one is one of the best characteristics of Australian shepherds. In our four characteristics of Australian shepherds, we have seen protectiveness as one of those characteristics.

Just like other herding breeds like Border Collie, German Shepherd, etc., this herding dog breed is also very protective in nature. Australian shepherds are very cautious around strangers. If you don’t want your Aussie dog to get aggressive toward new people, you need to provide him a lot of socialization. Even after so much of socialization, many Aussies still be cautious toward new people.

Again, nature and personality will slightly differ from one individual Aussie dog to another. To avoid your Aussie barking and getting aggressive toward strangers, you must provide him socialization. It is advisable to provide socialization training at an early age.

With the help of proper socialization with your dog, he won’t be shy around new people and he will easily get along with new people.

Australian Shepherd – Intelligence

To figure out which dog breed is the smartest, there was an experiment conducted. It was conducted by Stanley Coren. Stanley Coren is a psychology professor, neuropsychological researcher, and writer on the intelligence, mental abilities, and history of dogs.

In his ‘The Intelligence of Dogs’, he shared the complete list of dogs based on their intelligence. He categorized the list as brightest dogs, excellent working dogs, average working/obedience intelligence, fair working/obedience intelligence, and the lowest degree of working/obedience intelligence. This categorization of different dog breeds in the list was based on the experiment conducted.

It was conducted to know which dog breeds are intelligent, which ones are average, and which ones have the lowest degree of intelligence. The problem with this experiment is it has considered just three aspects as dog intelligence. These are the three aspects: instinctive intelligence, adaptive intelligence, and working & obedience intelligence.

In this experiment of Stanley Coren, the Australian shepherd dog breed was ranked as ‘Above Average Working Dog’ with 42nd rank. Though ranking as Above Average Working Dog with 42nd rank is not too bad, but as this intelligence experiment was focused just on three intelligence aspects: instinctive intelligence, adaptive intelligence, and working & obedience intelligence, it could be the possible reason why Australian shepherd breed got a bit less ranking.

In the Above Average Working Dogs category, there were dog breeds that took around 15 to 25 repetitions in understanding new commands and ones which obeyed the first command 70% of the time or more. Basically, the experiment was based on two factors: understanding of new commands and how much time it takes to obey the first command.

The two main factors for testing the dog breed’s intelligence were great, but we cannot exactly figure out the breed’s intelligence solely based on these two factors. Hence, we can say that the results achieved from Stanley Coren’s experiment were a bit unsatisfactory.

Are Australian Shepherds Easy to Train?

Many people consider adopting a dog that is easy to train. It is because they don’t want to spend so much of their time on it. One of the best ways to know whether a particular dog breed is easy to train or not is by checking its intelligence level. When you get a highly intelligent dog breed, the training process gets easy. With a smart dog, your dog would be able to understand your command without repeating it so many times. Dogs with low IQ levels can be very tough to train. To train them for a particular activity, you have to repeat your command so many times. Even after repeating your command so many times, there are chances that your low IQ dog will not follow you properly.

Let’s talk about Australian shepherds. Are Australian shepherds easy to train? Australian shepherds are active and intelligent. Training them is quite easy. Training your Aussie dog will be so easy and fun as the breed is very smart and intelligent. Unlike many other dog breeds, in the case of Aussies, you do not have to repeat the commands so many times.

As we have seen, in the experiment by Coren, the Aussie breed got ranked as ‘Above Average Working Dogs’, which states pretty good intelligence level.

Due to the high intelligence level of Aussies, making them disciplined with you, will be very easy. In order to train your Australian shepherd for a particular activity, all you will need is some effort and time. With sufficient time and effort, it would be easy for you to teach your Aussie dog new techniques.

Training Tips For Australian Shepherds

Want to train your Australian shepherd dog for a particular activity? Here are some useful training tips that will help you:

1. Socialize at an early age

Before adopting a dog, keep in mind to socialize your dog at an early age. If you don’t want your Australian shepherd to bark on new people they meet, early socialization training is very important. When your Aussie is socialized at an early age, it would be easy for him to get along with new people. The question may arise, How you can socialize? Simple. Take him to the place where he can interact with different people. It could be taking to your friend’s house, taking him to your neighbor’s house, etc.

2. Provide reward-based training

To make the training fun and also make your Aussie dog learn faster, the training approach is reward-based. This kind of training is also known as positive reinforcement training. In the reward-based or positive reinforcement training, you reward your dog for his good behavior. When you reward for his good behavior, it motivates your dog to complete the task that gives him a reward.

3. Provide short training sessions

Many dog owners make the mistake of providing training for longer periods. If you are one of those dog owners, stop doing this mistake. In order to get the best results from training sessions, it is best to keep the training sessions short. You can keep the training session of around 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Teach basic commands

In the beginning, you need to teach your Aussie basic commands. Due to a good intelligence level of Aussies, you won’t have much issue teach different basic commands. Every time your dog properly performs your command, you can praise him or even provide treats. This way, teaching basic commands would be so easy.

Final Thoughts

The Australian shepherd is an active, intelligent, energetic, and friendly dog breed. This active and energetic dog breed stays happy when it has something to do. If you finding a couch potato dog breed, this one is not for you. By adopting an Aussie, it is important that you have an active lifestyle.

If you want to keep your Aussie dog stay happy and physically & mentally stimulated, it’s essential to provide regular exercise and an active lifestyle.


Tab Winner

Hello my name is Tab Winner. My wife and I have been around Australian shepherds for 20+ years and we definitely love them. We currently have a pair of Toy Aussies one is a Tri-color and the other is a blue merle that are both 10 and 11 years old.

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