The Pros and Cons of Owning an Australian Shepherd as a Guard Dog: Are They the Right Choice for You?

The Pros and Cons of Owning an Australian Shepherd as a Guard Dog: Are They the Right Choice for You?

Aussies are good guard dogs because as a herding breed, they guard and protect. If they consider you family or part of their pack, Australian Shepherds will instinctively protect.

They are wary of strangers, which is beneficial for protection and guarding. They are not aggressive by nature but due to their herding background, they may be a bit bossy at times.
Their reaction in an aggressive situation will depend on the individual dog.
They are friendly and good-natured, yet they remain protective of their loved ones.
Aussies will usually do what is necessary to make them feel safe them. Their instincts, nature and breed background make them excellent guard dogs. But, they may need further training to become the best guard dog they can be.
Their natural inclination is to guard and protect, Australian Shepherds are great watchdogs. This is because of to their lean, muscular body and great strength.


Do Australian Shepherds Guard a pack?

Why Do They Make Good Guard Dogs?

Being a shepherd includes taking on certain qualities that are also essential to be a good guard dog.

Herding qualities in Aussies like:

  • Confidence
  • Courage
  • Intelligence
  • and being able to make independent decisions

All of which are necessary traits for being herding animals. When herding livestock, they must keep a watchful eye on them. They ensure that they move where they need to and keep them in line if needed.

Additionally, these dogs protect their flock from harm. These skills can apply a guard dog setting.

Will Aussie Protect a family?

How Can Training Enhance An Australian Shepherd’s Ability As A Guard Dog?

Since Australian Shepherds are intelligent, eager to learn and quick learners, they should have no difficulty understanding and replicating the commands necessary to be an effective guard dog.

This is especially true when guided by a professional and qualified trainer.

If you happen to be trying to train a puppy, hold up for a second.  I wrote an article about how to train your Australian Shepherd puppy that I encourage you to read!

Training boosts their confidence to protect the family

They will trust their instincts. Training makes sure that they are well-prepared to protect their family if the situation arises. You should begin training should begin as soon as possible, while the dog is still young.

Are Australian Shepherds Good Guard Dogs?

What Characteristics Make This Breed Good Guard Dogs?

Australian Shepherds have several physical characteristics that make them excellent guard dogs. They are medium-sized, yet built with a muscular and lean body.

Australian Shepherds are strong and independent with a strong protective instinct. This makes them excellent watchdogs. They are more than able to defend themselves should they need to.

They are also very loyal and devoted. They are great family companions who will stick by their owners through thick and thin.

Australian Shepherds have a friendly and good-natured personality. They also remain protective of those they love. Their herding background means that they can be a bit bossy.

If the situation gets hostile, they might reveal a more aggressive side protect their family.  Want to learn more about Aussie temperament?  I wrote an article about Aussie aggression that has become one of the most popular on this entire site.  Give it a read -> Are Australian Shepherds Aggressive?

Australian Shepherd guarding house

Pros And Cons Of Aussies As A Guard Dog

  • Instinctively protective towards those they consider family
  • Not aggressive by nature
  • Intelligent and quick learners

Unfortunately, they may not be the best choice for someone wanting an aggressive guard dog.

They are usually quite relaxed, so extra training might be necessary to ensure they are well prepared for defending their family.

Yet, they should not be underestimated due to their size. Their deep love and bond with their family can override any reservations they have. It’s possible they may become fiercely protective when needed.

Learn more about Aussies as family dogs with our article: Is an Australian Shepherd a good family dog?

Guard Dog Aussies

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Australian Shepherds make great guard dogs due to their herding background. They have natural instincts to protect and guard, as well as physical characteristics such as a lean, muscular body and great strength.

While they may not be aggressive by nature, they are protective of their loved ones and can become fiercely protective when needed.

Training can enhance their ability as a guard dog and boost their confidence. However, they may not be the best choice for someone wanting an aggressive guard dog, and extra training may be necessary.

Overall, Aussies are loyal, devoted and friendly companions who make excellent watchdogs.

Ryan Wood

Over 20 years ago I got my first Australian Shepherd. Ever since then, my family and I have been constantly learning and immersing myself with these wonderful and intriguing dogs. Now with 6 Aussie's and a couple Australian Cattle Dogs (aka Blue Heelers) in the family tree, We've learned from on-the-ground experience what makes the Australian breeds different than "regular dogs" and what doesn't. This is the site where we share everything we've learned.

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