One of the best additions to a household family is a companion dog. They provide kids with tons of entertainment and play, all while teaching them all types of valuable life lessons. Australian Shepherds are generally great dogs, but what about with children?
But lets examine what makes these herding dogs great for kids, along with things parents should be aware of. Weve compiled a list of 10 real owners , along with their experience and recommendations when it comes to children and Aussies.
Tambamamba says My Aussie Herds Kids My Australian Shepherd is a wonderful dog in almost every way possible. This happens at dog parks with lots of children and its getting to the point where we have to put a muzzle on him. Andrbrow says Kids love him I brought home my little Australian Shepherd pup for the family.
Razhafoshza says My guardian growing up I love this dog breed [Australian Shepherd]. Zucco22 says Nipped small kids When my Aussie Hazel was a puppy, shed try to herd me and my wife. The most common problem (or bad habit) mentioned by parents is that their Aussies will try to herd the children .
Originally bred to be skilled herding dogs, Australian Shepherds have these instincts from birth. However, there are ways to train them to respect children and prevent a potentially bad experience between kids and the dog from happening. With that said, the best time to introduce your Australian Shepherd to children is after a good exercise session.
Begin your socialization training after a frisbee or catch session and a long walk around the neighborhood. These dogs will have a lot of pent up energy that could lead to destructive or erratic behavior. In addition, lots of physical activity for an Aussie will help stimulate their minds.
If you start socialization training and your Australian Shepherd starts to play rough with the kids, tell them to leave it. Its a good way to show dogs that theyre not allowed to exhibit bad behavior around children. For more a more detailed approach to this training, check out this guide by the American Kennel Club . Helping your kids establish dominance over your dog requires some effort on their part.
If your dog is trying to bullying your kid, such as nipping or herding, they need to stand their ground firmly. Ive personally witnessed rowdy kids trying to ride small dogs and tug on their ears and/or tails.
Are Australian Shepherds OK with kids?
So, are Australian Shepherds good with kids? There are mixed reviews, but Australian Shepherds are generally great playmates for older children. However, they’re known to try to herd small children by nipping at their heels. … They’re good natured dogs that loves nothing more than the family, including the children.
Why Australian Shepherd are good family dogs?
They are very active yet easy-going dogs that love to romp with children and they tend to get along well with other pets. Australian shepherds have wonderful personalities and adapt well to families with children. They are not aggressive dogs and make ideal companions in an active household.
Can an Australian shepherd be a house dog?
Yes! Like most dogs, Aussies (and Mini Aussies) are active and outdoorsy, but still best suited to indoor living. Medium-large-sized homes with gardens are best, but they can do well in smaller homes, too. Just so long as they get everything they need to be happy and healthy!
My family and I are thinking of getting an Australian Shepherd. I have three children, the two youngest are 1 year of age and 5 years of age. I have read that they are a protective dog, but how well do Aussie’s handle being pulled and pushed on by young children.
Australian Shepherds are very friendly dogs. I think we can all agree on that. Having an Aussie is perfect for bringing happiness to the kids and to the whole family. However, there is controversy about this last point. Are Aussies really that good with kids and babies?
Activities like that are an excellent opportunity to get fresh air and to have fun for both parts. Your Australian Shepherd will identify the kids as good people as well.
Besides, you also dont need to train your Australian Shepherd not to threaten your children. This kind of dog is generally more aggressive with smaller children. When you finally identify it, its time to interrupt and show him this is a wrong action.
Start with simple things and then follow the learning curve. Exercise with him: This is the step that you can effectively make him stop herding your kids. To start, you can redirect your Australian Shepherds attention when he wants to herd your kids.
If you want to achieve success, ask your children to be active when training your Australian Shepherd. I think the most important thing for a good relationship between dogs and humans is living together. As a consequence, your Australian Shepherd will know your kids are family members as well.
In the beginning, it doesnt have to be a complicated thing like running in the street. If your Australian Shepherd initially wants to herd the kids, its because he doesnt see them as a family. It will make your Aussie start to identify the children as his owners as well and show respect for them.
You should show them how your Aussie is a friendly dog and that he will never try to hurt the kids. Before letting your babies play with your Australian Shepherd, make sure they have the right age. The tendency is that your Australian Shepherd will be more aggressive towards younger kids.
His countryside spirit will often tell him they are not real humans and dont deserve respect. Thats why you shouldnt let small kids play with the dog with no supervision.
Children and Australian Shepherds
We think Aussies are great with children, butSome of these answers have been edited for better grammar and writing style. However, the meaning and overall intent remain the same. Most of these answers are curated from the Aussie SubReddit.
Real Owner Answers
For more information on this dog’s temperament and personality, check out our Australian Shepherd Temperament & Personality Guide here.
Stop an Aussie From Herding Kids
Some reviews are good, while others…not so much. The most common problem (or bad habit) mentioned by parents is that their AussiesOriginally bred to be skilled herding dogs, Australian Shepherds have theseHowever, there are ways to train them to “respect” children and prevent a potentially bad experience between kids and the dog from happening. Here’s
1. Socialization with Children
TheMake sure youWithout supervision, they may continue trying toIn the beginning, Australian Shepherds will likely try toSocialization training helps them realize that children are
2. Training after Physical Activity
By now you’ve most likely heard about how energetic these dogs can be. They’re hyperactive dogs with what seems like unlimited energy.The bad news is, this excitement can potentially scare or hurt a child. Sometimes these dogs canWith that said, the best time to introduce your Australian Shepherd to children is after a good exercise session. This period of time is when they’re theBegin your socialization training after a frisbee or catch session and a long walk around the neighborhood. On the contrary, the worst time for training would be after your dog has been kept enclosed for a long period of time.These dogs will have a lot of pent up energy that could lead to destructive or erratic behavior.In addition, lots of physical activity for an Aussie will help stimulate their minds. Exercise can help divert their attention and herding instincts to other things.
3. Teach “Leave it” Command First
One of the most basic commands for dogs is “leave it.” `When successfully taught, this command tells your dog to essentially move away from an object (or person) and leave it alone.If you start socialization training and your Australian Shepherd starts to play rough with the kids, tell them to “leave it.” It’s a good way to show dogs that they’re not allowed to exhibit bad behavior around children.So how do you teach your dog this command? First, you’ll want to put a delicious treat in your enclosed fist so that they’re not able to get to it.They’ll scratch and paw at it, but with no success. As soon as they stop, give them positive reinforcement cue, such as a clicker sound or “yes!”Next, as soon as your dog notices the treat in your hand, give them the cue “leave it.” When they’ve given up, reward them with the treat and positive reinforcement. Repeat as necessary.After a few repetitions, you can try again with your palms open, exposing the treat. If they go for it, close your palm and start over with the cue. If you’re successful, place the treat in front of you (fully exposed) and begin the process once again.For more a more detailed approach to this training, check out this guide by the American Kennel Club.
4. “Train” the Kids
Yes, you read that right: train the children on how to react to your Australian Shepherd. Helping your kids establish dominance over your dog requires some effort on their part. They need to know how to react to the dog in certain situations.If your dog is trying to bullying your kid, such as nipping or herding, they need to stand their ground firmly. Teach your kids toAussies are generally smart enough to understand the tone of a person’s voice to determine if they are sad, angry or happy. Ask them to tell them “no” with confidence.Let your kids know that they shouldThis may be hard for the kids as they may get scared at times. Still, they should learn this and try it to the best of their abilities.
Australian Shepherds Being Good With Kids
Let’s start with the best part. That is incredible that your Aussie has a good relationship with your babies and kids. They are packed with a lot of benefits for both parts. Here are the highlights of three of them.This can also help your kids if they are scared of dogs. There’s no better treatment for that than living with one of them. Your Australian Shepherd will identify the kids as good people as well.In addition to it, this behavior will also be a stress reliever for you. You will not need to be worried about possible conflicts between them.Besides, you also don’t need to train your Australian Shepherd not to threaten your children. To finish with everything, won’t it be a fantastic feeling to see both of them living happily together? Of course, it will!
When Aussies Are Aggressive with Kids…
As I said before, your dog tends to be friendly with kids, but that may not always happen.There are a lot of reports of Australian Shepherds being aggressive with kids. Of course, that’s a situation you don’t want to happen. But don’t worry, this could be the normal behavior of your Aussie. Even though that’s a big problem, there’s always a way to fix it.This kind of dog is generally more aggressive with smaller children. The most common reported problem is their wish to control the kids. Australian Shepherds were originally bred to herd animals. For that reason, it is not uncommon to see them mistakenly trying to “herd” smaller kids as well.There is also a chance of him going a bit farther from that and nip your children. Thankfully, however, this behavior is very rare. The only main problem you can possibly face is his habit of herding. That’s because it is his natural spirit.
Train Your Children as Well
At the start of the process, the kids need to know how to react to their Aussie as well. Imagine if something goes wrong. They need to be prepared to resolve the problem and call your help. Now I present you with some tips about how to do this.This will help to make the pet used to their commands as well. If your Australian Shepherd initially wants to herd the kids, it’s because he doesn’t see them as a family.Practicing using codes will improve this behavior. It will make your Aussie start to identify the children as his owners as well and show respect for them.To prevent that, teach your kids how not to be afraid. If they don’t control their minds, the situation will only be worsened. You should show them how your Aussie is a friendly dog and that he will never try to hurt the kids.
What About Babies?
Before letting your babies play with your Australian Shepherd, make sure they have the right age. Of course, a dog may be dangerous near young children.Even being supervised, a situation like that can be risky and might have bad consequences.I know you are responsible, so you will never let babies play with your Aussie. It could work out with other calmer dog breeds, but not with Australian Shepherds. Since they are way too energetic, they will not respect babies’ weaknesses.The opposite case can also occur. Small kids can be aggressive with dogs as well. For example, if they throw an object at the Aussie, he will probably become furious. The result… well, I think you guessed what can happen.
My Final Thoughts
So, to summarise everything, I think there are moments your Aussie will react well towards children, but in others, he may not. It will all depend on your dog. Like humans, there are calmer Australian Shepherds and there are some with a more aggressive temperament.Generally, they get along very well with kids. As we all know, Aussies are energetic and only want to be active. This mindset can often affect their living with children.The tendency is that your Australian Shepherd will be more aggressive towards younger kids. If they are a bit older, he will identify they are “important” people.The main problem with younger children is that he may try to herd them. His countryside spirit will often tell him they are not real humans and don’t deserve respect. As they grow up, however, this behavior should end.If you have any problems, train your Aussie. This is a relatively easy and effective process. Not capable of doing it? No problem. Remember, professional dog trainers are always there to help if you need them!