10 Reasons Why we Love Australian Shepherds

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Last Updated: September 24th, 2023

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“Discover the captivating world of Australian Shepherds! Explore the charm, intelligence, and endless energy of this popular breed.”

Cute Australian Shepherds dog
Image by Anja Kiefer from Pixabay


Imagine a dog with the intelligence of a scholar, the agility of an athlete, and the charisma of a movie star; that’s Australian Shepherd. Affectionately known as ‘Aussies’, they have big personalities, vibrant coat colors and hypnotic eyes. Whether you’re a proud Aussie owner or just a curious admirer, this article will give you a glimpse into the life and charm of one of the canine world’s most popular breeds.

Are Aussies easy to train?

Australian Shepherds, commonly referred to as “Aussies,” are intelligent and versatile dogs, often described as having a “willing to please” temperament. This combination of intelligence and eagerness makes them relatively easy to train compared to some other breeds. However, their intelligence means they can also quickly pick up on bad habits if not trained consistently or correctly. As herding dogs, they have a strong drive to work and are often used in dog sports like agility, obedience, and herding trials due to their trainable nature. Proper socialization and early training are essential to ensure that their intelligence and energy are channeled productively.

Are Australian Shepherds good for first-time owners?

While Aussies are incredible dogs, their high intelligence, energy, and drive might not make them the ideal choice for everyone, especially first-time dog owners. If a new dog owner is dedicated, willing to invest time in training, exercise, and socialization, an Aussie can be a fantastic companion. However, the breed’s needs can be overwhelming for someone unprepared for their level of activity and mental stimulation requirements. Without proper training, an Aussie can develop problematic behaviors out of boredom or lack of direction. Therefore, potential first-time Aussie owners should do thorough research and consider consulting with breed enthusiasts or trainers to understand the breed’s needs fully.

Australian shepherd dog running happily on the snow
Image by Wolfgang Herath from Pixabay

Do Australian Shepherds bark a lot?

Australian Shepherds can be vocal. They might bark for various reasons such as alerting their owners that there’s something unusual, herding, out of boredom, or even due to separation anxiety. Their herding background means they are naturally watchful and may alert their owners to any perceived threats. While not all Aussies will bark excessively, potential owners should be prepared to manage and train this behavior to ensure it doesn’t become a nuisance.

Why does my Australian Shepherd sit on me?

It’s not uncommon for dogs, including Aussies, to exhibit this kind of behavior. An Australian Shepherd might sit on you for a variety of reasons. It can be a sign of affection, a way to mark their territory, or simply because they find it comfortable. Furthermore, sitting or lying on you may make them feel safe and secure. This behavior can also stem from herding instincts; by sitting on you, they may feel like they’re “herding” or keeping you within their fold. There isn’t a single definitive study that exclusively explores why Australian Shepherds or dogs, in general, choose to sit on their owners, but the behavior is seen in various breeds and most owners don’t mind it at all.

Is an Australian Shepherd a friendly dog?

Yes, Australian Shepherds are typically friendly dogs. They are known for their affectionate nature towards their families and can be friendly with strangers once properly introduced. They are also good with children and can get along well with other pets if socialized early. A study in the journal “Applied Animal Behaviour Science” has previously highlighted the importance of early socialization in dogs, indicating that pups exposed to various experiences, people, and other animals during their critical developmental period tend to grow up to be more well-adjusted and friendly. Therefore, while Aussies have a friendly disposition, early and consistent socialization plays a key role in enhancing this trait.

Are Australian Shepherds bossy?

Australian Shepherds are highly intelligent and have a strong herding instinct, which can sometimes be interpreted as “bossiness.” This inherent drive to herd and manage their environment can translate into behaviors like nipping at heels or trying to direct or corral other pets or even people. These traits aren’t necessarily a sign of dominance but rather an ingrained instinct from their herding lineage. It’s crucial for Australian Shepherd owners to understand this behavior and address it appropriately through training and redirection. This ensures that the dog knows what behaviors are acceptable and which are not.

Beautiful Australian Shepherd dog with a blue eye
Photo by Ilona Frey on Unsplash

Are Australian Shepherds good emotional support dogs?

Australian Shepherds can make excellent emotional support dogs due to their deep sense of loyalty, intelligence, and desire to bond with their humans. Their empathetic nature often allows them to tune into the emotional states of their owners, providing comfort during stressful or challenging times. A study from the Journal of Veterinary Behavior has indicated that dogs, in general, have the ability to act as social supports, helping reduce anxiety and stress in their owners. With the right training and temperament, an Aussie can certainly be a comforting and grounding presence for someone in need of emotional support.

How much exercise does an Australian Shepherd need?

Being a highly energetic and athletic breed, Australian Shepherds require a significant amount of exercise to stay healthy, both mentally and physically. Daily activities such as long walks, fetch sessions, agility training, or herding exercises are beneficial for them. On average, an Australian Shepherd should have at least 1-2 hours of active play or exercise every day. Without sufficient physical and mental stimulation, Aussies can become restless and may develop behavioral issues. It’s not just about physical exercise; their sharp minds also need challenges, which can be addressed through training, puzzle toys, and interactive games.

Do Australian Shepherds like to cuddle?

While individual personalities vary, many Australian Shepherds are known to be affectionate and enjoy cuddling with their owners. Their bond with their family often makes them want to stay close, seeking physical contact and comfort. This closeness is not only a sign of affection but can also be a manifestation of their protective and loyal nature. After a day of play and activity, don’t be surprised if your Aussie wants to snuggle up with you on the couch or in bed.

Do Australian Shepherds shed a lot?

Yes, Australian Shepherds do shed, sometimes quite profusely. They possess a double coat, with a soft undercoat beneath a more textured outer coat. This double coat helps protect them from various weather conditions, but it also means that they go through shedding seasons, particularly in spring and fall. Regular grooming, including brushing several times a week, can help manage the shedding and keep their coat healthy. It’s important for potential Aussie owners to be prepared for this aspect of their care.


In conclusion, Australian Shepherds are intelligent, energetic, and friendly dogs. Their trainability, coupled with their boundless energy, can make them both a joy and a challenge. Proper training, understanding, and commitment to an active lifestyle are vital for anyone considering this breed, especially first-time dog owners.



Maja Sebenik is a proud owner of a Dachshund named Bimba. With three years of experience working as a researcher for a pet magazine, Maja's love for animals runs deep. Through her heartfelt writing, Maja shares practical tips, advice, and heartwarming anecdotes to inspire fellow pet lovers. Join her on a journey to explore the wonders of the animal kingdom, one paw at a time.

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