Why You Shouldn’t Get an Australian Shepherd?

Why You Shouldn’t Get an Australian Shepherd? Australian Shepherds, often known as Aussies, have captured the hearts of many dog lovers worldwide. Their striking appearance, intelligence, and versatility are among the traits that make them one of the most popular dog breeds.

However, it’s important to acknowledge that while they might be an excellent fit for some, there might be better choices for some.

Why You Shouldn’t Get an Australian Shepherd

Are Australian Shepherds Stubborn?

Yes, Australian Shepherds can sometimes be stubborn due to their independent nature and strong herding instincts. However, with consistent training and positive reinforcement, their behavior can be managed effectively.

Are Australian Shepherds bad pets?

No, Australian Shepherds are not bad pets. They are active, friendly, and versatile dogs that make great family companions, excel in various roles like herding, police work, and obedience trials, and generally get along well with children and other pets.

Why you shouldn’t get an Australian shepherd?

So Why not to get an Australian Shepherd? An Australian Shepherd might only be the right choice if you can provide a demanding working lifestyle, manage their herding instincts, or are prepared for their intensity. Consider other breeds that align better with your lifestyle.

Here, we’ll delve into three crucial reasons why you should think twice before bringing an Australian Shepherd into your home.

1. Frustration: Working Dog Lifestyle

Australian Shepherds are known for their strong work ethic and drive. Historically bred for herding sheep, these dogs thrive in an environment where they have a specific job to do.

This is where frustration can creep in if their natural instincts aren’t fulfilled. The working dog lifestyle demands consistent engagement, mental stimulation, and physical activityOpens in a new tab..

Unfortunately, many Australian Shepherds are chosen as pets in settings that need to provide them with the necessary opportunities to work.

When these dogs are deprived of their inherent working role, they can become prone to frustrating behaviors such as incessant barking, pacing, scratching, and destructive chewing.

This isn’t an expression of their inherent nature but a response to the frustrationOpens in a new tab. that builds up due to their unmet energy and drive.

If you need more preparation to commit to a working dog’s lifestyle, reconsider your choice.

2. No Job, No Peace: The Herding Instinct

Australian Shepherds are natural herders, and this instinct is deeply ingrained in their DNA. When they don’t have a designated job, they might take it upon themselves to herd anything and everything in their vicinity—including your family members.

While herding behavior can seem amusing in certain situations, it can escalate quickly to unwanted nipping, excessive barking, and even aggression.

The absence of a job isn’t just about inconvenience—it can lead to serious behavioral issues that might strain your relationship with the dog and even put your family’s safety at risk.

Australian Shepherds can become reactive and anxious without a proper outlet for their energy and instincts. If you can’t commit to channeling your energy through training, work, or exercise, an Aussie might not fit you.

3. Collies: A More Suitable Alternative

If you’re attracted to the traits of an Australian Shepherd but are concerned about the intensity, there’s a more balanced alternativeOpens in a new tab.: the Border Collie.

Border Collies share many characteristics with Aussies—intelligence, agility, and herding ability—but with a slightly more manageable intensity level.

They are exceptional herders, often considered the best in the world, yet they tend to be more adaptable and forgiving in various settings.

Border Collies can handle a wide range of tasks beyond herding, providing you with more flexibility in activities and environments.

They also tend to have a better off-switch, making them more amenable to being calm and relaxed when indoors.

If you’re looking for a breed that balances energy and adaptability, a Border Collie might be better than an Australian Shepherd.

Video: Australian Shepherd – The Pros & Cons of Owning One

FAQ  – People also ask

Will Australian Shepherd protect you?

Yes, Australian Shepherds can be protective due to their devotion and intelligence. They may become aggressive if they perceive a threat, but proper training and socialization are crucial to manage this behavior.

Are Australian Shepherds stranger danger?

Yes, Australian Shepherds can display stranger-related issues due to their tendency to approach rather than retreat. If uncomfortable, they might growl to discourage interaction, emphasizing the need for careful socialization.

Do all Australian Shepherds bark a lot?

No, Australian Shepherds are generally quiet dogs. They might bark to alert their owners, but overall, they don’t tend to be excessive barkersOpens in a new tab.. Their controlled demeanor aligns with this behavior.

Can Australian Shepherds be left alone?

Australian Shepherds can be left alone for several hours, but extended periods might lead to destructive behavior or excessive barking. Crate training could be essential for their safety and well-being when left alone.


Australian Shepherds are undeniably remarkable dogs but come with specific needs and characteristics that only some are equipped to handle. Their intense drive, herding instincts, and need for consistent engagement can create challenges in a typical household setting. If you need more time to be ready to provide them with the working lifestyle they require, or if you’re seeking a breed with slightly less intensity, considering alternatives like the Border Collie might be a wiser choice.  

Lila Hughes

As the owner and author of ThePetsAid.com, I have always had a passion for animals. I have always been interested in pet health and nutrition and have extensive knowledge in the field.

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