Australian Shepherds And Strangers

by McKenzie
(Arizona, Chandler)

I love Aussies! They are in my top ten favorite breeds... Sorry, not really much of a question, so I will hurry.

Do Aussies do okay with strangers? I really want a Aussie, and the neighborhood I live in is full of people, not too crowded, but full. There is many parks around where I live, which makes it a great place to socialize a Aussie (Or any dog!) with dogs, people, and of course loud sounds. The best park we have to drive there to. Its huge! It contains animals, like squirrels, and ducks. (I was about to get a Spaniel, but not such a good idea, if I live near ponds, lakes, (Mostly handmade, but still real.) and ducks... Lots of ducks...

I will take the Aussie to obedience class, train it new tricks often, and give it two walks daily... And lots of games to play!

Comments for Australian Shepherds And Strangers

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Stranger Friendly
by: V

My Aussie loves strangers. When we walk he wants to go play with everyone, and even cries a little when I don't let him. He does want to go chase the squirrels though, I have not let him because Im not sure what he would do if he caught up with one. I would think he would want to play with it, but the squirrel wont want to play with the dog. Back to your question, all the Aussies I know love people, the stranger the better!

My Aussie HATES strangers...
by: Anonymous

My Aussie has a big problem with strangers. She barks and growls big time at anyone we meet, see or comes over to my place. I cannot get her to stop no matter what. I have tried to socialize her and she really only acts out in places she sees as hers i.e. my jeep, my place etc but on nuetral ground like the dog park or out hiking trails she never barks at anyone. The difference is night and day. She is VERY well trained in all other aspects and basically the perfect dog apart from this aggressive behavior towards strangers.

Weary of strangers
by: Anonymous

My toy Aussie doesn't like strangers either. We've been socializing her and her reactions are getting better, but she is still very weary of any strangers or big dogs. As far as I've read of Aussies, they are naturally skeptical of strangers and have a tendency to bark, growl, or bite (if the strangers don't heed their warnings).

It's just important to read the dog's personality, every dog is different!

Aussie Cross
by: Anonymous

Hi All,
I'm thrilled to have found this page.
Our Aussie cross was a rescue. His mom and letter were rescued at about 6 weeks. We got him when he was 3 months. He was NOT socialized, a frightened, velcro fellow. We enrolled him in daycare which was phenomenal for dog socialization and human leadership. We then sent him with a professional dog walker who hiked her pack up and down mountains each day. We live in a condo in a residential neighborhood, so he is walked every two to three hours for a bathroom break and outdoor play. He is now 2 years old and still reactive with strangers. He barks, lunges and then retreats. He never behaves this way with people with dogs. It makes me crazy. I have done everything suggested by trainers, other professionals and other Aussie owners.
I'm at a loss as how to break this behavior. I've found the bigger my reaction, the worse he gets. And of course when people see me using a calm voice, a jerk and walk away, they comment that its my fault because I'm not reprimanding him. If I use a louder stern voice he barks even louder, as if competing for air space with me.
Off leash at the beach or the forest, he is happy and enjoys himself until someone comes directly at him and then the barking starts. He will run along beside people barking his head off and herding them away from me. He never giving any indication of biting. But the behavior scares the heck out of people and is just not acceptable.
I'm open to any tips or tricks to squash this behavior, We adore him, he's an awesome family pet.
I have a slight physical handicap plus a brain injury and he has given me the freedom to go out alone into the forest and remote beaches that I would otherwise not visit alone.

Wonderful dogs
by: Anonymous

Finally, other people who experience this too. My aussie is 6 months old and I have paid for multiple trainers. He is a lover of those in his "inner circle" or "pack" However, outsiders are unwelcome until he gets to really know them. Makes for a tough day at the park. But we do it anyway. I use the positive reinforcement, buy it rarely works now that he is getting older and more confident. I get the looks. I love my aussie and he loves me, so we will keep working on socializing together.

my dog hates strangers
by: Anonymous

My mini Australian hates strangers. He barks and growls at everyone that enters the house or the property. Whenever I take him anywhere he is fine until someone gets to close or directs attention at him. We've been trying to have treats on us to give to new people, but even though he'll take the treat from them he still barks.

Not good with strangers
by: Anonymous

No. Not good with strangers. I love our aussie but he is absolutely not good with strangers.

re: Wonderful dogs
by: HJK

Agreed with above comment, my 1 year old tri female is the same way. If the person is known and part of the pack she will practically piss herself with excitement when seeing him/her.

Anyone outside this circle is generally not welcome until she spends time with them in our environment BUT I instruct them to ignore her completely. Eventually her curiosity wins out. It can take a day or more but she will then lay beside them or on their feet and the next time she meets them she will remember they are part of her circle.

This makes it a challenge walking her, she's very striking looking and so many people plus kids want to meet her but I have to tell them she is curious of you however she is very shy. During these interactions she will hide behind my leg, trying to avoid being touched.

I spent a lot of time and effort socializing her as a puppy and she LOVED everyone but around the six month mark a switch went off.

My advice, if you want to get an Aussie understand the breed, and what its characteristics are. They were bred to manage a herd and make quick judgements on what's a threat and what is not. Talk to the breeders, and spend time with the sire and dame.

by: Anonymous

our aussie is very good with strangers. He wants to be pet and wants to play with strangers. He complains if we don't let him play. He can be cautious around very peppy and active people who approach him, but if they approach him calmly he is all for it.

Shy Aussie
by: Anonymous

So many of these stories sounds just like my Aussie. Beloved everyone at the dog park but doesn’t like people to approach him in the house.
He will back up and growl. The trouble is people tend to try and make friends and often don’t listen when I ask them to ignore him.

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