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  • Post category:Behavior / Dogs
  • Post last modified:August 21, 2023
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Are Australian Cattle Dogs Aggressive? (Do They Bite?)

So, you are the kind that loves dogs but does not want to end up with an aggressive one.

Another guess is that you want a dog that is muscular, well-built, and sturdy, yet at the same time friendly.

While the Australian cattle dog is one of the top dogs on the list by way of your first requirement, you are in doubt regarding the latter.

Are Australian cattle dogs aggressive? Let’s find out.

Are Australian Cattle Dogs Aggressive?

Are Australian Cattle Dogs aggressive? An Australian Cattle Dog is wandering around with its tongue hanging out.

Without sugarcoating, or beating around the bush, here is the honest answer. Australian Cattle Dogs can be aggressive in certain situations. Because they were bred as herding dogs, which means they are naturally inclined to be assertive.

Also, they’re smart and will take the initiative on their own to make decisions. This can lead to aggressive behavior if they feel they need to protect themselves or their owners.

However, this can be a good thing when controlled and directed, turning him into a loyal and protective guard dog that is also friendly and sweet.

In other words, an owner adopting a dog of this breed will forever have the task of keeping his aggression in check, which is not so bad.

What Are The Signs Of Australian Cattle Dog Aggression?

Signs of aggression in an Australian Cattle Dog may include:

  • Intense stare.
  • A still and ridged body posture.
  • Lowering of the head and neck in a “guarding” posture.
  • Curling of the lips.
  • Showing the teeth.
  • A classic snarl.
  • And growling or a deep guttural bark.

Australian Cattle Dog Characteristics: Temperament, Personality, Size, and More.

Weight35-50 pounds
Height17-20 inches
CoatShort, dense, and weather-resistant
ColorBlue or red, with or without black or tan markings
TemperamentLoyal, energetic, intelligent, and protective
TrainabilityHighly trainable but can be stubborn
Exercise NeedsHigh energy levels require daily exercise
Health ConcernsHip dysplasia, deafness, and eye problems
Life Expectancy12-16 years

Must Read: Are Chow Chows Aggressive?

Australian Cattle Dog Behavior Issues

Are Australian Cattle Dogs aggressive? Close Up Photo of an Australian Cattle dog

Australian Cattle Dogs are intelligent and active dogs requiring much exercise and mental stimulation.

Failure to provide adequate exercise and mental stimulation can lead to boredom, resulting in behavior issues such as:

  • Obnoxious barking
  • Destructive chewing
  • Digging
  • Fleeing for adventure
  • Or even hostile behavior

These issues, if not checked, can only get worse in time till what you get is a dog that is creating problems for itself and you. 

The explanation is that if you are unwilling to spend the right amount of time in dog supervision and training, the Australian cattle dog is not for you.

Do Australian Cattle Dogs Bite?

Yes, they do have the potential to bite and exhibit mouthiness or nipping behavior. 

This is his instinct, but don’t worry; you can control the trait with training. 

Give the dog the right amount of socialization under the right supervision; in time, you will have brought this instinct under control. 

Why Do Australian Cattle Dogs Get Aggressive?

An Australian cattle dog is not always aggressive, but if he is, the following are the reasons: 

  1. Insufficient Exercise: This dog comes with lots of energy, and if not allowed to use it can make him aggressive day by day.
  2. Lack Of Discipline: An Australian cattle dog needs training with rules, boundaries, and expectations that teach him to behave. 
  3. Lack Of Socialisation: For an Australian cattle dog, this needs to start right from the early years, without which it can get suspicious and aggressive as he grows. 

How To Calm An Australian Cattle Dog?

Are Australian Cattle Dogs aggressive? Cute little Australian Cattle puppy lying in the grass staring at you

Australian Cattle Dogs can be challenging to calm down; still, there are some ways you can calm down an Australian Cattle Dog:

  • Offer positive reinforcement through verbal praise, physical affection, treats, or squeeze toys.
  • Keep mealtimes consistent with creating a sense of calm and security.
  • Provide plenty of exercises such as long walks, jogs, or playtime to reduce pent-up energy.
  • Teach commands through association and repetition, and remain quiet and calm indoors.
  • Give them a job or task to occupy their mind and calm them down.

Australian Cattle Dog Aggressive Training: How To Do It?

Training an Australian cattle dog is no cakewalk and is going to require consistency on your part, where the following is what you should do every day: 

Diet: Make sure that he does not consume too much fat and protein, as these calories can only increase his energy. This is even more important if he has not received enough daily activity. 

Lots Of Mental Stimulation: This high-energy dog will need a lot of play lest he gets hyper during the day. Long walks are something you need to be doing every day. Apart from this, see that your house has enough toys and other things for him to play with.

Socialization: Long walks alone are not enough. It is also important to choose the place. For instance, a park is better than a lane as he is more likely to bond with other humans and pets, which could make him less aggressive and more friendly by the day.

Why Does My Cattle Dog Growl At Me?

Perhaps, you tried to pull his tail? Just kidding. Some of the main reasons cattle dogs could growl are as follows:

  • Fear: Big dogs can feel fear too, and this includes the Australian cattle dog who is at the moment either trying to protect himself or you
  • Territoriality: Australian cattle dogs are extremely territorial, so don’t mess with them in that aspect. Their food bowl, toys, and special seat are theirs, not for you to take away. 
  • Playing Mood: Growling for an Australian cattle dog may not always indicate aggression. Sometimes, he could just be trying to play with you. 
  • He Has Something To Say: As a new owner, this may confuse you but don’t worry. In time, you’ll learn to take the cues and know what your not-so-little doggie wants of you. 
  • Pain: Sadly but surely, this is one of the reasons. Any dog will growl when he is ill. How else are they going to express their pain to you?

Recommended Reading: Are Cocker Spaniels Aggressive?

Are Australian Cattle Dogs Dangerous?

A white Australian Cattle Dog sits on a beige sofa and stares at the camera.

They can bite. You can now understand this whichever way. 

See, they can be dangerous when bought from a breeder that has been careless in terms of providing the poor dog with the right amount of training.

From this, you should have understood that the Australian cattle dog is not dangerous if provided with the right amount of training. 

Do Australian Cattle Dogs Pick One Person?

Yes, and so, if you are about to adopt one, you must be prepared for this, as they are most likely to follow you all around the house. Australian cattle dogs are extremely devoted to their owner and will never want to be separated from them. 

This can reach a point where the dog can even get clingy and would not want to let go of you. 

They would even get jealous of other animals around that enjoy your attention, which can include the other pets in your own home or neighborhood.

In short, it’s like this; the Australian cattle dog picks that one member he will always be devoted to. 

Is An Australian Cattle Dog A Good Family Dog?

Yes, and they get along well with children, too, with their high energy levels and playful nature, giving your kids just the kind of playmate they look forward to in this new addition to the family. 

However, know you can’t leave this dog unsupervised with the kid. This is because high energy levels can sometimes get him overexcited, and he may end up biting the kids. 

Or if it doesn’t, they will either provoke them to join him in his mischief. In other words, be prepared to see what your house will turn into when you leave this high-energy dog alone with your equally high-energy kids. 

One way to solve this problem is to raise them with your kids from a very young age. 

Are Australian Cattle Dogs Protective?

The Australian cattle dog is not just a good playmate to your kids but a proper guardian too. They are intelligent and hardworking, which means they are going to do a good job at protecting your family. 

They are immediately alert and will bring out their aggressive side when they see someone unfamiliar. 

After all, it is not without reason that this is known as a herding dog. To put it another way, this is not a lazy dog that merely wants to play. 

Rather, they thrive on responsibility and a job and will do it well. 

Can Australian Cattle Dogs Be Left Alone?

As seen above, Australian Cattle dogs tend to bite, which is why they cannot be kept away from the sight of their owner for too long. 

Obviously, this is especially not so when you have younger kids, new faces, or pets of other neighbors. 

All these are going to get the dog suspicious or annoyed, leading him to bring out that aggressive side. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Cattle Dog Aggressive To Other Dogs

Yes, cattle dogs can be aggressive to dogs and other pets who they think are stealing the love that belongs to them. However, this can be solved with the right amount of socialization at an early age.

Q2. Are Australian Cattle Dogs Smart?

Yes, the Australian cattle dog is not just very alert but also extremely smart and intelligent, which is why they make one of the best guard dogs. They have an active mind, because of which they also respond well to training.

Q3. Are Australian Cattle Dogs Mean?

They are not exactly mean. They are possessive about their owners, suspicious towards strangers, and have strong herding instincts, all of which can give the dog an appearance of being mean, which is not exactly true.

Q4. Are Australian Cattle Dogs Friendly?

They are friendly if given the right training by way of socialization, and the earlier this begins, the better. Do that, and you will be surprised by the sweet and friendly dog you end up with.

Final Thoughts!

Are Australian cattle dogs aggressive? It depends, and the answer lies in your hands. 

Australian cattle dogs can be aggressive if not guided and trained.

However, this can be prevented if you, as an owner, are willing to put in the required amount of effort into turning him into the kind of dog you and everyone around would want him to be. 


Hey there, pet lovers! I'm Pratik, a lifelong animal lover, and pet care expert. My passion for animals began at a young age and has only grown stronger over the years. Through my blog, I hope to share my knowledge and expertise with other pet owners and provide them with valuable information on pets.