CHIA the mini chocolate labradoodle is tiny, but when it comes to protecting her "family" she's a bulldog.
Proud owner Steven Taddeo, 34, from Athelstone, was camping with his family at their Blanchetown property at the weekend.
As Mr Taddeo and his father, Paul, were chopping fire wood in a paddock, eight emus menacingly came towards them.
The pair, accompanied by Mr Taddeo's four-year-old nephew, Pietro, and dog Chia, began slowly walking back to the camp fearful they would provoke an attack.
"We were extremely terrified," Mr Taddeo said, adding: "They can do quite some damage."
The emus, which were protecting their nearby young, had began to circle the family.
But Chia charged at the biggest emu, who "stood about 6ft tall", causing a commotion and scaring them away.
Mr Taddeo said Chia saved them from potential serious harm.
"When we got back to camp Chia had a hero's return and was fed steak and lamb chops," he said.
He said he'll never forget how Chia put herself between them and the emus.
"Dogs really are a man's best friend," he said.
Mr Taddeo said the one-year-old dog had become more protective after the birth of his first child.