Are Australian Shepherds Good With Other Dogs

Are Australian Shepherds Good With Other Dogs? Dog Dynamics

If you’re a dog lover who’s considering adding an Australian Shepherd to your family, you’re probably wondering how well they get along with other dogs. It’s a common question and one that’s important for ensuring a harmonious household, especially if you already have other pets.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about Australian Shepherds and their compatibility with other dogs. From their natural instincts and temperament to training and socialization, we’ve got all the bases covered to help you make an informed decision.

Are Australian Shepherds Good With Other Dogs?

Yes, Australian Shepherds can be very sociable and get along well with other dogs, but early socialization and training are important. As herding dogs, Aussies have a tendency to want to “herd” other dogs, especially by nipping at their heels.

With appropriate socialization as a puppy, an Australian Shepherd can learn to curb this herding instinct when interacting with other dogs. Owners should introduce their Australian Shepherd to many different types of dogs starting at a young age.

Why Are Australian Shepherds So Friendly?

If you’ve ever met an Australian Shepherd, you’ve likely been charmed by their friendly demeanor. But what makes them this way? Let’s explore some of the factors that contribute to their friendly nature.

Protective But Not Aggressive

Australian Shepherds have a strong protective streak, but this doesn’t translate into aggression. They are more likely to guard their family and territory rather than show hostility.

Bred For Herding Livestock

Their history as herding dogs has shaped their personality in many ways. They are used to working closely with humans and other animals, which makes them more sociable and less prone to aggression.

Protective Instincts

While they are friendly, their protective instincts are still very much a part of them. This means they can be cautious in new situations, but it doesn’t make them unfriendly.

Can Australian Shepherds Behave Aggressively Against Other Dogs?

While Australian Shepherds are generally friendly, there are instances where they might display aggressive behavior towards other dogs. Let’s examine the various reasons that could trigger such actions.

Reasons for aggressive behavior

Understanding the root causes of aggression can help in managing and even preventing such behavior in Australian Shepherds.


Sometimes, Australian Shepherds may become frustrated if they are restrained or unable to engage in activities they enjoy, leading to aggressive tendencies.


Physical discomfort or illness can make any dog irritable. If an Australian Shepherd is not feeling well, they may lash out.


Like humans, dogs can get jealous too. An Australian Shepherd might show signs of aggression if they feel another dog is getting more attention.


Some Australian Shepherds can be possessive over toys, food, or even their human family members, which can lead to aggressive behavior.


A fearful dog can become aggressive. If an Australian Shepherd feels threatened, they may resort to aggression as a defense mechanism.

Wish to herd

Their natural herding instinct can sometimes be misinterpreted as aggression, especially when they try to “herd” other dogs by nipping at their heels.

Fight for territory

Territorial behavior is another reason an Australian Shepherd might act aggressively, particularly if they feel their space is being invaded.

How to Train an Australian Shepherd to Be Dog-Friendly

Training an Australian Shepherd to be friendly with other dogs is a rewarding experience for both the pet and the owner. Let’s look at some effective methods to achieve this.

Importance of Obedience

Obedience training lays the foundation for any well-behaved dog. Teaching basic commands like ‘sit,’ ‘stay,’ and ‘come’ can go a long way in managing your Australian Shepherd’s behavior around other dogs.

The Need for Play and Exercise

Australian Shepherds are high-energy dogs that require regular play and exercise. A well-exercised dog is generally more relaxed and less likely to exhibit problematic behaviors when meeting other dogs.

Exposure to Fears

If your Australian Shepherd is fearful of other dogs, gradual exposure can help them become more comfortable. Start with controlled environments and short interactions, gradually increasing the time and complexity as your dog becomes more comfortable.

Offering Rewards

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool in dog training. Offering treats or praise when your Australian Shepherd behaves well around other dogs can reinforce that behavior, making future interactions more likely to be positive.

Related Questions

When it comes to Australian Shepherds and their interactions with other animals, people often have a few more questions. Let’s tackle some of these.

Are Australian Shepherds good with cats?

The relationship between an Australian Shepherd and a cat can vary. While some Australian Shepherds get along well with cats, others might see them as something to herd. It often depends on the individual dog and how they were socialized. Read more on the topic here.

How much time does it take to train an Australian Shepherd?

The time required to train an Australian Shepherd can vary based on the dog’s age, temperament, and previous training experience. However, given their intelligence and eagerness to please, many owners find that Australian Shepherds are relatively quick learners.

Final Thoughts

So, are Australian Shepherds good with other dogs? The answer largely depends on various factors like their upbringing, training, and individual personality. But one thing is for sure: with the right approach, an Australian Shepherd can be a wonderful companion not just for you but also for other pets in the household.

Remember, every dog is unique, so take the time to understand your Aussie to ensure a happy, harmonious environment for everyone involved.

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