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Will an Australian Shepherd Get Along With Other Dogs? Compatibility Facts & FAQ

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Australian Shepherd playing with Retriever dog

Along with their natural intelligence and charisma, the Australian Shepherd is a breed that enjoys being around people. They get along with children and are also used as service dogs, for search and rescue, and police work. Australian Shepherds do well with other dogs, although they might try to herd other pets — and children — if they’re not taught how to behave.

While their natural cheer makes them friends of the world, their exuberance can be off-putting to some other dog breeds. That said, with their tendency to develop separation anxiety if they’re left alone for too long, Australian Shepherds do best with a companion. This guide will tell you why Australian Shepherds do well with dogs and introduce you to some of the breeds they match best with.

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Do Australian Shepherds Need Companionship?

As a breed intended to work closely with humans as a herding dog, the Australian Shepherd is naturally friendly and people-oriented. While they can be wary around strangers, they love to spend time with their human family members and can be prone to separation anxiety when left alone for too long.

If you spend a great deal of time out of the house for work, your Australian Shepherd can benefit from the presence of another dog. They will give your Aussie someone to interact with while you’re away and prevent them from feeling lonely or bored.

Australian Shepherd lying in the grass with other dogs around
Image By: Gabe, Pexels

How to Help Your Australian Shepherd Get Along With Other Dogs

Despite the Aussie’s natural friendliness, many pets can be wary of them. The breed has an instinctive drive to herd, which is part of the reason that they make such great farm workers.

Teaching your Australian Shepherd how to properly manage their instincts and helping them manage their energy levels will help them get along with other dogs.

Encourage Exercise

Intelligent and highly energetic, Australian Shepherds aren’t a dog for a family that prefers lazy days at home. If not properly managed, their energy levels can quickly lead to boredom and frustration, which can result in destructive behavior as they search for an outlet. Your Australian Shepherd might also be more likely to take their frustration out on the other dogs in your household.

Regular exercise gives your dog somewhere to focus their attention. These dogs do best with a fenced yard to run around in and at least two walks a day. You can also give them an outlet through activities that challenge them. Their intelligence makes it easy for them to pick up tricks, and they excel in agility and obedience competitions.

Obedience Training

Training your puppy doesn’t end at house training or socialization. You also don’t need to stop once your Australian Shepherd has mastered obedience commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come here.” These basic commands can help you teach your Aussie other, more complicated tricks for fun or for competing in agility and obedience competitions.

Provided that you dedicate the time to teach them, obedience training also teaches your Australian Shepherd impulse control. They’ll never lose their herding instincts, but they’ll learn to control their urges and direct them to more suitable targets.


Australian Shepherds are protective but not aggressive. However, they still need to be taught how to interact with other people and dogs. Introducing them to strangers and as many different situations as possible will help them learn how they’re expected to behave. The earlier you start socializing them, the more likely you are to ensure that they grow into well-rounded adults that know how to behave properly.

By introducing your Aussie puppy to other dogs, they’ll be happier around strangers. They might still be wary of a strange dog, but they’ll also be familiar with the right way to behave around a new face. This can help curb their instinct to nip at or herd items or other animals.

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Which Dog Breeds Get Along With Australian Shepherds?

Beautiful German and Australian Shepherds are sitting in rapeseed field and smiling
Image Credit: Lightman_pic, Shutterstock

As working dogs, Australian Shepherds have a great deal of energy and stamina. They might be super friendly, but they can also be too exuberant for some of the quieter dog breeds. For the best relationship between your Australian Shepherd and a new puppy or existing dog, you need to make sure both dogs are compatible first.

In general, dogs with similar temperaments, such as other working dog breeds, are the most likely to get along well with an Australian Shepherd. Herding dogs especially will share the same instincts and will be more likely to understand the Australian Shepherd’s tendency to herd things.

Dogs with high energy levels are also a good match with the Australian Shepherd. The more similar their energy levels are, the better they’ll be at keeping up with their Aussie companion. A dog breed that’s happier to lounge might become irritated if they’re constantly being bothered by a playful Australian Shepherd.

A few of the best dog breeds that work well with Australian Shepherds are:

This list isn’t all-inclusive, and there are plenty more dog breeds that get along with the Australian Shepherd. For the best results, introduce your dogs before you bring your new puppy home to see how well they get along. When in doubt, partner your new Aussie puppy with another Australian Shepherd.

Will an Australian Shepherd Get Along With Other Pets?

It’s not just other dogs in your home that you might want your new Australian Shepherd to get along with. If you have other pets, like cats, you might wonder whether your new puppy’s friendliness extends to these family members too.

Fortunately, Australian Shepherds are great companion dogs. If they’re raised with cats and taught how to control their herding instincts around their smaller friends, they can live happily together.

You should keep in mind that a cat might be more likely to take offense if your Australian Shepherd tries to herd them. To reduce this, choose a cat that’s been raised around herding dog breeds, or adopt a kitten and puppy that are the same age so they can grow and learn together.

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Sociable and loyal, the Australian Shepherd loves to play with their human and canine family members. Even though their excitable personalities can make quieter dog breeds wary of them, the Aussie gets along well with other dogs and pets. Teach them to control their herding instincts around children and other pets to help them create lifelong bonds with all their family members.

Featured Image Credit: Gabe, Pexels

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