Are Australian Cattle Dogs good with other dogs?

Are Australian Cattle Dogs good with other dogs?

An important question to ask if you want to add an Australian Cattle Dog to your family is:

Are Australian Cattle Dogs good with other dogs? 

YES!  Australian Cattle Dogs can get along just fine with other dogs, especially with early socialization.

Also, effective training can overcome most natural tendencies to be suspicious and protective.

Are Australian Cattle Dogs good with other dogs?

Yes, they can be, but they may need more time and patience during this particular socialization period than other dogs who are not as cautious or protective as Australian Cattle Dogs.

Australian Cattle Dogs are known to be highly suspicious of strangers, both human and dog.  They will usually be cautious and protective when meeting someone for the first time. 

For this reason, it is not uncommon at all for one to growl or give a warning when he feels that his space is being invaded.   

But, with proper socialization and training, they can get along just fine with most other dogs.

Socialization as a puppy will make the introduction of new dogs much easier later in life.  The younger they are the more open they are to accepting new things.

Are Australian Cattle Dogs good with other dogs?

Here are some important ideas to keep in mind during socialization.

Your dog does NOT need to be best friends with all other dogs. 

Don’t think that you are depriving him of a fulfilled life if he is the only dog in the house, or if you do not take him on regular play dates.

Your Australian Cattle Dog will be totally happy being only with you if you are his chosen one

Socialization with other dogs, however, is very important to make Australian Cattle Dogs good with other dogs later in life.

Here are a few tips for socialization:

Don’t be in a hurry to force them to get too close together or to smell each other.  You’re not going to be able to force them to play or be friends.  Too much pressure will actually work against your efforts.

 Chances are if you are patient and go slowly while keeping everyone safe, things will work out in time. 

Since all dogs are different, they will each have their own personality. This can cause wide variations and differences in how individual dogs respond to being around other dogs. 

Not all Australian Cattle Dogs will want to play or be friends with others, but there will be many who will thrive in a multi-dog home.

When first meeting someone new, Australian Cattle Dogs may seem fearful and aggressive.  This may be because of their tendencies to be cautious and protective.

Knowing the differences between being cautious and being aggressive will help you choose how to handle each situation.

It’s a good idea to know what aggression looks like so you can be safe.

Here are some warning signs of aggression to become familiar with:

  • An intense stare, possibly showing the whites of the eyes.
  • Body posture becoming still and ridged. 
  • Lowering of the head and neck in a “guarding” posture.
  • Curling of the lips, showing the teeth, a classic snarl.
  • Growling, deep guttural bark.
  • The hair on the back standing up.
  • A change in the normal happy position of the tail.
  • Advancing boldly.
  • Snapping without actually making contact.
  • Nipping and Biting-leading to…
  • An Outright Attack

Here is the complete article on aggression:

             Link:     Are Australian Cattle Dogs Aggressive?

Why do dogs fight?

Whether it is from fear, a desire to dominate, establishing a pecking order, protect their territory, or true aggression, dogs will inevitably find themselves in a fight. 

Always expect dogs to be dogs and try to avoid any situation in which you are unsure.

The most important thing is to avoid dangerous situations and prevent injury. 

Dogs are dogs and you cannot change that.

Introducing a new dog to an Australian Cattle Dog

Whether you are introducing a new dog to an Australian Cattle Dog family or bringing an Australian Cattle Dog into your home, the ideas are always the same.

The first meeting should always be on neutral ground.

This way neither dog will have home field advantage.

The first meeting could be at a dog park, a third-party home, or maybe just down the street at a place neither dog feels the desire to protect.

Each dog should have an experienced handler.  Each handler’s job is simply to keep them apart and to keep the dog’s attention on himself and on the walk.

The goal for the first meeting should not be to get nose to nose or to smell bottoms, but simple to be in the same area with nothing bad happening and to go for a walk together.  

After a tiring walk, they will begin to feel a bond.

If all goes well you can decide if you should get closer and let them smell each other’s rear, but don’t be in a hurry for this.

Remember, safety first.  This is a very crucial stage to not let a fight break out.

When first introducing dogs to each other recognize that it is just a part of socialization and needs to be treated with the same steps and concerns.

Become familiar with socialization methods by reading this article:

Australian Cattle Dog socialization

Thank you to Christine at Chaos to Calm K9 Training in Newark, Delaware for sharing this video and for her comments.  Be sure to check out her web site here and her YouTube channel Here.

Here are the main ideas that the first introduction should consist of:

  1. The structured walk
  2. Calm coexistence
  3. Let them sniff
  4. The dog with recall goes first
  5. Let both dogs free

Are Australian Cattle Dogs good with other dogs?

Indy sure is!  He loves his German Shepherd family.

Australian Cattle Dogs good with other dogs
Australian Cattle Dogs good with other dogs
Australian Cattle Dogs good with other dogs

This beautiful Australian Cattle Dog is Indy.    He was introduced as a puppy to his three German Shepherd siblings. They live together in Anchorage, Alaska and could not be happier.

Indy is a pretty good example that Australian Cattle Dogs are good with other dogs.

Are Australian Cattle Dogs good with other dogs?

Final thoughts:  Be safe, go slow!


We have an article here all about the Australian Cattle Dog Breed characteristics 

This will help to understand more why Australian Cattle Dogs good with other dogs