Is It Better To Have Two Australian Shepherds Instead of One?

My friend Elisa brought a gorgeous 6 months old male Australian Shepard Rocky a few months ago to her home. Rocky is almost 1 year old now and she thinks that he could benefit from the company of another Aussie puppy.

In order to make a final decision, Elisa has started searching for some answers. Should she bring a new male or female? Is Rocky at the right age to get a companion? Do one Aussie does well with another dog? Are Aussies jealous dogs?

Australian Shepherds are pack animals, like other breeds. Unless the dog is very unsocial, he/she will benefit from having a canine companion. Australian Shepherd won’t feel alone and will have a friend to play with. Even though it looks the owner might have more work around two dogs, actually, it might turn the opposite as two dogs would entertain each other so they wouldn’t crave the owner’s attention that much.

Do Australian Shepherds Need A Companion?

Most Australian Shepards will be happier to have another dog companion. Dogs are pack animals and do better in the group or at least in pairs.

Of course, getting another dog can be a pleasant and less pleasant experience. How two dogs will get along depends on many factors.

First of all, the age of the first dog. If you introduce the second dog to your Aussie too early (before the 18-24 months range), it can turn into a complete mess.

The dog should be mature enough, trained, and well-behaved before you bring a new puppy to your home.

Second of all, your first Aussie personality. As you know, not every dog is the same. Even the dogs of the same breed might be so different and not get along well.

That’s why it’s recommended to introduce them to some neutral terrain, let them hang out, and then see if they are compatible or not.

In some cases, even if you have two dogs that don’t mean that you will have less work to do around them.

They might get along well but still crave your attention very much and now instead of one, you have two dogs to pay attention to.

On the other hand, they might be neutral with each other ( don’t fight or anything) meaning they lay down while you are not there and once you show up, jump on their feet ready to burn an immense amount of energy in play/training with you.

In that case with two dogs, you will double the workload.

The point is that Australian Shepards do need other dog companions but pay special attention to when and how you will introduce another dog to your Aussie.

Can Australian Shepherd Get Along With The Other Breed Companion?

Australian Shepard can perfectly get along with a dog of another breed. Most owners think that the best match for one Aussie is another Aussie. Even though this statement is not false, doesn’t mean other breeds cannot be good mates for Aussies.

When you choose a friend for your Aussie, bear in mind Aussie’s weight and size. Another dog should be similar in size.

Although this is not necessary, it is recommended so the other dog can defend himself if needed and that Aussie cannot hurt another dog unintentionally.

Some owners think that the dog with the same energy level (a dog of another herding breed) is the better choice for Aussie than some couch potato.

On the other hand, there is a number of Aussies owners that experienced that situation – highly energetic Aussie and calm dog that can be chill off.

Sometimes the less energetic dog can temper the vast energy Aussie has. They can be a good combination as well.

Many owners agree that Labs are a good match for Aussies. Labs are easy-going dogs, get along well with almost any breed, they like to play a lot.

You can also consider Border Collie as this breed is very similar to Australian Shepard. Some owners suggest German Shepherd.

If you can, it would be good to visit some dog shows in your area and to speak with other dog owners about their breeds.

People from local shelters know a lot of different breeds so the information they could give you might be very helpful.

Local dog clubs and training centers are also spots where you can start from.

Should I Get Male of Female Companion For My Australian Shepherd?

There is no great difference in personalities between males and females. Both genders are great.

Females mature a bit earlier than males and do better with training and learning new tricks.

Males are easily distracted during training as they like to play a lot.

It’s said that females are more sensitive than males but also they the girls are more relaxed than boys. Males know to be very territorial so they might don’t get along well with another male in the same space.

So if you already have a male Aussie, maybe it’s better to get a female. Bear in mind that dogs should be spayed /neutered in order to prevent inconvenience and unwanted breeding.

Are Australian Shepherds Jeleous Dogs?

Aussies demand a lot of attention and would like to be with you constantly. Of course, not all Aussies are the same, they vary in temperaments very much.

Jealousy in dogs might look like aggression. There are numerous causes of aggression in Aussies. First of all, you need to rule out the physical cause.

Hormonal imbalances can lead to aggression. Talk to your vet about the spaying /neutering procedures but also check the function of the thyroid gland. If something wrong there, medications can help.

If there is no physical cause found, then you should think about behavioral problems your dog might have.

Fear and anxiety could be the reason for aggressive behavior but also dominance, especially in Australian Shepherd may lead to unwanted behavior which you could interpret as jealousy.

If you experience serious aggression problems you should consult a behaviorist.

It can happen that one dog constantly attacks another dog, so in that case, you need to think about separation.

If you don’t want to re-home one of the dogs, at least make sure you always keep them separated. Each dog should have its own crate and when you give them food, each dog should eat the meal in its crate.

When Is The Good Time To Get A Companion For My Australian Shepherd?

The best time to get a new companion for your Aussie is around his second birthday. You shouldn’t be thinking about getting a new dog before your first dog is at least 18 – 24 months old.

Until its first birthday, your Aussie is a puppy. He needs you constantly, he has a lot to learn. Mouthing, chewing, nipping are pretty normal for this period.

Your puppy wants to play all the time and that play consists of chasing, barking, growling etc.

Around his first birthday, your Aussie becomes a teenager. It doesn’t happen overnight but you will notice some changes in behavior. Your dog might become more stubborn, more interested in exploring the outside world.

It may look to you that he forgot everything he learned so far. Your puppy now is larger and stronger, has more energy, and behaves ”crazier” than before.

Your puppy still needs to go through many training sessions, basic commands, obedience, respect, socialization.

As you can see, raising Aussie is very demanding work. You will have a lot to do with your puppy before he hits his second birthday. That’s why you don’t need another puppy in this period. One puppy requires all of your time, imagine what would be needed for two puppies.

A young puppy that is not socialized yet, may express anxiety, fear, or even aggression towards another puppy. That’s why your first dog should be trained, socialized, and mature before you get another one.

How To Introduce A New Dog?

If you can arrange the first meeting at some neutral terrain. If not possible, take your first dog to a front yard or some other part that he doesn’t use that often and let him meet the newcomer.

Make sure both dogs are on the leash and while you hold one dog, your friend or family member (adult one) should hold the other dog. Let them see, each other.

After that, you can take both dogs for a walk ( each dog should be held by one person)but the walking route should be different than the one you usually take your first dog.

If the walk goes well, let them walk next to each other, let them sniff each other.

Praise any good interaction between them and give them some treats.

Another possibility is to place a new dog in the crate and let the first dog see him. A new one will be safely accommodated in the crate, while the first one can approach, stay there as long as he wants and leave when he feels like it.

Bear in mind that any interaction between your first and second dog must be strictly supervised. If you notice any warning signs such as stiffness, lip lifting, or staring, separate the dogs immediately and try again later.

Don’t forget that a new dog requires all the things your first dog went through- socialization, training sessions, a lot of playtimes.

That means that you will have more work to do, at least at the beginning while the new dog is still an untrained puppy.

You will need a lot of patience and consistency but eventually, you will get double pleasure when you see them happy, running around, chasing each other, playing together.

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