It's always exciting to incorporate a new pet into your life, except perhaps when you have to introduce it to another animal that already lives at home. The problem is especially accentuated when it comes to a dog like Australian Shepherd and cats. Can Australian Shepherds and cats get along?
Australian Shepherd and Cats
The affinity of the Australian Shepherds for other animals is related to their work role as a herder. Their main cattle are sheep and goats, animals by nature fearful and least aggressive, which often become easy prey of the predators that live in the areas where they graze.
For this reason, Australian Shepherds are rather protective by nature. This leads them to have dominant and somewhat territorial behaviors, feeling insecure and staying alert to strangers. When it comes to the animals that live with them, they will consider them as part of their herd.
It is for this reason that they have no problem living with pets of different spices – for them, it will be part of their daily work to take care of and protect these companions that are different from them as they would with sheep or goats. As owners, it is necessary to take into account their strong instincts to guide them effectively.
The main problem of the Australian Shepherd's relationship with other animals is that their herding instinct is not a behavior that is favored by all, as they can become very dominant.
The animals that bring him more problems are cats, whose temperament is independent and distant in most cases. They do not take very well that a puppy is chasing them as they prefer to do what they want.
To have a good coexistence, the ideal solution is to teach the Australian Shepherd from a young age that there is no need to shepherd inside the house. If their instinctual impulse is reduced and controlled, they can coexist comfortably inside the house with all its inhabitants and be great companions as members of the family.
Australian Shepherd and Other Dogs
Sheepdogs have been bred to be guardians and guides for their masters' flocks. Many times to achieve these goals it is necessary to have more than one dog, so they are very capable of teamwork. This is why Australian Shepherds' relationship with other dogs is also framed in a historical antecedent in which contact and bonding with other dogs made them more effective in their work.
Thus, it is an intrinsic part of their temperament to share positively with other dogs. However, this does not mean that you should leave them alone or not give them the correct education so that they do not develop behavior problems, which are frequent otherwise.
As a common trait, these dogs are not aggressive, so their socialization with others is quite good. This is true even for dogs that are rescued from shelters, so integrating them into the home where there are other dogs is not too complicated.
A characteristic of the temperament of Australian Shepherds is their playful, active and very friendly spirit. This is true both with humans and with other dogs, which is why in dog parks they can have a lot of fun playing and interacting with different animals.
When it comes to living together in the home, they are not selective, they integrate well into households with dogs of different classes and, being very little aggressive and highly sociable, can form positive bonds quickly, as long as the resident dogs are receptive and tolerant to their energy level.
In order for them to have the ability to handle themselves in this positive way, it is best that they begin contact with dogs other than those who live with them at an early age. This will give them the necessary social skills to avoid incurring behaviors that can be interpreted as dominant and respect the limits of other dogs.
When this does not happen and the Aussie is not properly socialized, some dogs that are especially shy can be very distant and show fear in situations and especially unfamiliar dogs.
Among their innate habits of leading and guiding herds, Australian Shepherds are dogs with a tendency to develop dominant behaviors and strong leadership. This can bring them inconvenience when dogs with similar attitudes live at home – they will not seek a fight but conflicts can be created.
The general opinion of the owners of Australian Shepherds is that they are very good at socializing with other dogs – they are playful and friendly. Most agree that their biggest problem is when they are not socialized since early life when they can be shy and need more time to gain confidence.