Best Dogs to Have with a German Shepherd

what is the best dog to have with a german shepherd

German Shepherds need about two hours of exercise every day. This is to keep their energy right. Finding dog breeds that can keep up with their active ways is important. When choosing other dogs to live with German Shepherds, it’s all about finding the right fit. Knowing that German Shepherds are smart, loyal, and always on the move helps create a happy home for all dogs.

People with German Shepherds often look for dogs that are just as lively and friendly. Labs and Golden Retrievers are smart and make great friends. Border Collies challenge them both mentally and physically with their smarts and energy. Australian Shepherds and Belgian Malinois work well too because they’re hardworking and get along with others. Picking dogs that are friendly, even-tempered, and enjoy staying active leads to a happy home for all your pets.

It’s important to introduce pets to each other gently. Keeping things calm helps all dogs get along. Pay attention to stopping bossy behavior and fights before they start. Making careful introductions and training often is key. These steps make sure dogs can live together happily, keeping their spirited nature in balance.

Key Takeaways

  • German Shepherds thrive with about two hours of daily exercise.
  • Compatibility in energy levels and temperament is vital for a multi-dog household.
  • Labs, Golden Retrievers, Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, and Belgian Malinois make excellent companions.
  • Structured introductions and consistent socialization prevent dominance and aggression issues.
  • Regular training sessions strengthen bonds between German Shepherds and their companions.

Understanding a German Shepherd’s Traits

When you think about getting a German Shepherd, it’s important to know their special qualities. They are very smart and loyal, making them great pets and workers. Their unique behavior and energy level make them stand out.

german shepherd temperament

Temperament and Personality

The german shepherd temperament includes being hardworking, brave, and protective. Thanks to their intelligence, they do well as police dogs, in search-and-rescue, and as guide dogs. Their loyalty makes them trustworthy friends.

These dogs are also playful and confident. Their protective instinct means they are great watchdogs. Early socialization is important so they get along with people and other animals.

Exercise and Energy Levels

German Shepherds are high energy dogs. They need a lot of exercise and brain games to avoid bad behavior. Adults need about two hours of active play every day. This can be running, hiking, or fetch.

As puppies, their behavior changes through important development stages like the fear period and adolescence, which can last up to 24 months. Keeping up with regular exercise during this time helps them grow into well-behaved adults. Even older dogs need exercise and brain games to stay fit and sharp, especially if they have health issues like arthritis.

Knowing about German Shepherds’ intelligence, loyalty, and high energy is key when picking a furry friend for them. A breed that matches their lifestyle will make for a happy and balanced home.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Companion Dog

When you pick a companion dog for your German Shepherd, think about a few key things. Size, energy level, and how well they listen and learn are important. These help both dogs get along and be happy together.

compatible dog breeds

Size Compatibility

Getting a dog that matches in size is key. It helps them play safely and share space without getting hurt. Big dogs like Labradors or Great Danes fit well with German Shepherds. They match in size and strength.

Activity and Playfulness Match

German Shepherds are full of energy and need about two hours of play daily. It’s good to find them friends who can stay active with them. Dogs like Australian Shepherds and Border Collies are great. They love to play and can keep up with your German Shepherd.

Training and Obedience Considerations

It’s important to pick a dog that learns quickly and listens well. Dogs such as Labrador Retrievers and Belgian Malinois are smart and easy to train. They get along with German Shepherds. Training them together for 10-15 minutes a day helps them listen better. It also helps them bond with you. It’s important to handle any signs of bossiness or fighting early. This keeps your home peaceful.

Here’s a table detailing some compatible breeds for German Shepherds based on size compatibility, activity levels, and training ease:

BreedSize CompatibilityActivity LevelTraining Ease
Labrador RetrieverHighHighHigh
Australian ShepherdMediumVery HighHigh
Border CollieMediumVery HighHigh
Belgian MalinoisHighHighVery High
Golden RetrieverHighMediumHigh

Having a regular schedule for meals, bathroom breaks, and brushing is key. This gives all the dogs confidence. Thinking about all these points makes sure all the dogs in your home are happy and healthy.

What is the Best Dog to Have with a German Shepherd?

Choosing a friend for your German Shepherd means looking at breeds that match its spirit and energy. Dogs with a lot of energy and a similar nature can be great friends. Here are some breeds that go well with a German Shepherd.

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is an amazing pick because it’s very smart and friendly. Labs are known to be calm and kind, which makes them great family dogs and friends for German Shepherds. Their fun-loving nature means they can match the energy of a German Shepherd, creating a peaceful bond.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are loved for their sweet and loving character. They bring a calm balance to the lively nature of German Shepherds. They are smart and show a faithful, friendly attitude. Goldens like to play fetch and other games, making them great for homes with a German Shepherd that loves to be active.

Border Collie

Border Collies are known for their high energy and smartness. They can keep a German Shepherd mentally and physically active. These high-spirit dogs love to be busy and have a purpose. Their herding skills are a good match for the German Shepherd’s natural behavior, leading to a beneficial friendship.

Australian Shepherd

The lively and playful Australian Shepherd has a lot in common with German Shepherds. They are full of energy and love challenges. Their love for play and activity fits well with the German Shepherd’s active life. This ensures they can be great partners in fun and adventure.

Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois are often seen as similar to German Shepherds because of their strong work ethic, smartness, and alertness. These guard dogs have a lot of energy and a strong desire to work. When matched well, Belgian Malinois can be good friends for a German Shepherd. They both do best with a set routine and regular training. This helps them get along well in a home with more than one dog.

  1. Labrador Retriever
  2. Golden Retriever
  3. Border Collie
  4. Australian Shepherd
  5. Belgian Malinois

Each breed brings something special that can improve a German Shepherd’s life by giving them the friendship and activities they need. Teaching them how to behave around other dogs and using positive rewards are key to a happy home with multiple dogs.

BreedTemperamentSpecial TalentUnique Feature
Labrador RetrieverOutgoing, gentleRetrieving and swimmingWater-resistant double coat
Golden RetrieverFriendly, devotedRetrieving and trackingDense, water-repellent coat
Border CollieEnergetic, intelligentHerdingHigh stamina and agility
Australian ShepherdActive, playfulHerding and breeds; sportsMerle coat patterns
Belgian MalinoisVigilant, work-orientedGuard and service workShort coat with fawn color


Choosing the right dog to pair with a German Shepherd is important. It means looking at both breeds’ traits, their energy, and making sure they get along. German Shepherds live for about 10-12 years. They are smart and easy to train. Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, and Belgian Malinois are great friends for them. Each of these breeds has special qualities that match well with a German Shepherd’s lively spirit.

German Shepherds need lots of exercise and things to keep their mind busy. Over 60 breeds from the Herding, Working, and Sporting Groups are bred to be active and work hard. They are perfect for a household that loves to stay busy. It’s important that the dogs are similar in size, love to be active, and listen well to live happily together. For instance, the Belgian Malinois is as energetic and smart as the German Shepherd. This makes sure both dogs have fun and stay in shape.

The main aim is to create a happy home for both the German Shepherd and its buddy. The Labrador Retriever is known for being friendly. The Belgian Malinois has the same protective nature as the German Shepherd. They make a well-rounded team. Good manners and regular training help them live together peacefully. This leads to a joyful home where they can make deep connections that last their whole lives.

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About the author

Nathan Green

I'm Nate Green, a lifelong dog lover and proud owner of numerous dogs throughout my adult life. My passion for dogs goes beyond just owning them; I am dedicated to understanding and sharing the joys and complexities of dog ownership with fellow enthusiasts.