Herding dog breeds hold a good share of today’s most popular dog breeds. Fiery, shrewd, and exceptionally teachable, people have been breeding these working dogs for decades. Farm owners know them for their capacity to control and move livestock herds, so people often know them as shepherd dogs. Those searching for a dog of low maintenance should look somewhere else.
Herding dog breeds make unique family pets with the right training and pack authority. Herding dogs need to have involved and committed owners with high levels of activity. Whether you are keen on adopting one or virtually curious to study more on shepherd canines, this is the best spot for you. We compiled top herding dog breeds with fascinating facts about each sort. Continue reading and know more about them!
What is a Herding Dog?
Even though this breed is still a most loved homestead dog, most herding dogs today never see livestock. Numerous owners may see their pet’s tendency to “herd” their families, especially kids. Furthermore, they may stress over their canine’s tendency to prod or even nip at people direly.
However, these are not aggressive behaviors. They are hints of the genetic ancestry of herding dogs since they were developed through selective breeding. Breeders normally choose Collies, Cattle Dogs, Sheepdogs, and even small Corgis over generations for their instincts in herding. It’s crucial to take note of the natural impulse of breeds in this group.
Their tendencies will form into a problem in behavior if not satisfied. Owners should often give routine exercise and mental incitement. These will help keep their pups upbeat and sound. Keep in mind that many herding breeds will be anxious without “work” to do. Individuals who frequently ask, “Are herding dogs good housepets?” have to prepare the canine from puppyhood to stop nipping at heels.
Top 10 Best Herding Dog Breeds
A portion of the more intelligent canine breeds has a place in this group. Let us take a look at ten of the most famous herding dog breeds.
1. Border Collie
The Border Collie began in the boundary territory among England and Scotland. Its history clarifies the initial segment of its name, “border,” while the second, “collie,” signifies “helpful” in Gaelic. It is a medium-sized canine, weighing somewhere in the range of 35-50 lbs. People know Border Collies for their agility and speed.
The breed possesses remarkable obedience, intelligence, and endurance. As a result, they are a top pick for dog sports and are still a well-known sheep herding option. For dedicated and active owners, Border Collies make the absolute best canine companions. They are consistently good to go with their eyes fixed on their ‘shepherd’ to make any requests rapidly.
2. Old English Sheepdog
As the name recommends, this purebred line stretches out far once more into English history. The Old English Sheepdog is an enormous, long-haired canine with a broadly perky nature. The ears likewise lie level to the head. Historically, the breed had a regularly docked tail.
However, tailed Old English sheepdogs are currently typical, especially since numerous countries now outlaw cosmetic docking. The breed’s body is short and minimized, and ideal weights are not indicated in the standards but might be 101 lbs for enormous males. An old English sheepdog’s personality can be portrayed as keen, social, and versatile.
3. Australian Shepherd
Regardless of their name, Australian Shepherds began breeding in the Western United States. They used to be reproduced from a European sheepdog – the Pyrenean Shepherd. They were developed in Australia and idealized on Californian farms to arrive at the attributes for which today is known.
The Australian Shepherd is generally a medium-sized variety. They can weigh from 35-70 pounds and stand from 18-23 inches in tallness. These canines are exceptionally trainable and intelligent. They sometimes join in rodeos and horse shows. Australian Shepherds demonstrate fit working dogs utilized in service, search-and-rescue, and military/police work.
4. Shetland Sheepdog
The Shetland Sheepdog, commonly known as the Sheltie, is a herding dog breed that began in Scotland’s Shetland Islands. Shetlands are medium-sized and typically weigh around 11–24 pounds. Moreover, males are usually taller and more significant than females.
A Sheltie’s general appearance is that of a smaller than usual Rough Collie. Blue Merle Shelties may have blue eyes or one blue and one brown. The others, however, have dark-shaded eyes. They are a tender variety with high insight and a carefree streak. These canines demonstrate skills in tracking competitions, agility, and obedience.
5. Belgian Sheepdog
The Belgian Shepherd (otherwise called the Belgian Sheepdog) is a medium-sized herding dog breed from Belgium. The Belgian Sheepdog is a long-haired variety, known for its dark coat and great looks. It can also weigh somewhere in the range of 45 and 65 pounds.
Belgian sheepdogs are keen, exceptionally teachable, and persevering canines. This makes them compelling herders, and breeders often customarily bred them to protect and herd cows. Nowadays, people know their breed for being magnificent guard dogs and trackers, too dutiful and wildly faithful to their watchmen. Indeed, Belgian Sheepdogs often work as search and rescue, police, and service dogs.
6. Belgian Malinois
Belgian Malinois are solidly built, alert, and proud herders, standing 22 to 26 inches and weighing about 60 pounds. Strong and very much ripped, but more exquisite than massive. There’s a legit, no-nonsense look about them, as befit canines worked to buckle down for their feed.
A breed trademark is the head’s proud carriage. Moreover, coat colors range from a rich fawn to mahogany. The mask and dark ears emphasize brilliant, addressing eyes the shade of dark Belgian chocolate. These dogs are confident and savvy, making them perfect for high-energy exercises and occupations. In any case, this likewise implies they require a lot of activity to fulfill their herding impulses.
7. German Shepherd
The German Shepherd is a variety of medium to enormous-sized working canines that began in Germany. Despite its wolf-like appearance, the German Shepherd is a moderately present-day dog type, with its root dating back to 1899. Furthermore, this herding dog breed can weigh around 50 to 80 pounds. The German Shepherd, similar to Belgian shepherd breeds, additionally dominates as working dogs in different fields.
Over the long run, their utilization as herders of livestock has declined. And these furry friends have acquired acclaim for their work in the military and different areas. Their knowledge, steadfastness, and boldness, for instance, make them perhaps the best police dog type.
8. Rough Collie
Both Rough and Smooth Collies are from a limited assortment of herding dogs originating from Wales and Scotland. The Scottish variety was an aggressive, healthy, and large dog, bred to group highland sheep. They often weigh around 40 to 70 pounds.
Additionally known as just “Collies,” the most well-known member from the herding dog breed was the notably steadfast Lassie. Commitment to a single family or person is a typical attribute among the variety. Socialize from puppyhood your long-haired, alert canine with a magnificent stance. This will help prevent shyness when being around strangers.
9. Pyrenean Shepherd
The Pyrenean Shepherd comes from old sheepdogs of the Pyrenees mountain range. There are two kinds of this breed, recognized by their smooth-faced or rough-faced coats. The rough-face type has flatter faces, with a rougher coat texture and longer hairs around the front, while the smooth-face is the opposite.
They are small but athletic, energetic, and challenging dogs. Weighing around 20-30 pounds, the Pyrenean Sheepdog is an incredibly dynamic variety. These breeds are quite insightful, sharp, have fast responses, and bountiful anxious energy. Because of this, people frequently portray them as a “ball of fire.”
10. Australian Cattle Dog
Australian settlers bred this cattle dog to drive livestock across the treacherous and vast spaces of the mainland. They are also believed to be relatives of wild dingoes. These athletic, clever canines require a decent arrangement of agility training, work, or different exercises. As a result, it stimulates their psyche and body.
The other breeds added to building up the Australian Cattle Dog have a remarkable appearance. They also have a mottled coat that is somewhat blue and rosy. Being completely faithful to their guardians, they endure strangers as long as they don’t undermine anybody in the family. Cattle Dogs weigh around 33 to 49 pounds.
Herding Dog Breeds: FAQ
Like all dogs, herding breeds benefit from lots of affection, training, and patience. They’ll give you back a lifetime of love and respect. Here are some other facts about this dog breed.
Some herding dog breeds don’t live well with felines. However, there are also plenty that does. It appears to be that there is a better chance for cats and dogs to get along if they meet while they are young. Guarantee that your cat and dog have a sense of security during their first meeting. Above all, never force a cat or any animal to interact with your dog.
Crowding canines make fantastic pets for active families and couples who love the outdoors. Named for their natural capacity to delicately crowd enormous gatherings of animals, herding dogs are loving, brimming with energy, and easily trainable. This makes them great allies for couples and families that enjoy a taste of adventure.
Some dogs might get aggressive and lash out, which can result in a bite. However, anger might not be the only reason for your dog’s aggression. It can likewise be brought about by things like guarding behavior, frustration, or fear. Get familiar with the signs to look for and take note of when your dog’s herding nature will prompt biting and nipping. It’s essential to separate those sorts of dog bites from those that may happen because of their herding impulse.
Numerous herding dogs bark while “herding.” It can turn into a habit even when they’re not herding. Excessive barking can become annoying in time. It would help if you worked with a dog trainer to deal with your dog’s barking. Try getting in touch with a trainer as early as possible to dispose of certain behaviors from getting persistent and chronic. With the correct leadership and training, your herding dog can be the absolute best friend you have.
Because they are natural workers, herding dogs are more prominent to get bored quite quickly. This implies they have higher exercise needs and long for more specific activities. Giving them exercise twice a day, lasting two hours overall is provides health benefits. These pups frequently need work; if you don’t give it to them, they will make their own.
Herding dogs have a huge load of energy, but now and then, they get excessively energized. Moreover, they’re notably sensitive to movement and sound and can be responsive without proper training. Training them to socialize is vital to aiding your herding dog to utilize their skills for good. One thing is for sure: having a herding dog in your life is never dull!