Shepherd dogs, often referred to as herding dogs, have been bred for centuries to help farmers and shepherds manage livestock, primarily sheep but also cattle, goats, and other animals.
These breeds typically have strong instincts to gather, control, and direct animals. Here are some popular shepherd or herding breeds:
Renowned for its intelligence, agility, and intense work ethic, the Border Collie is considered one of the best sheepdogs worldwide. They have a keen sense of balance and an intense "eye" for controlling livestock.
Despite its name, the Australian Shepherd (often just called the "Aussie") was developed mainly in the U.S. It's a versatile and intelligent herding breed known for its agility and often striking blue eyes or heterochromia.
Originally developed to herd sheep, the German Shepherd is now more commonly known as a police, military, or service dog. However, they still possess strong herding instincts.
Part of the Belgian Shepherd family, the Malinois is agile, intelligent, and known for its versatility as a working dog, including herding tasks.
Another member of the Belgian Shepherd family, the Tervuren is not only a capable herding dog but also has a striking long, mahogany coat.
Popularized by the "Lassie" TV series and movies, Collies are both herding and companion animals, known for their loyalty and protective nature.
Resembling a small Rough Collie, the "Sheltie" was developed in the Shetland Islands. They're agile, intelligent, and often excel in dog sports.
With its shaggy coat, this breed was historically used for driving cattle and sheep to market. They are known for their adaptable nature, being able to herd and guard the flock.
Despite their small size, Corgis are capable herders. They would nip at the heels of cows and then duck to avoid a kick.
Also known as the Blue Heeler or Queensland Heeler, this breed is sturdy and was developed to handle the rugged conditions of the Australian outback, herding cattle over long distances.
Originally used for herding and guarding cattle in the Flanders region, they are strong, fearless, and loyal.
This breed from Hungary is recognizable by its unique corded coat. They're agile and have been used for herding for centuries.
A large breed from Hungary, historically used both as a herding and guarding dog to protect livestock from predators.
With a history in Scotland, the "Beardie" is an agile herder, known for its enthusiastic and playful nature.