11 Herding Dog Breeds You Should Know

Herding Dog Breeds
Photo by Valentin Salja

The name “herding dog” describes a group of dog breeds famous for herding livestock. They are a versatile group of breeds with a long history.

Meanwhile, herding dog breeds are some of the world’s most loyal and courageous dog breeds.

However, not all herding dog breeds are the same. Depending on their size and the job they were bred for, here are some of the most popular herding dog breeds you should know.

1. Border Collies

The Border Collie is one of the oldest herding dogs in existence. It was developed by crossing two other breeds: the Sheepdog and the Cocker Spaniel. This combination resulted in a medium-sized breed that can work well as both a working dog and a family pet. While it may be small, the Border Collie strongly desires to please its owner.

People initially used it to herd sheep, but today it has many other uses. We can find this herding breed working cattle, horses, goats, and even poultry. Besides being great at herding, Border Collies are famous for their intelligence and trainability.

Moreover, Border Collies are agile, active, and versatile dogs. So, people often use them in competitive events like dog obedience, disc dogs, and agility.

2. Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is another popular one among herding dog breeds. Though its name might seem confusing, it originates from the United States. It works best when given a job to do. The Australian Shepherd is highly trainable and quickly learns new commands.

Also, it is an excellent companion and watchdog, a sturdy, athletic, and energetic breed. They weigh about 40 to 60 pounds and are 18 to 23 inches tall. Aussies are active dogs that need a lot of physical exercise.

They love to play fetch, chase balls, and run through fields. This mixed breed is very social and gets along well with children and other animals. Also, they are brilliant and can be trained to assist their owners with household chores.

3. Beauceron

This French breed originated in the 19th century. Its name comes from Beauce, a region located in France. This herding dog breed is still found in France, Canada, and the USA.

It is a large dog that weighs between 50 and 70 pounds. These dogs have a short coat and a double coat. Their coats are usually black or brown. They are intelligent, versatility, and high-spirited, with a height of 28 inches.

These dogs are also known for their stubbornness and independence. However, it doesn’t mean they don’t get along with young children. Beaucerons are excellent watchdogs and companions that get along with both old and young.

Further, this dog breed is not for novice pet owners. And it needs plenty of exercise due to its muscular and rugged characteristics.

4. Belgian Sheepdog

This Belgian breed crosses the Belgian Malinois and the German Shepherd. It is a medium-sized dog weighing between 45 and 65 pounds. The Belgian Sheepdog is a highly versatile breed that can work as a guard dog, police dog, search and rescue dog, and military dog.

Its robust build makes it a suitable choice for guarding property. On top of that, it is an intelligent flock herder that easily adapts to any environment. It has a beautiful coat, which needs frequent grooming. So, if you are an active type who won’t have the time to groom, don’t go for this breed.

Furthermore, these sheepdogs are naturally protective of their families. They are alert, loyal, friendly towards strangers, and independent and courageous. But they can be aggressive if provoked.

5. German Shepherd

The German Sheperd dog breed is also among the most popular herding dog breeds. Although it was initially bred for herding livestock, it now serves many purposes.

For example, it can be used as a guide dog, service dog, therapy dog, and even a police dog. In fact, it is one of the oldest working breeds in existence.

The German Shepherd is a powerful and athletic breed. It weighs around 50 to 100 pounds and stands 22 to 27 inches tall. It is a strong, agile, and agile breed that is great for agility training.

However, they require lots of daily exercises. If you want your German Shepard to live long and healthy, make sure you provide them with enough activity.

6. Bearded Collies

This collie breed originates from Scotland. It is a small, sturdy, and muscular dog that weighs between 30 and 55 pounds. Also, it has a thick, dense, and curly hair coat.

Collies are intelligent, playful, and affectionate dogs that enjoy being with people. They are good with kids and other pets. They are also good with older people because of their gentle nature.

But they need lots of physical activities like running, jumping, and fetching balls. Also, they require regular grooming. Because of their thick coat, you should brush them regularly.

Though they can be stubborn sometimes, they become disciplined with proper training. Avoid harshly training them because they love to be prepared with so much love.

7. Old English Sheepdog

The English Sheepdog is another herding dog breed that originated in England. It is a large, heavy, muscular dog weighing up to 70 pounds. This ancient breed is very similar to the American Staffordshire Terrier.

It is a smart, energetic, friendly, and intelligent breed that gets along well with all kinds of people. Also, this sheepdog is usually calm but still possesses some aggression when provoked.

They are also very obedient and trainable; they will try to please you by doing what you ask them to do. However, they do not tolerate harsh treatment or punishment.

The Old English Sheepdog is very family-oriented, gets along well with children, and is also a good companion for seniors.

8. Australian Cattle Dog

Another intelligent breed with great herding instincts on this list of the most popular herding dog breeds is the Australian Cattle Dog. This dog breed is known for its high intelligence and ability to work hard.

Also, it is a versatile breed that can perform different duties such as hunting, guarding, and herding. The Australian Cattle Dog is a medium-sized dog that weighs about 35 to 45 pounds.

It is a faithful and loving breed that gets along well in almost every situation. However, it does not get along well with cats.

You must give your dog adequate exercise if you have an active lifestyle. Make sure you take him out for walks and let him run around.

9. Icelandic Sheepdog

The Icelandic Sheepdog is another herding dog that was bred in Iceland. It is a beautiful native breed that resembles a miniature version of the Great Dane.

It is a small, elegant, muscular dog weighing about 25 to 40 pounds. This breed is very loyal and protective of its owner.

They are also brilliant and trainable. But they do not like rough handling. So, avoid hitting and kicking them.

Because of their size, they are excellent guard dogs. They are also good at protecting livestock.

10. Belgian Laekenois

The Belgian Laekenois is one of the most famous herding dog breeds. It is a medium-sized, powerful, and athletic breed that weighs about 50 to 60 pounds.

This modern dog breed is alert, courageous, and independent and gets along well even with strangers. It is also an excellent watchdog.

However, it needs lots of exercise and mental stimulation. If you want to keep your dog healthy, ensure he has enough time to play outdoors. 

You should also provide your dog with sufficient food and water. Lastly, obedience training will help this dog breed be more attentive and disciplined.

11. Briard

The Briard is a French herding dog that originated from Brittany. It is a medium-sized

This dog breed is a working dog that loves to herd cattle. It is also a good guardian because of its strong guarding instinct. This breed is very agile, fast, and strong. It is gentle and affectionate and gets along well with other animals.

But it is susceptible and cannot stand loud noises. Therefore, if you plan to live near noisy places, you must be careful when choosing this dog breed.

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