Sheepdog breeds and other dogs that were developed to guard and move flock and livestock belong to the herding group of dogs. These breeds are known for their charismatic features and for their intelligence and trainability. They are also known for herding their human family members when kept as companions. If you desire a sheepdog breed, consider the fact that these dogs thrive on constant work and activity. They must always be provided with frequent physical exercise to expend their energy. They require mental stimulation and new tasks to learn to keep them occupied and out of trouble.
The most popular sheepdog breed is the German shepherd. With its alert appearance and confident demeanor, this large breed is a courageous watchdog and loving companion. German shepherds have served in an array of vocational fields throughout their history, including guardian of flock, law enforcement and narcotics detection and service assistance for the disabled.
Another shepherd that has soared in popularity is the Australian shepherd. This devoted family companion is playful with children and makes an effective watchdog. Bordering between medium and large in size, the Australian shepherd weighs between 35 and 65 pounds.
This bright-eyed little dog with the luxurious coat may look like a miniature version of the collie, but the Shetland sheepdog is its own unique breed. Commonly known as a Sheltie, this dog’s energy and keen intelligence make it an excellent agility and canine sports contender.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
The Pembroke Welsh corgi is one of the most loving of the sheepdog breeds. Weighing between 25 and 30 pounds, the dog is characterized by its short legs, long muzzle, pointy ears that stand erect and the absence of a tail. The Pembroke Welsh corgi is also known for its clownish sense of humor.
Another loving family member among the sheepdogs breeds is the collie. Popularized in film and television as “Lassie,” the collie thrives on the companionship of its family members, including the children and other household pets. The collie is a large breed, and it comes in two different coat lengths.
The border collie is known to be one of the smartest dog breeds. Its mind is constantly at work. The medium-sized dog has a strong work ethic and must be kept busy. The border collie makes a playful companion for the kids, a skilled watchdog and a formidable agility and dog sports athlete.
Australian Cattle Dog
The sturdy Australian cattle dog weighs between 44 and 66 pounds. This breed is highly intelligent, but it is also stubborn about doing things its own way. Leary of strangers, the Australian cattle dog makes an alert and protective watchdog. This breed is a good choice for active families who want to take a canine companion along for hiking and other outdoor recreational activities.
Old English Sheepdog
This large and shaggy guardian appears focused and pensive as it contemplates a task at hand. Old English sheepdogs have bobtails, their eyes are usually hidden behind a mask of fur, and they have an abundance of hair that requires daily grooming efforts. This breed makes a protective playmate for children.
The happy and boisterous bearded collie is a marvel to watch when its long coat flies along with the bounding dog. Be prepared for daily grooming to keep those locks free of mats, tangles and debris. The medium-sized bearded collie is outgoing and playful.
Between the characteristic black coat and its desire to stick close to its owner’s side, the Belgian sheepdog is the perfect shadow. Belgian sheepdogs weigh between 40 and 75 pounds. This breed is as protective as it is playful, and it will thrive with an active family that will regularly engage it in physical recreation.
There are several additional sheepdogs breeds to choose from, including the following:
- Cardigan Welsh corgi
- Icelandic sheepdog
- Finnish lapphund
- Swedish vallhund
- Norwegian buhund
- Belgian malinois
- Entlebucher mountain dog
- Belgian tervuren
- Bouvier des Flandres
- Canaan dog
- Pyrenean shepherd
- Polish lowland sheepdog
Learn more about The most popular mountain dog breeds