Last updated on September 23, 2022
The herding dog is the ultimate workforce on ranches and farms. People have been using pups to herd for more than six thousand years. Ever since, these wonderful creatures have been helping men keep their livestock in order. So, even with today’s developed technology, the dog is still an irreplaceable component of the ranch life.
Top ten herding dog breeds
There are 30 officially recognized breeds of sheepdogs around the globe. However, while they all share similar traits, I will talk about the top ten herding dog breeds in this article. So, let us begin:
- Australian Shepherd
- German Shepherd
- Border Collie
- Australian Cattle Dog
- Shetland Sheepdog
- Cardigan Welsh Corgi
- Pyrenean Shepherd
- Rough Collie
- Old English Sheepdog
- Belgian Malinois
Read on to find out more about these magnificent creatures.
1. Australian Shepherd
Country of origin: USA
I will start with my favorite herding dog, the Australian Shepherd. Although the name suggests otherwise, the Aussie is an entirely American breed. This dog was created in Australia by breeding Border Collies and Pyrenean Sheepdogs. However, the complete development of the species was done in the United States.
The Australian Shepherd is a phenomenal dog in every aspect. As workers, they’re tireless, obedient, and loyal. As pets, they’re loving, protective, and entertaining. The Aussie is brilliant, easily trainable, and loves working. Herding is deeply embedded in its DNA, so these dogs will try to herd something else if there’s no livestock around.
The Aussie is a medium-sized dog with gorgeous looks. This pup gets along with everyone, including children and other animals. However, they are aloof to strangers. Therefore, early socialization is highly recommended. The Aussie is also super energetic and requires tons of activities. So unless you live on a ranch, make sure you exercise your Aussie for at least two to three hours per day.
2. German Shepherd
Country of origin: Germany
The German Shepherd is arguably the most famous breed of all. I don’t think there’s much I can say that you don’t know already. Unlike the Australian Shepherd, the German Shepherd’s name corresponds to its origin country. This dog is intelligent, brave, obedient, protective, and loyal. Thanks to these traits, the German Shepherd can do many different jobs. So, these dogs serve in the military and the police; they work as guards, emotional support dogs, and service dogs. The breed is easily recognizable by its erect ears, strong jaw, and athletic body.
3. Border Collie
Country of origin: England, UK
The Border Collie is the world’s most intelligent breed. It is easy to understand how obedient, easy to train, and loyal this dog is. As one of the Aussie’s ancestors, it is only natural these two dogs share many traits. So, the Border is also aloof to strangers, eager to learn, and happy to work. Their medium-sized bodies are muscular and covered with medium-long hair. Colors can vary, so Borders come in white, black, brown, blue merle, red merle, and chocolate shades. These dogs are famous for their intelligence. The most renowned Border named Chaser, recognized more than 1000 different objects by name.
4. Australian Cattle Dog
Country of origin: Australia
The Australian Cattle Dog is an energetic, intelligent, tireless herding dog. Now unlike the Australian Shepherd, this dog comes from Australia indeed. The body of the Australian Cattle Dog is medium-sized. These dogs come in rad or gray colors. However, they are born white, and their colors change as the puppies grow. This dog is highly active and demands loads of exercise. If not, the Australian Cattle Dog would get bored and naughty. Also named Blue Heelers, these pups are notorious for their cleverness. Very often, the Australian Cattle dog will try to outsmart its owner. Hence, this breed is not the best choice for a novice dog parent.
5. Shetland Sheepdog
Country of origin: Scotland, UK
The Shetland Sheepdog is a small, compact, agile herder that looks like a miniature Rough Collie. Their muscular bodies are covered with a dense, rough coat of long, wavy fur. These dogs come in sable, blue merle, white, and black colors. The Shetland Sheepdog is very intelligent and easily trainable. This dog is also protective and aloof to strangers but very friendly with its family. The Shetland Sheepdog can learn various tricks and commands thanks to its intelligence and obedience.
6. Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Country of origin: Wales, UK
With a maximum height of 12 inches, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is an absolute furry delight. This dog is friendly, affectionate, and highly energetic. Its small, athletic body is covered in short fur. Corgis can be white, black, red, blue merle, or sable, with many color combinations. Do not let the size of the Corgi fool you. Despite its compactness, this dog is a tireless worker. The Corgi would herd much larger animals with ease. When not working, the Corgi likes to spend time with its human family. These dogs are protective, but they love their owners. They are exceptionally kind to children.
7. Pyrenean Shepherd
Country of origin: France
Another ancestor of the Australian Shepherd, the Pyrenean Shepherd, is an untiring, lively dog that excels at herding. Their firm, muscular bodies are covered with a punitive coat. Pyrenean Shepherds come in various colors, including merle, black, fawn, white, and blue merle. The friendly face of the French dog shines with joy and love. They’re social, obedient, and intelligent. The Pyrenean Shepherd is an ancient breed and has been herding sheep for a long time.
8. Rough Collie
Country of origin: Scotland, UK
Do you remember Lassie, the world’s most famous dog? Well, Lassie was a Rough Collie. If this does not say enough about this breed, let me summarize: the Rough Collie is an impressive looking, very smart, extremely obedient, and hard-working dog. Their long, wavy fur is symbolic. This big dog comes in white, sable, blue merle, and brown colors. In addition, the elegant body of the Rough Collie is athletic and strongly built. Thanks to these traits, the Collie is a fantastic herder but an even better family pet.
9. Old English Sheepdog
Country of origin: England, UK
The Old English Sheepdog is a herder you’ll start loving at first sight of its extensive, bearish body. The unique looks of this dog and its hidden eyes make it easily recognizable. But do not let the looks deceive you. The Old English Sheepdogs are very agile, tireless, and athletic. They’re also brilliant, loving, protective, and kind. Old English Sheepdogs are wonderful companions to people and children. They are an active breed that requires a lot of exercises.
10. Belgian Malinois
Country of origin: Belgium
The Belgian Malinois is a fierce-looking medium-sized dog. Its muscular, athletic body is a common sight among police forces around the globe. These dogs are brilliant, extremely obedient, agile, and full of energy. Like most herding dogs, they too require a lot of activities. Belgian Malinois love working and pleasing. They thrive in the company of people, so neglecting this dog is not the brightest idea. Their coats come in different shades of brown, while the ears are black.