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Herding Dog Breeds (with Major Characteristics)

Herding dog breeds actively round up cattle and sheep with frenzied running, hostile barking, and eye contact, which is unlike the livestock guardians that just stand guard.

Herding Dog Breeds

The sheepdogs and cattle dogs of the world are present here, including the well-treasured collie breeds and those royal favorites, the corgis.

You will also find some of the smart dog breeds in this category, including the well-known German shepherd dog, which is, as the case may be, probably most famous for its police work.

Also, Border Collies are arguably the most intelligent of all breeds.

Even though most of these herding dog breeds are now simple companion dogs that have never even seen a sheep.

But the fact is that the instinct to herd in some of them can be powerful.

Adults and children alike might be rounded up into corners or even tight circles by these serious, spirited workers where no livestock exists.

Border Collie

Border Collies are gifted herders and are widely considered the most intelligent breed of dog.

Herding Dog Breeds

Thanks to their combination of intelligence and a severe focus on their people, they are a favorite choice among dog sports, dog trainers, and obedience competitors.

Border Collies are medium-sized dogs that come with a long double coat that can be rough or smooth.

You can also find them in any color, although white and black are perhaps the most popular.
As for their weight, they weigh around 30 to 55 pounds. 

Keep in mind that they require plenty of exercise and training to keep them from becoming destructive, but even so, Border Collies can make excellent family companions.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Cardigan and Pembroke are the two types of Corgis we have. In comparison with the Pembroke, the Cardigan has larger, rounder ears.

But the Pembroke has a longer body and muzzle. They have stout bodies with short legs and weigh around 25 to 38 pounds.

They possess short double coats and can come in black and tan, black and brindle, black, brindle, blue merle, sable, and red.

Most times, they come with white markings that accompany these colors. 

They are intelligent, active dogs who are cautious of strangers, so for a smaller dog that can be both a companion and a watchdog, they are a good choice.

Finnish Lapphund

The sweet Finnish Lapphund is actually an uncommon entry in the herding category.

These dogs come with a thick, fluffy double coat that keeps them warm in harsh winter weather conditions, and they were bred to herd reindeer.

As for their weight, they weigh around 30 to 50 pounds and have similarities in appearance to several other northern spitz breeds, with a fox-like face, a fluffy tail, and pricked ears.

They are also considered to be one of the calmer herding dog breeds and make excellent family dogs if they are provided with adequate exercise.

This breed is greatly popular in their home country of Finland, even though they are difficult to find in the United States.

German Shepherd

Originally, the German Shepherd was bred for herding and is still commonly used as such today.

Herding Dog Breeds

They are mainly popular for their work with the police and military.

They are actually one of the most popular breeds on the planet, thanks to their incredible energy, stamina, intelligence, versatility, and loyalty.

They will also make excellent family pets. The German Shepherd can easily fill any role, whether you are looking for a loyal companion, a devoted family protector, or a hard-working herding dog.

Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle Dog was bred by Australian settlers to drive and herd cattle on the massive ranches of Australia.

And today, they are still used for that purpose. This breed is muscular and strong, yet small and highly athletic.

They are loyal, smart, and lovely animals that make excellent family dogs and love being as close as possible to their family members.

Great Pyrenees

Whether it is livestock or human family members, these large and elegant Great Pyrenees.

This breed needs a massive amount of dedication, time, and patience. Good training is also very important for a dog because of its power.


The Beauceron is highly majestic with its obedient, vigilant nature. These dogs are brave watchdogs, and they are originally from France.

Herding Dog Breeds

With an assertive, confident owner in their lives, these dogs will definitely do best and also thrive with consistent training.

Fortunately, the Beauceron is a fast learner and always eager to please and protect its family and property.

Beauceron pups require a channel for all of their energy, just like other herding dogs.

So, ensure that your pooch gets a lot of exercise and remains occupied throughout the day.

Belgian Malinois

These confident dogs possess a high work drive, which in turn makes them great police service dogs, and they are also closely related to the Belgian sheepdog.

This intelligent breed works to please, which makes them highly trainable and people-oriented.

The Belgian Malinois requires plenty of exercise to remain happy, which means they will do best in active families.

With its low-maintenance coat, the Belgian Malinois is easy to keep clean. You will definitely fall in love with this loyal and hardworking pooch.

However, you need to ensure that you prioritize socialization early on with children and other dogs.

Belgian Tervuren

These fluffy four-legged canines are complete workaholics and love being around their humans.

That being said, you need to ensure that these floofs get enough exercise to make sure that they don’t develop destructive behaviors out of boredom.

However, this breed can be rather shy, so you need to ensure that you socialize them early and often; that way, they will become versatile pooch.

Berger Picard

Picards, also commonly referred to as Picardy Shepherds, are complete darlings that enjoy being around their family.

This active breed is popular for its standout ears and energetic, trainable personality.

These dogs are sensitive; they require plenty of attention from their family members and athletic activity to remain happy.

These loyal pups are amazingly vigilant, which makes them excellent watchdogs.

That being said, this breed is popular for being cautious towards those outside of their families, so ensure that you socialize them early on.

The Verdict

Herding dogs exist in several different breeds, so it might be a difficult task when it comes to choosing the best one for you.

Herding Dog Breeds

If you are looking for a lively, vigorous, and intelligent companion to perform outdoor and training activities with, then breeds like the German Shepherd Dog, Belgian Malinois, and Border Collie are perfect choices.

All-inclusive herding breeds come with a decent need for exercise, although some have higher requirements compared to others.

Ensure that you know how active the breed is and whether it will get along with kids if you want to bring a herding dog into your home, given the fact that some herding dogs can bite and pursue children as if they were a flock to herd and guard.

Now, it’s time for you to take your pick among all of the above-listed herding dog breeds.

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