Dog Breeds – Herding Dogs

by Jonni

German shepherds, Welsh corgi, Old English sheepdog, Border collie, Australian shepherd.

The dog breeds that assist shepherds and cattlemen round up their flocks and herds include Welsh corgi’s as well as the Border collie, Australian shepherd, Old English sheepdog and German shepherd. These dogs are intelligent (well – the Old English sheepdog is sometimes a little dim); they are almost always loyal; they can be protective (even too protective for some situations); and they’re highly trainable.

Most herding dogs are fairly easy to train to walk on a lead, and are even good candidates for more specialized agility or Schutzhund training. If you want a dog that is capable of learning to respond to a large human vocabulary, and to be always watching you for direction and commands, a dog from this group may be a good choice.

Just be aware that they will always be looking to you for direction. Some people are not comfortable with this personality, and need a more independent spirit in their dog.

Dogs of this group can be the one-man or one-woman dog that some people are looking for. Once they have attached themselves to you, you won’t have to wonder if they’d be just as happy living with the family down the street.

Unfortunately, a fairly large number of Border collies and Australian shepherds are relinquished to animal control, because the younger individuals have a very hard time adjusting to most people’s work schedule. When we’re working, they think they should be working, too. Except for them, herding sheep or chasing the Frisbee isn’t really work – it’s the excitement that makes life worth living!

Many of these dogs become insanely bored if they’re locked in the back yard, so they dig their way out or find something to take apart or learn to unlock your gate. If you aren’t home all day but want a dog from the herding group, you should seriously consider a retiree.