Are you wondering what the best breeds of herding dogs are? Are you considering adding a herding dog to your farmstead, cattle ranch, or country home? You can look at our list of the top 10 breeds of herding dogs and see which herding breed is suitable for you when building your great farm.
Old English Sheepdog
One of the best-known herding dog breeds is the Old English Sheepdogs. Known for its sturdy size, gentle intelligence, and having a fun loving nature. Old English Sheepdogs are large agile dogs that have performed well as herding dogs for 100’s of years. They have long flowing hair and generally require more grooming than most herding dogs of its stature. The hair helps to keep them warmly insulated on cooler ranch nights.
Shetland Sheepdogs are commonly referred to as “Shelties”. They resemble the rough-coated collie yet are smaller in size and form. Shetland Sheepdogs are widely known for their alertness, playfulness, and trainability. They are double coated dogs that will need regular grooming that includes hair trimming. These herding dogs are frequently seen as loyal house pets, in agility circuits, and on family farms as working dogs. Herding is instinctively strong in Shelties.
Belgian Malinois are another popular breed in the herding dogs category. They are chosen for smartness, muscular body structure, and hard working efforts. They are a high energy herding breed that requires a lot of exercise and room to roam its territory. Their hair is double coated yet doesn’t require clipper grooming, bathe, brush, and go. Belgian Malinois is less maintenance than other double coated herding breeds.
Cardigan Welsh Corgi
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a smaller herding breed than most. It is alert, sturdy, smart, and is very well known for its speed and agility. When running the Corgi’s almost look like they can fly. For a small short-legged herding dog, they can catch a lot of air when running and jumping at great speeds. CW Corgi’s have long narrow bodies, a thick chest matched with a short stocky frame, and a fox-like plumed tail. They are one of the breeds hardwired for working as herding dogs.
Rough Coated Collie
The graceful rough coated collie has long been a part of farming and ranching. Collies are popular herding breeds due to their friendliness, being very alert, and is known as being highly intelligent. They are a large, double coated breed that will require regular brushing and grooming. Their light-weight, thinner frame helps them do their job faster and more efficiently than the heavier, bulky bodied breeds. A collie is a great choice of herding dog to add to your farmstead.
Australian Cattle Dog
The medium sized Australian Cattle dog has a fitting name for a herding dog breed. Its wild dingo-like appearance is enough to scare predators away. This high energy, compact framed herding dog requires a large territory and an over active lifestyle. Their curious nature and keen awareness are sought after characteristics in this herding breed. Its short hair needs only regular bathing and brushing to maintain it. ACD’s are highly instinctual and are reliable farmhands.
The medium sized Australian Shepherd is often called an “Aussie” dog. They are highly intelligent dogs and animated in their communications. They are known for their exuberant “let’s work” attitude and playful personality traits. Ready to please you and do the job right, Australian Shepherds are an outstanding choice in herding dog breeds.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
When choosing a good cattle herding dog consider the small but bold Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Distinguishable from other types of Corgi by it’s bobbed or docked tail. Fast, sturdy, and hardwired for herding the Corgi’s can be great natural cattle rustlers or guard your other small livestock.
German Shepherd Dog
The German Shepherd Dogs are a popular breed in American culture. GSD’s are versatile working dogs that can be trained to protect your family, defend your property, and herd your cattle or sheep all in a day’s work. Recognized for their noble courage and intimidating appearance German Shepherds are a well-recognized herding dog.
Rated #1 in the intelligence department the Border Collie is a popular choice of farming dog. Agile and alert, the Border Collie can direct your herd or flock, and instinctively chase potential predators away. This herding dog has a friendly personality and is eager to do its job and please its owner. Border Collies have been used in rodeos and are bull riders favorite canine companion.
Which best herding breed fits your farming needs, cattle ranching chores, or protection of your country property? Your choice of herding breed will be an individual choice that meets your needs and what you want in a working dog. The role a herding dog plays in the efficiency of running your farm should remind you not to make a hasty decision when it comes to choosing your dog.