Shepherd herding dogs: main breeds and their abilities

Shepherd herding dogs, also known as sheepdogs or collies, are those breeds trained to assist us in herding sheep, cows, and other animals. Nowadays, they are treated like pets and raised indoors. However, these dogs were once important tools for fieldwork in different corners of the world.

Despite their service dog pasts, Border ColliesGerman Shepherds, and Blue Heeler breeds currently rest peacefully on couches across the planet. However, they haven’t forgotten about their abilities, and the instinct is still there.

Want to know more about shepherd dogs? Continue reading!

Types of shepherd herding dogs

Before I give you a list of some of the best shepherd dogs, it is better to let you know that shepherd dog breeds can be classified into two broad categories: sheepdogs or shepherd dogs, and cattle dogs. The sheepdogs herd sheep, while the cattle dogs herd cows and oxen.

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That being said, here are the top 10 most popular sheep herding dogs.

Top 15 sheep herding dogs or sheepdogs

  1. Border Collie
  2. German Shepherd
  3. Smooth Collie
  4. Rough Collie
  5. American Shepherd
  6. Catalan Shepherd
  7. Australian Shepherd
  8. Belgian Shepherd
  9. Groenendael
  10. Laekenois
  11. Malinois
  12. Belgian Tervueren
  13. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
  14. Lancashire Heeler
  15. Pyrenean Mountain Dog

Top 12 cattle herding dogs

  1. Australian Cattle Dog
  2. Appenzell Cattle Dog
  3. Bernese cowherd
  4. Entlebuch Cattle Dog
  5. Bouvier des Ardennes
  6. Bouvier des Flandres
  7. Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog
  8. Pastor da Mantiqueira (originating from Brazil)
  9. Rottweiler
  10. Australian Kelpie
  11. Australian Cattle Dog Blue Heeler
  12. Australian Cattle Dog, Red Heeler

Main characteristics of shepherd herding dogs (sheepdogs)

Sheepdogs, also known as shepherd herding dogs, are specifically bred and trained to assist farmers and ranchers in herding and managing sheep and other livestock. Some of the main characteristics of sheepdogs include:


Sheepdogs are highly intelligent and trainable, able to learn and respond to a variety of commands and signals from their handlers.


Sheepdogs are also known for their agility and endurance, which allows them to move quickly and easily through rough terrain while herding livestock.

Protective instincts

Many sheepdogs have a strong protective instinct, which makes them well-suited for guarding and protecting the livestock they are herding.

Herding instincts

Shepherd herding dogs have a strong instinct to gather and control animals.


Sheepdogs are known to be very loyal to their handlers and can form strong bonds with them.

Sheepdogs trained to guide cattle inherited the hunting instinct of wolves. In fact, this activity is extremely pleasurable and fun for them.

Meet some breeds of sheepdogs.

In our previous post, we selected some of the most popular shepherd herding dog breeds and explained in detail all you need to know about them. Check it out if you are interested.


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