Cattle dogs may seem like the stuff of cowboy legends, but these dogs are still working cattle today! These dog breeds are highly intelligent, full of energy, durable, and have the stamina to run cattle through all types of terrain.
If you’re interested in adopting a cattle dog, read on to learn about the different types of cattle dog breeds available! We’ve put together some information on several cattle dog breeds and hope this helps you choose the right dog for you and your family. Let’s get started!
Our List of Cattle Dog Breeds
1. Australian Shepherd
The Australian Shepherd may sound like he comes from Australia, but the truth is a little different. Australian Shepherds have their roots in the United States, where they were developed to herd livestock in the Old West. Many ranchers and farmers in the US still use these dogs to herd cattle today.
The Aussie is an excellent herding dog that also makes a wonderful family companion. The dogs are sensitive and attentive, making them excellent therapy and assistance dogs.
These dogs have a ton of energy, so if you’re thinking about adopting one, consider they need about an hour of exercise every day. In addition, the Aussies need mental stimulation and enjoy everything from playtime to agility and obedience training. The dogs also enjoy dog puzzle toys to keep their minds active.
Australian Shepherds usually stand between 18 to 23 inches tall and weigh between 40 to 65 lbs. They have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.
2. Cardigan Welsh Corgi
When you first see a Cardigan Welsh Corgi, you can’t believe these dogs are used to herd cattle! That’s because Corgis are dogs that sit low to the ground and are shorter than other herding dogs. Even so, the dogs are still used to herd cattle today!
The dogs are descended from the same canine family as the Dachshund and the Basset Hound. It’s thought the dogs were first brought to Wales by the Celts, from central Europe. From that time to now, Corgis have been working dogs. However, they’re also excellent family companions.
Corgis have a large, long body, a heavy head, and short legs. They also have a thick double coat that keeps them warm. The dogs come in various colors, including sable, red, brindle, black and blue merle. They usually have white on their muzzle, chest, legs, neck, belly, and on the tips of their tails.
Corgis usually stand between 10 to 12 inches tall and weigh between 25 to 38 lbs. They have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.
3. Finnish Lapphund
The Finnish Lapphund may be a dog breed you’re not familiar with. That’s because they were originally developed by the Sami people (semi-nomadic people) in Finland, Sweden, and Norway. These dogs are an ancient dog breed that goes all the way back to 7000 BC. The Sami people raised these dogs to help herd reindeer! The dogs were also hunters and protectors of the tribe.
While the Finnish Lapphund was bred to herd reindeer, they’re still working to drive cattle today! Lappies (as they’re loving called) have a double coat of thick fur. The colors and markings can vary from black to all white.
Lappies are very energetic dogs that love agility, obedience, and other dog competitions. They’re also excellent therapy dogs. Finnish Lapphunds are also great with kids and make a great family companion.
Finnish Lapphunds usually stand between 17 to 20 inches tall and weigh between 33 to 53 lbs. They have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.
4. Australian Cattle Dog
Next on our list of types of cattle dogs is the Australian Cattle Dog. Unlike the Australian Shepherd, the Australian Cattle Dog does come from Australia. These dogs needed to be tough and durable, so they were bred from crossing English dogs with Dingoes (wild canines in Australia). The result was the Australian Cattle Dog.
These dogs are tough and can run cattle for days on end through pretty tough terrain. You sometimes hear them called “Australian Heelers, Blue Heelers, Queensland Heelers, and more” because the dogs herd the cattle by nipping at their heels!
These are high-energy dogs that need to work. This is not a dog you can take and make into a couch potato. He will not stand for it. It’s necessary for pet parents to direct the energy of these dogs or they are smart enough to develop their own entertainment!
The Australian Cattle Dog usually stands between 17 to 20 inches tall and weighs between 30 to 50 lbs. They have a life expectancy between 12 to 15 years.
5. Belgian Malinois
Another cattle herding dog is the Belgian Malinois, which was originally developed in Malines, Belgium, to herd sheep and cattle. These are medium-sized herding dogs that look a bit like a German Shepherd. This is another dog that’s highly intelligent and has the stamina and strength to herd cattle all day long.
While the Belgian Malinois was developed for herding, they have also been used in policy work, search & rescue, and more. These dogs come in various colors, including fawn, red, or brown, with the tips of the hair being black. The dogs are sensitive, friendly, and yet still assertive. However, they can be wary of strangers.
These dogs learn very quickly and are eager to please. They do great at tracking, agility, obedience, and other dog sports. They also make great working dogs.
The Belgian Malinois can make wonderful family companions; however, the dogs must be properly trained and socialized from a young age. The dogs can do well with kids, especially if they’re raised together. However, the dogs may try to “herd” the kids when playing with them!
The Belgian Malinois usually stands between 22 to 26 inches tall and weighs between 40 to 80 lbs. They have a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years.
Summing It Up
So, there you have it! This is our list of cattle herding dogs! However, the list is not exhaustive. There are many other great cattle herding dogs that we just couldn’t fit on the list!
No matter which herding dog you adopt, keep in mind these are intelligent, high-energy dogs. They do best with active families and pet parents that understand how to manage and train this type of canine companion.