Having done a lot of research on different dog breeds, we’ve come to the conclusion that each dog breed was created for a purpose. Some dogs were developed for hunting or retrieving, while others were bred to be companion dogs. However, there’s another group of working dogs called Shepherds.
Shepherds were developed to help herd and protect cattle. As a result, these dog breeds are highly intelligent, athletic, and loyal to their families. They also excel at dog sports and even work in other areas such as service dogs, and more.
Today, we’ll take a look at different types of shepherd dog breeds and their characteristics! Let’s get started!
What is a Shepherd Dog?
Shepherd dog breeds were bred to help herd sheep and other cattle. They were (and are) commonly used on farms and ranches.
What’s more, there are many varieties of shepherd dog breeds. They’re not all the same size; some shepherd dog breeds are pretty small yet agile and can move larger animals in all types of terrain.
Though shepherds are working dogs, they also make wonderful family companions.
Shepherd Dog Qualities
While shepherd dog breeds come in a range of sizes and shapes, they usually have some traits in common, including the following:
- Athletic & active
- Easy to train
- Good dispositions, though, are extremely protective
- Brave (they will fight off predators and other threats)
Now, let’s take a look at some amazing shepherd dog breeds!
Shepherd Dog Breeds
1. Anatolian Shepherd
The Anatolian Shepherd originally came from the Anatolia region of Turkey, where they were bred to protect cattle. They still perform this work today! These dogs are extremely independent and love to be off patrolling to keep threats at bay. They really don’t want to spend much time with their families, and they are not fond of strangers.
These dogs can be challenging and will push the boundaries. For these reasons, the dogs are not recommended for inexperienced pet parents. The Anatolian Shepherd needs to start training at a young age, and they must be socialized, too. The dogs excel with positive reinforcement training methods.
Anatolian Shepherds usually stand between 2 ft 3 in and 2 ft 5 in tall and weigh between 80 to 150 lbs. They have a life expectancy of 11 to 13 years.
2. Australian Shepherd
The Australian Shepherd is famous for the way they can herd a flock of sheep so efficiently! The dogs are athletic and use nips, barks, and their intense gaze to let sheep know they’re in charge!
These intelligent dogs have a strong work ethic and tons of energy. These dogs can be used as working shepherds; however, they also make great family companions. However, they thrive with an active family. These dogs need plenty of exercise.
Australian Shepherds also excel at dog sports such as obedience, agility, flyball, and herding competitions. They’re also used as guide dogs, hearing dogs, assistance dogs, and work with policy and also help with search and rescue work. This is a dog that can do a variety of work and is happy to have a job to do!
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.
3. Welsh Corgi
When you first see a Welsh Corgi, it’s very challenging to imagine these dogs herding cattle! However, that’s what they were originally bred to do! The dogs are the smallest dogs listed in the AKC’s Herding Group! They are small dogs that have very short legs. But don’t let those traits fool you. Corgis can run fast in all kinds of terrain and manage to keep cattle together!
Welsh Corgis are highly intelligent dogs that can be somewhat stubborn. And they may use their strong herding instinct on kids and others in the family! The dogs sometimes nip at kids’ heels to get them rounded up!
While these are small dogs, they have a ton of energy. They are best for active families who have time to spend with their fur babies!
Welsh Corgis usually stand between 10 to 12 inches tall and weigh up to 30 lbs. They have a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years.
4. Old English Sheepdog
Next up on our list of shepherd dogs is the Old English Sheepdog. The history of these dogs is very unclear, but they seem to have originated in southwestern England. These are the shaggy Sheepdogs that have been popular in TV shows and movies for a few years! These dogs are usually easy-going and love to have fun. But they’re also highly intelligent dogs.
Most people recognized the Old English Sheepdog by his long blue-gray coat with white markings. The dogs are also famous for being strong, sturdy, and having a strong work ethic. However, Old English Sheepdogs also have quite a sense of humor!
Old English Sheepdogs usually stand from 21 inches (and more) and weigh between 60 to 100 lbs. They have a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.
5. Finnish Lapphund
The Finnish Lapphund is the last on our list of shepherd dogs! This is another smaller dog that not many people realize is a shepherd dog! These dogs originally came from Lapland, in the far north of Finland. They were bred by the Sami people, who are semi-nomadic, and used the dogs for herding reindeer. However, these dogs can also be used to herd other animals.
These dogs are very friendly and great with kids. And they have shiny coats combined with a sweet nature.
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.
Summing It Up
So, there you have it! This is our list of shepherd dogs! As you can see, there are a wide variety of dogs. They come in different sizes, shapes, and colors.
No matter which dog you may choose from this list, we’re pretty sure you’ll have a loving, fun companion for years to come!