You may not be aware of this, but unaccompanied livestock faced numerous dangers at one point in time. These ranged from harsh weather conditions to other wildlife. Consequently, shepherds were in charge of protecting these animals and leading them wherever they needed to go.
The fierceness and bravery of shepherd breeds allowed them to play a significant role in assisting shepherds. They come in all sizes and shapes, and each has a function revolving around herding and guarding animals. They also pull carts at times.
But as time has progressed, these dogs do not only perform such tasks on farms across the globe. Instead, they protect the humans that bring them home and fill their lives with love and cuddles.
Why Should You Bring Home Shepherd Breeds?
Below are the top reasons to make a shepherd breed your new companion.
Shepherd Breeds Are Pretty Intelligent
Most people are aware of how shepherd breeds are incredibly intelligent. They are capable of learning at a faster pace than other dogs and can complete almost every task you ask them to do. Perhaps this is why a popular shepherd breed, the German Shepherd, takes up the most significant percentage of law enforcement dogs across the globe.
Due to their versatility and high intelligence, these breeds are often trained for service. They aid people who have specific disabilities.
Shepherd Breeds Are Healthy
Are you looking for one of the healthiest breeds of dogs out there? Well, look no further than shepherd breeds. Did you know that most of these canines can survive up to 13 years, given that they receive proper care? Amazing, isn’t it?
The robust health of shepherd breeds possibly comes from their love of exercising. Due to their dynamic nature, you can never find an overweight canine of this type.
Shepherd Breeds Are Good At Adapting
The adaptable nature of shepherd breeds is why they are so popular among dog lovers across the globe. They are quick to get comfortable with different living situations and lifestyles.
If you have a large yard, your shepherd dog is bound to have the time of their lives with you. However, they can also live in apartments, given that they can get ample exercise.
So, if you are considering getting yourself a shepherd breed, you do not need to worry about making any significant adjustments.
Shepherd Breeds Are Pretty Active
Shepherd breeds are known to have high energy levels. They will happily spend their entire day loitering outdoors if you let them. They enjoy hiking, hunting, and jogging and are perfect for people who love all these physical activities.
Do you have little ones at home? Then, you can bring home a shepherd dog and let them have fun together because these canines do not get tired quickly.
Shepherd Breeds Are Devoted To Their Owners
It is a popularly known fact that shepherd breeds are loyal to a fault and entirely devoted to the humans that take them in. At times, you will see them be very affectionate and protective.
Don’t shepherd breeds sound great? Then why don’t you bring one home?
Shepherd Breeds That Will Steal Your Heart
Below is a detailed list of these furry pets; you can choose which one appeals to you the most.
1. Australian Shepherd
Affectionately, Australian Shepherd is often referred to as an Aussie. It has been loved, cared for, and used to herd animals since the early 1800s. However, it may surprise you that these canines were specially bred to help the settlers in west America in herding and daily work.
In today’s age, these pups have become the most famous shepherd breeds. Like most dogs in the category, Australian Shepherds are highly intelligent. They also take an interest in pleasing their owners, which is a beautiful trait for easy and smooth training.
However, keep in mind that Aussies thrive when they receive ample opportunities to exercise. For this reason, they tend to get along better with experienced dog owners who know how to redirect the focus of these canines.
Are you willing to hike or walk for at least 40 minutes a day or in a large backyard to support the active habits of an Aussie? Then it is time to bring one home!
2. German Shepherd
It is highly unlikely that any dog-lover across the globe would not have heard about a German Shepherd. They are known for their faithfulness and are the third-most-popular dog breeds in America. In addition, these canines have built a good reputation for themselves due to their courageous and calm demeanor.
Where appearances are concerned, most people say that they cannot resist almond eyes and perked-up ears. While these dogs may look stoic, they adore their humans a lot. Moreover, they are friendly and warm with kids and other dogs, so you can always have playdates.
German Shepherds also enjoy exercise, much like Aussies. But remember that they will not be satisfied with 40 minutes of activity. If you want to ensure that your canine is content, you must engage it in physical exercise for at least two hours.
Not many people know that Collie translates to sheepdog, a Scottish word. These four-legged pets can be found in medium and large sizes and are easily identifiable due to their wedge-shaped faces. They are also quite furry, so you are bound to enjoy cuddles from these friends of yours.
Collies originally come from areas surrounding Scotland and northern England. They used to be infamous for safeguarding their family members and livestock that lived on the farm.
But later on, Collies became the dogs of choice in royal circles. It was due to a trip that Queen Victoria took to Scotland, and she decided to adopt a bunch of these canines in various colors. Before anyone knew it, the English started to take a liking to these furry fellas.
The popularity of Collies also spread to the US, where a couple of Presidents have proudly owned them too. While these canines have a particular allegiance to them, they have excellent instincts and are not afraid to get dirty during playtime.
4. Old English Sheepdog
Old English Sheepdogs have lavish fur and coats that you can easily recognize. However, their name can be misleading. It may surprise you that breeders did not breed Old English Sheepdogs to herd sheep. Instead, they were tasked to move livestock from one place to another and get it done at a quick pace.
These canines also require their owners to follow the grooming schedule religiously. They have double coats, so you cannot ignore their brushing needs. Remember that once you bring home an Old English Sheepdog, you must also invest in a sturdy brush for consistent care.
Like many of their friends who belong to the category of shepherd breeds, the Old English Sheepdog loves spending time around people and other dogs. It gets pretty excited at the idea of playtime, so be sure to spend a lot of time with your pup. This way, they will also get all the physical activity they need.
5. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Given that you do not live under a rock, you probably know someone who either owns a Pembroke Welsh Corgi or loves them. These canines have large grins and love parading around on their short legs. This beloved breed can be your new companion if you love dogs with a happy and gentle nature.
If you did not know already, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi stands only around 10 to 12 inches above the ground. Despite their “huge” structure, individuals love them for their impressive sense of humor. These pups also enjoy indulging in various activities, mainly if these include playing with toys.
From the moment you look at a Corgi, you will not be able to deny that they are pretty cute. They can also be your best friend for many years if you give them proper care and keep them mentally and physically stimulated.
6. Australian Cattle Dog
Are you a determined individual who wants a dog that matches your personality? Then look no further than an Australian Cattle Dog, which is known for its efficiency when it comes to completing tasks.
These pups enjoy socializing with others, but only if you allow them to from an early age. They are good at interacting with adults, kids, and especially fellow dogs. In addition, the Australian Cattle Dog comes in several colors due to its multicultural background. So, you can now bring home this adorable pup in the color you prefer.
7. Belgian Malinois
At times, the Belgian Malinois is mistaken for being a German Shepherd because the two bear many resemblances. However, despite the various similarities in their appearances, the two breeds are distinct.
The Malinois, or Mal, comes from Belgium and is well-known for its abilities as an expert herder. It has a hard-working character, which allowed it to make its way to America back in 1911. These days, you will see these canines committed to service, specifically in military settings.
8. Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie)
Simply put, the Shetland Sheepdog or Sheltie is an adorable pup you can bring home any time! They are intelligent and affectionate and have a forgiving nature. So, if you confuse them for a good old Collie, they will not hold it against you.
In addition, Shelties enjoy physical activity and their relaxing time at the end of the day. When they grow tired of running around all day, you can sit them down and brush their gorgeous coat at least once a week. These little balls of fluff sure could use it!
One thing that sets these furry fellas apart is they are non-territorial. Shepherd breeds typically tend to be protective of their owners. However, Sheltie can quickly get along with your entire family, even the cats. You must refrain from forcing them to socialize, though. It could end up upsetting your beloved pet.
The Beauceron or Beauce has a large body and is efficient when protecting other animals. After all, it is famous for being the biggest herding dog of French origin. These canines’ weight can lie between 70 to 110 pounds, but that is not all there is to them.
Beaucerons are the perfect combination between brainy and hefty, which makes them a unique breed. Perhaps this is why you will find that they make up a large chunk of the police force in the United States and are also taken in by the military. They are excellent at sniffing bombs, tracking people, and following scents.
Much like other shepherd breeds, Beaucerons require ample exercise and regular brushing. The latter ensures that their coat remains healthy and soft, so you can enjoy cuddling them to your heart’s content.
10. Border Collie
Make way because here comes your Border Collie running! Its active nature is precisely why this four-legged tail-wagger is bound to have the time of its life on a farm or a ranch. Try giving them a task, and they will make you feel proud.
The Border Collie has many more amazing characteristics than that meets the eye. They are intelligent and thrive when trained. It is why you will often find these canines entering agility competitions.
Moreover, these pups are popularly known as premier herding dogs and are relatively healthier than the rest of the shepherd breeds. It makes them dependable companions for you to have.
11. Belgian Sheepdog
The Belgian sheepdog is referred to by various names, including the Belgian Shepherd and Groenendael. These dogs have numerous wonderful traits, such as their intelligence. They also make excellent watchdogs and are unmatched in their stunning appearance. You will immediately melt by the bushy tails, sparkly eyes, fluffy black coats, and bright eyes of a Belgian Sheepdog.
Initially, these four-legged tail-waggers were a part of eight herding dogs, which all belonged to Belgium. These dogs have been assigned many jobs, ranging from show dogs to searchers and rescuers, to police dogs, and much more.
Are you planning to purchase a Belgian Sheepdog, be prepared to give it ample attention and training. These pups are pretty active and eager to please their owners!
12. Miniature American Shepherd
The Miniature American Shepherd, as its name suggests, is a small dog. It is one of the smallest shepherd breeds, which looks like an Australian Shepherd. In addition, these come in many colors, so you can pick from a wide variety.
In time, a Miniature American Shepherd will grow to be only 20 to 40 pounds. These dogs enjoy any physical or mental stimulation. Initially, they were raised to be rodeo dogs, but soon they were known as wonderful travel companions. Feel free to take them on adventures alongside you and your family!
13. Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Much like the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi has enjoyed its time in the spotlight. You will find numerous social media pages that share adorable videos and photos of these short-legged pooches.
But their small size is not just to make these dogs look cute. Instead, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi was bred close to the ground to protect it from the kicking and running legs of livestock and cattle. Once you bring these lovely creatures home, they will follow you around with their little feet. They are famous for being athletic, devoted, and intelligent.
14. Finnish Lapphund
When you first look at a Finnish Lapphund, you cannot tell that these canines, with their smiling faces and miniature sizes, are herding dogs. But these are shepherd breeds with shiny coats and sweet nature.
Moreover, a Finnish Lapphund can think quickly on its feet and protect its owners by any means necessary. However, the most interesting thing about these pups is that they were initially bred to herd reindeer. In Finland, farmers largely depend on these dogs and their agility to help them keep their livestock safe. After all, the Finnish Lapphund does have impressive reflexes.
15. Caucasian Shepherd
Most people think the Caucasian Shepherd belongs to Russia, but various countries have claimed it as its own. Over the years, this canine has journeyed throughout Eastern Europe, including Iran, Turkey, Armenia, and others.
However, these furry fellas are not like other sheepdogs. They previously did herding work on farms, but they were bred to protect sheep flocks. It may surprise you that a Caucasian Shepherd can weigh up to 170 pounds if properly cared for. So, it can be an ideal choice for a guard dog.
Besides their size, these canines are famous for their bravery. They are also pretty confident and boast excellent sight and hearing. In addition, Caucasian Shepherds tend to take their jobs quite seriously. They are loving and soft dogs who can make perfect pets and wonderful companions.
Lastly, the loyalty of these canines is unmatched. They will protect the humans they care about and other pets and dogs they like.
16. Icelandic Sheepdog
The Icelandic Sheepdog is known for its oldest history among the many shepherd breeds. These dogs were bred more than a thousand years ago and were given their names once they fully developed in Iceland. But it is essential to know that they are not native to this island.
Historians believe that Norse settlers brought these dogs to the Northern Island. Along with their Nordic culture, these people were accompanied by canines with unparalleled skills in rounding up ponies and sheep.
The Icelandic Sheepdog has not lost its popularity over the years. It is still loved in the country today and worldwide. Where its importance to Iceland is concerned, these pups have become a national symbol and part of the local cultural heritage.
Once you bring home this furry fellow, be prepared to have a friendly companion for life. The cheerful energy and vibe of the Icelandic Sheepdog are simply going to put a smile on your face. Moreover, their unwavering loyalty will make you appreciate them even more.
17. Bohemian Shepherd
If there is an underrated shepherd breed out there, it is this one. Bohemian Shepherds were initially bred to be agile, intelligent, and athletic. Since then, they have evolved even more and become multipurpose farm canines.
The muscular and lean frame of the Bohemian Shepherd makes it an ideal guard dog. Not only is it good at protecting the flock, but it will go out of its way to ensure the safety of the humans it cares about. You may not know this, but these dogs have been used to patrol the borders of the Kingdom of Bohemia.
While the appearance of these pooches makes them appear rather ferocious, they are pretty affectionate. They also have a soft spot for little humans and will get along well with your children. Loyalty has been ingrained in the Bohemian Shepherds, so you can rest easy knowing they will always be there for you.
Today, you will see that these dogs are primarily used for guarding purposes, much like German Shepherds. They are versatile and especially good at therapy, search and rescue missions, and tracking.
If you have been looking for one of the best family dogs among the shepherd breeds, then you do not need to look further than the Briard. It comprises all the character traits that you need in a large fluffy dog for your loved ones.
These furry pets are famous for their devotion and the fact that they will never leave your side. They are also playful and high-spirited, so you best be prepared to keep up with them. Simply put, they are balls of sunshine wrapped in different fur colors.
The Briard hails from Northern France, where it was used as a working dog. For centuries, these dogs made it their life’s mission to herd and protect livestock, as was wanted by French farmers. Despite the large frames of these canines, they are athletic and sneakily agile.
Moreover, Briards can think quickly on their feet and are fearless. If intruders try to hurt the flock, they will promptly entertain and ward off danger. Once you bring these pups home, you will surely have fun. They have a happy-go-lucky nature and are loaded with enthusiasm. Be sure to shower them with all your love!
19. Dutch Shepherd
The Dutch Shepherd bears a striking resemblance to the German Shepherd. The Dutch variety belongs to the Netherlands, where it received its name. They are often referred to as the jack-of-all-trades because they do have it all.
Back in the day, Dutch Shepherds were used to driving sheep and guard farms. Today, they take it upon themselves to protect children. Like their German cousins, these dogs are frequently used as military assistants, search and rescue dogs, and police dogs. They are also quite affectionate and love being showered with cuddles.
20. Polish Lowland Sheepdog
The Polish Lowland Sheepdog has a shaggy coat and was bred to play and work hard. They are medium-sized and thrive well in the field around larger livestock. They are also considered to be a cross between local and Hunnic dogs from the areas of Poland.
Back in the day, these canines were known as the protectors and guardians of their flock. Today, they are brought into homes to be man’s best friend. These pups light up rooms with their loving soul and cheerful demeanor. They are pretty friendly and get along well with everyone.
By now, you must be aware of several shepherd breeds and reasons to bring them home. Did you know any of these already? Did you find one that appealed to you, and are you ready to bring it home?
Make any of the shepherd dog breeds listed above your new best friend. Shepherd breeds are incredibly loving, cheerful, and protective pups. Wouldn’t you want to bring home a furry friend like that?