Breeds of Shepherds

Breeds of Shepherds


Breeds of shepherds are dogs that herd flocks and protect the animals from predators. Also called sheepdogs, there are more than 30 different breeds of shepherd dogs in the world, all bringing something unique to the table.

The common characteristics of these breeds are the active lifestyle, high energy, and above average to great intelligence. These dogs are some of the most loyal and dutiful animals in the world, and not just devoted workers, but usually excellent pets as well.

Temperament Problems

Although they are extremely smart and obedient if trained well, breeds of shepherds sometimes have a problem with barking and some of the home appliances. Since they are such devoted working dogs, if they cannot release that energy doing what they were bred to do, they find other creative ways to do it.

This may include singing the song of their people in the middle of the night or destroying the couch with their teeth. Such nuisances can be avoided in two ways, allowing them to herd, or finding them other outdoor activities they can thrive on.

Agility training is one of the possible solutions to these problems, especially for certain breeds of shepherds. Long walks are another possibility, along with playing fetch. Shepherds enjoy running around flying objects, be it a ball, a flying disc, or a bird.

If the owner is willing to keep his or her dog occupied at least four to five times per week and they have a large outdoor area to run around on the off days, they make amazing pets. They really aren’t ideal for urban areas though, and keeping them in an environment like that requires extreme dedication on the owner’s part.

Australian Shepherd

  • Weight: 35 to 70 pounds
  • Height: 18 to 23 inches (at the shoulders)
  • Activities: agility training, tracking, obedience

The Australian shepherd is one of the best-known breeds of shepherds. Their color patterns range from black, red, and even include blue or red merle.

Australian ShepherdThey are very active and smart dogs and a favorite breed of people who enjoy attending agility competitions with their dog.

Australian shepherds are very athletic and quick, not just on their feet, but in their thinking. They have a thick, weather-resistant coat that needs frequent brushing and care. They are amazing family pets, able to develop life-lasting bonds in a matter of weeks.

The Australian shepherd got its name from their ancestors, the Basque shepherd dogs that came to the island on boats around the 1800s. The coat of these animals become darker as they age, but they remain very active until the end. No doubt, they are amazing dogs that make all the other breeds of shepherds proud.

Anatolian Shepherd

  • Weight: 80 to 150 pounds
  • Height: 20 to 27 inches (at the shoulders)
  • Activities: herding, hiking

Originating in rural Turkey 6,000 years ago, Anatolian shepherds are a fascinating breed. They aren’t like the typical longhaired shepherd dogs, instead, they are a large, shorthaired breed known for its amazing physical attributes.

Anatolian ShepherdThese dogs are large and intimidating, but in reality, they are one of the most loyal, smartest breeds of shepherds in the world. They were bred to guard livestock animals, even against larger predators like wolves or bears.

Not many breeds of shepherds boast such excellent attributes. Because of their size, they are a medium-energy breed, but when they decide to move that weight around, they can be quite quick and imposing.

But, they are very slow to mature, starting to leave their puppy-like behavior behind at around the age of four. They enjoy playing around in open fields, chasing down flying discs or learn obedience training from their master, whom they guard with their life if it comes to it.

Belgian Sheep Dog

  • Weight: 45 to 65 pounds
  • Height: 22 to 26 inches (at the shoulders)
  • Activities: herding, search and rescue, obedience

Belgian sheepdogs are one of the most interesting breeds of shepherds in the world. They were bred in Belgium around the 1800s, getting quite a distinguished look with their trademark longhaired black coat. Thanks to their intelligence, they’re able to learn complex tricks in mere hours.

Belgian Sheepdog.There are four different Belgian herding dogs, and the Belgian sheep fog may be the most prized of them all. These dogs really love to work, running around livestock all day long. As a result, they are very hard to keep in an apartment, although with a dedicated owner it might be possible.

As one of the most beautiful breeds of shepherds, they are adored around the world, wherever they show up. Their long, black coat makes them almost wolf-like.

As far as their athletic ability goes, they are not as agile as the Australian shepherd is, but they are one of the strongest breeds of shepherds with amazing agility.

Bearded Collie

  • Weight: 35 to 60 pounds
  • Height: 20 to 22 inches (at the shoulders)
  • Activities: herding, agility, tracking

Majestic longhaired creatures, the bearded collie was bred to be a working dog. They are one of the oldest breeds of shepherds in the world, originating from Britain. They have a shaggy coat naturally, but with the modern wonders of grooming, they turned into indoor dogs.

Bearded CollieDespite that, their silky smooth longhaired look should not deceive anyone, they are still working dogs at heart. They are known for wagging their tails for longer periods, sometimes causing physical harm to their masters as well as to themselves.

These dogs have an active temperament and are very smart and devoted if they are trained well. Like most breeds of shepherds, they require many hours of care every week, but they repay the favor by being excellent working dogs and even better family members.

Bohemian Shepherd

  • Weight: 15 to 35 pounds
  • Height: 15 to 18.5 inches (at the shoulders)
  • Activities: herding, search and rescue

Bohemian shepherds were bred in France sometime during the 1800s. Although they are one of the smaller-sized breeds of shepherds, they have quite the temperament, and they make excellent family pets. They are sensitive and intelligent animals that understand the rules of obedience.

They are also well behaved, and willing to work extra hard throughout the day. When they can herd, they are at their best, and that also applies when playing fetch at the park. There are two types of Bohemian shepherds, rough-faced and smooth-faced.

They are extremely lean and agile, compensating for their lack of size. With their excellent stamina, they can run around for hours, herding up to 25 miles a day, which is quite remarkable. Their training usually involves basic obedience training and lots of active exercising.


  • Weight: 50 to 75 pounds
  • Height: 22 to 26 inches (at the shoulders)
  • Activities: herding, tracking, obedience training

Collies are Scottish herding dogs, and one of the best-known breeds of shepherds thanks to the wonderful Lassie, one of the most popular fictional dogs ever. The first accounts of these dogs can be found in The History of Quadrupeds, a book by Thomas Beswick from the 1800s.

CollieCollies are medium-sized, longhaired dogs that enjoy herding and other outdoor shenanigans. They come in many different colors, including tricolor, blue merle, white or sable. They are quick and graceful dogs with a smart head on their shoulders.

There are two variants, a longhaired and a shorthaired version. Even though they make excellent family pets, they can be a little jealous around their master, whom they select and never really let go. They are very loyal that way, as the 1950 television show so accurately depicted.

East-European Shepherds

  • Weight: 65 to 90 pounds
  • Height: 25 to 29 inches (at the shoulders)
  • Activities: herding, running, obedience, guarding

Not many know these breeds of shepherds, or whenever they see them, they think it is a German shepherd. The truth is a little different. Yes, these dogs look like German shepherds at first glance, but they are bigger and have a denser coat.

East-European Shepherd.This is not an accident either, these dogs were bred to create a bigger and more durable version of the German shepherds. As far as their exercising regimen goes, it is best to keep these beauties active, preferably through daily activities.

They are willing to follow their leader and listen to him or her, and they are eager to learn new tricks every day. The main thing about these dogs is activity. With regular or moderate activity levels, these dogs are susceptible to weight gain and other health problems.

They must be kept busy, but they return the favor by being the most amazing, loyal companions. Because of their loyalty and willingness to put their life on the line, they make amazing family pets and rescue dogs, helping families whenever they can.

Icelandic Sheepdog

  • Weight: 19 to 30 pounds
  • Height: 16.5 to 18 inches (at the shoulders)
  • Activities: agility, obedience training

Icelandic Sheepdogs are very loyal and trustworthy creatures, even if that isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind about them. They are a medium-sized breed aren’t afraid of anyone, or anything.

The breed was developed to help herd livestock, and with their intelligence and playful nature, they became one of the most cherished breeds of shepherds.

Icelandic SheepdogNative to Iceland, they can withstand extreme colds for long periods. The legendary Vikings supposedly used this breed between 874 and 931 A.D, hence their nickname “dog of the Vikings”. They shed two times every year, losing their undercoat each time.

Although they are obedient, sometimes they bark a lot and need extra training to stop that behavior. They are the only Icelandic canine species. When it comes to energy, we can safely say that these dogs can run around.

Their high energy level is infectious to other dog breeds as well, and they will keep any pack active throughout the day. They even take on the role of the leader, even when they have to compete against larger dogs.

The Icelandic sheepdog may not be among the biggest breeds of shepherds, but it compensates it with its huge heart, and never surrendering attitude.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

  • Weight: 25 to 30 pounds
  • Height: 10 to 12 inches (at the shoulders)
  • Activities: herding, retrieving, going on walks

Small to medium-sized dogs, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is currently one of the most popular breeds of shepherds. They are taking over the internet, and even creating their own slang with words like “frapping”, or the “stomp”.

Pembroke Welsh CorgiThey are considered to be one of the cutest dog breeds in the world, and their recent extreme popularity confirms that statement.

Their small size is not a coincidence. As cow herders, they were developed to be just short enough to avoid being kicked while working. Cows kick back in a certain pattern and angle, and being short is an advantage in that environment.

Corgis are one of the best breeds of shepherds for a variety of reasons, including their mild-mannered nature. They make amazing family pets and love to hang around with people and other dogs.

Dutch Shepherds

  • Weight: 50 to 70 pounds
  • Height: 18 to 26 inches (at the shoulders)
  • Activities: agility, obedience, runs

As the cousin of the German and Belgian shepherds, the Dutch shepherd is a very popular dog breed in Europe. They are affectionate animals with a unique coat pattern that reminds people of tiger streaks.

Dutch ShepherdsThey have a long lifespan and are very athletic, they need a true commitment from their masters. When they get that, they often live to 16 or 17 and are active until the very end.

Like all shepherds, they are very loyal dogs, with a penchant for understanding the nuances of body language.

They excel in obedience or at agility competitions, which is one of the reasons why they make such good family pets. Those, who love their German and Belgian cousins, will almost surely enjoy the company of the Dutch shepherd.


Shepherds are very smart and energetic creatures that happen to enjoy running around all day. Those, who choose one of these breeds of shepherds as their next family pet, need to understand just how intense these dogs can sometimes be.

They were bred to herd, to run around all day and still have enough energy to be a pet, a friend, and a full-fledged family member.

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