Shepherd Dog Breeds: 21 Types of Shepherd Dogs (With Pictures)

Three different types of shepherd dog breeds in the grass

Back in the old days, farmers and shepherds faced the challenge of protecting their livestock from danger, especially from larger predators.

Different shepherd dog breeds were produced to assist them in guarding flocks of sheep or herds of cattle.

Shepherd dogs come in all shapes and sizes, each taking various roles such as guarding and herding animals and even pulling carts. Until now, these dogs perform the mentioned tasks on farms anywhere in the world.

There are different types of Shepherd dogs. If you are curious to know all about them, keep scrolling!

21 Different Types of Shepherd Dog Breeds and Their Characteristics

You might find the terms “shepherd” and “herding group” dogs being used interchangeably in this article. And yes, as you might infer, these words are synonymous.

The breeds discussed in this section are all known for helping shepherds herd animals on their farms.

So without further ado, let’s dive into this extensive list of the different types of shepherd dog breeds!

1. Anatolian Shepherd

Shepherd dog breed - Anatolian Shepherd

An Anatolian Shepherd dog is an ancient dog breed produced for the sole purpose of guarding and protecting livestock against predators in the farms of Turkey.

After thousands of years, they were imported to the United States to fulfill the same objectives. Many families across different states admire their large build but calm demeanor.

These loyal and devoted dogs can be fiercely independent, but they are always on guard for strangers that may lurk on their owner’s property.

Because they can also be very strong-willed, Anatolian Shepherds are not suited for first-time dog owners.

Despite this, these shepherds will never display aggressive behavior towards anyone, especially children.

Anatolian Shepherd Breed Information:

  • Height: Male: 29 inches (74 cm), Female: 27 inches (18 cm)
  • Weight: Male: 110 – 150 lbs (50 – 68 kg), Female: 80 – 120 lbs (36 – 54 kg)
  • Life Expectancy: 11 – 13 years
  • Origin: Turkey
  • Temperament: Alert, Intelligent, Calm, Observant, Courageous, Loyal
  • Coat Colors: Fawn, Pinto, White, Brindle

2. Australian Cattle Dog

Shepherd dog breed - Australian Cattle Dog

If you are looking for a determined and efficient dog to get the work done, you should get an Australian Cattle Dog.

Blue Heelers, as they are also called, were first bred in the 19th century to be used by ranchers for herding cattle. It is also believed that they descended from the ancient Australian breed called Dingos.

Australian Cattle Dogs are agile and sporty, making them great for farm work and even hunting. As active dogs, they need a lot of physical and mental stimulation.

The lack of interaction and activities can lead to destructive behavior such as chewing and tearing up furniture.

Early socialization will ensure that these dogs will accept new people, children, and other household pets.

Australian Cattle Dog Breed Information:

  • Height: Male: 18 – 20 inches (46 – 51 cm), Female: 17 – 19 inches (43 – 48 cm)
  • Weight: Male: 33 – 35 lbs (15 – 16 kg), Female: 31 – 35 lbs (14 – 16 kg)
  • Life Expectancy: 13 – 15 years
  • Origin: Australia
  • Temperament: Cautious, Energetic, Loyal, Obedient, Protective, Brave
  • Coat Colors: Blue, Blue Mottled, Blue Speckled, Red Speckled, Red Mottled

3. Australian Kelpie

Shepherd dog breed - Australian Kelpie Dog

As intelligent and loyal dogs, Australian Kelpies are reliable farm helpers. Due to their natural herding instincts, they are trusted and proven by many farm owners.

They are known to originate from certain Collie breeds imported from Scotland to Australia. They became instant favorites due to their resilience to the harsh weather conditions of the continent.

Despite being low-maintenance dogs, Kelpies can be stubborn and hyperactive.

They require activities that will keep them stimulated throughout the day. These include daily walks and runs or learning new tricks and commands.

Extensive socialization should also be done early so that they can quickly be accustomed to different sights, sounds, and situations happening outside their known territory.

Australian Kelpie Breed Information:

  • Height: Male and Female: 15 to 20 inches (38 – 51 cm)
  • Weight: Male and Female: 25 – 46 lbs (11 – 21 kg)
  • Life Expectancy: 10 – 13 years
  • Origin: Australia
  • Temperament: Alert, Intelligent, Loyal, Energetic, Eager,
  • Coat Colors: Black, Black and Tan, Red, Red and Tan, Fawn, Chocolate, Smoke blue

4. Australian Shepherd

Shepherd dog breed - Australian Shepherd

It’s not only their silky coat and intense stare that make Australian Shepherds stand out from other herding dogs but also their confidence in leadership.

They may not be as large and intimidating as other shepherd breeds, but they are considered a cornerstone to the ranching world due to their work ethic.

Australian Shepherds are devoted to their owners but quite aloof to strangers. Inexperienced owners may have a hard time handling these dogs because they have a strong, dominant side.

If raised by a timid owner, they may assume the role of the leader in the family, making it hard to tame them. When appropriately trained, they can become quite friendly and open to outdoor adventures.

Australian Shepherd Breed Information:

  • Height: Male: 20 – 23 inches (51 – 58 cm), Female: 18 – 21 inches (46 – 53 cm)
  • Weight: Male: 50 – 65 lbs (23 – 30 kg), Female: 40 – 55 lbs (18 – 25 kg)
  • Life Expectancy: 12 – 15 years
  • Origin: Australia
  • Temperament: Active, Good-Natured, Playful, Hardworking, Intelligent, Energetic
  • Coat Colors: Blue Merle, Red Merle, Red, Tri-color (White, Black, and Tan), Black

READ NEXT: Best Australian Shepherd Breeders (2021): 10 Places to Find Aussie Puppies for Sale

5. Bearded Collie

Shepherd dog breed - Bearded Collie

Bearded Collies are one of the oldest shepherd dog breeds in Britain. By the end of the Victorian era, these dogs became popular as working sheepdogs and show dogs.

Their confident stance shows agility and undeniable strength. They bear a close resemblance to the Old English Sheepdog, but Beardies appear leaner.

In terms of personality, Bearded Collies are fun and engaging. However, during training, they can become independent thinkers.

This is probably due to the innate resourcefulness that usually leads to them doing things in their own way. They are naturally curious, playful, and friendly, making it easy for strangers to approach them.

Bearded Collie Breed Information:

  • Height: Male: 21 – 22 inches (53 – 56 cm), Female: 20 – 21 inches (51 – 53 cm)
  • Weight: Male and Female: 45 – 55 lbs (20 – 25 kg)
  • Life Expectancy: 12 – 14 years
  • Origin: Britain
  • Temperament: Smart, Resourceful, Confident, Bubbly, Enthusiastic
  • Coat Colors: Black, Blue, Brown, Fawn

6. Beauceron

Shepherd dog breed - Beauceron

Although Beauceron dogs are initially bred to hunt wild boars, they eventually became useful as herding and guardian dogs.

Their large size, paired with their cleverness, is what truly makes them marvelous canines. They are regarded as the largest herding dog in France.

Beauceron dogs are not quite popular in the United States, but most of them can be found serving the police and military.

Due to their incredible sense of smell, they can locate bombs, track scents and be helpful in search-and-rescue operations.

For families, they make excellent watchdogs and protectors. However, like other herding dogs, they require a lot of physical activity.

They are not lap dogs after all. They prefer to be outside, preferably in a large yard where they can run freely.

Beauceron Breed Information:

  • Height: Male: 25.5 – 27.5 inches (65 – 70 cm), Female: 24 – 26.5 inches (61 – 67 cm)
  • Weight: Male and Female: 70 – 110 lbs (32 – 50 kg)
  • Life Expectancy: 10 – 12 years
  • Origin: France
  • Temperament: Loyal, Protective, Dominant, Active
  • Coat Colors: Black and Rust, Black and Tan, Harlequin, Gray-Black and Tan

7. Belgian Malinois

Shepherd dog breed - Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois is one of the four varieties of Belgian Shepherds developed in the 1800s. All four, including Malinois, are considered a single breed by the United Kennel Club.

They were the first dog breed used by the Belgian police before World War II. In the last decade, Belgian Malinois dogs were imported to the United States to aid in military operations.

Aside from working with authorities, Belgian Malinois dogs are considered the most suited breed for a family setting.

They are loyal and obedient dogs that work well in an environment where established rules are set and where the people are loving and practicing positive reinforcement.

Belgian Malinois Breed Information:

  • Height: Male: 24 – 26 inches (61 – 66 cm), Female: 22 – 24 inches (56 – 61 cm)
  • Weight: Male: 60 – 80 lbs (27 – 36 kg), Female: 40 – 60 lbs (18 – 27 kg)
  • Life Expectancy: 14 – 16 years
  • Origin: Belgium
  • Temperament: Confident, Affectionate, Protective, Responsive, Headstrong
  • Coat Colors: Fawn, Mahogany, Red, Red Sable, Fawn Sable

READ NEXT: All Belgian Malinois Colors and Patterns Explained (With Pictures!)

8. Belgian Sheepdog

Shepherd dog breed - Belgian Sheepdog

At first glance, Belgian Sheepdogs can easily be mistaken as black German Shepherds. They are closely related to the Belgian Malinois, sharing the same confidence but a little less strong-willed. During World War I, they were used to carry letters and pull ambulances.

Known to be observant dogs, Belgian Sheepdogs are excellent watchdogs. However, owners should be mindful of the aggressive behavior they can display when they come across strangers.

In some cases, they can even be quite reserved. Because of this, it’s imperative that they are socialized as puppies by inviting neighbors over or taking them to nearby dog parks.

Belgian Sheepdog Breed Information:

  • Height: Male: 24 – 26 inches (61 – 66 cm), Female: 22 – 24 inches (56 – 61 cm)
  • Weight: Male: 55 – 75 lbs (25 – 34 kg), Female: 45 – 60 lbs (20 – 27 kg)
  • Life Expectancy: 12 – 14 years
  • Origin: Belgium
  • Temperament: Intelligent, Alert, Brave, Curious, Playful, Observant
  • Coat Colors: Black, Black and White, Black and Cream, Brown, Fawn, Fawn and Black, Gray, Gray and Black

9. Bergamasco Sheepdog

Shepherd dog breed - Bergamasco Shepherd

A lesser-known breed of shepherd dogs is called the Bergamasco Sheepdog. They might not be as popular as the other shepherd breeds, but they are one unique bunch.

When you first see a Bergamasco Sheepdog, their distinct coat will immediately catch your attention. 

The Bergamasco’s coat is composed of loose mats called flocks designed to protect them from freezing temperatures and even the sharp bite of predators. Another great advantage of their fur is that it’s hypoallergenic and low-maintenance.

Regarding physical activities, Bergamasco Sheepdogs are probably the least active of the shepherd dogs. They only require minimum exercise per day, preferring close contact with owners rather than being outside.

Bergamasco Sheepdog Breed Information:

  • Height: Male: 23.5 inches (60 cm), Female: 22 inches (56 cm)
  • Weight: Male: 70 – 84 lbs (32 – 38 kg), Female: 57 – 71 lbs (26 – 32 kg)
  • Life Expectancy: 13 – 15 years
  • Origin: Middle East/Italy
  • Temperament: Vigilant, Stubborn, Protective, Smart, Patient, Quiet, Eager-To-Please
  • Coat Colors: Black or Gray

10. Briard

Shepherd dog breed - Briard

Do you have an active lifestyle? Do you often go biking, hiking, or jogging? If you want a companion for your outdoor adventure, a Briard dog is the perfect match for you.

As highly energetic dogs, they will often get bored lounging inside the house as you watch TV.

Aside from their long-haired appearance, Briard dogs have other charming and impressive attributes compared to other types of shepherd dogs. Due to their excellent memory, they are quick to learn new tricks during training.

However, this won’t be possible without a confident owner who can also keep the session stimulating for these dogs.

It’s also essential to introduce them to other people and animals as puppies to prevent aggressive tendencies in the future.

Briard Breed Information:

  • Height: Male: 23 – 27 inches (58 – 69 cm), Female: 22 – 25.5 inches (56 – 65 cm)
  • Weight: Male and Female: 55 – 100 lbs (25 – 45 kg)
  • Life Expectancy: 12 years
  • Origin: France
  • Temperament: Intelligent, Easily Trained, Faithful, Gentle, Obedient,
  • Coat Colors: Black, Tawny, Black and Gray, White, Tawny and Gray, Black and Tawny

11. Border Collie

Shepherd dog breed - Border Collie

If you want to see a dog’s excellent herding skills, then you should watch a Border Collie at work.

Many dog owners consider them the best herding dogs among all the shepherd breeds in the world due to their origins and recent popularity.

They were first bred in Scotland to work as livestock herders. However, there’s more to these shepherd dogs than their unparalleled skills.

Outside farm work, Border Collies are very affectionate dogs devoted to their owners and each family member. You can always find them wagging their tails in excitement, ready for the next activity.

Rather than snuggling all day, these dogs prefer being outside until they are tired enough to call it a day.

Border Collie Breed Information:

  • Height: Male: 19 – 22 inches (48 – 56 cm), Female: 18 – 21 inches (46 – 53 cm)
  • Weight: Male: 35 – 45 lbs (16 – 20 kg), Female: 30 – 40 lbs (14 – 18 kg)
  • Life Expectancy: 12 – 15 years
  • Origin: Scotland/England
  • Temperament: Energetic, Intelligent, Keen, Alert, Responsive
  • Coat Colors: Black, Blue, Blue Merle, Brindle, Gold, Red, Sable, Sable Merle, White and Black, White and Red, Red Merle, White and Blue, White and Blue Merle, Lilac

READ NEXT: Border Collie Colors: All 24 Coat Colors Explained With Pictures

12. Bouvier des Flandres

Shepherd dog breed - Bouvier des Flandres

Bouvier des Flanders is another shepherd dog breed that has French origins. They are known as all-around farm dogs, capable of doing any task they are required of.

During World War I, these dogs served as rescuers and messengers for the military. Whatever task they are given, they are sure to be at their happiest when aiding other people.

Good-natured and sociable, Bouvier des Flandres also make good watchdogs and family pets. They are natural protectors that will go out of their way to keep the family safe.

However, their dominant personality can be intimidating to other household pets and may cause conflict.

With proper socialization, they can quickly get along with other pets and prevent separation anxiety when left alone. 

Bouvier des Flandres Breed Information:

  • Height: Male: 24.5 – 27.5 inches (62 – 70 cm), Female: 23.5 – 26.5 inches (60 – 67 cm)
  • Weight: Male and Female: 70 – 100 lbs (32 – 45 kg)
  • Life Expectancy: 10 – 12 years
  • Origin: France
  • Temperament: Equable, Steady, Resolute, Fearless, Strong-Willed
  • Coat Colors: Black, Brindle, Fawn, Gray, Gray Brindle, Black and Brindle, Black and Brown, Black and Fawn, Black and Gray, Black and White, Blue, Blue and Gray, Brown, Silver and Gray, White

READ NEXT: Living With a Bouvier des Flandres: How Much Do They Shed?

13. Collie

Shepherd dog breed - Collie

Another shepherd dog you might be familiar with is the Collie. They were even more popularized in the United States through the 1950s Hollywood movie, Lassie.

In fact, the long-haired variety called Rough Collie is called Lassie dogs. Regardless of the type, Collies are notably regarded as great herders and family dogs.

Once Collies are properly trained, they can be the sweetest, friendliest, and most gentle dogs you can own. They are extremely fond of children and really enjoy integrating into the family.

However, they can be highly sensitive, especially when there is nobody around. Despite this, you can expect them to be more laid back than most shepherd dogs.

Collie Breed Information:

  • Height: Male: 24 – 26 inches (61 – 66 cm), Female: 22 – 24 inches (56 – 61 cm)
  • Weight: Male: 60 – 75 lbs (27 – 34 kg), Female: 50 – 65 lbs (23 – 30 kg)
  • Life Expectancy: 12 – 14 years
  • Origin: Scotland and Northern England
  • Temperament: Intelligent, Friendly, Active, Loyal, Protective, Gentle
  • Coat Colors: Black White and Tan, Blue Merle, Blue Merle and White, Blue Merle, White and Tan, Sable, Sable and White, Sable Merle, White, Sable Merle and White, White Merle

READ NEXT: Miniature Collie: Things You Need to Know Before Getting One

14. Finnish Lapphund

Shepherd dog breed - Finnish Lapphund

If you’re missing a family clown, you should own a Finnish Lapphund. Aside from being the perfect family companions, these shepherd dogs are quick-witted, learning commands in a heartbeat.

Originally bred to herd reindeers for the Sami people of Nordic countries, they also developed a strong startle reflex.

Barking is a crucial part of herding reindeers, so it’s no surprise that Finnish Lapphunds are known to be prolific barkers.

While this is a perfect quality for watchdogs, teaching them when to bark is vital to prevent problems with neighbors. 

Aside from herding and being great companions, Finnish Lapphunds also found their way into dog sports due to their agility and speed. They also make good tracking and therapy dogs.

Finnish Lapphund Breed Information:

  • Height: Male: 18 – 21 inches (46 – 53 cm), Female: 16 – 19 inches (41 – 48 cm)
  • Weight: Male and Female: 33 – 53 lbs (15 – 24 kg)
  • Life Expectancy: 12 – 15 years
  • Origin: Finland
  • Temperament: Gentle, Submissive, Smart, Friendly, Calm, Keen, Courageous
  • Coat Colors: Black, Brown, Cream, Tan, Wolf Sable, Blonde, Blue, Brindle, Saddle

15. German Shepherd Dog

Shepherd dog breed - German Shepherd Dog

Hailed as the third most popular dog breed by the American Kennel Club as of 2020, German Shepherds or GSDs are definitely a crowd favorite because of being guard dogs.

As their breed name implies, these dogs were first produced in Germany where they were tasked to herd and guard livestock. However, in recent years, they serve as K-9 dogs.

As one of the smartest dog breeds, German Shepherds can definitely take on any task given proper training.

GSDs can have headstrong personalities, so they need a firm and experienced owner to make them well-adjusted dogs and family pets. 

Aside from their temperament, GSDs are well admired for their looks. Their perked-up ears and stoic almond eyes make them look intimidating, but they are loving and loyal dogs through and through.

German Shepherd Dog Breed Information:

  • Height: Male: 24 – 26 inches (61 – 66 cm), Female: 22 – 24 inches (56 – 61 cm)
  • Weight: Male: 65 – 90 lbs (30 – 41 kg), Female: 50 – 70 lbs (23 – 32 kg)
  • Life Expectancy: 7 – 10 years
  • Origin: Germany
  • Temperament: Confident, Approachable, Alert, Cautious, Obedient, Watchful, Brave
  • Coat Colors: Black, Black & Cream, Black & Red, Black & Silver, Black & Tan, Blue Gray, Liver, Sable, White, Bi-Color

READ NEXT: How Much Does a German Shepherd Cost? Puppy Prices and Expenses

16. Icelandic Sheepdog

Shepherd dog breed - Icelandic Sheepdog

Historically, Icelandic Sheepdogs are as old as Iceland itself and the country’s only native breed. Their Nordic dog ancestors were once used to herd and protect sheep, horses, and cattle.

Due to threats of extinction, they were imported to the United States in the 1950s. Now, they are kept as household pets and lifelong companions.

Due to their natural herding instincts, Icelandic Sheepdogs became instant celebrities in dog sports. They excel in a range of categories, including agility and obedience competitions.

They also win the hearts of many people because of their friendly and energetic nature. 

However, Icelandic Sheepdogs might not be one of the best types of shepherd dogs for families with pet birds since they are used to protect sheep from large predatory birds.

Icelandic Sheepdog Breed Information:

  • Height: Male: 18 inches (46 cm), Female: 16.5 inches (42 cm)
  • Weight: Male: 30 lbs (14 kg), Female: 25 lbs (11 kg)
  • Life Expectancy: 12 – 14 years
  • Origin: Iceland
  • Temperament: Cheerful, Friendly, Inquisitive, Playful, Unafraid
  • Coat Colors: Black and White, Cream and White, Fawn and White, Gold and White, Gray and White, Red and White, Sable and White, Tan and White, White Tan and Black, Chocolate and White

17. Miniature American Shepherd

Shepherd dog breed - Miniature American Shepherd

Developed in the United States, Miniature American Shepherds are thought of as the smaller versions of Australian Shepherd dogs.

While they bear many similarities, these dogs are charming and useful in their own way. They were fully recognized by the AKC as a separate breed in 2015.

Despite their petite size, Miniature American Shepherds contain as much energy as larger shepherd dogs. They are loyal and active companions with a strong work ethic yet also a stubborn streak.

Because of this, it may be a challenge for first-time owners to train them. Like other herding breeds, they can be trained to perform tasks confidently while also exhibiting versatility like no other.

Miniature American Shepherd Breed Information:

  • Height: Male: 14 – 18 inches (36 – 46 cm), Female: 13 – 17 inches (33 – 43 cm)
  • Weight: Male and Female: 20 – 40 lbs (9 – 18 kg)
  • Life Expectancy: 12 – 13 years
  • Origin: United States
  • Temperament: Protective, Good Natured, Devoted, Loyal
  • Coat Colors: Black, Blue Merle, Red, Red Merle

READ NEXT: Male vs. Female Miniature American Shepherd: Which Is Better?

18. Old English Sheepdog

Shepherd dog breed - Old English Sheepdog

The next type of shepherd dog I’m going to talk about has quite a misleading breed name. The Old English Sheepdog or OES is a relatively newer breed than other herding dogs.

The word “Sheepdog” is not a term to describe their appearance but is derived from their old purpose of driving sheep to the markets of South England.

An old nickname for the Old English Sheepdog is “Bobtail” which originated from the fact they were traditionally bred with docked tails. Now, most OES have long tails and a shaggy coat to match.

Another surprising fact about these shepherd dogs is their distinct bark which is compared to the sound of two pots being clanged together.

Old English Sheepdog Breed Information:

  • Height: Male: 22 inches (56 cm), Female: 21 inches (53 cm)
  • Weight: Male: 80 – 100 lbs (36 – 45 kg), Female: 60 – 85 lbs (27 – 39 kg)
  • Life Expectancy: 10 – 12 years
  • Origin: England
  • Temperament: Playful, Friendly, Obedient, Adaptable
  • Coat Colors: Blue and White, Blue Gray and White, Blue Merle and White, Gray and White, Grizzle and White

19. Pyrenean Shepherd

Shepherd dog breed - Pyrenean Shepherd

This enthusiastic and mischievous shepherd dog called Pyrenean Shepherd is a direct descendant of the ancient sheepdogs found in the Pyrenees mountains.

Pyr Sheps, as they are called, have two types which include the rough-faced and smooth-faced coat types.

The rough-faced types are known for their long, windswept fur seen above their muzzles. The smooth-faced Pyr Sheps, on the other hand, generally have shorter coats with fine-textured hair.

In terms of behavior, they are noted for their adaptability to different situations to fulfill tasks set by their owner. This also makes them attuned to their owner’s emotions, growing very attached and affectionate to them.

Pyrenean Shepherd Breed Information:

  • Height: Male (Rough-Faced): 15.5 – 18.5 inches (40 – 47 cm), Female (Rough-Faced): 15 – 18 inches (38 – 46 cm), Male (Smooth-Faced): 15.5 – 21 inches (40 – 53 cm), Female (Smooth-Faced): 15.5 – 20.5 inches (40 – 52 cm)
  • Weight: Male and Female (Both Varieties): 15 – 30 lbs (7 – 14 kg)
  • Life Expectancy: 17 – 19 years
  • Origin: France/Spain
  • Temperament: Versatile, Hardworking, Enthusiastic, Active, Affectionate, Mischievous
  • Coat Colors: Black, Black and White, Blue Merle, Brindle, Fawn, Gray, Slate Gray, Fawn Merle, Brindle Merle, White

20. Shetland Sheepdog

Shepherd dog breed - Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdogs or Shelties are probably the sweetest herding dog you can ever meet.

While it’s very unusual for most herding breeds or working dogs to exhibit this behavior, it doesn’t make them any less of a shepherd dog.

In fact, they are considered the epitome of all herding canines. They can group and watch over almost any kind of animal.

Because they are highly trainable and intelligent, Shelties are often used nowadays as therapy dogs or even medical dogs, assisting people with serious illnesses or disabilities.

Due to their playful and clingy nature, they usually prefer to be close to their owners and even other pets. They either get their attention or bond with them.

Shetland Sheepdog Breed Information:

  • Height: Male and Female: 13 – 16 inches (46 – 51 cm)
  • Weight: Male and Female: 15 – 25 lbs (15 – 16 kg)
  • Life Expectancy: 12 – 14 years
  • Origin: Shetland Islands (Between Scotland and Norway)
  • Temperament: Loyal, Affectionate, Responsive, Lively, Playful, Alert, Gentle
  • Coat Colors: Black and White, Black White and Tan, Blue Merle and White, Blue Merle White and Tan, Sable and White, Sable Merle and White

READ NEXT: 14 Adorable Shetland Sheepdog Mixes: Cuteness Overload!

21. Welsh Corgi

Shepherd dog breed - Welsh Corgi

While many people doubt their herding ability due to their size, Welsh Corgis easily prove them wrong.

Even the Queen of England can attest that this cute pocket-sized herding breed is secretly hardworking and that they take their task seriously.

Loved today for their short legs and adorable appearance, they were even given the title The Hottest Dog of 2019.

You might be wondering how a small, short-legged dog like a Welsh Corgi successfully herds animals. While it seems ironic, these features actually come in handy when performing their job.

Since they can sit extremely low on the ground, they can avoid being kicked by the animals they herd.

Welsh Corgi Breed Information:

  • Height: Male and Female: 10 – 12 inches (25 – 31 cm)
  • Weight: Male: 30 lbs (76 kg), Female: 28 lbs (71 kg)
  • Life Expectancy: 12 – 13 years
  • Origin: Wales
  • Temperament: Playful, Bold, Tenacious, Outgoing, Protective
  • Coat Colors: Black and Tan, Fawn, Red, Sable

READ NEXT: 10 Best Corgi Rescues for Adoption (2021): Our Top 10 Picks!

Now that you are familiar with the shepherd breeds, you can freely evaluate the dog you want in terms of your needs, lifestyle, and personal preference.

It is also a chance to assess your own capability as a dog owner if you can handle these types of dogs.

List of All Types of Shepherd Dogs

In the previous section, I’ve mentioned several shepherd dog breeds and gave a brief overview of their behavior and other fun facts about them. Sadly, I can only cover so much in one article. 

If you are curious to know the other shepherds acknowledged by the American Kennel Club, refer to the complete list of herding dogs below, arranged alphabetically for your convenience:

  • Australian Cattle Dog
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Bearded Collie
  • Beauceron
  • Belgian Laekenois
  • Belgian Malinois
  • Belgian Sheepdog
  • Belgian Shepherd Dog
  • Belgian Tervuren
  • Bergamasco Sheepdog
  • Berger Picard
  • Bohemian Shepherd
  • Border Collie
  • Bouvier des Flandres
  • Briard
  • Canaan Dog
  • Cardigan Welsh Corgi
  • Collie
  • Dutch Shepherd
  • Entlebucher Mountain Dog
  • Finnish Lapphund
  • German Shepherd Dog
  • Icelandic Sheepdog
  • Miniature American Shepherd
  • Norwegian Buhund
  • Old English Sheepdog
  • Pembroke Welsh Corgi
  • Polish Lowland Sheepdog
  • Puli
  • Pumi
  • Pyrenean Shepherd
  • Shetland Sheepdog
  • Spanish Water Dog
  • Swedish Vallhund

With all of the dog breeds listed here, I’m sure you can better decide which dog is the right one for you. I know some of the breeds might be unfamiliar to you, so consider it a bonus to have new knowledge about them. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Shepherd Dogs

What Are the Other Names of Shepherd Dogs?

Due to their skills, the most common name for a shepherd dog is “herding dog.” Other names include stock dog or working dog. As these terms suggest, shepherd dogs are trained to control the movement of livestock.

They are trained not to see these animals as prey and, at the same time, maintain their hunting skills.

What Is the Largest Shepherd Dog?

The Anatolian Shepherd is considered the largest shepherd dog. Females stand at 27 inches tall while males grow up to 29 inches tall.

In terms of body mass, females weigh around 80 to 120 pounds while males are anywhere around 110 to 150 pounds. The Beauceron and Bouvier des Flandres come in second place.

What Is the Smallest Shepherd Dog?

As per AKC records, the smallest shepherd dog but is still an expert herder is the Welsh Corgi. Both males and females grow between 10 and 12 inches in height.

In terms of weight, male Welsh Corgis are generally 30 pounds, and females are 28 pounds. Sitting at second place is the Miniature American Shepherd, who is only a couple of inches bigger.

Are Shepherd Dogs Aggressive?

Shepherd dogs, by nature, are not aggressive dogs. Although most herding breeds are wary of strangers, it is unusual for them to show any aggressive behavior.

Some breeds may bark at people or animals new to them, but they will never show any initiative to attack them because this is only a manifestation of how they used to herd sheep and cattle.

However, it is advised that they are socialized early to prevent unnecessary barking and overprotectiveness.

Are Shepherds Good Family Dogs?

Shepherd dogs make good family dogs as much as they are great farm dogs because of their loyal and protective disposition. Once they are integrated with the family, they will remain devoted to each member for life.

Aside from being great companions, they are intelligent and quick learners. This allows them to easily adapt to a household environment.

Which Shepherd Dog Is Best?

The answer to this question will depend on the particular skill or temperament an owner is looking for. In terms of herding ability, you can best count on Border Collies or Shetland Sheepdogs to do their work.

In terms of protection, you can rely on German Shepherds or even the Anatolian Shepherds’ natural guarding ability.

Final Thoughts

Are you ready to have a new shepherd dog best friend? If you are, bear in mind that each breed has its own traits and characteristics, not just in terms of appearance but also in temperament.

Generally, you can expect an intelligent dog that responds well to positive training regardless of the breed you choose.

Herding dogs are truly remarkable because of their skills and abilities. Now, you can give them the chance to fulfill their purpose, whether as a working dog, service dog, or everyday companion.

If you think that you are experienced enough for this responsibility, you can surely benefit from having one of them in your life.

John Carter

My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially cats and dogs. I've got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.

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