15 Best Sheep Dog Breeds

Absolutely! Here’s a breakdown of awesome sheepdog breeds, along with key takeaways about these hardworking canines:

Types of Herding Dogs

Herding dogs come in all shapes and sizes, bred to thrive in diverse terrains. They control herds in different ways:

  • Headers: Like Border Collies, they take the lead, using intense stares and movement to keep livestock together.
  • Heelers: Including Australian Cattle Dogs and Corgis, these dogs drive animals forward, sometimes nipping at their heels.
  • Combo: Breeds like Australian Shepherds combine both herding styles for maximum efficiency.

Top 15 Sheepdog Breeds

  1. Bearded Collie: Beneath that massive coat is a graceful, energetic dog. May be stubborn, so they need early and consistent training.
  2. Border Collie: The undisputed herding champion. Incredibly smart, they need a job to do – be it herding, sports, or intense training.
  3. Shetland Sheepdog: Like miniature Collies, these smart companions are easy to train and great for agility sports.
  4. German Shepherd: Loyal and trainable, often seen in law enforcement or as dedicated family protectors.
  5. Belgian Malinois: Similar to German Shepherds, they’re athletic workaholics prized for their intensity and endurance.
  6. Polish Lowland Sheepdog: Shaggy and independent, these guardians need patient, experienced owners.
  7. Komondor: Those “mop-like” cords disguise a powerful guardian dog. Reserved with strangers but playful with family.
  8. Miniature American Shepherd: Like a smaller Aussie, great for those wanting a smart dog with less exercise needs.
  9. Australian Shepherd: Super intelligent and loyal, they love having a job. Prone to herding kids and pets if not trained.
  10. Briard: This French breed is both herder and guardian, making them watchful and affectionate family dogs.
  11. Icelandic Sheepdog: Viking descendants, they’re versatile farm dogs who thrive with lots of activity.
  12. Australian Cattle Dog: Bred for tough Aussie conditions, they’re tireless workers and need a LOT of mental and physical stimulation.
  13. Puli: Their corded coats are iconic. They’re smart and energetic, needing work or they’ll invent their own ‘herding’ activities.
  14. Old English Sheepdog: Gentle giants with a funny ‘bobtail’. Protective without aggression, preferring to pin threats than attack outright.
  15. Great Pyrenees: Majestic mountain guardians, big enough to protect against bears! Their thick coat needs significant upkeep.

Key Takeaways

  • Born to Work: Sheepdogs NEED mental and physical outlets to thrive. Not ideal for inactive lifestyles.
  • Training is Key: Their intelligence and herding instincts can backfire without consistent training and focus.
  • Amazing Companions: When properly exercised and trained, these breeds are loyal, protective, and amazing family dogs.
  • Research is Crucial: Match your lifestyle to the energy level and grooming needs of the breed you choose!

Remember: A happy sheepdog is a working sheepdog (even if that ‘work’ is learning tricks or agility courses). If you’re up for an active, devoted best friend, these breeds are incredible!

15 Top And Best Sheep Dog Breeds :

Sheepdog is suitable for people who love sports and travel. It will be difficult for pensioners and inactive owners to cope with her energy, which is fraught with the appearance of destructive behavior.

Herding dogs manage their flocks in slightly different ways. For example, the border collie stays in the lead of the herd and uses its piercing gaze to deter wanderers and keep the herd gathered.

Heelers are dogs that drive animals forward, such as Australian cattle dogs or corgis. They typically follow the herd. Several breeds, like the Old English sheepdog and Australian shepherd, combine both. So, see below the top 15 sheep dogs breed.

1. Bearded Collie:

A rather large dog, which, due to its very long and thick coat, may seem massive, but it is not. If you remove the fur, it turns out that the Bearded Collie is built quite gracefully, he has a light skeleton, high paws, and a rather long muzzle.

Bearded collies are clever dogs with high exercise requirements that have their origins as herding dogs in Scotland. They can be a little stubborn as well, so it’s crucial to begin obedience training early and be consistent with them. They enjoy open areas where they may run freely and require a lot of care to thrive.

Bearded collies fell in love with shepherds, because they turned out to be very unpretentious, strong, and long shaggy hair protected them from bad weather and thorny bushes.

By the way, the name of Scottish Cattle Dogs correctly sounds like “collie dog”, and collies are a breed of black-headed sheep that they herd.

2. Collie:

In the British Isles, Border Collies have been used to herd sheep for more than a century. These dogs, who may be the most intellectual in the world, require a task, whether it is herding or preparation for a dog sport. Keeping a border collie entertained is difficult.

The breed was bred to look after sheep on farms. Aggression and collies are incompatible concepts, however, wolves never attacked the owner’s lands guarded by these large dogs, as they were afraid of them.

Initially, all representatives of the breed had a dark color. It is believed that their homeland is Scotland. The breed spread in Europe thanks to the nomadic Scottish tribes who came to England.

Through selective breeding, light collies have emerged that are far superior to their ancestors in terms of size and working potential.

3. Shetland Sheepdog:

Easily confused with a collie. Their main difference is miniaturization. Because of her, four-legged poor fellows almost lost their jobs. Giant sheep, bred by British farmers in the 19th century, completely refused to listen to those who were smaller than them.

As a result, the breed was saved by enthusiasts who achieved international recognition and popularization of these smartest quadrupeds.

Shetland sheepdogs, sometimes known as Shelties, are energetic, agile herding dogs that have their origins in Scotland’s Shetland Islands.

They tend to be simple to train because they are so bright and eager to please. Dog games like agility and flying disc are great for these athletic, extroverted dogs because they help them burn off some energy.

Despite being much smaller, these dogs resemble their relative, the rough collie. They have comparable traits and are intelligent, sociable, and loving creatures. They are good watchdogs since they are fiercely devoted to their families.

4. German Shepherd:

Possibly the first breed that springs to mind when you hear the word “shepherd dog” is the German shepherd. The German breed was created to work on farms and cattle herding dogs, but it is also highly regarded in law enforcement. German shepherds are frequently exceptionally smart, devoted, and trainable.

The most popular type of shepherd is. Thanks to their unusually developed intelligence and obedience, these four-legged animals constantly appear in TV shows and films about the police.

Among the most intelligent breeds, they take an honorable 3rd place, do not strive for independence, and are happy to learn new teams.

The owner of the “Germans” is always in the first place. For the sake of his protection, they are ready to sacrifice their lives, so such a responsible defender can be entrusted with a calm soul to a child.

These animals treat children with special awe and love. They can harm the kids only by chance, without calculating their strength during the game.

5. Belgian Malinois:

One of four closely related Belgian herding breed is the Belgian Malinois. For good reason, there are a lot of Belgian Malinois who work in law enforcement. These dogs are able to endure long days of labor.

They require an owner who will properly teach them because they are intelligent and will push themselves to the maximum.

This breed originates in Belgium at the end of the 19th century. Belgian sheepdog breeders noticed that over the long years of breeding in the country, local shepherd dogs began to differ greatly from their closest relatives German or Scottish.

And more and more often they are not bred to herd herds but as guards and companion dogs. Then they decided to separate the Belgian Shepherd into a separate breed, and later it split into four subspecies, which became separate breeds.

The names of the breeds were given according to the regions where they were most popular. Long-haired Belgians, red-haired with a black mask were called Tervuren, pure black with long silky hair Groenendael, fawn shepherd dogs with coarse hair were called Laekenois, and short-haired with a black mask became Malinois.

In 1892, Professor Adolf Royle recorded these differences in the breed standard. Dog breeders have studied the personal qualities of Belgian Shepherds and have come to the conclusion that they are distinguished by agility, intelligence, and obedience.

6. Polish Lowland Sheepdog:

As livestock guardian dogs, the Polish lowland sheepdog is well-liked in that country. This breed requires a devoted owner because it is headstrong, animated, and confident.

It needs to be brushed daily due to its thick, double coat of shag. Also, this dog needs intensive training because of how difficult it can be to train this type of dog. The foundation stock for bearded collies was probably this breed together with Scottish herding dog breeds.

7. Komondor:

Komondors resemble revived mops. In adolescence, their hair becomes tangled into dense cords, and up to this point, it resembles ordinary astrakhan fur.

Non-standard appearance is a unique element of disguise. With its help, dogs easily mix with a herd of sheep, catching attacking predators by surprise.

The long isolation of the homeland of the Komondor excluded its mating with other breeds. This made it possible to avoid genetic diseases and maintain a fairly high life expectancy.

“Hungarians” are friendly and sociable. They mature for a very long time and retain their childish restlessness for up to 2-2.5 years.

8. Miniature American Shepherd:

The tiny American shepherd has a lot of intelligence and drive, just like its larger Australian shepherd cousin. But because of its little size, it’s a little bit simpler to work out than a bigger shepherd. American miniature shepherds are well-liked by equestrians and frequently get along well with horses.

The Miniature American Shepherd is one of the youngest breeds. She was bred in the 60s in California by selecting small Australian Shepherds. According to some reports, the blood of various small dogs similar in phenotype was added to them. Doris Cordova of Mink, California was one of the first to breed miniature Aussies.

9. Aussie:

The Aussie is an athletic, flexible dog of medium size, slightly elongated. These dogs are very muscular and powerful enough to work all day without sacrificing the speed and agility needed to manage livestock.

The dog’s double coat is weather resistant, with an outer coat of medium texture and length. Each of these colors may have orange tan or white markings in various combinations on the face, chest, and legs.

The Aussie is one of the most intelligent and friendly breeds. She is very devoted to her master and adores the rest of the family, which includes not only people but also other pets.

The Aussie is just happy if she can please her beloved person, and this wonderful dog catches his desires just on the fly. Moreover, she comprehends them and sometimes finds such witty solutions that even a person would not have thought of.

10. Briard:

This smart, active sheep herding dog is from the same region of France that produces the well-known Brie cheese. The adaptable Briard was a herder and flock keeper.

This dual-purpose dog was beloved and respected by the French. The Briard was a common breed on French farms for a very long time. The breed is also quite affectionate and enjoys human attention, although it is brutal in the fields.

11. Icelandic Sheepdog:

The sole native breed of Iceland is the Icelandic sheepdog. More than a thousand years ago, Viking settlers brought the progenitors of this dog to Iceland.

Medium-sized dogs can do a variety of farm tasks, including protection, and are skilled at herd livestock. The breed needs room to run loose since it needs a lot of exercise.

12. Australian Cattle Dog:

Australian cattle dogs were created to herd cattle in the Australian Outback during periods of heavy rain and very hot weather. Collies, Dalmatians, and even dingos are in their past. These canines are sharp, resilient, and active.

They make excellent running partners and require a regular, intense workout. They also need cerebral exercise from obedience training, dog sports, and puzzle games.

13. Puli:

In Hungary, lands have been protected and sheep have been herded for centuries using the Puli. The modern Puli still has the impulse to guard and watch, as well as the instinct to gather and drive a flock of sheep.

If there are no sheep nearby, the Puli will herd any moving object, including children, dogs, and chickens. While out with the flock, its thick corded coat, which resembles a mop, shields it from the environment and predators.

14. Old English Sheepdog:

Old English sheepdogs are very friendly. Aggression is alien to them, but this does not at all prevent them from repelling predators and other intruders.

Instead of a direct attack with teeth and claws, they prefer to pin the intruder in a corner and hold him there with their weight until the owner arrives.

The main feature is a short tail. He appeared thanks to the ingenuity of the British. In the 18th century, a tax was introduced on the territory of England on all four-legged pets, except for service ones.

In addition to a certain job, they were distinguished by a docked tail, and it was this that the tax collectors checked. For this reason, the demand for docking has skyrocketed, leaving most dogs with tiny stumps instead of their former luxury.

15. Great Pyrenees:

Sheep Dog Breeds

Great Pyrenees mountain dogs are fierce guard dogs that congregate in open areas. One of the biggest sheepdog breeds in the world, it can defend itself against wolf and brown bear assaults.

When operating at a great altitude in the mountains, the Great Pyrenees is shielded from the weather by their thick coat.

Great Pyrenees dogs guard the flock’s perimeter while continuously retracing their steps and keeping an eye out for any threats. In the face of danger, they remain composed and patient while also acting swiftly to defend the flock.


Sheepdogs are renowned for being obedient, quick, brave, and friendly. Be sure you have the means to provide one of these new pals with the training and exercise they require before adopting them. Taking care of and moving your sheep will be ten times easier if you have a sheepdog.

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at ItsAboutDog.com.

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