The 10 Most Popular Herding Dog Breeds

Herding dogs are known for their exceptional intelligence, agility, and loyalty. They are commonly used to help herd livestock, but they also make wonderful family pets due to their high energy levels and strong work ethic. If you are considering adding a herding dog to your family, here are the 10 most popular breeds to consider:

1. Border Collie

The Border Collie is widely considered to be the most intelligent dog breed. They are known for their intense focus and ability to quickly learn and execute commands. Border Collies are highly energetic and thrive on mental and physical stimulation.

2. Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherds are highly trainable and versatile dogs. They are known for their striking coat patterns and their strong desire to work alongside their owners. Australian Shepherds are also known for their affectionate and loyal nature.

3. German Shepherd

German Shepherds are known for their versatility and their unwavering loyalty. They are often used as police and military dogs due to their intelligence and strong work ethic. German Shepherds are also loving and protective family pets.

4. Collie

Collies are best known for their starring role in the classic TV show "Lassie." They are gentle, sensitive, and highly intelligent dogs. Collies are also known for their beautiful coats and graceful appearance.

5. Shetland Sheepdog

Often referred to as "Shelties," Shetland Sheepdogs are highly intelligent and trainable. They are known for their keen sense of hearing and their strong desire to please their owners. Shelties are also known for their elegant, long coats.

6. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Corgis are known for their low-set bodies and big personalities. They are affectionate, loyal, and intelligent dogs. Pembroke Welsh Corgis are also known for their playful and spirited nature.

7. Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois are highly intelligent and driven dogs. They are often used as working dogs in areas such as search and rescue, police work, and military roles. Belgian Malinois are also known for their protective and loyal nature.

8. Old English Sheepdog

Old English Sheepdogs are known for their shaggy coats and gentle, affectionate nature. They are intelligent and adaptable dogs, and they make wonderful family pets. Old English Sheepdogs are also known for their silly and playful demeanor.

9. Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dogs are known for their endurance and their strong herding instincts. They are highly energetic and require plenty of physical and mental stimulation. Australian Cattle Dogs are also known for their courageous and loyal nature.

10. Icelandic Sheepdog

Icelandic Sheepdogs are known for their cheerful and friendly disposition. They are highly adaptable and can thrive in both rural and urban settings. Icelandic Sheepdogs are also known for their alert and energetic nature.


Herding dogs are a special group of breeds that are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and strong work ethic. Whether you are looking for a working partner on the farm or a loving family companion, herding dogs have a lot to offer. Each of the 10 most popular herding breeds mentioned here brings something unique to the table, so take the time to research and consider which breed would be the best fit for your lifestyle and needs.


What types of activities are best for herding dogs?

Herding dogs thrive on activities that engage both their bodies and their minds. This can include activities such as agility training, obedience training, herding trials, and even canine sports such as flyball or dock diving.

Are herding dogs good with children?

Many herding breeds are excellent with children, as they are often protective and loyal towards their families. However, it is important to properly socialize and train any breed of dog to ensure they are comfortable and well-behaved around children.

Do herding dogs require a lot of grooming?

Some herding breeds have high-maintenance coats that require regular grooming and brushing, while others have shorter, more manageable coats. It is important to consider the grooming needs of a specific breed before bringing one into your home.

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