Sheepdogs take their name from what they were bred and trained to do -- work with sheep. This work can involve herding sheep as they are moved, or guarding sheep from predators or poachers. Many sheepdogs also manage other animals, such as horses or cattle, and they often become integral working members of a farm team. Though these breeds are perfectly suited for working with livestock, many are also capable of taking on the job of loving pet. Active, intelligent, watchful, and trainable, a sheepdog may be the perfect addition to your family’s flock.
During WWII, these dogs performed amazing feats on the battlefields, serving as message carriers, ambulance dogs, and weapons transporters. Today, this breed makes a wonderful pet to owners who can provide them with plenty of stimulation. The Belgian Sheepdog needs lots of exercise, and makes a great search and rescue dog, therapy dog, guide dog, or watchdog.
A smart and faithful breed, the Catalan Sheepdog is an excellent companion pet, but tends to be wary of strangers. These dogs excel at dog sports and agility training, and require a good deal of exercise for their active personalities. Today, the Catalan Sheepdog is still commonly used for sheep herding.
The Croatian Sheepdog is an alert and energetic breed. These dogs are cautious of strangers and make excellent watchdogs. Their athletic bodies and sharp minds crave exercise, stimulation, and challenging tasks. This breed has a tendency to choose one special master to obey.
The rustic Himalayan Sheepdog is a mountain dog. This breed originated in Nepal, and is rarely seen outside of India and Nepal. Observant, territorial, and fearless, these dogs are often used for herding purposes, but also make great companion pets. The Himalayan Sheepdog requires ample outdoor space, and is not recommended for homes with other animals.
Loving, playful, and curious, Icelandic Sheepdogs are so adored in their native country of Iceland that they are portrayed on postage stamps. These are ideal family dogs who are very social, eager to please, and patient with children.
This large and fluffy dog (pictured above) has a friendly, gentle, and adaptable personality that is well suited to homes with children. The Old English Sheepdog is also very intelligent, and highly trainable.
Polish Lowland Sheepdog
A classic working dog, the Polish Lowland Sheepdog is attentive, loyal, and full of life. Their medium size makes them a good fit for any type of home, and they are good watchdogs who are often suspicious of strangers. Not a low maintenance pet, the Polish Lowland Sheepdog requires daily brushing to prevent coat mats.
Polish Tatra Sheepdog
The Polish Tatra Sheepdog is a herding dog through and through. These dogs are very independent and prefer to be outdoors, but become devoted to their family and offer protection with booming barks and self-guided vigilance. These dogs do best with regular obedience training, and get along well with other pets as well we children. This breed is still regularly used for the herding and guarding of livestock.
Small and agile, the Shetland Sheepdog is one of the most obedient dog breeds. Affectionate, devoted, and extremely intelligent, these dogs are celebrated for their amazing capabilities of tracking, herding, guarding, and performing tricks.
The Welsh Sheepdog is an active-minded dog who likes to be occupied with a task. These dogs are very protective of their owners, and will do just about anything to please them. This breed can be trained rather easily, and will act obediently as long as there is an outlet for their vast amounts of energy. Today, these dogs are still commonly used for herding livestock.
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