Herding Dogs

Picture of a Herding dog

Information about Herding Dogs

All of the dogs listed below belong to the collection of dogs referred to as Herding Dogs. Dogs in the Herding Group ( sometimes referred to as the Pastoral Group ) were developed to perform a variety of tasks relating mainly to the herding of livestock.




General Information about Herding Dogs

The types of livestock that these dogs are associated with are quite diverse and include sheep, cattle, reindeer and any other cloven footed animals.

The Herding groups of dogs are eminently suited to these pastoral tasks as many of the breeds have a weatherproof double coat to protect them from the elements when working in severe weather conditions.

Their natural abilities have been fully recognised and the initial livestock herding function have been extended to include police work and Search & Rescue amongst other duties.

Information about Herding Dogs characteristics

In this day and age not every Herding Dog might be called to undertake these tasks, but nevertheless, they still harbour the skills and characteristics that made the original Australian Cattle Dog breeding program successful.

Herding Dog Breed Duties and Tasks
Characteristics and features of Herding Dogs have been introduced and strengthened by breeding with animals who already demonstrated the desired traits. Breeding for appearance was only introduced in the 19th Century. Before this time dogs and puppies were bred to increase useful abilities and traits helpful for the duties they were intended for. Herding Group dogs share the amazing ability to control the movement of other animals. They also have great stamina reserves which allow them to work from dawn to dusk. The dogs are tenacious creatures who have the ability to herd animals such as cattle which are many times their size. They leap, run around frantically and nip at the heels of any animals that they are herding. Add this behaviour to aggressive barking and steely eye contact and their ability to influence much larger animals is fully understood. 


Dog photograph


Thus, the various Herding breeds,  including the Australian Cattle Dog, were bred and introduced to help man according to his specific requirements such as:

  • Herding or Droving various animals including cattle and reindeer
  • Police work
  • Tracking
  • Providing a service to handicapped owners
  • Performing Search & Rescue
  • Acting as sentries and couriers for the Armed Forces

The Herding dogs are medium to large in size. They are intelligent, active, courageous, and determined dogs who make excellent companions and respond well to firm training. Their instincts are very strong and given half a chance they will try to herd, or round up, the family.  They enjoy work and look to their owners to provide tasks to enable them to meet their instincts and be rewarded accordingly. 

Information about Herding Dogs and Hunting
To discover more about specific breeds of Herding Dogs, their origins, history, temperaments and characteristics please follow one of the following links:


Herding Dogs

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