Review of the Herding Dog Breeds

Review of the Herding Dog Breeds

Australian Cattle Dog

A “true blue” Aussie, the Australian Cattle Dog’s prime function is the movement and control of cattle in both confined and wide, open spaces.

Always alert, extremely intelligent, watchful and courageous, this breed is a tribute to the ability of the Australian stockmen who knew what they wanted in a cattle dog and set about producing it.

Naturally suspicious of strangers, and retaining the protective instincts which made him such an invaluable guardian of the stockman and his herd, the Australian Cattle Dog is still very much a working dog, even when living in the suburbs.

He likes to feel useful and is never happier than when he has a job to do, and requires physically and mentally challenging activities.

Long walks, plenty of company, and an active lifestyle are necessary to keep this dog at his happiest. In a home where these needs are not met, the breed is likely to become destructive, noisy and dominant.

The Australian Cattle Dog’s natural herding, strong protective and territorial instincts require that this breed is supervised with children.

The Australian Cattle Dog comes in colourings of blue, or red speckle.

Australian Shepherd (AKC, UKC)

Australian Shepherds are working dogs that have strong working and guarding instincts.

The Australian Shepherd is well balanced, and a rather strong dog. The strong head is in proportion to the body. The dog displays intelligence and attentive attitude.

The almond-shaped eyes are brown, blue, or amber. The triangular ears are set high on the dog’s head. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite. The tapering muzzle is rounded at the tip. The neck is slightly arched and fits well into the dog’s shoulders. The chest is deep.

The Australian Shepherd’s legs are strong and straight. The feet are oval and compact.

The Australian Shepherd’s coat of medium length is straight to wavy. It is weather-resistant. The coat colors are blue merle, red merle, red or black. White body splashes should be disqualified. The tail is normally docked, if it is longer than 4 inches.

Loyalty, courage and an easygoing nature characterize the Australian Shepherd’s temperament. They do well with children, as they adore playing and goofing around.

Naturally suspicious of strangers, Australian Shepherds need proper socialization when they are puppies. Australian Shepherds are not dog aggressive, and unlike some other breeds, do not bark at livestock when working.

Bearded Collie (AKC, UKC)

The Bearded Collie, or “Beardie” as he is popularly known, is one of Britain’s oldest breeds.

He originally came to prominence in Peebleshire, in Scotland, where he was highly prized for his sheep-herding and cattle-droving ability.

A lean, active dog whose job required a hardy constitution, intelligence, initiative, strength, stamina and speed, it remains to this day a very natural and unspoiled breed.

His long, flat, protective coat, which is such a feature of the breed, can be slate grey, reddish fawn, black, blue or any shade of grey, and brown and sandy, either with or without white markings. Like all long-coated breeds, it requires regular grooming

The Bearded Collie is nowadays primarily a much loved companion and pet, however, we must not forget his working heritage, and should ensure that he has ample opportunity for good, hard exercise.

Alert, lively and self-confident, he enjoys an active lifestyle. He delights in being included in family activities, and likes nothing better than a romp with the kids.

Devoted to his owner and with a great desire to please, the Bearded Collie revels in feeling that he has a job to do in life.

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