Herding group

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Herding Group is the name of a breed group of dogs, used by kennel clubs to classify a defined collection of dog breeds. It does not refer to one particular type of dog. How the Herding Group is defined varies among kennel clubs, and different kennel clubs may not include the same breeds in their Herding Group. Some kennel clubs do not use the term Herding Group. The international kennel club association, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, does not have a Herding Group, and includes most pastoral dogs in Group 1 Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs) and Group 2 Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid Breeds - Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs.[1]

Herding dogs[edit]

Herding dogs assist humans in the movement of livestock, especially cattle, sheep, goats and reindeer. Herding dogs are not livestock guardians, a separate type of dog that also works with livestock.

The vast majority of herding dogs, as household pets, never cross paths with a farm animal. Nevertheless, pure instinct prompts many of these dogs to gently herd their owners, especially the children of the family. In general, these intelligent dogs make excellent companions and respond beautifully to training exercises. Consequently urban owners with no access to livestock can train herding commands through herding games.[2] Furthermore, herding instincts and trainability can be measured at noncompetitive herding tests. Herding dogs that exhibit basic herding instincts can be trained to compete in herding trials.[2]

The diversity in morphology and temperament among herding dog breeds has much to do with the different demands placed on the dogs in the course of their work. The Australian Cattle Dog and the Welsh Corgi have a temperament and structure suited for "heeling" stubborn cattle; their aggressive confidence and willingness to nip and bark are especially useful in the cramped confines of a stockyard. Border Collies herd with a silent and non-aggressive "eye"—an intense stare and crouch that mimics a stalking predator—which makes them suited for working flighty sheep at great distances from the shepherd over varied terrain. Despite the name and classification as a herding dog, the German Shepherd is genetically clustered with the guardian breeds, and in the century of its existence has been used more for utility work than for stock herding.

The fluid and changing demands of herding work mean that despite individual breeds being better suited to specific climates, stock, or tasks; many herding dogs are multi-taskers suitable for a wide variety of jobs.

Herding Group breeds[edit]

American Kennel Club[edit]

The American Kennel Club Herding Group, created in 1983, is the newest AKC classification. It comprises herding dogs and livestock guardian dogs which were formerly members of the Working Group.

Dogs in the American Kennel Club Herding Group are:[3]

Australian Cattle Dog
Australian Shepherd 600.jpg
Australian Shepherd
Bearded Collie
Female Malinois 2005-01-29.jpg
Belgian Malinois
Belgian Groenendael 600.jpg
Belgian Sheepdog
Belgian Tervuren 600.jpg
Belgian Tervuren
Bergamasco shepherd dog - merle female cropped.jpg
Picard Delice Stacked.jpg
Berger Picard
Border Collie 600.jpg
Border Collie
Bouvier des Flandres.jpg
Bouvier des Flandres
Briard3 wb.jpg
Canaan Dog
Cardigan Welsh Corgi 600.jpg
Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Collie Ursula.JPG
Elio v Schaerlig im Juni 2007 klein.jpg
Entlebucher Mountain Dog
Finnish Lapphund
GermanShep1 wb.jpg
German Shepherd Dog
Icelandic Sheepdog Alisa von Lehenberg.jpg
Icelandic Sheepdog
Miniature Australian Shepherd red tricolour.jpg
Miniature American Shepherd
Norsk buhund.jpg
Norwegian Buhund
Old English Sheepdog
Pembroke Welsh Corgi 600.jpg
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Polski owczarek nizinny.jpg
Polish Lowland Sheepdog
Puli 600.jpg
Berger-des-Pyrenees Ellea 800x600.jpg
Pyrenean Shepherd
Shetland Sheepdog 600.jpg
Shetland Sheepdog
Perro agua.jpg
Spanish Water Dog
SwedishVallhundAgility wb.jpg
Swedish Vallhund

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fédération Cynologique Internationale breed nomenclature Archived 2008-09-11 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b Hartnagle-Taylor, Jeanne Joy; Taylor, Ty (2010). Stockdog Savvy. Alpine Publications. ISBN 978-1-57779-106-5.
  3. ^ American Kennel Club Herding Group