A shepherd dog (also known as sheep dog or sheepdog) is a type of working dog used by shepherds to herd and/or protect their flocks. The expression may refer to distinct breeds that are recognised by Kennel Clubs, and it may also describe non-purebred types of dogs that are used by shepherds for these purposes.
The two main types of shepherd dogs are:
- Herding dogs, used to herd sheep and other livestock
- Livestock guardian dogs, used to guard sheep and other livestock
The British Kennel Club classifies herding and livestock guardian dogs in its Pastoral Group, whereas the American Kennel Club uses the Herding Group for herding and the Working Group for livestock guardian dogs. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale classifies herding dogs in its Group 1, section 1 and livestock guardian dogs in Group 2, section 2.2.
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