Shepherd Breeds
Other Shepherd Breeds

10 Shepherd Dog Breeds Herding For Your Attention

There are many different interesting and fascinating types of shepherd breeds in the dog world. From the popular and common household companion, German Shepherd, to the rare and exotic Blue Bay Shepherd. They all have interesting and unique characteristics that make them special. This in depth article will look at 10 beautiful breeds with some interesting facts, information, pictures and links to full profiles of each dog.

1. American Tundra Shepherd Dog

American Tundra Shepherd Dog

The American Tundra Shepherd is a rare and amazingly beautiful Shepherd Breed. It is a hybrid dog that was developed by crossing a German Shepherd with an Alaskan Tundra Wolf.

It is large in stature and quite imposing due to it’s significant structure and big powerful body. They are extremely smart and have a loyal and noble temperament. They are extremely alert and attentive to their surroundings.

Quick History:

The breed was developed by Frank Catania in the late nineteen sixties under a special government program, the “ATS Project.” Following the shutdown of the program at the conclusion of the Vietnam war, Frank decided to dedicate his life and continued the project on his own. He setup shop in Edwardsville, Kansas and the rest was history.

Frank spent over forty years breeding, developing and training the breed. He was an amazing man who accomplished most of his work as a quadriplegic due to a broken neck he suffered in a horseback riding incident. His foundation carries on the spirit of his accomplishments with the breed.

Physical Characteristics:

  1. Males stand between 27″-33″ tall and weigh between 100-140 pounds.
  2. Females stand between 24″-27″ tall and weight between 85-100 pounds.
  3. Big, strong and powerful bodies with nicely defined heads.
  4. Powerful forequarters and hindquarters with large fluffy tails.
  5. Several coat color combinations that include black, brindle, brown, cream, gray, tan and white. Markings can be cream, silver, tan and white.

For more information on their exercise, grooming, health, nutrition and training check out our their complete profile!

2. Anatolian Shepherd Dog

Anatolian Dog Breed

The big and beautiful Anatolian Shepherd is a semi-popular breed in the working group of dogs who’s heritage dates back thousands of years.

It was developed from the purebred Turkish Kangal Shepherd which was used as a livestock guardian by goat and sheep herders.

Their distinct features which include a cream color herculean body, black facial accents and a big fluffy curly tail make them very alluring.

Quick History:

The breed’s name is derived from the word “Anatolia” which refers to a peninsula in Turkey also called Asia Minor. Their origins go way back to the original Turkish Shepherd, known as “Copen Kopegi” or “shepherd’s dog,” that was used to guard livestock.

Due to harsh weather and extremely cold temperatures, the breed developed the ability to endure and survive some of the roughest scenarios in the high plateau in central Anatolia. This cemented their status as a leader among flock guarding dogs. This breed’s history goes so far back that many believe the early books of the bible refer to a primitive version of the breed.

Physical Characteristics:

  1. Males can stand up to 29″ tall and weigh between 110-150 pounds.
  2. Females can stand up to 27″ tall and weight between 80-120 pounds.
  3. Body and head are big, powerful and symmetrical.
  4. Muscular forequarters and hindquarters with high set curly fluffy tails.
  5. Cream color coat with distinctive black markings on the face specifically the muzzle, nose and ears.

For more information on their exercise, grooming, health, nutrition and training check out their complete profile!

3. Australian Shepherd Dog

Australian Shepherd Dog

The visually stunning and incredibly smart Australian Shepherd is very popular ranking number 17 by the American Kennel Club out of 197 different breeds.

This medium size dog is full of energy, super smart and very work oriented making it one of the best herding dogs around. It is also a wonderful family companion and very loyal.

Adding to their Aussie appeal, they will sometimes have two different color eyes due to the condition, heterochromia.

Quick History:

The story of this breed dates back to the 1800’s. During that time period some of Europe’s finest herders, known as the “Basques,” bred the world-renowned Pyrenean Shepherd, an ancestor to the Aussie.

Following in the footsteps of Australia’s Anglo Emigres who were searching for for prime cattle ranching land, the Basques traveled to the continent, a mecca for sheep herders. During this time, they developed and refined the breed crossing them with Border Collies and Collies imported from Britain.

The Basques eventually journeyed to California with their dogs who were admired by California ranchers. They mistakenly thought the herding breed was from Australia and the name was born. The breed was perfected in the United States and became a staple of Cowboys and Ranchers.

Physical Characteristics:

  1. Males stand 20″-23″ tall and weigh between 50-65 pounds.
  2. Females stand 18″-21″ tall and weight between 40-55 pounds.
  3. Body is medium size with a level back that is tight from the withers to the hip joints.
  4. Forequarters and hindquarters are moderately set with strong bones.
  5. Coat colors include black, black tricolor, blue merle, merle, red, red merle, red tricolor.

For more information on their exercise, grooming, health, nutrition and training check out their complete profile!

4. Belgian Malinois Dog

Belgian Malinois Dog

The hardworking and smart Belgian Malinois is a medium size herding dog that has many similarities to the infamous German Shepherd.

Known by enthusiasts as “mals,” this amazing breed is confident, intelligent and able to perform a variety of tasks.

They are commonly used by the police and military due to their agility and alertness. They are strong and powerful canines with beautiful colors.

Quick History:

The breed is one of four variations of Belgian Shepherds. The other three are the Laekenois, Tervuren and Groenendael. It is also referred to as the Belgian Sheepdog or Chien de Berger Belge in other countries.

They are named after the city of Malines which is located in the northwestern region of Belgium. It all began when some serious dog lovers went on the hunt for some first-rate working canines. They were bred to perform at a high level and a top choice of Belgian cattlemen and sheepherders.

The breed was brought to the United States in 1911 by Cattlemen and flourished. Their popularity increased spurred by the fact that many “Mals” served in World War 1. Their popularity unfortunately decreased following the Great Depression. However they made a comeback in the sixties and returned to their previous stature.

Physical Characteristics:

  1. Males stand 24″-26″ tall and weigh between 60-80 pounds.
  2. Females stand 22″-24″ tall and weight between 40-60 pounds.
  3. Body and head are strong and evenly proportioned.
  4. Forequarters and hindquarters are firm and powerful but not bulky.
  5. Coat colors include tan, black-tipped fawn and mahogany.

For more information on their exercise, grooming, health, nutrition and training check out their complete profile!

5. Blue Bay Shepherd Dog

Blue Bay Shepherd

The beautiful and visually stunning Blue Bay Shepherd is a cross between the European German Shepherd and a Wolf Dog. These amazing creatures have an amazing blue tint to their long black coats.

It is a extremely loving and very loyal to its owner and family much like that of the GSD. It doesn’t carry the stigma of being classified as a wolf because its closest wolf ancestor is five generations away on the breeding spectrum.

The breed is in the development stages at Southern Breeze Ranch located in Palm Bay, Florida.

Quick History:

The breed’s journey began when founder, Vicki Spencer decided to develop a dog that melded the most desirable traits of the noble and loyal German Shepherd with looks of a wolf. She began her odyssey by searching for “The perfect foundation GSD’s.”

She had a difficult time finding dogs with the particular shade of blue that she was looking for but she eventually overcame the odds. Vicki was contacted by a French breeder who’s specialty was “Old German Shepherds,” also referred to as Altdeustsche Schaferhund’s. She visited the breeders website and found exactly what she was looking for.

She purchased two brother and sister puppies with the names Jordan and Passion. Vicki subsequently bred them with two Wolf Dogs, Dylan and Slate, who had “Eastern Timber” wolf in their bloodline. Both pairs mated and the result was two litters of the first Blue Bays who were double first cousins.

Physical Characteristics:

  1. Gorgeous wolf-like facial attributes.
  2. Pretty long furry coats with a blue hue.
  3. Loving friendship and fierce protection of a GSD.
  4. A broad stature with level backs similar to the old German Shepherd.
  5. No stigma of being characterized as a wolf since the Wolf Dogs used for breeding were five generations away from pure wolf.

For more information on their exercise, grooming, health, nutrition and training check out their complete profile!

6. Bohemian Shepherd Dog

Bohemian Shepherd Dog

The Bohemian Shepherd is a unique and rare medium sized sheep dog with a beautiful black and brown coat. They are athletic, bustling with energy and extremely intelligent.

Many of their traits resemble that of the GSD including endurance, physical appearance and temperament.

They are super friendly, very quick and highly devoted. They’re successful in multiple fields including pastoral work, Schutzhund Training, search and rescue, service, tracking and more. They also make great family companions.

Quick History:

The breed gets its name from the Kingdom of Bohemia, the land where the first breeding took place. It started in 1325 when Germany was attempting to broaden their borders into Bohemia. Unsuccessful, the Chodove people were ordered to serve as guards.

The Bohemians allowed them to breed a dog with the alertness to guard and patrol their borders. The dog, known as the Chodsky Pes is what we call the Bohemian Shepherd today. The breed was forgotten after the war but made a comeback in 1984.

The breed was finally officially registered in 1985. The first litter was born that same year.

Physical Characteristics:

  1. Males stand 21″-22″ tall and weigh between 40-60 pounds.
  2. Females stand 19″-21″ tall and weight between 37-53 pounds.
  3. Body is level and firm. Head is noble and refined.
  4. Forequarters and hindquarters are long and muscular.
  5. Coat colors include black with tan markings.

For more information on their exercise, grooming, health, nutrition and training check out their complete profile!

7. Dutch Shepherd Dog

Dutch Shepherd Dog

The Dutch Shepherd is a super smart, very alert herding dog that is bursting with energy.

The breed is believed to be a descendant of herding dogs that were used to develop the Belgian Shepherd and GSD because of their close resemblance.

The main difference and distinguishable trait is it’s beautiful brindle color. It is very loyal and easy to train.

Quick History:

The breed originates from the Netherlands. Farmers used the canine to herd animals and watch over the children to protect them from any intruders. They are extremely versatile and regularly referred to as a “Jack-of-all-trades.” They are strong dogs and played several different roles on the farm.

Through the sands of time, The breed along with other sheep dogs were replaced and the land was used for other purposes. These days they can be found in new occupations including police work, search and rescue and helping the blind. They are still used occasionally for their original purpose.

Although they are a pretty rare breed to this day, there was a time when this breed almost fell to extinction. This was due to a halt in breeding in the Netherlands during World War II. Thankfully they overcame the odds and continue to thrive to this day.

Physical Characteristics:

  1. Males can stand up to 24″ tall and weigh between 50-70 pounds.
  2. Females can stand up to 23″ tall and weight between 50-70 pounds.
  3. Body and head are firm and proportionate.
  4. Forequarters and hindquarters are powerful with a lot of muscles.
  5. Coat colors include gold brindle, silver brindle and yellow.

For more information on their exercise, grooming, health, nutrition and training check out their complete profile!

8. German Shepherd Dog

GSD Breed

By far the most popular of these breeds is the loving, loyal and super smart GSD. This large breed is known for its big ears and protective nature.

It is ranked number two on the AKC’s list of popular dogs and for good reason. This herding group canine is great for families providing friendship and security in one loving package.

They make great service dogs and can be seen assisting the disabled, police, military and search and rescue. They are also a leader in the German sport of Schutzhund Training, a competition that involves three distinct areas of training.

Quick History:

The origins of the breed go back to the late 1800’s in Germany. It began to rise in popularity close to the beginning of World War I. For a period of years, its official name was the “Alsatian Wolf Dog.”

Captain Max Von Stephanitz, a career captain for the German Calgary, is credited with discovering the breed. His mission was to establish a German dog breed that would be unrivaled as a herding dog. He conceived the first German Shepherd Dog Club and spent 35 years developing and perfecting the breed.

As the need for herding dogs decreased, the GSD shifted to a K-9 working dog and became the preferred choice for the police and military. They have had many notable moments in history including search and rescue missions after the attack on the Twin Towers.

Physical Characteristics:

  1. Males stand 24″-26″ tall and weigh between 65-90 pounds.
  2. Females stand 22″-24″ tall and weight between 50-70 pounds.
  3. Head is impressive, finely sculpted and strong. Body is long, muscular and balanced.
  4. Forequarters and hindquarters are muscular and in nice accord.
  5. Coat colors include bi-color, sable, solid black and tan with a black saddle.

For more information on their exercise, grooming, health, nutrition and training check out their complete profile!

9. Kangal Shepherd Dog

Kangal Shepherd Dog

The Turkish Kangal Shepherd is a beautiful livestock guardian that has been a staple in the mountains of Turkey for thousands of years.

Their courageous nature and instinct to protect makes them perfect for guarding flocks from predators such as bears, jackals and wolves in their native homeland.

They have beautiful cream color coats and a signature black mask covering their muzzle, nose and ears. This allows them to seamlessly blend in with their flock.

They are super fast and amazing diggers. They remain guardians of livestock to this day just as they have been for so many years.

Quick History:

The breed originates from the Central Anatolia Region of Turkey. They first arrived in the United Kingdom in 1965 and were known as the Anatolian or Karabash Dog. That name was ultimately replaced with “Anatolian Shepherd Dog” in 1984 after mixed breed Turkish Dogs were imported.

In the following years, several breeders in the UK began to breed them with different mixes trying to get a favored outcome. Simultaneously other breeders remained true to the breed and continued to keep the true Turkish Kangal Shepherd pure.

Purebred Karabash Dogs are presently registered as Turkish Kangal Dogs in the United Kingdom by the Turkish Kennel Club or KIF. In the United States, organizations like the FCI and AKC register the breed as the Anatolian Shepherd solely.

Physical Characteristics:

  1. Males stand 29″-32″ tall and weigh between 90-130 pounds.
  2. Females stand 28″-31″ tall and weight between 90-130 pounds.
  3. Head is big, broad and partially rounded. Body is lean and powerful.
  4. Forequarters and hindquarters are muscular and hearty.
  5. Coat colors include cream to fawn, to dun or steel gray with trademark black or dark mask along with the ears.

For more information on their exercise, grooming, health, nutrition and training check out their complete profile!

10. Panda German Shepherd Dog

Panda GSD

The beautiful and rare Panda German Shepherd has a piebald coat that is 35% white due to a unique genetic mutation of its “KIT” gene. Their name is derived from the signature white spotting due to the anomaly.

The breed is still considered a full German Shepherd breed and carries the exact same DNA. Unfortunately for this dog, many breeders view its miscoloring as a manifestation of cross breeding.

Quick History:

The breed’s rare genetic mutation was first spotted over twenty years ago in a female GSD with the name “Frank von Phenom.” The puppy, whose parents were traditional color, was the black sheep of the litter and was born with two blue eyes.

Curious about the unusual tricolor coat, the owner took the dog to the Ohio State University Veterinary Hospital where it was given DNA testing to determine the cause of its one of a kind mutation. It was confirmed that its parents were definitely purebred German Shepherd with no indication of any white color in their heritage.

Frankie would eventually go on to breed with a traditional color German Shepherd and have puppies as an adult. Her first litter consisted of three puppies with the signature piebald color but without the blue eyes. The fourth puppy was normal black and tan color. Those three puppies were the first Panda GSDs ever born.

Physical Characteristics:

  1. Males can stand up to 26″ tall and weigh between 75-85 pounds.
  2. Females can stand up to 24″ tall and weight between 75-85 pounds.
  3. Head is strong with nice definition. Body is long and dynamic.
  4. Forequarters and hindquarters are athletic and stout.
  5. Coat colors include black, blue, liver, sable, tan and white.

For more information on their exercise, grooming, health, nutrition and training check out their complete profile!

In Closing:

There are many amazing shepherd breeds in the world but these are some of the best and well known. Make sure you click the links at the bottom of each profile for a complete and full biography of each dog. Each article goes into way more detail. You may learn something that you have never heard before.

Please leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

Do you know of or have one that you would like us to include? Let us know! We would love to hear about your personal experience with any of these wonderful canines!

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