Shepherd dogs are an interesting type when it comes to canines; they cover different breeds and have for thousands of years performed useful functions for their masters. They have been used to herd and guard livestock. These dog breeds have proved to be invaluable in warding off predators such as wolves, foxes, large cats, and even bears. These breeds have evolved and developed all over the world and present interesting studies in similarity and contrast. We’ve all heard about the German Shepherd but there exist many awesome dog types all over the world. Let us take a look at some of them.
- English Shepherd – This animal comes from America. The name is derived from the fact that the ancestors of the English Shepherd were farm dogs from England. These dogs were very popular up until the twentieth century in farms and homesteads across America. The animals are energetic and have to be trained firmly from the very beginning. They can weigh up to 60 pounds and are up to 20 inches at the withers.
- Caucasian Shepherd – This is a big dog and an ancient one. The Russians, Georgians, and Azerbaijanis have valued the Caucasian Shepherd because of its usefulness. It protects herds of livestock from vicious predators. It is common for the animals to touch 27 inches at the withers and tip the scales at 110 pounds. These giant dogs are not meant for apartment living and warm climates. Bring one home if you can route its energy and independent nature towards useful work.
- Anatolian Shepherd Dog – The Anatolian dog has the reputation for being one of the best herders. Peasants in the Anatolian mountains of Turkey have held this animal in high regard for thousands of years. It is a huge animal by any standards and can touch an impressive 29 inches in height. These dogs can live up to 15 years and there are few predators that want to risk a showdown with the 150 pounds hunk of muscle that the Anatolian dog is. Hip dysplasia and musculo-skeletal conditions are common with these large dogs.
- Australian Shepherd Dog – The Australian Shepherd was first bred in America and its ancestors are the hardy dogs from the Pyrenees Mountains of Spain. The terrain and weather condition between this region in Spain and parts of California being the same, the Australian Shepherd dogs quickly found favor across California and Arizona. This herding dog enjoys learning new things; it can weigh 65 pounds and reach a height of 23 inches at the withers. As with all shepherd dog breeds, they too need a lot of exercise.
- Dutch Shepherd Dog – Dutch Shepherd dogs come from…not America but Holland. This is not a big dog but still at an impressive 25 inches in height and 67 pounds in weight you want to give this one a wide pass when it is guarding livestock. These dogs have a well-deserved reputation for being useful in more ways than one. Dutch Shepherds sport long hair, short hair, or a wire hair coat. These animals are popular in the Netherlands but are only just beginning to attract attention in North America.
Shepherd dogs make wonderful pets. If you have a family and are looking for a dog that likes to be outdoors and give it room to run, please take a look at these 5 dog breeds to consider.