Herding or Pastoral Dog Breed Group

three border collies looking at camera in an autumn wood

Herding or Pastoral Dog Breed Group

Herding or Pastoral Dog Breeds

Herding or Pastoral Dog Breeds are those that traditionally assist their humans in the controlling the movement of other animals. These dogs are extremely intelligent and love to respond to their human’s commands, as well as using their own skilled judgement to make decisions!

Popular Herding or Pastoral Dog Breeds

Herding dogs are extremely popular in Ireland with the trusty farmer’s friend, the Border Collie, topping the popular breed list. Rough Collie, Bearded Collies and  Corgis are some of the other most common pastoral dog breeds in Ireland.

Depending on what kind of livestock they are bred to work with, these dogs may achieve their goal by stalking, staring, nipping, or barking.

Members of these breeds are highly intelligent and therefore need lots of physical exercise and mental stimulation or they may try to herd human members of the family!

australian shepherd puppy on ground smiling with blue toy

Things to Know About Your Herding Dog

Some important things to know about your pastoral dog:

  1. If you don’t have a flock of sheep for your herding dog to work with, your pup will need lots of human-interaction, brainwork, controlled stalking and chasing to keep them happy and fulfilled.
  2. Your herding dog will be on the go all day long, so be prepared to stay active alongside your active buddy – even if it’s raining!
  3. Lack of stimulation can cause your pastoral pup to develop behavioural problems such as excessive barking, hyperactivity, destructive behaviours, and potential aggression.

Types of Exercise and Play:

You might find that your sporting dog enjoys physical play that includes Chasing, Soft-Touch Play or Cheerleading other dogs. 

Keeping your herding dog active and mentally stimulated is the best way to ensure they stay fulfilled and happy.

What game or activity suits my pastoral dog?

Your pastoral dog will love lots of intensive exercise, free-running with varied terrain and routes.

Try games and exercise that will give your pup lots of mental stimulation and appeal to their natural interests – games that require training and focus such as agility; heelwork; dancing and reward based training.

What toys should I get my herding dog?

Our top recommendations of toys for this type of group are:

Shop Dog Toys

*Every dog is different their individual personality and interests may be different to what might be expected from their breed group. The information provided in this blog is to help you understand the typical traits and interests of your dog, but every dog is different their individual personality and interests may be different to what might be expected from their breed group. If you feel you need some additional help understanding your dog, or finding the exercise that suits them best, we recommend booking a session with a local dog trainer.

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