The Herding group, created in 1983, is the newest AKC classification; its members were formerly members of the Working group. All breeds share the fabulous ability to control the movement of other animals. 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.
Happiest in wide open spaces, ACDs are very high-energy dogs and extremely intelligent, so they need a job -- such as herding, obedience or agility -- to keep them happy.
Like many breeds within the herding group, the beauceron is happiest when assigned a task. He is eager to learn and easily trained, but may display independence. The breed's short coat does not require extensive grooming. Although the beauceron can be reserved with strangers, he is loving, loyal and protective of his family.
This high-drive breed is extremely energetic and requires exercise beyond just a walk around the block or a romp in the yard. They thrive when they have a job to do and space to run. Due to their tendency to herd objects and people, they do best with mature, well-behaved children.
The Collie is a devoted family dog, especially with children. Although they require daily walks, they can also be couch potatoes. Despite the Rough Collie's immense coat, they only need to be brushed about once a week, although the need for brushing may increase in shedding season. Collies are also a very clean breed and are noted for not having a doggie odor.
When working, Finnish Lapphunds are agile, alert and noisy. While interacting with people, however, the breed is calm, friendly, and very submissive. Lappies shed seasonally, but the fur can be easily controlled with regular brushing. Their double-coat makes them intolerant of the heat. Daily exercise is also necessary.
This breed makes a wonderful companion for active people or families and will thrive in a home where plenty of exercise is provided. While Norwegian buhunds make excellent watch dogs, they are also content to lie at your feet at the end of a hard day. Grooming is minimal -- brushing will maintain the breed's medium-to-short easy-care coat. Training wise, the buhund is considered by many to be the most trainable of the spitz breeds, but obedience training is still a necessity.
The Old English Sheepdog is an athletic animal, filled with clownish energy, and therefore requires regular exercise or a job to do. Although affectionate with his family, he may try to herd people or other objects. If the coat is of the correct texture, the breed should not be any more difficult to groom than other long-haired dogs, provided a dog is introduced to it early.
This breed will thrive in the home of an active family. The Pyrenean shepherd is dominated by his love for his work. As a companion, he is very active and enthusiastic and insists upon being involved in the day's activities whatever they may be. The Pyr Shep coat does not require much maintenance beyond a thorough brushing every few weeks.
Shelties love their families, but may be reserved at first with strangers. As a herding dog, they can be inclined to bark at and herd people. Shelties thrive on the farm, but adapt to many living situations if given proper exercise. The breed's dense double coat requires regular maintenance.