Did you know that Take Your Dog To Work Day is June 24th? Of course, Man’s Best Friend actually has been working with us for a very long time. While today our canine pals can be found working a variety of jobs, some pups are still hard at work in one of their original fields: herding. A local Westminster, MD vet offers some insight on herding dogs below.
As you may know, the AKC has divided our canine buddies into seven distinct groups. The herding group contains some of the most popular breeds, including the Australian Shepherd, Border Collie, German Shepherd, and Collie. The adorably fluffy English Sheepdog is also a member, as is the incredibly smart Blue Heeler. While most of the dogs in this group are medium to large, there are also a few smaller breeds. Corgis are actually herding dogs, as are the small but fierce Puli, which resembles an adorable panting mop.
Herding dogs have been bred and trained to herd cattle for thousands of years. At this point, it’s become instinctive to them. You may actually find Fido trying to corral your family, particularly your children. If your pooch ever nips at someone’s heels, that’s probably what he’s doing!
One thing we can say about this group of pups? They are very, very smart. In fact, many dogs in the herding group rank in the top ten of most intelligent pups. The Border Collie is actually in the number one spot, but the German Shepherd, Shetland Sheepdog (aka Sheltie), and Australian Cattle Dog also made the list.
Herding dogs tend to be smart, active, and energetic. Put these things together, and you have a pet that needs a lot of entertainment, exercise, and stimulation. Don’t let Fido get bored! Keep your pup occupied by providing plenty of toys and playtime, and taking time to walk him daily. Your canine pal may quickly get tired of the same old same old walking route, so change things up by taking him to parks and trails regularly. It’s also worth noting that many herding dogs have thick coats, and require careful grooming. That said, these lovable, devoted pups can make absolutely wonderful pets!
Please contact us with questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care. As your local Westminster, MD animal clinic, we’re always happy to help!