18 Different Types of Shepherd Dogs - Breed Information


Shepherd dogs are highly versatile and intelligent working canines that have been bred for centuries to excel in herding livestock and protecting property. There are several different types of shepherd dogs, each with their own distinct characteristics and specialties.

Although all the dog names mentioned in this article include the term "Shepherd," it is worth noting that not all of these dogs are specifically bred for herding purposes. This may lead one to question why certain dogs bear the name "Shepherd" despite not being classified as herding dogs.

The reason some dogs have "Shepherd" in their name, despite not being classified as herding dogs, can be attributed to historical and cultural factors. The term "shepherd" has traditionally been associated with the act of guiding and protecting livestock, specifically sheep. However, over time, the term has evolved to encompass a wider range of roles and characteristics within the canine world.

For instance, German Shepherds were initially bred for herding purposes but are now known primarily for their intelligence, versatility, and loyalty, making them popular choices as search-and-rescue dogs or police K-9 units. Similarly, breeds such as Anatolian Shepherds were originally used as livestock guardian dogs rather than herders.

Consequently, while these breeds may not exhibit strong herding instincts or possess an innate ability to corral animals like Border Collies or Australian Shepherds do, they still carry the "Shepherd" moniker due to their historical connection to ancient shepherdly roles and their subsequent contributions in different domains centered around protection and service.

With that in mind, presented below are 18 dog breeds that incorporate the term "Shepherd" in their name:

A collage of Different Types of Shepherd Dogs

1- German Shepherd

A German Shepherd dog

The German Shepherd, also known as the Alsatian in the UK, is a highly intelligent and versatile breed that originated in Germany. Renowned for its exceptional work ethic and loyalty, the German Shepherd has become one of the most popular breeds worldwide. With a well-balanced temperament and strong protective instincts, it excels in various roles including police and military work, search and rescue missions, as well as service and therapy assistance. This breed is medium to large in size, exhibiting remarkable agility and endurance which renders them suited for physically demanding tasks.

German Shepherds are characterized by their confident posture, noble appearance, and distinctive two-layered coat that provides insulation against extreme weather conditions. Known for its trainability and keen sense of smell, this breed proves to be an exceptional tracker capable of detecting narcotics or explosives with great precision. The German Shepherd's intelligence and adaptability make it a capable working animal while simultaneously possessing a gentle nature that allows it to form strong bonds with humans.

2- Old German Shepherd

An Old German Shepherd dog

The Old German Shepherd Dog is the predecessor of the Standard German Shepherd, a breed that was not part of the rigorous breeding program for the modern GSD. These dogs bear a striking resemblance to the Long-Haired GSD, and as a result, they are frequently referred to as such due to their many similarities.

With a muscular build and an expressive face defined by alert eyes and erect ears, the Old German Shepherd exudes confidence and strength. Possessing a thick double coat that provides protection against harsh elements, this majestic canine is well-suited to withstand any challenging environment.

The Old German Shepherd's remarkable work ethic and unwavering devotion have made it the preferred choice for search-and-rescue missions, police work, and service dog roles. Beyond its exceptional physical attributes and unwavering determination lies a gentle spirit capable of forming deep bonds with its human companions.

3- Australian Shepherd

An Australian Shepherd dog

The Australian Shepherd dog, often dubbed as the epitome of versatility, exudes an unrivaled combination of intelligence, agility, and loyalty. Bred to work on ranches and farms, this breed's impeccable herding skills are unparalleled. With a distinctively striking appearance, characterized by a luxuriously thick coat in various color combinations and piercing eyes that seem to possess an almost human-like depth of understanding, the Australian Shepherd personifies grace and elegance.

Not only are they adept at efficiently herding livestock, but these dogs also excel in competitive dog sports such as obedience trials and agility courses due to their innate athleticism and quick-wittedness. However, owning an Australian Shepherd requires commitment; their boundless energy necessitates regular exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom-induced destructive behavior. It is through consistent training and dedicated socialization that these remarkable canines thrive best within a loving family environment where they can truly showcase their extraordinary talents.

4- Anatolian Shepherd

An Anatolian Shepherd dog

The Anatolian Shepherd dog is an exceptional breed renowned for its unmatched loyalty and formidable protective instincts. Originating from the rugged terrain of Turkey's Anatolian Plateau, this majestic canine was bred to guard and defend livestock against predators. With a muscular physique, strong legs, and large paws, the Anatolian Shepherd dog embodies strength and endurance. Its thick double coat provides insulation in extreme temperatures, while its distinctive facial expression conveys intelligence and alertness.

This breed possesses a natural instinct to protect its family and territory, making it a fearless guardian. Known for its independence and self-reliance, the Anatolian Shepherd requires firm training but rewards its owners with unwavering devotion. Its unyielding determination coupled with remarkable agility allows it to assert dominance over potential threats without unnecessary aggression. The Anatolian Shepherd's unwavering loyalty, boundless courage, and innate protective nature make it an invaluable asset in safeguarding both livestock and loved ones alike.

5- English Shepherd

An English Shepherd dog

The English Shepherd is an exceptional breed, exuding unmatched intelligence and versatility. With a commanding presence, this working dog demonstrates unwavering loyalty and unparalleled adaptability. Renowned for their adept herding abilities, English Shepherds possess an innate understanding of livestock, utilizing their keen instincts to smoothly handle even the most challenging flocks. Their sharp intellect allows them to quickly learn commands and adapt to various tasks, making them highly sought-after companions in both rural and urban environments.

This breed's remarkable problem-solving skills combined with their strong work ethic make them exceptional at numerous tasks beyond herding, such as search and rescue missions or acting as therapy dogs. Distinguished by their athletic build and legendary stamina, the English Shepherd excels in agility courses, showcasing their impressive speed and precision. With consistent training and socialization, the English Shepherd can become an invaluable addition to any loving family or working environment.

6- Belgian Shepherd

A Belgian Shepherd dog

The Belgian Shepherd is a breed of impressive intelligence, unparalleled versatility, and unwavering loyalty. Rendered in four distinct varieties – the Malinois, Tervuren, Laekenois, and Groenendael – this majestic canine epitomizes strength and elegance. Despite their wolf-like appearance, these dogs possess gentle yet assertive demeanors that make them ideal companions for experienced handlers.

Renowned for their exceptional work ethic, Belgian Shepherds excel in numerous professional fields including search and rescue, police work, and competitive dog sports. Their sharp minds require constant mental stimulation alongside rigorous physical exercise to prevent boredom-induced destructive behavior. Fearless and protective by nature, a well-socialized Belgian Shepherd effortlessly assumes the role of a reliable guardian while remaining approachable to family and friends.

7- Bohemian Shepherd

A Bohemian Shepherd dog

The Bohemian shepherd is an exceptional herding dog capable of executing complex commands with ease. Its keen senses serve as a testament to its innate ability to protect and guard flocks against any potential threats. Moreover, their unwavering loyalty distinguishes them from other breeds, making them ideal companions for dedicated owners who seek a fearless and vigilant guardian.

Their striking appearance showcases beauty combined with utmost functionality, thanks to their thick coats that shield them from harsh weather conditions while commanding attention wherever they wander. It would be remiss not to mention their tenacity and determination when faced with challenges; nothing deters these valiant canines.

8- Central Asian Shepherd

A Central Asian Shepherd dog

The Central Asian Shepherd dog, also known as the Alabai, is a majestic and highly skilled breed that hails from the rugged lands of Central Asia. This regal canine possesses an impressive appearance with its strong build, thick double coat, and muscular physique. Renowned for their remarkable guarding abilities, these dogs have been bred for generations to protect livestock and property from intruders. Their fearlessness and loyalty make them exceptional guardians, willing to put their lives on the line to defend their family and territory.

The Central Asian Shepherd dog is an intelligent breed that requires a confident and experienced owner who can provide proper socialization, training, discipline, and structure. With early socialization efforts and consistent training methods based on positive reinforcement, these formidable yet gentle giants can be loyal companions who demonstrate excellent obedience skills while still retaining their innate protective nature.

9- Miniature American Shepherd

A Miniature American Shepherd dog

Bred specifically for their herding instincts and versatility, these compact dogs are an absolute powerhouse in a smaller package. With their strikingly beautiful tri-color or solid coat patterns and mesmerizing eyes, Miniature American Shepherd dogs effortlessly capture attention wherever they go.

These dogs possess an innate desire to please their owners and excel in various dog sports such as obedience trials and herding competitions. Their sharp intellect allows them to quickly grasp complex tasks, making them highly trainable companions for dedicated individuals seeking an active lifestyle partner. Though small in stature, their energy levels are seemingly boundless, requiring ample physical and mental stimulation to keep them content.

As natural working dogs with a strong herding drive, they thrive in environments that offer plenty of space to run around and opportunities to showcase their instinctual talents. Without doubt, the Miniature American Shepherd is both captivatingly beautiful and undeniably capable.

10- King Shepherd

A King Shepherd dog

The King Shepherd is a majestic and powerful breed that embodies strength, intelligence, and loyalty. Developed in the United States in the 1990s, this regal dog is a hybrid resulting from carefully selected crosses between German Shepherds, Alaskan Malamutes, and Great Pyrenees. With its stunning appearance and sturdy built, the King Shepherd commands attention wherever it goes. Its impressively large size, muscular build, and noble stance make it an intimidating presence that few would dare to cross.

Equally impressive is its intelligence; this breed excels in obedience training and thrives on mental stimulation. Additionally, its devotion to its family is unwavering; the King Shepherd fiercely protects its loved ones and is incredibly loyal. This outstanding canine truly embodies royalty in both physicality and character making it the undisputed king of dogs.

11- White Shepherd

A White Shepherd dog

The White Shepherd dog is a magnificent breed known for its exceptional intelligence, loyalty, and beauty. With a proud and confident demeanor, the White Shepherd commands attention wherever it goes. This breed is highly trainable and excels in various dog sports such as obedience, agility, and search and rescue. Its remarkable ability to adapt to different environments makes it an ideal companion for active families or individuals seeking a versatile working dog.

With its striking white coat, which offers protection against harsh weather conditions, this breed stands out from the crowd. But it's not just their appearance that sets them apart; the White Shepherd is also known for its unwavering loyalty towards its family members and natural protective instincts. Whether serving as a steadfast guardian or devoted family pet, the White Shepherd consistently demonstrates unparalleled dedication and love.

12- White Swiss Shepherd

A White Swiss Shepherd dog

The White Swiss Shepherd dog is an awe-inspiring breed that exudes elegance, intelligence, and grace. With its striking white coat, muscular build, and intense almond-shaped eyes, this majestic creature demands attention wherever it goes. Descended from White Shepherds, these dogs were officially recognized as a distinct breed in 1991 and have since captivated enthusiasts worldwide with their exceptional devotion and loyalty.

Renowned for their keen working abilities, White Swiss Shepherds excel in various tasks such as herding, tracking, search and rescue missions, and even as therapy dogs due to their gentle nature. Their unwavering commitment to protecting their loved ones makes them exceptional guardians and family pets. Furthermore, their intelligence combined with a strong desire to please facilitates easy training sessions filled with rapid progress.

13- Caucasian Shepherd

A Caucasian Shepherd dog

The Caucasian Shepherd dog, also known as the Caucasian Ovcharka, is an awe-inspiring breed that exudes power and magnificence. Originating from the Caucasus region of Eastern Europe, this ancient breed was primarily bred to protect livestock from predators such as wolves and bears. With a bold and fearless disposition, these dogs possess unmatched strength and endurance. Their thick double coat provides insulation against extreme weather conditions, enabling them to thrive in the harshest environments.

Weighing up to 200 pounds and standing about 30 inches at the shoulder, they command respect with their imposing presence alone. Known for their intense loyalty and protective instinct, they make excellent guard dogs but require experienced handling due to their strong-willed nature. The Caucasian Shepherd dog is not recommended for novice owners but rather for those seeking a devoted companion that will fearlessly defend their loved ones when called upon.

14- Kangal Shepherd

A Kangal Shepherd dog

The Kangal Shepherd dog, with its regal and imposing presence, is a breed that commands respect. Hailing from the rugged landscapes of Turkey, this majestic canine is renowned for its unmatched skill in protecting livestock and fending off predators. It possesses a well-muscled body, harmoniously combining power and agility that enables it to swiftly chase down any threat.

Renowned for an unwavering loyalty towards its human charges, the Kangal Shepherd dog has an innate protective instinct that sets it apart from other breeds. Its thick double coat contributes to its adaptability in varying climates, providing insulation in colder temperatures and protection against scorching heat.

With piercing almond-shaped eyes that radiate intelligence and calmness, the Kangal Shepherd dog embodies vigilance and courage while exuding an air of confidence unparalleled by many other breeds. Boldly asserting its dominance as one of nature's ultimate guardians, the Kangal Shepherd dog remains unrivaled in its natural abilities to protect and preserve both livestock and loved ones alike.

15- Pyrenean Shepherd

A Pyrenean Shepherd dog

The Pyrenean Shepherd is a charismatic and spirited breed, known for its boundless energy and gleaming intelligence. With a sturdy yet compact frame, this breed is agile and quick on its feet, making it an exceptional herding dog. Their distinctive coat comes in two varieties—smooth-faced and rough-faced—and both versions boast a weather-resistant double coat that provides ample protection against the elements. Donning an alert expression and perked ears, these dogs exude an air of confidence and determination.

Their sharp senses ensure nothing goes unnoticed in their surroundings as they tirelessly guard their flock or family with unwavering loyalty. Highly adaptable to various environments, the Pyrenean Shepherd thrives on mental stimulation and regular exercise to prevent restlessness or boredom. 

This marvelous breed is not only capable of herding but also excels in obedience trials, agility competitions, and other canine sports due to its exceptional intelligence. A proud and fearless companion, the Pyrenean Shepherd undoubtedly stands out amongst its peers with its versatility, steadfastness, and unmistakable panache.

16- Dutch Shepherd

A Dutch Shepherd dog

This noble working dog is known for its exceptional skills in herding, guarding, and tracking, making it an invaluable asset in various fields such as police work, search and rescue operations, or even as a dedicated family companion. Its well-muscled body and agile movements enable it to excel in physically demanding tasks with ease.

Not only is the Dutch Shepherd highly trainable and reliable, but it also possesses a keen sense of loyalty towards its handlers and loved ones. Its intense focus during training sessions demonstrates its deep desire to please and achieve excellence. The Dutch Shepherd's sharp instincts combined with its vigilant nature make it an excellent guard dog as well.

17- Shiloh Shepherd

A Shiloh Shepherd dog

The Shiloh Shepherd, a majestic and regal breed, stands tall as a testament to the dedication and vision of its creator, Tina Barber. Bred for size, strength, intelligence, and an unwavering loyalty, these magnificent dogs possess all the desirable traits of their German Shepherd ancestors and more. With a noble presence that commands attention, the Shiloh Shepherd is an epitome of grace and power. This breed's intelligence is unparalleled, allowing them to excel in various endeavors such as search and rescue work or even therapy assistance.

Moreover, their gentle nature makes them excellent companions for families with children or other pets. With proper training and socialization from early on, the Shiloh Shepherd will emerge as a well-rounded canine companion that can bring boundless joy and security to any household lucky enough to call one their own.

18- Tatra Shepherd

A Tatra Shepherd dog

The Tatra Shepherd dog is an impressive and formidable breed that exudes power, strength, and intelligence. Originating from the Tatra Mountains in Poland, this majestic canine has been highly regarded as a guardian of livestock for centuries. With its massive size and thick white double coat, the Tatra Shepherd commands attention and respect wherever it goes. Its strong muscular build and well-proportioned body make it capable of protecting its flock from predators with ease.

This breed's natural instinct to guard and protect extends beyond livestock as they are known to be fiercely protective of their families, making them superb family pets. Furthermore, their acute intelligence allows them to quickly assess situations and take appropriate action when necessary. 

The Tatra Shepherd possesses an unwavering loyalty towards its owner, making it a steadfast companion who will go to great lengths to ensure their loved ones' safety. With its noble stature combined with unwavering loyalty and devotion, the Tatra Shepherd dog undoubtedly stands out as one of the most exceptional breeds on Earth.


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