Working dog trainer Bret Venable says a good cattle dog is suited to whatever tasks their owner needs the most. For example, one person may need cattle driven up a single lane to a corral. Another may need goats led to pasture or cattle retrieved from a mountain grazing area. Some may be needed to drive strays back into the herd, while others are required to move the entire herd.
Venable says that the best cattle dogs come from breeders that have bred the dogs with certain genetic characteristics.
Pros of cattle dogs.
One of the chief pros of cattle dogs is they are exceedingly smart. They hardly need any training at all. The ability to herd is built into their genetics.
One of the advantages is they make exceptional guard dogs who will bark up a storm at the sight or smell of passing strangers, but who will not bite or attack.
Another of the advantages is that cattle dogs are very affectionate, meaning they are good around children, but they are not a dog that is clingy.
Cons of cattle dogs include the fact that they are double coated, meaning they shed heavily in the spring.
Additional Cons of cattle dogs include the fact that they are absolutely not an apartment dog. This is a dog that needs a lot of exercise in order to stay healthy.
In fact, the amount of exercise required is the primary of the disadvantages if you want to own a cattle dog. You have to be committed to exercise your cattle dog almost every single day.
Another of the disadvantages of having a cattle dog is that they need a job to do. Even if that job is to go chase a frisbee or play “fetch the ball,” come rain or shine, your cattle dog expects to be taken to its job.
Types of cattle dogs
There are several breeds termed “cattle dogs.”
The most popular of the types of cattle dogs is probably the Australian Cattle dog, also named a Queensland Heeler for ranching.
For a dual-purpose cattle dog and family pet, you can’t go wrong with an Australian Sheppard.
There are also Border Collies, Old English Sheepdogs, and Corgis.