10 Most Popular Shepherd Dog Breeds

10 Most Popular Shepherd Dog Breeds

Author WDF Staff


There are many different jobs dogs were entrusted with. One of the most important jobs dogs had was keeping livestock safe. That is when shepherding breeds were born. Through natural selection or selective breeding, we now have more than 30 specialized canine shepherds. Some are officially recognized by major cynology institutions, and some are still working towards that goal.

In this article, we decided to bring you 10 popular dog breeds that have a “shepherd” part in their name. These dogs can herd livestock, move them from one place to another, and some are fearless protectors ready to take on nature’s most ferocious predators. These dogs are extremely intelligent, and they can perform complicated tasks.

Here are the 10 popular shepherd dog breeds:

1. German Shepherd

We need to start this list with the amazing German Shepherd. This might not be the oldest of the shepherd breeds, but it is undoubtedly the most popular on this list. German Shepherds are terrific working dogs. Next to the Belgian Malinois, they are the breed of choice for many law enforcement agencies and militaries around the world.

german-shepherd dog

German Shepherds are known for their intelligence. They are one of the smartest dog breeds in the world. That is precisely why these dogs are great service dogs and pets. However, they will need a lot of mental activity to be truly happy.

2. Dutch Shepherd

The Dutch Shepherd is closely related to the German Shepherd and Belgian Sheepdogs. In fact, a hundred years ago, these breeds were only distinguished by color. The process of selective breeding made them look more different. Nevertheless, the Dutch Shepherd shares a lot of characteristics with the other two breeds.

dutch shepherd

These dogs are considered rare. Since they come from the Netherlands, which was heavily affected by World War II, these dogs came close to extinction. Many of them were taken from their owners and trained to serve in the military. Since the breeding stopped during that time, the overall number of Dutch Shepherds fell. Luckily, breed lovers and enthusiasts started breeding them again, and their numbers are slowly rising.

3. Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is a breed that has one of the prettiest coats in all of the canine kingdom. These dogs are fluffy, active, and affectionate. They make fantastic working dogs, and their high energy levels allow them to work the whole day tirelessly. Despite their name, Australian Shepherds are not from Australia. They are an American dog breed.

australian shepherd

Another great thing about these dogs is their intelligence. This is something most shepherd dog breeds share. The popular Aussies are fantastic obedience, agility, and canicross competitors. In fact, they are very versatile and adaptive. No matter what task you give them, these dogs will adapt and learn what they need to do.

4. Bohemian Shepherd

The Bohemian Shepherd is not as popular as the first three dog breeds on this list. However, just one look at these dogs can be enough to want to have one in your life. Just like the first three shepherd dog breeds on this list, the Bohemian Shepherd is incredibly intelligent. They excel at all types of tasks and can easily be trained.

Bohemian Shepherd

These dogs come from the Chech Republic. More precisely, from the Chodsko region, which is why their original name is “Chodsky pes.” Unlike the first three breeds we mentioned, this one has a long history that spans nearly 750 years. Their numbers dropped in World War II, but luckily, the breed was saved. In 2019, the AKC registered them in their Foundation Stock Service.

5. Swiss White Shepherd Dog

If you love pure white dogs, you will love the Swiss White Shepherd Dog. These dogs are intelligent, active, and vocal. They will gladly tell you what they’re feeling, especially if you’re doing something they don’t like. They are very playful and are considered less intense than other shepherding breeds.

swiss-white-shepherd dog

If you’re looking to get one of these dogs, one thing you will have to get used to is dog hair. Their beautiful coat has two layers - the longer protective outer coat and the soft wooly undercoat. Swiss White Shepherd Dog shed quite a bit, which means you will have dog hair flying around your home.

6. Anatolian Shepherd

The first 5 breeds on the list were intelligent herding dogs. We will focus on the livestock protection dogs with the following 5. The first one is the Anatolian Shepherd dogs. These dogs are called Kangals in their native Turkey. They are probably the best livestock protection dogs in the world. They will gladly take on any predator that dares to come close to the flock they’re in charge of.

anatolian shepherd

One of the most exciting things about the Anatolian Shepherd is their bite force. This breed has the strongest bite force of all dog breeds. This is great because they have to be pretty powerful to take on wolves, bears, cheetahs, or leopards. Luckily, they are incredibly gentle and affectionate with their family.

7. Central Asian Shepherd

The Central Asian Shepherd is related to the Kangal. This impressive dog breed is one of the rare breeds that came to life through natural selection. Only the strongest and most adaptable dogs were able to pass on their genes. For more than 1.500 years, these dogs helped us protect livestock from some of the most dangerous predators.

central asian shepherd puppy

Central Asian Shepherds are large, fearless dogs. This breed first came to life around 5.000 years ago, making them one of the oldest breeds in existence today. Many of these dogs are now family pets and protectors of people and property.

8. Bucovina Shepherd

The Bucovina Shepherd is not a breed accepted by the AKC, but it has full FCI recognition. Its native country is Romania, but these dogs have existed since ancient Rome. This is another Molossian-type dog used for livestock protection. They are large, powerful, and fearless.

Bucovina Shepherd

Unfortunately, Bucovina Shepherds are rare. Modern farming technology made protection dogs obsolete. Farming has become a lot safer, and modern farmers use different ways of protecting their livestock. The most significant number of these dogs are still located in Romania. Still, breed enthusiasts are working hard to boost the popularity of this ancient breed.

9. Caucasian Shepherd

The Caucasian Shepherd is a very popular livestock protector. In fact, many owners keep these dogs for property and personal protection. These dogs have a very interesting nickname, “Russian Bear Dog.” The nickname describes the main predator these dogs had to face when protecting livestock.


The general public might not understand why anyone would keep such huge dogs, especially if they have no need for protection. However, Caucasian Shepherds might seem dangerous, but they are incredibly affectionate and loving towards their families. These dogs are also very calm and will become active only when their “flock” or family needs protection. Of course, they will be more than happy to play and socialize at the dog park.

10. Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog - Sharplanina

Yugoslavia might not exist anymore, but the dog that bears its name does. The Yugoslavian Shepherd Dog, or simply Sharplanina, is a large Molossian-type dog related to other large Roman dogs. They originate in the area of the mountain Shar (Šar), which crosses several countries. When the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia broke apart, the FCI recognized Serbia as the country of origin.


Large, mountain-type dogs are increasingly becoming rarer. Most modern-day dog owners can’t handle such a large dog. Luckily, Sharplanina dogs are somewhat smaller than similar dogs. However, they are still most popular in the area of the former Yugoslavian territory. Breed lovers are working hard on getting these dogs popular across the US and Canada.

World Dog Finder team

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