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Dog breeds

Pastoral Group

This Group comprises the breeds that, for centuries, have aided man in controlling the movements of his flocks and herds. Their approach to the job may differ, some use stalking and eyeing, some nip at heels, some push, some bark, but all have the herding instinct bred deep in the bone from birth. Even dogs which are solely companion animals and have never encountered livestock will often instinctively attempt to round up or drive people, other dogs, or fowls.

Included in this Group are the livestock guardians such as the Maremma Sheepdog and the Pyrenean Mountain Dog. Rather than herding the guardians protect the flocks against predators and work independently with little direction or interference from humans.

The Pastoral dogs are generally extremely active and, if not kept as working dogs, require adequate outlets for their energy in the form of long walks, the opportunity to run, games and other vigorous activities. They are also highly intelligent, quick to learn and to obey commands. Their problem-solving and decision-making abilities are the legacy of generations of dogs who were expected to use their own judgement in moving and keeping safe their charges.

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