Man's best friend is also a hard-worker on the ranch. Here are the top five cow dog breeds.
By Cindy Hirschfeld
Australian Cattle Dog
1. Australian Cattle Dog
Originated in the Australian Outback in the 1800s from dingo, blue-merle collie, Dalmatian, and black and tan kelpie stock. High energy and super smart, this breed loves to work cattle in open spaces.
2. Australian Shepherd
Despite the name, this breed was developed during the Gold Rush from various breeds of herding dogs. They excel at flushing cattle from heavy brush and moving them into chutes and other tight spaces.
3. Border Collie
Bred in the border country of England and Scotland, Border Collies keep sheep and cattle in line with lightning speed and an intense, respect-commanding gaze.
4. Catahoula Leopard Dog
Said to descend from dogs brought over from Spain in the 1500s and Native American wolf-hybrids, this loyal breed has outstanding stamina and an excellent nose.
5. Hangin’ Tree Cowdog
Bred by Gary and Choc Ericsson in Oklahoma in the 1980s to be the ultimate cow dog, the breed combines the best traits of border collies, Australian kelpies, and Catahoula leopard dogs.