Sheepdog is one of the most popular domestic dog breeds. She was bred as an assistant shepherd – a shepherd – many centuries ago when cattle were only domesticated. The dog turned out to be smart, loyal, loyal, and beautiful.
Today, there is no need to protect every flock of sheep from predator encroachments, but shepherd dogs are not becoming less popular. They are bred as companions of a person, loyal friends who help to carry out service, brighten up loneliness or direct an excess of love to a living being.
To date, more than 50 breeds of shepherd dogs have been bred. They are all very different in character and appearance. One has only to compare the big dog and the corgi!
This article will focus on the smallest shepherd dogs in the world, unique representatives of the breed. But small does not mean at all that they are stupid or easy to bring up. The character of a shepherd dog is in the blood.
10. Swiss, up to 50 cm
The Swiss Shepherd Dog resembles a devoted white wolf. This is an incredibly beautiful dog up to 50 cm high with long snow-white hair.
This breed was developed in Switzerland. Its representatives resemble outwardly a German shepherd if they could be completely white. They are loyal, friendly, and quite active, but less aggressive than their German relatives.
Such a dog is friendly towards humans and incredibly affectionate with children, friendly with cats and other pets. The Swiss Shepherd Dogs feel best in a country house, but they can adapt to closer conditions.
9. English, up to 45 cm
The history of the breed goes back to the times of the Roman Empire, from where it came with the conquerors to the good old England. There she interbred with other dogs, the ancestors of the modern collie, and was used as a herding breed.
The English Shepherd is a short dog, up to 45-50 cm at the withers. She has a strong, lean body, the most common color is white-black-tan, but the standard provides for other options, for example, white-tan or white-red.
Like most herding breeds, she is quite independent, but prefers to work in a team with a person, receive commands and praise.
8. Croatian, up to 45 cm
These dogs are widespread in Croatia, but they are rarely found outside of it. She looks rather unusual, especially in puppies, which more resemble lambs than dogs. The fact is that this dog, with its typical muzzle and physique for a shepherd dog, has a brown curly coat.
Like any shepherd dog, the Croatian is smart, quick-witted, agile and agile. Despite the small growth at the withers, it requires constant movement. And it cannot do without frequent communication with the owner.
7. Icelandic, 45 cm
This strong miniature dog of white-red color immediately wins all sympathy. She has a thick coat, short paws and a curled bushy tail – a uniquely touching combination.
Meanwhile, this is a very hardy, quick-witted, and non-aggressive dog that has lived in Iceland for centuries. She arrived on the island with the first settlers, the Vikings, around the first century AD, and side by side with people who survived in harsh conditions.
This is a shepherd breed with all its inherent character traits. She has a sonorous barking, which is very useful when grazing livestock, but will interfere with establishing relations with neighbors. Therefore, it is better for the Icelandic Shepherd to provide relative freedom and a lot of mobility.
6. Aussie, up to 45 cm
The Aussie is also called the Australian Shepherd . She has an elongated muzzle, triangular drooping ears and short legs. Although different colors are permissible, most often Aussies are found in white-black-tan colors, and part of the white coat is covered with black spots, which, together with blue eyes, gives a very unusual combination.
Despite the name, which seems to hint at the place of origin, the USA is considered the birthplace of Aussie. The dog is known for its kind disposition and tendency to learn, therefore it is often used to serve humans. However, do not be mistaken, her cheerful disposition does not prevent her from giving a worthy rebuff to the offender.
5. Miniature American Shepherd, up to 45 cm
The Miniature American Shepherd Dog resembles an Aussie in appearance. This is not surprising, because she was bred in the 60s by crossing Australians with an unknown small dog. This was done not so much on a whim, but as with the aim of reducing the size of the Aussies, but preserving their intelligence, professional qualities and character traits.
The new breed was officially recognized in 2010. The American Shepherd Dog turned out the way it was conceived: miniature, but strong, hardy, with a good nervous system. The coat can be white-black, white-red, with or without tan marks, with or without white markings – in general, the color of the dog is very diverse.
4. Greek, up to 35 cm
This shepherd dog was bred in the mountainous regions of Greece to help shepherds look after their livestock. This is primarily a dog for service, hardy and unpretentious. During training, consistency and severity are required, the shepherd does not respond well to cruelty. But if a person is lucky to become a real master for her, then she will be faithful to him all her life.
The Greek Shepherd is a medium-sized breed with a strong, muscular body, white, gray and black coat. The main goal was to obtain service qualities, so the color is not so important and the most diverse is found.
3. Sheltie, up to 35 cm
Sheltie is easy to confuse with collie – the two breeds are quite similar. But the Shetland Sheepdog, Shetland Sheepdog , is much smaller in size: height at the withers reaches 35 cm, weight 6-7 kg.
The homeland of the Sheltie is Scotland, more precisely, the Shetland Islands, where the shepherd dogs came with the first settlers-shepherds. There, the dogs freely interbred with Spitz, inheriting their color and light coat.
Shelties are funny, good-natured and curious creatures, ready to get acquainted with any fauna that comes along the way. They love to bark loudly and fervently, so lovers of silence are better off thinking twice before making such a friend. Sheltie is a very mobile breed, and it requires active and long walking.
2. Schipperke, up to 30 cm
Miniature coal-black dogs invariably evoke a lot of affection, but they are quite independent and proud dogs. They were bred in Belgium in the 19th century to hunt rats and mice.
Schipperkes do not exceed 30 cm, weight ranges from 3-9 kg. The coat is black, shiny, the triangular ears stand upright, and the chest is decorated with a lush “collar”. Dogs cannot live normally without active communication, sports and frequent walks, so they will only torment each other with couch potatoes and introverts.
1. Welsh Corgi, up to 30 cm
In recent years, this royal breed has been at its peak of popularity. They write books about the corgi, make films, her appearance is actively replicated in pop culture, causing bouts of affection. Everything becomes clear when you see what a corgi looks like. This is the smallest shepherd dog with short legs and a cute face.
Meanwhile, Welsh Corgi are born shepherds with a proud disposition. In order for the pet to grow up happy, and the owner does not get a lot of problems, you will have to seriously approach education, because the corgi is not a couch dog.
Their homeland is Wales. This breed is considered royal, and nurseries strictly monitor the number of individuals and their life. Finding a half-breed corgi is almost impossible: if the owner does not plan to breed the breed, he is obliged to neuter the pet.
Those wishing to buy a dog will have to pay the full price for it. True, the investment fully pays off with a cute appearance, loyal and kind character, and good health, for which the breeders are responsible.