Not many dog breeds out there are like the Australian Shepherd, one of the smartest dogs in the world. They are in the herding dog class and have blue eyes, you know, the ones you see in calico dog breeds, Siberian Huskies, or Alaskan Malamutes. However, do not see Australian shepherds for their beauty alone because that is not the only thing they were bred for.
As their name suggests, these dogs help herders to do their business. They assist in moving large herds of cattle and sheep – something they passionately do with all their hearts.
However, Australian shepherds are not the only athletic, and smart dogs breed. Because of their attractiveness, reputable breeders have come up with many dog breeds similar to the Australian shepherds. This article will capture seven breeds that you can liken to our subject, the Australian Shepherd. The table below gives you a sneak peek into the meat of the read. Take a look.
|Breed||Similarity Value(With Five Being The Closest)|
|Irish and English Setters||4|
|Miniature American Shepherd||3|
|Shetland Sheep Dog||3|
I have given the figures based on my assessment of the breeds. As you go through each, you will see whether you agree with what my table says or not. Now, let’s dig in.
Like The Australian Shepherd: The Breeds Themselves
1. The Bearded Collie (Similarity Value: 5)
If you browse the books of canine history, you will capture that the Bearded Collie is a relative of the Old English Sheepdog. That explains why it has become trendy in recent times. Also, the dog has an imposing, appealing physicality with a weight of between 50 and 60 pounds.
Furthermore, history has it that Bearded Collies go way back into the 1500s (16th Century), where Polish lowland sheepdogs were crossbred with their Scottish counterparts. The resultant dog was taken to the UK to help in different types of farm work.
While it may be a small droving dog, it is easy to manage. The owner of a Bearded Collie won’t have any problems with it, especially the expressively large eyes that the dog bears. Moreover, the dog has a very conspicuous, adorable beard that forms part of its personality. Actually, that is the most outstanding trait of the Bearded Collie.
Since behavioral tendencies and physical characteristics tend to go hand in hand, you should expect that the Bearded Collie is both playful, lively, athletic, and intelligent.
Like the Siberian Husky and other cool dogs, Bearded Collies are likely to behave aloof when subjected to training. However, if handlers take them through substantial training, they become relaxed, fun, and even-tempered.
The one trait that shouldn’t go unmentioned about the Bearded Collie is its coat. It has two types – the soft and the harsh one. If you get a Bearded Collie with a smooth coat, you may need to engage in more brushing, shampooing, and maintenance severally every few days.
2. The Border Collie (Similarity Value: 5)
These other types of Collies are dog breeds similar to Australian shepherds. Because they have nearly the same attributes, the Border Collies are either near the top or at the very top. Of their many Australian Shepherd-like traits, their most prominent is intelligence. As compared to other herding dogs, Border Collies have formidable smartness. The Border Collie can pick on multiple human cues, respond to its handler’s routines, and do many elaborate skills.
In terms of herding, this dog breed also comes top. Their breeding was initially meant to create shepherds, and the breeders were successful. It is called the Border Collie because it was bred near the UK border.
Because of the dog’s intelligence, handlers need to have acuity in dog training. The Border Collie has as much energy as the Australian dog, which explains why they are agile. These Collies can excel in the various agility competitions that you take them.
As an owner of the Border Collie, you don’t need to do much – just ensure that the dog is exercised and active. If not, you may end up dealing with a stubborn, mischievous dog. If you take care of the dog well, you will find yourself a loving, loyal dog that can be a good family companion.
3. The Collie (Similarity Value: 5)
This is the last Collie of all the Collies. The reason why they all appear first is their herding capabilities. In terms of physicality, the dog is larger than an Australian shepherd. Also, Collie’s coat is thicker and longer, and its temperament can be described as mellow.
Like the other Collies, this one has the same intelligence levels as the Australian Shepherd. The notable thing that it is easier to handle and train this Collie than the other Aussie-like dogs. Also, they are excellent dogs to have around children, and they do well in a household with many dogs.
Like the other Collies, this breed of dogs enjoys an illustrious past that goes back for a couple of centuries. Initially, the bred came from Scotland and caught the eye of the royal Queen Victoria. So, the breed enjoys a heavy touch of class.
4. The Corgis (Similarity Value: 4)
When you first see a Corgi dog, you will not agree that it is not one of the dog breeds similar to Australian shepherds. However, there is one notable similarity if you put both dogs side by side: herding capability. Corgis are one of the most reliable herders, and if you will find fascinating details about their history. One of those specifics is that the shepherds used the dogs to drive and control cattle in the British Isles.
Corgis come in two main types, the Cardigan Welsh and the Pembroke Corgis. If you study the Cardigan Welsh’s physicality, you will pick out that they have a slightly bigger frame and large ears. On the flip side, the Pembroke variety is tailless because of a causative gene.
While Corgis may be small – smaller than the Aussies – you will like their prominent, exuberant personalities. The dogs themselves are outgoing and friendly. The only minus is that they can be territorial, which is a result of their lineage. Generally speaking, the dogs are lovely as family pets, and they are excellent with kids.
Because of their small stature and easiness of handling, the Corgi dogs have become popular recently. At one point, some members of the British royal family gave them particular attention, which contributed to some of that popularity.
Like the other dog breeds similar to Australian shepherds, Corgis are active and spirited. The one thing that owners should always watch out for is weight control. The Corgis are susceptible to developing particularly obesity.
When Corgis get older, they are prone to having spinal issues because of their short legs and long back. However, you can reduce the risk by giving the dog a proper diet. Also, you can make many visits to an animal expert, and they will provide you with the best advice.
5. The Irish And English Setters (Similarity Value: 4)
Although these two setter dogs were not bred to be herders, they share some features with Australian Shepherds. These Setter dogs are actually very appealing, and that is why they make it to this list.
Firstly, the Irish and English Setters are dog breeds similar to Australian shepherds because of their athleticism. Breeders brought the Setter dogs together to replace Spaniel dogs in their herding. The Setters are actually good-smelling dogs, and they couple that with their natural intelligence, making them very popular dog breeds.
On top of that, the dogs are also beautiful. These setters are elegant, and that belies their strength and speed. They have lovely silky coats, and although they are not among the coolest looking breeds, they are immensely adorable.
Specifically, the Irish Setters have a noble look, which points out their gorgeously red coat. However, that is not the only coat color variety.
6. The Miniature American Shepherd (Similarity Value: 3)
Many people have used the phrase the rising star to describe the Miniature American Shepherd. This is because of its cuteness and relation to the Australian Shepherd. Because they are too cute, they have become popular on the Internet and social medical like Doge, the meme dog.
If you see the Miniature American Shepherd, you won’t fail to stop and stare for a while. Like the Siberian Husky, the dog either had blue or brown eyes. Like calico breeds, the Miniature American Shepherd has a multicolored coat that makes it the talk of the town.
In terms of history, the breeding business of the Miniature American Shepherd was done by California ranchers. That happened in the 1960s when the ranchers need smaller dogs that could help in herding.
Because of its miniature size, this dog is easy to handle, is energetic, smart, and loyal.
7. The Shetland Sheep Dogs
For a long time, Shelties have been used in herding poultry, small horses, and sheep. This implies that they have no problem taking up challenges in herding. The one thing you should know is that the dog’s herding instincts sometimes stretch into the dog’s daily life. So, do not be surprised when your Shetland Sheep Dog starts going before you.
If you don’t want to be shepherded, you can also take the dog through quality training. These dogs will show you how intelligent they are with their accurate response to positive training and human cues.
If you love exercising, this dog will love you because it has high energy levels. The dog may behave aggressively or reservedly around strangers, but soon after, it will warm up to the new people.
The last thing is that the dogs are quite adorable. The Shetland Sheepdogs share looks with the Miniature Collie, one reason why many people will go for them.
There you have them – the dog breeds similar to Australian Shepherds! These are the top in the list, but not the only ones. If you were careful throughout the read, you would realize that the dogs are similar because of their herding prowess. All the dogs listed are either herding dogs or have been doing at some point in their history. So, I can say that many herding dog breeds are similar to the Australian Shepherd. If you agree or disagree with me on the similarity values, I won’t mind if you engage me in the comment section below. Thanks for keeping up!