When you are dreaming of your new ranch and everything that goes with it, there are many things that can round out the perfect ranching lifestyle. One of the items to think about is choosing the best cattle dog for your Colorado mountain ranch property.
How to Choose the Best Cattle Dog for Colorado Mountain Ranch
Cattle or livestock herding dogs are selectively bred to do just that – herd. The American Kennel Clublists 30 breeds in the herding category – below are our five favorites. These are breeds that can do their job in an excellent manner, and do double duty as an ideal hunting dog or family pet. We did the research for you and below are a few popular top candidates to choose from when selecting a canine ranch worker or loyal companion, and they are also game to join you on your family’s Colorado outdoor winter activities!
Australian Cattle Dog aka Queensland Heeler
This breed needs a job to do. Very active and driven, they like to stay busy and can be extremely playful. They are one of the smartest working dogs and easy to train when that training starts early. But caution – they can become mischievous if they are bored! This is an alert and loyal dog who is very attentive, and in tune with his master.
Australian Shepherd aka Aussie
Aussies are another dog that needs to work. They are aggressive when at work and then instantly become a playful and loving family pet, and that love of play lasts well into their golden years. Excellent watchdogs and guardians, they are a great all-around dog.
Border Collies love to be praised for a job well done. They thrive on pleasing their people. This remarkably intelligent breed requires loads of exercise and excels at agility courses as well as herding work. They make a fun and lively family pet, but do need monitoring with smaller animals such as cats and poultry.
Corgis are one of the smaller herding dogs but are in no way less effective. Their heeling abilities are quite impressive for their size. They make excellent watchdogs and are very affectionate with their family. It is important to let Corgis know that all family members are above them in the chain of command. They can become bossy if they feel that they are in an alpha position – tell them who is in charge!
Old English Sheepdog
The herding instinct is so ingrained in this breed that they usually need to be taught NOT to herd people. Old English Sheepdogs are happy, friendly dogs that love being part of a family. They are great with children and love to play well into adulthood. They are another breed that needs firm training in the beginning. They will ignore commands if they feel they are higher in the family “pack”.