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This is the first comprehensive book on working farm dogs, including color photography and comprehensive descriptions, history, and working traits of 93 livestock guardians; herders; working terriers and earthdogs; and traditional farm and working partners. Also includes shorter descriptions of breeds not commonly found in the US and Canada.


The selection of breeds was based on the traditional jobs done by working farm dogs - guarding the flocks, protecting the farmstead; herding, driving, and working with livestock; controlling rats and other vermin; pulling carts; and all-around extra farmhands and jack-of-all-trades. Using these specific criteria meant leaving out some popular breeds - sporting or hunting dogs, sled dogs, giant and bully breeds, and terriers that don't go to ground unless they were traditional farm workers. 


Instead, these are the breeds developed and perfected by people who raised livestock or lived on farms. Some you may know, while others will be new. You will discover breeds uniquely suited to working and living in the country, whether you are a working farmer or rancher or enjoy rural living. 

 "a beautiful and valuable and very well-crafted book about working farm dogs - guardians, herders, terriers, shepherds and other working breeds. This book is a work of art in its own right, lovingly illustrated and detailed and well-written. Anyone who cherishes the loyalty, dedication and value of working dogs will find it readable and invaluable. I recommend it highly for anyone who has a farm dog or is thinking of one. She really knows her stuff."

Jon Katz, author

The Dogs of Bedlam Farm

"This guide is an in-depth look at the history of dog breeds that have been an invaluable part of farmwork for centuries. Their roles have typically included herding livestock, controlling vermin, protecting the flock from predators, and serving as general farmhand companions and helpers. Along with introductory chapters that include information about general farm-dog history, and choosing the right dog, the author then covers all 93 breeds in extensive detail. These profiles include information about their origins, size, color, coat type, temperament, and history. There are also gorgeous color photos of each of the different breeds.


This is a beautiful, well-organized, and comprehensive title. It will leave readers with a richer understanding and deep respect for these dogs, their fascinating history, and their relationship to farmers and farmwork throughout the ages. Highly recommended for public, academic, and school libraries."

Booklist, April 2017

Livestock Guardian Dog Breeds


Akbash Dog

Anatolian Shepherd Dog

Armenian Gampr

Cao de Gado Transmontano

Caucasian Ovcharka

Central Asian Shepherd

Estrela Mountain Dog

Great Pyrenees

Kangal Dog

Karakachan Dog



Maremma Sheepdog

Polish Tatra Sheepdog

Pyrenean Mastiff


Slovensky Cuvac

Spanish Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff



Short descriptions of additional LGD Breeds –

Bucovina Shepherd Dog, Romanian Carpathian Shepherd Dog, Romanian Mioritic Shepherd Dog, Karst Shepherd, Cao de Castro Laboreiro, Rafeiro do Alentejo.

Herding Dogs


Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Shepherd

Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog

Bearded Collie


Bergamasco Sheepdog

Berger Picard

Border Collie


Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Rough and Smooth Collies

Dutch Shepherd Dog

English Shepherd

German Shepherd Dog

Icelandic Sheepdog

Lancashire Heeler

Finnish and Swedish Lapphunds

Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog


Norwegian Buhund

Old English Sheepdog

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Polish Lowland Sheepdog

Portuguese Sheepdog

Portuguese Water Dog


Pyrenean Shepherd



Shetland Sheepdog

Working Kelpie and Australian Kelpie


Short Descriptions of Additional Herding Breeds -

Australian Koolie, Huntaway, Portuguese Sheepdog, Texas Heeler, Hangin’ Tree Cowdog, McNab Sheepdog

Working Terriers and Earthdogs


Australian Terrier

Border Terrier

Cairn Terrier

Longhaired, Smooth, and Wirehaired Dachshunds

Smooth and Wire Fox Terriers

Irish Terrier

Jack Russell, Parson Russell, and Russell Terriers

Lakeland Terrier

Miniature Schnauzer

Norfolk and Norwich Terriers

Patterdale and Fell Terriers

Rat Terrier


Short Descriptions of Additional Terriers and Earthdogs –

Jagdterrier, Tenterfield Terrier, Treeing Feist

Multi-Purpose and Traditional Farm Partners


Airedale Terrier

Belgian Shepherd Dogs – Groendael, Laekenois, Malinois, Tervuren

Bouvier de Flandres

Canaan Dog

Danish Swedish Farmdog

Giant Schnauzer


Karelian Bear Dog


Kerry Blue Terrier






Sennenhund (The Swiss Mountain Dog Breeds) – Appenzeller, Bernese Mountain Dog, Entlebucher Mountain Dog, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Standard Schnauzer

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