Dog Conformation: The Herding Dog Group

Learn more about the Herding Group’s history, its top dogs, how the breeds are handled in the ring and much more.

Herding dogs gather, herd and protect livestock. Some Herding breeds, such as German Shepherd Dogs, are commonly used as guard dogs or police dogs. Border Collies, for example, are one of the most intelligent dogs, and do well in performance events. Herding dogs are intelligent and loyal and perform well in conformation, obedience and performance events.


Top Herding Dogs

Top Dogs of the Herding Group from the present back to the year 2000. For more information about a specific dog (if it is available), click on its name.

2013: Puli GCh. Cordmaker Topsy Turvey
2012: German Shepherd Dog GCh. Babheim’s Captain Crunch
2011: Bearded Collie Ch. Tolkien Raintree Mister Baggins
2010: Bearded Collie Ch. Tolkien Raintree Mister Baggins
2009: Puli Ch. Cordmaker Field of Dreams
2008: Pembroke Welsh Corgi Ch. Coventry Vanity Fair
2007: German Shepherd Dog Ch. Kaleef’s Geneva Aeval-Achtung
2006: Old English Sheepdog Ch. Bugaboo’s Big Resolution
2005: German Shepherd Dog Ch. Kenlyn’s Tenacity of Kaleef
2004: German Shepherd Dog Ch. Kaleef’s Genuine Risk
2003: German Shepherd Dog Ch. Kaleef’s Genuine Risk
2002: German Shepherd Dog Ch. Kismet’s Sight For Sore Eyes (Top Dog of All Breeds in 2002)
2001: German Shepherd Dog Ch. Kismet’s Sight for Sore Eyes
2000: Pembroke Welsh Corgi Ch. Coventry Queue

See a breed list with the National Breed Clubs for the Hound Group. Click to continue>>

See the Hound Group Top Sires and Dams of 2011.  Click to continue>>

See upcoming All-Breed and Group Shows so you can see the Hound Group breeds in action.  Click to continue>>



Westminster Group Winners

The Herding Group has only received the Best in Show ribbon once. How is that possible? Several dogs have taken Best in Show that are currently classified as Herding dogs, but the Herding Group was not formed until 1983. Before this, the Herding Group dogs were classified in the Working Group. The only Herding dog to win since the Group’s creation in 1983 was German Shepherd Dog Ch. Covy Tucker Hill’s Manhattan in 1987. This was the first and only time a German Shepherd Dog ever received the Best in Show ribbon. Before 1983 the following dogs took Best in Show while still classified under the Working Group: Old English Sheepdog Ch. Slumber (1914), Rough Collie Laund Loyalty of Bellhaven (1929) and Old English Sheepdog Ch. Sir Lancelot of Barvan (1975).

2013 Group 1 Winner. Old English Sheepdog Bugaboo’s Picture Perfect was Group 1 and Reserve Best in Show (the first RBIS ever awarded at Westminster) at the 137th annual  Westminster dog show in 2013. A class dog, ‘Swagger’ had not received his championship before the show and still made it all the way to Reserve Best in Show over many champions. The Affenpinscher GCh. Banana Joe V Tani Kazari took Best in Show over the Old English Sheepdog. The OES has won the Group at Westminster 11 times, three times in the Herding Group and eight times while in the Working Group.






2012 Group 1 Winner. German Shepherd Dog GCh. Babheim’s Captain Crunch was Group 1 at the 2012 Westminster Kennel Club dog show and top Herding dog of 2012. The Pekingese GCh. Palacegarden Malachy won Best in Show over the German Shepherd. This breed has only won Best in Show once at Westminster, but it has won the Group 12 times, eight times in the Herding Group and four times while in the Working Group.







2011 Group 1 Winner. Bearded Collie GCh. Tolkien Raintree Mister Baggins was Group 1 at the 2011 Westminster Kennel Club dog show, and was also was top Herding dog of 2010 and 2011. The Scottish Deerhound GCh. Foxcliffe Hickory Wind ‘Hickory’ won Best in Show over the Bearded Collie. This was only the second time in Westminster history that a Bearded Collie won a Group 1.






Grooming Trends Over the Decades 

Whenever conformation judges gather to discuss how dog shows have changed over the decades, it doesn’t take long before the subject of “today’s overgroomed dogs” takes center stage. Flip through the magazines of the 1960s and ’70s, and the show photos speak volumes: Whatever the breed, we see sparser head and leg furnishings, a less tailored look and little evidence of the “P” word (product).

So what’s happened? Are exhibitors and handlers feeling less constrained by the individual edicts of breed standards and eager to put their artistry on display? Are judges more accepting of a generic (big coat, big movement, big everything) show dog? Is it the smorgasbord of shampoos, lotions and potions available for purchase at dog-show vendors and online? Probably a combination of all three.

We asked breeders, judges, professional handlers and owner-exhibitors for their take on the grooming changes they’ve witnessed firsthand in the Herding Group. Read More>>


Watch Herding Group Breeds in the Ring

Watch the breed judging at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. Click on a Hound Group Breed to proceed to the video.

Australian Cattle Dog
Australian Shepherd
Bearded Collie
Belgian Malinois
Belgian Sheepdog
Belgian Tervuren
Border Collie
Bouvier des Flandres
Canaan Dog
Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Collie, Rough
Collie, Smooth
Entlebucher Sennenhund
Finnish Lapphund
German Shepherd Dog
Icelandic Sheepdog
Norwegian Buhund
Old English Sheepdog
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Polish Lowland Sheepdog
Pyrenean Shepherd
Shetland Sheepdog
Swedish Valhund

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Dogs In Review

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