Pastoral dogs are a broad type of dog used by humans to assist in the rearing of livestock. Pastoral dog breeds are predominantly divided into two main functional groupings, those used to protect livestock from wild predators and human theft, the livestock guardian dogs, and those used assist in controlling livestock, the herding dogs. Typically, livestock guardian dog breeds are large and historically fierce whilst the herding dog breeds tend to be smaller and more biddable.
It is believed that dogs were first used by humans to assist in livestock rearing during the 8th and 7th millennia BC when humans first started to domesticate sheep and goats in Western Asia. These early pastoral dogs were predominantly protected both the flocks and their human masters from wild predators.
- David Hancock, “Looking at the pastoral dogs”, davidhancockondogs.com, retrieved 12 December 2018.
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