Types of sheepdogs include the Belgian, Icelandic, Shetland, Polish Lowland and Old English breeds. Sheepdogs are generally affectionate, intelligent, energetic and loyal to their owners and families. The most common medical conditions among sheepdogs are hip and elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism and epilepsy.
The Belgian Sheepdog is an agile, alert and well-muscled dog with high stamina. It learns quickly, and its smooth gait helps it herd for long times. Some Belgians are highly dominant, while others are more playful. The Icelandic Sheepdog is friendly and usually does not do well with isolation. It comes in short- and long-hair varieties, both of which have a top and bottom coat. The top layer is thin and straight, while the undercoat is soft and abundant. The Shetland sheepdog, or sheltie, looks like a small collie. It is an alert watchdog with a smooth and speedy gait and has a double coat that serves it well in various environments. The Polish Lowland Sheepdog is energetic and requires lots of exercise. It needs a firm owner to train and socialize it from an early age. The Old English Sheepdog enjoys herding work and is obedient but can exhibit clownish behavior. It may try to herd objects and demonstrates a shuffling gait.