Do dog breed characteristics really matter? Besides the obvious physical differences between dog breeds, they have been bred to perform specific tasks – for instance, most herding dogs are instinctively good at herding – so the breed matters. There are still variations between individuals and all dogs can be trained. The breed characteristics are often referred to as instinctive intelligence. Going back to the example of herding dogs, Border Collies are known to herd anything that moves. They are created to herd and some shepherds say it would take a dozen humans to do the job of one dog. On the other hand, if someone wanted a hunting dog, or a dog to follow a scent trail, the Border Collie might not be the best choice. The Border Collie would have an excellent nose compared to a human and be able to learn to follow a scent trail, but a Bloodhound would still do the job better. At the same time, the Bloodhound wouldn’t be a great shepherd. There are always individual differences, and the instinctive intelligence is only a part of what makes up the wonderful companion dog.