So far I've learned that it is far more ancient that I'd have assumed -- if, that is, if I'd ever thought about it previously. I have other things to do but I can dig a little in the time cracks.
This is what I learned last week:
Through the Middle Ages in Europe guardian dogs have been used to guard livestock, such as sheep and goats. The evolution of the herding sheepdogs breeds we know today correlates with the elimination of the wolf and increased land enclosure for production of food and fodder crops.
Instead of allowing sheep and goats to roam wherever pasture could be found with Livestock Guardian Dogs protecting them from predators such as wolves, bears and other predators, shepherds increasingly selected dogs that would instinctively herd flocks of sheep together.