A well trained SAR dog is a sight to behold. The dog can evenly maneuver the most difficult of terrain with the grace of a mountain goat all the while looking for a trapped or hidden human being. This type of work is often done on the fly, at the drop of the hat, with little advanced warning. It requires a talented dog and a special handler willing to invest the time and effort.
Herding is one of oldest canine activities available. It has real world applications and is still in place for viable farm assistance in many places. For urban individuals, herding has become more of a training activity for competition for those breeds of dogs with natural instinct.
So you have made the decision to get a dog. Perhaps you had a bad experience once before with a dog who you thought was cute or friendly, but then when you got him home he turned out to be a holy terror, and the whole thing turned into a nightmare. Even if you have never had such a bad experience, the fact remains that choosing a pet is a life-changing decision, and it is one that takes a lot of thought and research.