English Shepherd Dogs 101
Description: The English Shepherd is a working dog and this is reflected in the look. They have a medium sized head that is broad. The muzzle is moderately broad, the nose is a solid black color in most dogs but in a sable dog the nose may be brown. The eyes are brown and moderately round. The ears are wide set and stand slightly outward at the base; they lie close to the head when the dog is relaxed.
The body is in good proportion and the chest is broad. The English Shepherd tail is long and sweeps towards the tip. Bobtails are natural and this is acceptable. The height is 18-24 inches and the weight is 35-65 pounds, the female is slightly smaller than the male. The coat is medium in length and can be straight, curly or wavy. They have an undercoat that sheds seasonally. The tail is plume-like.
The English Shepherd colors come in four predominant color patterns and these are; Black and tan, black and white, sable and white and tri-color. It is best to understand that this dog has been bred to work and it is on that merit the dog is judged rather than the color or conformity.
History: The English Shepherds history goes back further than its name. It does come from England but it is thought that this dog got to the English shores with Caesar on his invasion of England in 55 BC. The Romans would bring their cattle and sheep with the army and as this stock was depleted so the dogs were discarded.
These dogs were of use to the native people and the dog would have bred with local dogs. This increased the herding abilities of the dog and so this breed became stable. The English Shepherd was one of the first dogs with the settlers to America. They were highly prized as not only good working dogs but also they would protect the isolated homes. They have been recognized by the AKC since 1934.
Temperament: The English Shepherd is a working dog and so like to have a task to do, in this day and age herding may not be as easy for the normal family to provide but this dog will want to do some form of work. This can be getting a doggy backpack and the dog has drinks or books to carry on good long walks daily or they could be a good running or jogging companion. They are focused on the job and are gritty and courageous.
Here is a dog that is wonderful at acting immediately when given a command. They are really quick to respond to the owner’s voice. The English Shepherd can make good watchdogs for the home and have been known to be a hunt dog. You name the work and this dog will meet the challenge.
There are athletic competitive events they will love and these are; agility, fly ball, obedience and Frisbee. They are great with children and not dog aggressive so are good with most pets if they are raised together. Socialize them well from a pup and this can help them not to be fearful of strangers.
They would like a pack leader that is active, like them, and is able to be firm but calm and offer house rules and training. Consistency is important as this is a bright dog and a good leader will offer them mental stability by giving good daily exercise and mental exercise.
Health issues: Hip and elbow dysplasia have come up in some blood lines.
Grooming: The English Shepherd has a good weather resistant coat and when mud is dry it just seems to slide off the coat. Brush the coat weekly to remove any dead hairs and or bits of grass and the coat will be fine.
Living conditions: The English Shepherd is a very active dog and could only live in an apartment if they have very good walks along with physical and mental exercise daily. They need a medium garden and good fencing.