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English Shepherd breed Information

English Shepherd puppies for sale  English Shepherd puppies
Thanks to Edenvillage English Shepherds (UK) for the images on this page.

The English Shepherd is an American breed of working dog. It is an all-around farm dog, being used as a herding dog, watch dog, hunting dog, and child's companion.

Unlike some other herding dogs, as a breed English Shepherds have not been specialized to work one species of livestock. English Shepherds have primarily been used on small diversified farms that have a number of different livestock species, including cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, and poultry. English shepherds both herd and protect livestock.

Appearance

The breed is similar in appearance to Border Collies and Australian Shepherds. English Shepherds usually have tails and a less rounded head than many Aussies. English Shepherds are never merle and Aussies frequently are. They are generally not square in body like an Aussie. English Shepherds tend to be larger than Border Collies but are most readily distinguished from Border Collies by their very different upright, loose-eyed herding style.

The English Shepherd is a medium sized dog, usually somewhat longer than it is tall. It generally weighs between 40 and 70 pounds (20 to 30 kg) and is balanced in proportions. As a working dog on small farms, English Shepherds have evolved to fulfill a variety of needs. This has resulted in a wide range of regional variations.

The coat is medium length and can be straight, wavy, or curly. There is frequently feathering on the legs and tail. As a working dog, the coat should be easy to keep, requiring very little grooming. Dirt tends to just fall away. The primary coat colors are: sable and white (clear and shaded), tricolor, black and white, and black and tan. Other variations such as solids dogs of any color, brindles, and red nosed tricolors and sables also exist but are not common.

There are no merle English Shepherds.

Temperament

Temperament is the defining characteristic of the breed, with great intelligence and often a unique type of kindness for those in his home, both animals and people. The English Shepherd is often an independent worker. English Shepherds are adaptable but learn routines quickly. Some can be standoffish with strangers and are more one-person dogs. However, once he accepts people or children or stock as his own, there are few better caretakers than an English Shepherd.

The English shepherd frequently exhibits a bossy or "enforcer" streak in his temperament. If the dog's desire to enforce order is not channeled and directed to a suitable end by an owner who is a strong, confident leader, he may exhibit many undesirable behaviors. English shepherds can thrive as companion dogs in many environments, but most do not make "good pets" for the average person.

This breed was selected on diverse small family farms in the past and has been selected to work in a partnership arrangement with his master.

Health

English Shepherds are generally healthy dogs, however hip dysplasia is not uncommon. Anyone contemplating getting an English Shepherd would be well advised to research the hip ratings (OFA or PennHIP) of the breeder's stock.

English Shepherd Photo Gallery