Selecting any breed of dog is difficult, especially when there is a family involved. It’s normal for all family members to have their own preferences. Looks and common opinion can only provide part of the solution. The basic requirement is knowledge of the breed and its ability to deliver on your requirements.
Fortunately, consideration of the English Shepherd can be helped by reading the following guide.
The History of The English Shepherd
Originally the English Shepherd called the United States home, but its true roots can be described as the British Isles.
Herding breeds of dogs like the Border Collie and the Australian Shepherd were practical, useful, hard-working dogs. They accompanied early British and Irish settlers to the New World.
The theory was that this farm shepherd dog would be a useful addition, assisting in conquering the new world. Over time and with dedicated breeding these dog breeds were interbred to create the English Shepherd breed. Potentially the perfect farm dogs and highly intelligent.
The ancestors were solely working dogs, accustomed to physical exercise, and eager to please. Careful breeding created the modern version of this dog, the English Shepherd. It continues to be a good working dog (especially as sheep and cattle dogs), and a medium sized family dog.
Today it can be observed operating under several guises, including search and rescue. This is directly linked to the intelligence and willingness of the dog.
English Shepherd dogs have a respected place in the community. But, this breed is not recognized by the united kennel club and the American kennel club.
Key Points Regarding Temperament
A Standard English shepherd dog stands approximately 18-23 inches tall. A male dog will be larger than a female. On average they weigh 40-60 pounds and have a long coat.
These dogs can be found in black and white, tan and black, white and sable, or tricolor. Rarer colors also exist including red tan and even various shades of fawn.
In general, you will notice that these dogs are calm. In fact, they are known to gain pleasure curling up with you to finish the day. However, the day should be taxing enough to ensure they have utilized their almost boundless energy supply.
As a family dog, this necessitates long walks and plenty of family interaction. This can be achieved through jogging, cycling, or teaching them an agility course. The most encouraging part is that this family interaction with the English Shepherd generates trust and confidence.
The English Shepherd is very intelligent which ensures it is easily trained. This is especially true if you want to try some agility training. You may also appreciate the lack of prey instinct. This ensures the dog will not suddenly disappear across the fields looking for rabbits or similar.
However, you should be aware that this breed sheds considerably and will often try to herd its charges. That translates as your family members. It can also be destructive if not exercised enough and bored.
The English Shepherd As A Family Dog
If you are considering purchasing an older dog then the National English Shepherd rescue is a great starting point. They have an array of great family dogs that you can meet, play with, and assess.
Creating social skills as a puppy is key to a desirable adult dog. They are protective and will pay close attention to what you are doing. A lack of early social skills will make them wary of strangers and other pets.
It’s a pleasant dog, providing you are aware that this herding dog requires the establishment and enforcement of rules. But, you must be prepared to enforce the rule or your dog will create its own.
The final decision will revolve around purchasing an adult dog from a rescue center/animal shelter. This allows you to see the established traits. Or, choosing to indulge in a puppy for your family.
This will leave you responsible for implementing the training regime to create a perfect family loving dog. Just make sure you check the breeder out thoroughly before committing.
The English Shepherd dog is a loyal family pet without significant health problems. That’s assuming you dedicate the time and effort into making it one!
Should you decide you want to read more about dog breeds, you’ll find all the articles of interest on this link.