English Shepherd Dogs

English Shepherds are dependable and easygoing pals. And they are excellent with children—the more active, the better. But they also have a gentle nature that prevents the play from ever getting rough. English Shepherds are also eager to learn, work and stay busy. Give them a job and they’ll get it done with loads of energy to spare.

English Shepherd

English Shepherd Pictures

  • English Shepherd dog named Noah
  • English Shepherd dog named Rocksie
  • English Shepherd dog named Stevie Boy
  • English Shepherd dog named Abby (In Loving Memory...)
  • English Shepherd dog named Oliver
  • English Shepherd dog named Phoenix
see English Shepherd pictures »

Quick Facts

  • 45 – 60 pounds | male
    40 – 50 pounds | female
  • 19 - 24 inches | male
    18 - 21 inches | female

Ideal Human Companions

    • Outdoorsy types
    • Active singles
    • Farmers and ranchers
    • Families

English Shepherds on Dogster

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Trademark Traits

    • Bold
    • Athletic
    • Loyal
    • Affectionate
    • Tough

What They Are Like to Live With

English Shepherds can be a little reserved with new people. Given time, however, they will come out of their shells. They have excellent guarding instincts and a strong sense of loyalty to their families.

Things You Should Know

English Shepherds can live as long as 14 years. Common health issues include hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. English Shepherds don’t shed excessively and only need occasional brushing.

Like most herding breeds, English Shepherds have active minds. Left alone indoors for too long, they can go a little batty. For this reason, they are not really suited for apartments. Take them out to work in the field or for hikes in the woods—the activity and mental stimulation will result in a very happy and stable English Shepherd.

English Shepherd History

Though some believe the English Shepherd descends from Roman herding dogs brought to Britain 2,000 years ago, they more likely came from a mix of sturdy Scottish shepherd dogs. Brought to America by early colonists, the English Shepherd continues to be a popular worker and companion in the United States.

The Look of a English Shepherd

English Shepherds are vigorous and rustic dogs with medium-length wavy or straight coats. They have rounded heads with broad (but not boxy) muzzles, brown eyes and folded ears that perk upright when the dog is alert. Their chests are deep, and their tails are long with slight curves at the end. English Shepherds can be found in black & tan, black & white, sable & white and tricolor (black, tan & white). Overall, English Shepherds have a strong and balanced look.

Talk About English Shepherds 

Living with an English Shepherd

Our English Shepherd will be 16 in May 2011. What do we like most about him? He's smart and loyal, friendly with cats and doesn't trust strangers (he needs to be introduced to people carefully).

What is living with him like? Overall, nice. It was tough when the kids were little (the dog had a hard time trusting that he wouldn't be stepped on, etc.) but now he's wonderful with kids aged 3-5.

~Kit M., owner of an English Shepherd

Not well-known, but great family dogs

I have owned and bred these dogs for 70 years and feel these are truly America's generic dog. The Peter Pans of the dog world who love children and are very protective. Extremely intelligent right up there with the Border Collie, only with a "off switch" which makes them ideal for home life. Very gentle and caring, these dogs are right at home in the meadow or the cottage. A home is not a home without an Old Shep.

~James H., owner of English Shepherds

Smart and beautiful, too

I love how English Shepherds are so smart and very beautiful. I've had Jerry Lee, who will be two in November 2011,since he was a puppy. I got him from the pound, where they wrongly told me he was a German Shepherd.

He is such a great dog: loyal, loving, active, hyper, and smart. This breed is a great dog to have if you're interested in keeping active.

~Amanda W., owner of an English Shepherd