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.
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 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.
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.
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.