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English Shepherd

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English Shepherd

Form and Function

Confident with a sense of purpose, the English Shepherd is a true all-purpose working breed. This well-balanced medium-size dog is built for speed and agility, and his supreme intelligence makes him relatively easy to train. The English Shepherd’s keen herding ability, coupled with agility, stamina and perseverance, positions him as an excellent herding dog. He also is valued for his tracking, hunting and treeing abilities, and has the intelligence, athleticism and easy trainability needed to excel at obedience and agility.


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Breed Traits

Energy Level

5 out of 5

Exercise Requirements

5 out of 5


3 out of 5

Affection Level

3 out of 5

Friendliness To Dogs

4 out of 5

Friendliness To Other Pets

4 out of 5

Friendliness To Strangers

2 out of 5


4 out of 5

Ease of Training

4 out of 5

Grooming Requirements

3 out of 5

Heat Sensitivity

2 out of 5


2 out of 5

Breed Attributes




45 to 60 pounds (male), 40 to 50 pounds (female)


19 to 23 inches (male), 18 to 22 inches (female)


Herding (UKC)

Area of Origin

British Isles

Date of Origin

55 BC


The English Shepherd is believed to have resulted from a combination of dogs native to the British Isles with sheep and cattle dogs that Caesar brought to the British Isles when he invaded in 55 BC. These dogs assisted the Romans in herding livestock that were brought to help feed the troops. As the livestock dwindled, the extra dogs no longer needed were left to be used by natives to the area to breed with similar herding dogs to strengthen their natural instinct and other positive qualities. The first settlers brought the English Shepherd to the American colonies, and from there, followed the western development the United States. Esteemed for his herding ability and guarding instinct, this versatile, all-purpose breed has been recognized by the United Kennel Club since 1927.


The English Shepherd is courageous and gritty, always ready to perform the work for which he was bred at the drop of a hat. Alert and eager to please, the English Shepherd is a devoted family companion and loyal watchdog.


Because the English Shepherd is a working breed, he requires plenty of exercise. He’s not ideally suited for apartment dwelling and does better in a home with a fenced backyard or acreage with plenty of room to roam. Due to his high intelligence, the English Shepherd also requires as much mental stimulation as he does physical. Without proper training and socialization, he can become stubborn and bossy. The English Shepherd has a thick, soft and glossy coat that requires regular grooming, including weekly brushing and the occasional bath.


  • Major Concerns: N/A
  • Minor Concerns: N/A
  • Occasionally Seen: Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, luxating patella, cataracts
  • Suggested Tests: Hip dysplasia, brucellosis, MDR1
  • Lifespan: 10 to 13 years


Note: While the characteristics mentioned here may frequently represent this breed, dogs are individuals whose personalities and appearances will vary. Please consult the adoption organization for details on a specific pet.

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