10 Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About the English Shepherd

The English Shepherd is a breed of dog that was developed in the United States using farm dogs that were brought from England and Scotland between the 17th and 19th centuries. This is now an extremely popular breed of dog in both the United States and in other countries of the world. While many people can recognize this breed by sight, there are plenty of things that people do not know about them. Here are ten fun facts about the English Shepherd.

They Were Bred to Work on Farms

This breed was originally bred to work on farms. While many other breeds of dog are bred specifically to herd one type of livestock or to undertake a specific role, the English Shepherd was bred to undertake a wide variety of roles in a farm environment. In addition to herding, this breed has also been used as a vermin eradicator, a hunting dog, a livestock guardian and a farm family companion.

They Are from the Collie Lineage

The ancestry of an English Shepherd is from the Collie lineage. This means that they are related to many other breeds of dogs, including Border Collies and Australian Shepherds. The English Shepherd is similar in appearance to the Border Collie but is generally larger. It differs from the Australian Shepherd as it has a more rounded head. Also, Australian Shepherds are often merle, and this is not a color variation of the English Shepherd.

English Shepherds Are Highly Intelligent

One of the best personality traits of the English Shepherd is that they are a highly intelligent breed of dog. They are easy to train and learn new tasks very quickly. This is what makes them ideal for farm work and many of the other working roles these dogs have undertaken throughout history. Another job for which this breed has been used is search and rescue.

They Have a Natural Chasing Instinct

English Shepherds have a natural instinct to chase. This means that they love to play fetch with their owners. An owner of an English Shepherd will often find that their pet will bring a ball and drop it at their feet to encourage their owner to play with them.

The English Shepherd Breed Is Subject to the MDR1 Gene Mutation

A common problem amongst herding breeds is the MDR1 gene mutation. It is estimated that 15% of the population of English Shepherds is subject to this gene mutation. A dog with this gene mutation will often have a sensitivity to common drugs prescribed to canines. Although this condition is potentially life-threatening, it is easy to test if a dog is positive through a simple cheek swab.

They Often Compete in Events

Due to their intelligence and ability to learn quickly, English Shepherds are an ideal breed for participating in events. These can include obedience events, tracking, herding competitions, flyball, showmanship, and agility trials. They are also sometimes used for hunting.

The English Shepherd Is a Medium Sized Dog

The English Shepherd is classified as a medium-sized dog. A healthy adult male will grow to a height of between 18 and 23 inches and weigh between 21 and 28 kilograms. A healthy adult female will reach the same height as a male but will usually weigh less as the average weight is between 18 and 23 kilograms.

They Need Lots of Exercise

Although the owners of some breeds of dog can get away with just letting their dog run around in the garden for exercise, this is not the case for the English Shepherd. This breed needs plenty of exercise. In fact, dog experts recommend that owners of an English Shepherd walk their dog for at least 40 minutes each day.

There Are Many Color Variations

While some breeds of dog offer very limited variations in terms of color, the English Shepherd comes in a variety of colors. Some of the most common of these black and white, black and tan, brindle, sable, and tri-color.

The English Shepherd IsKnown by Many Other Names

Although this breed is usually referred to as the English Shepherd, it is also known by various other names. These include the Barnyard Collie, the American Collie, the English Herder, the Cow Dog, the American Shepherd, and the Farm Collie.


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