Dog Breed

English Shepherd

Primary image of English Shepherd dog breed
Full Name
English Shepherd
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Life Span
10 - 13 years
44 - 66 pounds

Kind, Energetic, Independent, Adaptable, Intelligent, Bossy

United Kingdom
Bred For
Herding & guarding livestock, farm watch dog
    Family Considerations
    Child Friendly

    Is the English Shepherd good with children?

    Yes, the English Shepherd is very friendly with children. We still recommend introductions to children while they are young so they get used to them, but the English Shepherd naturally loves children.
    Stranger Friendly

    Is the English Shepherd friendly with strangers?

    Yes, the English Shepherd is very friendly with strangers. We still recommend early socialization while the English Shepherd is a puppy to introduce them to various new people, but in general they are friendly with everyone.
    Dog Friendly

    Is the English Shepherd friendly with other dogs?

    The English Shepherd is about average in how friendly they are with other dogs. They can be timid or defensive, but with proper training and socialization can be fine for dog parks and living with other dogs at home.
    Likes to Cuddle

    Does the English Shepherd like to cuddle?

    The English Shepherd appreciates affection and that includes kisses and snuggles!

    Does the English Shepherd like to play?

    The English Shepherd is always ready for play! It's important to keep in mind, as they need to be stimulated with games and affection throughout the day.
    Service Dog Ability

    Does the English Shepherd make a good service dog?

    The English Shepherd is a common service dog. The English Shepherd is smart, dedicated, and patient. However, despite the English Shepherd being an excellent breed for service work, they must pass through an extensive training period and only some will be up for a life dedicated to service work.
    Overall Ease of Breed
    Ease for Novice

    Is the English Shepherd good for first-time owners?

    The English Shepherd is not the easiest breed for first-time owners, but can certainly still work out if the owner is willing to put the time into training and exercise.
    Training Potential

    How well can the English Shepherd be trained?

    The English Shepherd can be trained to the highest level and is oftentimes seen in various competitions. The English Shepherd is not only intelligent, but it wants to please its owner and is motivated with competition, especially if it feels like it has a job assigned to it.
    Amount of Shedding

    Does the English Shepherd shed a lot?

    The English Shepherd sheds a lot! They may still shed less than a few other breeds, but be prepared for dog hair throughout the home and on your clothes.
    Ease of Grooming

    Is the English Shepherd easy to groom?

    The English Shepherd requires a good amount of grooming work. It is possible to do it yourself, but you need to plan on dedicating weekly grooming sessions at the minimum.
    Exercise Need

    Does the English Shepherd need a lot of exercise?

    The English Shepherd has a lot of energy and getting daily exercise is very important, both for their well-being and for their focus, which is important when you train them.

    How smart is the English Shepherd?

    The English Shepherd is one of the smartest dog breeds. Having a very smart dog is fun, but it is also demanding- they require mental challenge and stimulation just as much as physical exercise.
    Amount of Barking

    How much does the English Shepherd bark? Does the English Shepherd bark too much?

    The English Shepherd barks a lot. This is important to consider with your living situation- will it be ok when you leave them at home alone or will they disrupt the neighbors? The English Shepherd will oftentimes bark just to express their thoughts... even just to be heard!
    Guard Dog Ability

    Is the English Shepherd a good guard dog?

    The English Shepherd can serve as an excellent guard dog. It is both physically intimidating and also enjoys having a "job" to protect its family and property.
    Tolerates Being Alone

    Is the English Shepherd good at staying alone? Is the English Shepherd independent?

    The English Shepherd is not very independent and does not do great when left behind for longer than a couple of hours. This is one of the most important things to consider when getting a new dog.
    Home and Environment Considerations
    Good for Apartment Living

    Is the English Shepherd a good apartment dog?

    The English Shepherd is not a good dog for apartment living for several reasons. It is still possible to make it work if the owner is dedicated to plenty of training and daily exercise, but it may be challenging.

    How big is the English Shepherd?

    The English Shepherd is a medium sized dog breed. They can range in size depending on genetics, and males are larger on average than females.
    Tolerates Heat

    How much does the English Shepherd tolerate hot weather? When is it too hot for a English Shepherd?

    The English Shepherd can tolerate some heat, but should not be over-exposed to hot weather. In general, they can live in hot weather climates, but would do best with air conditioning or at least a fan in their home, especially where they sleep.
    Tolerates Cold

    How much does the English Shepherd tolerate cold weather? When is it too cold for a English Shepherd?

    The English Shepherd can tolerate cold weather well. Play time in the snow or on particularly cold evenings may need to be limited, but overall they can do well in cold climates.
    Potential to Run Away

    Does the English Shepherd try to run away?

    The English Shepherd does not have a large drive to run away. They can still be distracted and run, so precautions should be taken, but overall they have a less than average urge to run away.
    Physical Characteristics
    General Health

    Is the English Shepherd a healthy dog? The health of a English Shepherd should be measured not just by how many years they live, but also by how many health issues they've had. It is important to know which health conditions your breed is prone to- hip problems, eye problems, bloating, and arthritis are all common dog health problems.

    The English Shepherd is healthy, but has an average number of health risks that should be taken into consideration.
    Energy Level

    How energetic is the English Shepherd?

    The English Shepherd has a lot of energy and this needs to be considered before bringing the English Shepherd into your home. Can you give your English Shepherd enough exercise? They will need several small daily walks, or a large dog park trip to get all of the energy out.
    Amount of Drooling

    How much does the English Shepherd drool?

    The English Shepherd drools very little, typically to where it's never a concern.
    Prey Drive

    Does the English Shepherd have a large prey drive? Does the English Shepherd like to chase birds, cats, and other small animals?

    The English Shepherd has average prey drive. They will probably enjoy chasing after birds and other small animals at the park, and it may be an issue at the home if you have small animals, but with some training and introduction can usually learn to live with them.

    Is the English Shepherd atheltic?

    The English Shepherd is very athletic and would be well suited for a family that frequently works out or goes on adventures.
  1. Working
  2. Shepherd / Sheepdog
  3. English Shepherd
The English Shepherd is a purebred dog that belongs to the Shepherd / Sheepdog sub group, which falls under the larger Working dog breed group.
Working group: Working dogs encompass a wide range of different breeds- but they all were bred to assist people, so they are used to working hard. It is important for them to feel they have a "job" as their roles traditionally have varied from rescuing people to pulling sleds. Because of their large size and intensity, they may be a handful for first time dog owners. On the other side, they can be trained well, so any owner who can exercise and dedicate to training their working dog, will be well rewarded. A common misconception may be that the working dog's jobs are only in physically challenging jobs; actually working dogs can also make excellent service dogs, since they are also kind and attentive to their owners.
Shepherd / Sheepdog sub-group: Shepherd dogs are the super performers of the dog world. For many generations they have served their owners by performing their job of helping in the farm- guarding, protecting, and herding. Shepherds were bred based off intelligence and temperament, and willingness to serve their families. Today they are excellent family dogs, but also excel as military service animals, emotional therapy dogs, and in competitive obedience competitions. They are highly trainable and intelligent, but that does not necessarily mean they are an easy dog or optimal for first time owners. With this potential comes greater responsibility from the owner. They need a firm owner who is willing to stimulate them both physically and mentally from an early age. They need a leader. If they have one, you will be rewarded with one of the friendliest and most intelligent dogs in the World.

English Shepherds for adoption

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