25 Questions То Consider Before Getting An English Shepherd
English Shepherds are rarely mentioned as family pets and don’t really have the popularity of other shepherd breeds such as the German or Australian Shepherd. This is quite undeserved, however, as these medium-sized pets actually make for awesome family pets. This is a pretty well-rounded breed that anyone can look after and that can make any dog owner or family happy.
If we had to guess as to why English Shepherds aren’t more popular, it’s likely a combination of the presence of other, more unique-looking shepherds and there being too many other famous English breeds. Regardless, if you’re wondering about this breed, here we’ll go over the 25 questions to consider before getting an English Shepherd.
1. Are English Shepherds good pets?
By virtually every measure, English Shepherds make for great pets. Exceptionally friendly and loving, these dogs can get along with anyone. Whether you live in a single-person household or a large family, an English Shepherd will eagerly become a member of your pack. Unlike other breeds who tend to attach to a single person more than to others, an English Shepherd can love as many people as it has around it.
2. Do English Shepherds like to cuddle?
English Shepherds are not lap dogs but they are more than friendly and loving enough for frequent cuddling. The only reason why an English Shepherd might refuse a cuddle would be if it needs exercise.
And, granted, English Shepherds are highly energetic so they can be restless if they haven’t gotten out in a while. However, provided that you’ve given your English Shepherd plenty of exercise, it will certainly like to cuddle after that.
3. How smart is an English Shepherd?
Like all other great shepherd breeds, the English Shepherd is an exceptionally intelligent dog. These pets have been bred for problem-solving and dealing with complex tasks on the go for centuries. So, if you are looking for a categorically smart canine, the English Shepherd fits the bill.
4. Are English Shepherds easy to train?
Very much so. Many intelligent breeds can be difficult to train because their intelligence translates into a very stubborn personality. That isn’t the English Shepherd, however. These dogs love to please and happily follow commands and perform tasks for their humans. Of course, some basic obedience training is always required but an English Shepherd will get the hang of things faster than most other breeds.
5. Can English Shepherds be left alone?
One drawback of having a dog that’s highly intelligent and extremely social is that separation anxiety becomes an issue. These dogs have been bred to be farm animals which means that they are used to always having someone around. So, if you work away from home and you intend to leave your English Shepherd alone for the day, every day, you’re going to get one sad, depressed, disobedient, and destructive dog.
So, it’s best to either rearrange your work schedule or find someone to look after your pet while you’re at work. This can be another family member, a dog walker or dog sitter, a playdate with a fellow dog owner, or just a second dog.
6. Are English Shepherds playful?
Indeed they are. This is both a highly energetic and a very playful breed. If you want a dog that you can do tricks and play games with, this is a great choice. But, if you want a dog to just sleep on the carpet and look pretty, that’s not the right breed.
7. Do English Shepherds nip?
English Shepherds can be reserved with strangers if they are not properly socialized but even then they will rarely nip or bite at a person. Instead, their first instinct is usually to just bark and demand that the newcomer “halts”.
8. Are English Shepherds ok with strangers?
With good socialization – yes, these dogs can tolerate strangers very well. However, the socialization part is key – without it, English Shepherds will be wary of strangers. Remember that this is first and foremost a shepherd breed – its instinct is literally to herd you and protect you from anyone the dog doesn’t know it should trust.
9. Is the English Shepherd breed good with children?
This is a pretty great breed for kids, yes. The English Shepherd’s lovable and social nature, its playfulness, as well as its loyalty and herding tendencies, mean that it’s great with kids of all ages and sizes. And, the medium size of this dog means that accidental knocks also aren’t an issue. Of course, some supervision is always advisable at first, but that applies to any dog breed.
10. Do English Shepherds get along with other dogs?
English Shepherds don’t tend to have any inherent aggression toward other canines. Unlike most guard dog breeds, shepherds are used to working with other canines. So, as long as you’ve socialized and introduced your English Shepherd to the other dog properly, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t get along well.
11. Can you have an English Shepherd with a cat?
English Shepherds are even a breed that gets along with cats. The high energy level of the shepherd may be a bit much for some felines but the dog will be very unlikely to actually hurt the cat. This is largely due to the shepherd’s herding instinct and lack of prey drive. So, especially if the two animals are brought up together, they should become excellent friends.
12. How big are English Shepherds?
The average height at the shoulders of an adult English Shepherd is between 18 and 23 inches (46 to 58 cm). As for weight, English Shepherds will usually weigh somewhere between 40 and 61 pounds (18 and 28 cm) with males being a bit heavier than females.
13. How long do English Shepherds live?
The average lifespan of English Shepherds is 10 to 13 years. This is pretty standard for a medium-sized breed. Additionally, if the puppy is healthy and free of any negative genetic predispositions and if you take good care of it, there shouldn’t be problems in going beyond the 13-year average.
14. Are English Shepherds healthy?
This is an exceptionally healthy breed, yes. There aren’t any real major concerns for these dogs. The few unlikely issues to watch out for include:
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
- Luxating Patella
If you’ve taken a healthy pup with a health certificate from a reputable breeder, the rest will be a matter of just looking after your dog well. A good diet, regular execise, and routine vet visits should ensure a long and happy life for this breed.
15. What type of coat do English Shepherds have?
These dogs have a thick, soft, and glossy double coat. This means a gorgeous look, good thermal isolation, as well as seasonal shedding – typically in the spring and autumn.
16. Do English Shepherds shed a lot?
English Shepherds will have two seasonal shedding blow-outs – in the spring and fall. The rest of the year they should shed only a bit. Proper grooming throughout the year, and especially before the blow-outs will take care of most of the problem.
17. Can I shave my English Shepherd?
Double coated dogs should never be fully shaved. For one, they need their undercoat for thermal isolation, including in the summer heat. Shaving the dog will actually make it less resistant to hot weather. Another reason is that the undercoat will often grow differently once it’s fully shaved. So, trimming your dog’s hair is fine, but avoid shaving it.
18. Do English Shepherds need baths?
The occasional bath is strongly recommended for this breed. It will help keep the thick coat and skin clean and it will make grooming easier.
19. Do English Shepherds stink?
These dogs have a standard canine scent but they aren’t inherently smellier than any other breed. If your English Shepherds smells more than expected, it likely just needs a bath.
20. What colors do English Shepherds come in?
The standard for this breed is any of the following:
- Tri-color of black, white, and tan/brown
- Sable and white
- Black and tan
- Black and white
- Brindle color
21. Do you need a professional groomer for an English Shepherd?
You don’t “need” a professional groomer but going to one can certainly make your life easier. This is especially true right before the spring and fall coat blow-outs. Just make sure to get your dog used to the groomer early on, right from its pup days.
22. How much exercise does an English Shepherd need?
This is a highly energetic dog breed so it needs at least a couple of hours of vigorous outdoor exercise divided into at least two walks. Any less and you’ll get an unhappy, restless, and unhealthy dog. This should be accompanied by quite a bit of indoor/yard playtime as well. Weekly hikes are also great.
23. Do you need a yard to look after an English Shepherd?
Your English Shepherd will certainly feel happier with a nice, fenced yard. It isn’t strictly a necessity, of course – if you spend enough time outside with your dog, yard time can be unnecessary. However, it does help a lot.
24. Can you have an English Shepherd in an apartment?
Any dog can be raised in an apartment if you go to the dog park for enough hours per day. However, energetic breeds like the English Shepherd are typically recommended for houses with yards.
25. How much do English Shepherds cost?
The average price for a purebred English Shepherd puppy is $400 to $800 which is quite low for a healthy and social family pet. This low price is largely due to the low demand for these dogs.
As you can see, English Shepherds are one fantastic family breed that definitely doesn’t get enough love from most pet owners. Agile, hard-working, people-pleasing, fun to be around, and quite healthy, these dogs are great with and for anyone. The only reason we can think of not to get an English Shepherd is if you’re not up for a highly energetic dog. If you do want a jogging companion as well as an awesome family pet, however, this breed is a great choice.
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