English Sheepdog: a lovable breed
English Sheepdog Owner Review
Our English Sheepdog Bobby is only 5 months old but we already know she is the best dog on Earth. What can we say about her?
First and foremost, she is a very people-oriented dog and needs her family with her at all times. She will follow us around the house and go wherever we go, even if we are not playing or talking to her at the moment. She will just lie down calmly and chew on her bone or play with her toy. As long as she is with us.
But she is also very active too. She will race around the house and come up with her own games if we don’t occupy her with something.
English Sheepdogs are very beautiful dogs, obviously! Implications of that are that every time we go for a walk, we have people coming up to us wanting to pet her or ask questions about her. Which can be nice or not, depending on the type of person you are.
Kids absolutely love Bobby, and she loves them back! So we sort of have to avoid playgrounds because we get swarms of kids wanting to play with her or pet her and sometimes it can be too much.
Bobby is very friendly with other animals too. She will befriend pretty much anyone: cats, dogs, probably even squirrels. If another dog isn’t friendly, Bobby usually just retreats towards us.
Usually, those are small dogs with owners who don’t think it’s important to teach their dogs how to be polite.
Our English Sheepdog has pretty much zero aggression towards anyone. She is very affectionate and friendly.
Another thing I love about her is her intelligence. She is very smart and a quick learner. We never took her to puppy classes, but I watched plenty of YouTube videos on how to train your dog and they all came in handy.
English Sheepdog is quite a large dog and she takes quite a bit of space in our house to be honest. Sometimes she’ll just plunk in the middle of the room and we have to step over her or walk around her. But she is very quiet so you see her but don’t hear her, like a perfect child!
One awesome and unexpected thing about our English Sheepdog is that she doesn’t chew anything apart from what’s allowed (her toys and such). We just tell her one time what she can and cannot chew and she seems to understand it right away.
We have never had a single shoe, piece of furniture, item of clothing or decor or anything else chewed up. The worst thing she can do is lick your stuff, like your clothes or shoes. But that’s probably just how she tells us she loves us.
English Sheepdog is quite an elegant, aristocratic breed. They are gracious and full of confidence and, I would even say, nobility. They are very careful around food and can even be picky. Our Bobby will never eat too much unlike some other dogs we know. She is never greedy.
Some English Sheepdogs pick one owner out of the family and treat him in a more “devoted” way than others, but Bobby seems to love us all equally. She loves us!
She loves being praised and will really do anything to deserve our praise and affection. I can see how she clings to every word and tries to make sense of what is being said to her.
Because they are so affectionate though, she often gets overly excited about other people too and can easily get distracted. This wouldn’t be a good dog for guarding and protecting of the property or for personal protection.
English Sheepdogs are really fantastic dogs and I could talk about their wonderful sides forever. They are wonderful as pets and very quickly become a full family member. It’s really hard not to love them.
English Sheepdog Downsides
What about some downsides?
Our English Sheepdog has a week stomach, unfortunately. We have to be very careful with what we feed her. The smallest amount of the wrong stuff will cause diarrhea or vomiting.
It was quite tricky for us to find the right dog food for her. She also has allergies. All of that means we have to clean up quite a bit which is a bit of a chore of course.
Another thing is dog hair. English Sheepdogs have quite a thick coat with long hair and all of that hair sheds onto your carpets and furniture. You have to be ready for that. A good vacuum cleaner might be an excellent investment if you are thinking of adopting an English Sheepdog.
English Sheepdogs are fearless and confident, or so they are said to be. Ours actually is afraid of quite a few things, especially loud sounds. Fireworks, car exhaust, you name it. She is also afraid to walk down the stairs so we have to help her.
English Sheepdog history
Although it is called English Sheepdog, most of the breed’s history actually took place in the United States, where the breed was developed and improved.
The first predecessors of this breed came to the US in the 17th century, accompanying some of the first colonists. The breed very quickly became quite popular and spread throughout the country.
Due to the fact that many dogs were lost to illness during the great migration, the remaining dogs had to be closely bred which lead to the selection of some of the more distinct features of the breed.
Eventually, there were so many English Sheepdogs throughout the country that they were considered a very mundane dog and weren’t even accepted at Dog shows.
English Sheepdog Temperament
English Sheepdogs are very friendly and affectionate, This isn’t a dog that will display aggression unless it is raised in a bad environment and is not properly socialized. They are extremely devoted to their people and would do anything to earn praise and love from their owners.
One of the quirks of this breed is their love for climbing trees! Yes, they are capable of climbing trees!
Despite their friendliness and affection, this is still a sheepdog and they do have guarding instincts. Don’t get surprised if your dog tries to “herd” your children or tries to “help” you with the cattle if you happen to be a farmer or homesteader.
Training your English Sheepdog
Due to their high intelligence, English Sheepdogs are very easy to train and often become service dogs. They excel in such areas as search and rescue, police work, tracking, seeing eye dog and others. This is a truly universal dog that will be good at almost anything provided they are well-trained.
They are very quick learners and thrive in an environment where they are constantly mentally and physically challenged. However, they don’t like aggression or loud voices and learn best when they are positively encouraged rather than disciplined. Training has to be a fun and pleasurable activity, not something grueling and frightening for your dog.
Aggression is not natural for these dogs, but if they are badly treated, they may very well develop aggression issues in self-defense. This is, of course, something to avoid for the sake of your dog and your own!