The English Shepherd is known for its energy, agility and intelligence. This dog is also quite courageous and some might even say fearless. When properly trained and given a command, the English Shepherd will respond immediately. This dog has historically served well when working in a farming environment but also serves well as a guard dog. Despite the fact that the English Shepherd has been used largely as a stock dog over the years, it also makes a fine companion as well as a family pet. For the most part this dog gets along well with children and does not exhibit aggressiveness with other dogs. When raised with other animals, they tend to get along fine. While the English Shepherd is noted for its friendliness, it does tend to be somewhat reserved with strangers, which is what makes it such an excellent watch dog. When provided with sufficient exercise, this breed of dog is perfectly happy to curl up at its owner�s feet at night.
The English Shepherd is not prone to a lot of serious health conditions, but may suffer from both hip as well as elbow dyslplasia; conditions which have been found in almost all breeds. The best way to avoid this problem is to choose a puppy from parents who have been found to be free of these conditions.
The English Shepherd is believed to be a herding dog that is descended from almost completely Roman lines. The breed was originally introduced to Britain during the invasion of Caesar in 55 BC. The dogs were used for herding livestock that were brought along on the trip to feed the troops. Once the livestock were depleted, remaining dogs were left on the British Isles and were eventually taken in by the natives. Over time, the dogs were bred with other dogs known for their herding skills. The English Shepherd was introduced to America when they were brought by some of the first colonists. As the country spread westward, the English Shepherd became well known for its herding abilities as well as its talent for guarding homesteads. During the 1800s this breed was extremely popular, but by the 1950s its popularity had begun to be replaced by that of the Border Collie. Registration later revived interest in the English Shepherd and today this breed continues to serve as both a working dog as well as a family dog. In recent years, there has also been new interest in the English Shepherd as an athletic dog because of its agility, particularly in regards to Frisbee and flyball.
The English Shepherd is fairly easy to maintain but will require brushing on a regular basis in order to remove hair. Shampooing and bathing may be necessary when the dog becomes really dirty, but dirt does not tend to cling to the coat of this dog and instead simply falls away from the coat. In addition, this dog will need to be taken for daily walks. When given a healthy diet, daily walks and regular check-ups the average life expectancy of an English Shepherd is between twelve and sixteen years.
The ideal environment for an English Shepherd would be one in which there is plenty of room for this energetic dog to get plenty of exercise. While an English Shepherd is best suited to an area where there is sufficient room to run or even an area where it can use its herding abilities, a dog living in a city environment should receive plenty of opportunity for exercise; preferably on a daily basis. The English Shepherd is a loving and family oriented dog that requires a master who is calm, confident and consistent but firm. This dog does require daily walks in order to burn off excess energy and maintain its health. The English Shepherd makes a good jogging companion. This dog is very quick to learn and does well with training due to its keen intelligence.
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