English Shepherds vs. Other Herders

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by sillysally, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    Messages:
    5,074
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 birds, and 1 horse
    Location:
    A hole in the bottom of the sea.
    How to they compare?

    I've only net one, and he seemed lovely. I love the look and athleticism of must herding dogs but see many that are sharp and super intense, which I am not a big fan of. My general impression of English shepherds is that they are less so but was looking for others opinions....
     
  2. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,963
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    I'm not very familiar with English shepherds but I will say that in my experience collies (rough and smooth) are a lot less intense and more laid back than other herding breeds I've been around.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  3. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    6,215
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Have you looked at the ES rescue website? They have quite a bit of good info... Www.nesr.info

    Everything I've ever learned about then suggests they are a pretty variable breed...from workaholics to more laud back dogs...from very biddable to more independent. They don't seem to have the frantic energy of some breeds in the group...but they should have very strong working instincts if that makes sense.
     
  4. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Messages:
    7,099
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Illinois
    They to me from what I've heard and listening to Sit Stay is they are kinda like the Aussies of yesterday. Good all around farm dogs that can do some hunting, herding, guarding and curl up with the kids. Less sharp but very versatile, intelligent dogs. Without the proneness to neurotic traits a lot of herders have.

    But, they also seem to vary A LOT. So you'll probably find all ends of the spectrum.
     
  5. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,963
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    I've been researching Aussies a lot lately *cough* and I think the 'aussie of yesterday' is very much still around. From talking to Keechak (Erin) there are really three styles of Aussie breeders these days. There are traditional ranch bred dogs bred strictly for cattle. Then there are dual type breeders breeding for ASCA show and trial and all around work. Then dogs bred primarily for AKC show ring. My obedience trainer has a working line aussie that is very traditionally ranch bred. Very very neat and cool dog. Very small, solid red merle with no copper and very minimal flash. The other people at the club have aussies too and those dogs all look very traditional too. Just in a short amount of time I can find quite a few Aussie breeders breeding for work in some form or fashion. That is assuming you mean the Aussie of today is the type of dog you see at Westminster every year. There's a big range in the breed between the Slash V style working dogs and then the Westminster BOB. lots of in between.

    That's a little bit off topic, sorry! I'm not sure how working ES compare to working Aussies.

    English shepherds are definitely overall bigger than Aussies. I was looking at ES websites last night and many bitches were 60 lbs and some of the males were up in the 80s and 90 lbs. Of course some dogs looked smaller as they vary a lot but they definitely get bigger than a typical Aussie.

    I love the thought of an all around farm type dog a lot.
     
  6. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Messages:
    7,099
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Illinois
    I actually didn't mean to imply at all that that type wasn't still around. I just was trying to figure out how to exactly word the type of Aussie I was thinking of. I really just meant the all around good farm and ranch dog a lot of the older time Aussies seemed to be. I didn't mean they weren't still around! I was searching Aussie breeders awhile back for someone and found a lot of ones that seemed to be staying true to their roots.

    I hope Charlotte sees this thread, I sent it to her so hopefully she'll come on here soon!
     
  7. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,963
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    Oh okay. That makes sense. :p
     
  8. stafinois

    stafinois Professional Nerd

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,617
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Mayberry
    Home Page:
    My in-laws just lost their English Shepherd :(

    She was a lovely dog. She didn't have the intensity that their BCs did, but she certainly had some herding instinct and cleaned up the varmints. Softer than I like in a dog, though.
     
  9. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Messages:
    2,269
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    several
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Home Page:
    I think to think of ES as more of "old fashioned farm collies".

    Sorry to hear this :(
     
  10. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    7,061
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    2 dogs (and 3 half dogs and a half cat)
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Chloe, IMO, fits the bill pretty well for an English Shepherd. And I really, really enjoy her when she is in her element. If I could have a dog like her that wasn't sound gun shy and didn't have her aggression issues, I'd love it. And I typically don't like normal "herding dog" traits.
     
  11. Sit Stay

    Sit Stay Not a Border Collie

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,814
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Ontario
    ETA; sorry if this is scattered! I have had sporadic internet access so I wrote this over two days.

    I'm going to back you Linds - I would say a working bred or "old style" Aussie would be very similar to an ES!

    I always preface these kinds of posts by saying I am a novice to this breed with limited first hand experience with English Shepherds. I have Quinn obviously, I've met an aunt, her dam, and her granddam, I am friends with and herd with the owner of another ES, and I have a dog that is actually related to Quinn (they share the same grandsire) come into work occasionally but that's about it! The English Shepherd community is a very close and active one though, so thanks to the internet I get to stay in touch with and hear about lots of other dogs.

    Briefly back to the Aussie thing - I had Aussies as a kid. My childhood dog that we got when I was three was a working bred bitch, then my dad got another Aussie bitch when I was 5 who I assume was probably more pet-bred. We also fostered others although they didn't have as strong an impact on me. Our working bred, Jasmine, was a fantastic dog! Extremely stable temperament, great with kids, great with the horses, active but had a great off switch, very smart, biddable and forgiving. I would take another of her in a second! I was however turned off Aussies when I was looking to add a puppy (that ended up being Quinn) because the ones I'd been seeing lacked the stable temperament and strong nerve that Jasmine had. I live in Ontario, so the majority I'd been seeing were likely show and pet bred, but it did leave me hesitant about getting back into the breed. If I lived in Alberta I'd probably have a better time trying to find working Aussie breeders!

    I went with the English Shepherd because the standard and description of the breed reminded me so much of my childhood Aussies. They should absolutely be your all around farm dog - able to work a variety of stock in all kinds of conditions, hunt vermin, guard, and be a good house pet at the end of the day. I think a good Aussie and a good ES would be a very similar dogs! Quinn is a little less sharp or sensitive than a lot of Aussies I've met - she is not noise or movement reactive and not many things seem to weird her out or spook her. This also varies but I think, generally, ESs aren't as barky. Compared to a BC, they don't have that intensity that seems pretty unique to the breed. I would also say they're less prone to movement reactivity and obsessive behaviours that can sometimes be a problem with BCs (and ACDs for that matter - Dally can be OCDish). They tend to take themselves pretty seriously (and expect the same of others) - they are thinking dogs, not reactive. They probably have more hunting and guarding instinct than a BC, which can be a pro or a con depending on your preferences, and may be a little more tolerant than some sharper BCs. Quinn has had so many little kids run up to her and grab a hold of her in a split second and she is always very accepting and happy to see them! As far as working ability, English Shepherds are loose eyed upright herders like Aussies. Many dogs will bark, many will grip, although it does vary from dog to dog! Quinn does neither, for example. She is a very drivey, quick moving dog (and I know others like her) so as of yet she hasn't had to put any more pressure on stock. I could see her gripping if they weren't respecting her but it's not her first instinct. They don't have much eye because they are meant to work in close contact with stock if needed without stressing or scattering the herd. English Shepherds are less ... I can't think of the right word, perhaps biddable? than BCs. They can be particular in the way that relationship with the handler and working is closely linked. They are the type of dogs that like to work with you. They generally don't do well with lots of drills or repetition and will often question their handler if they don't understand the purpose of the task. They seem to learn best through doing actual "real life" tasks with their handler. This is that independent nature showing through!

    Linds is right in that there is a large variety of the breed. Quinn and her relatives are quite alike in the way that they are pretty moderately sized (40-50 pounds) and high drive. Quinn and her mom especially are quite high energy, busy dogs that have been referred to as multiple people a little BC-ish. Quinn is a fairly intense dog when turned on - she gets very quiet and serious about her job and does it fast! Quinn does have a great off switch though, and apparently has more of one than her mom. Quinn is also a little more social with people than the relatives I've met - they were pleasant and happily accepted pats but not overly excited to see me and didn't give me much of a greeting. Quinn is a little more exuberant with some people - others she gives a very quick greeting to and moves on. Her cousin who comes into my work is very friendly and was in my lap within 10 minutes, but his attention was always on his young owner. They are all stable dogs with good nerve - Quinn doesn't get shook up very easily and can take some correction. The English Shepherd we herd with, who is a good comparison to Quinn as they are the same age and live in the same kind of environment (small farm), is a much softer dog. She is more laid back and easy going, but she's not a dog that can take much correction before turning off and she doesn't recover immediately. She is still a very reliable, stable tempered dog though and is such a wonderful girl! She has this amazing calm aura to her and is just so innately good - her owner says she's her easy dog and that she hasn't even done that much deliberate training with her. She just knows what she wants and aims to please. English Shepherds seeming to innately know what they need to do and figuring out the daily routine and taking it into their own hands is a common thing - the fact that they can be independent workers and that they bond very closely and aim to please their owners is a good combination!
     
  12. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    40,739
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Aussies fit me so well, but I swear I will have an ES someday.
     
  13. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    Messages:
    5,074
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 birds, and 1 horse
    Location:
    A hole in the bottom of the sea.
    Are they dogs that can live happily in a situation where they live in town with a yard if given enough activity?

    They really sound like a breed I'd be very interested in. When I was younger I REALLY wanted a herding breed--a BC, ACD, or Aussie, but after spending some time around the breeds found them to either be too intense, too sharp, too reactive or just with a questionable temperament all around. I think it would be fantastic to find a nice herding type to do agility and possibly try herding with....
     
  14. Sit Stay

    Sit Stay Not a Border Collie

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,814
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Ontario
    If you find the right pup, I'd say they could easily live in town. My breeder has placed quite a few pups in suburban homes, and the owners of the dog that comes into my work live in Toronto (he just gets lots of time at the barn she boards at, and I think she does a lot with him in town too. He's incredibly easy going and dog/people friendly!).
     
  15. Dogdragoness

    Dogdragoness Happy Spring!!!!

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Messages:
    4,168
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Gillett/Flower Mound TX
    Then why get a herding/working breed? their sharpness & intense nature is what I love about them, they arent "wussies". Most herding breeds are calmer (well bred /mature ones mind you) then most sporting breeds.

    I love your siggy "the stupid fuzzy" its so cute :D. I was actually thinking of getting an ES when I was looking for a second dog, but no breeders in my area were having litters, so I rescued another ACD (I guess I am just meant to have ACDs ... which is ok by me :D )
     
  16. Dogdragoness

    Dogdragoness Happy Spring!!!!

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Messages:
    4,168
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Gillett/Flower Mound TX
    You found ACDs to be more intense then labs & other sporting breeds? I find a lab much more demanding, tougher to train & the breed in general to have a more questionable temperment (due to overbreeding) then any ACD I have been around / owned.
     
  17. Sit Stay

    Sit Stay Not a Border Collie

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,814
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Ontario
    Everyone has different preferences in a dog and finds different traits easier or more difficult.
     
  18. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Messages:
    5,798
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    This. That's why there are so many different breeds out there and even different types located within those breeds. Just because someone likes the edginess of a breed, doesn't mean another person does.
     
  19. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Messages:
    7,099
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Illinois
    This.

    Personal preference plays a big part in how a dog is perceived. If you don't mesh well then they are most certainly going to come off harder to live with and so on.

    And not all herding or working breeds are bred for the sharpness or intensity nor is that always desirable in a dog. Again, comes down to what you want which is why it's great their are so many flavors.
     
  20. Dogdragoness

    Dogdragoness Happy Spring!!!!

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Messages:
    4,168
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Gillett/Flower Mound TX
    Understood, but to want a herding breed, then say "well I want one that is not so intense because that bothers me" then why not stick with your current breed of choice or look for a similar breed? Seems more practical then trying to make a breed conform.

    I dont like to see breeders breeding "show/pet" & "working" lines in any breed for those who cant handle the "true" [insert breed here], it always has bothered me.
     

Share This Page