English Shepherds are intelligent, alert, responsive working dogs. They are exceptionally devoted, and have a strong desire to work in partnership with their owner, whatever the task.


English Shepherds are natural low heelers, with strong herding instinct. They exhibit agility, stamina, and stout hearted perseverance and will use the amount of force necessary to accomplish the job. Their natural instincts enable them to work with a minimum of direction, however, and they can be trusted to not bother livestock when help is not needed.

English Shepherd herding stories Bob, Skeeter, Shooter


English Shepherds are also valued for their tracking, hunting and treeing ability. Advertising brochures from the 1950s depict English Shepherds treeing squirrel, coon and possum, and note “English Shepherds will tree anything and everything.” This may include, of course, your neighbor’s cat! An industrious English Shepherd may not be satisfied with simply treeing critters — he may decide to climb a tree or two himself! English Shepherd owners need to be aware of and make allowances for the many faceted drives their dogs inherit.

Agility & More

With their blend of intelligence, athleticism, and trainability, English Shepherds excel at many of the newer dog sports. English Shepherds have succeeded at the highest levels of obedience and agility. They also make outstanding partners in Search and Rescue, and many English Shepherds are certified Therapy Dogs, visiting residents in nursing homes and hospitals. English Shepherds are truly all-purpose dogs, eager to work for their owners in a variety of settings.