Other Physical Traits

Blue Eye

Historically, the watch eye has been a part of the breed. This is when the dog has one blue eye and one brown eye. While this seems to be a common occurrence in dogs with a split face or white head, it can occur in dogs without this extra white on their heads. There have been reported cases of two blue eyes in the breed as well.

Natural Bobtail

As the name states, this is a dog that is born with a natural bobtail. It is an accepted trait within the Breed Standard and can range anywhere from no tail (maybe one digit in the tail) to half a tail in length. A natural bobtail is caused by a dominant gene, and it is thought that most natural bobtailed English Shepherds carry only one copy of the gene.

Rear Dewclaws

While front dewclaws are functional and firmly attached, the extra rear dewclaws may not be. These tend to occur in black and tan lines or where black and tan lines have been folded into a breeding program. Not only can there be rear dewclaws, but double rear dewclaws are possible as well. These can be removed from the puppies up through the third day of life. After that it is considered surgery.