What the heck is an English Shepherd?

… and why would you want one?

We’ve owned English Shepherds for almost 15 years, and by far and away the most common question we get about our dogs is, “What the heck is that?”  It’s not surprising: virtually unknown in southwestern British Columbia, the English Shepherd might be best thought of as a Border Collie with an off switch — they fit into most of the domains where a Border Collie might be a natural choice, and have many of the same desirable traits of a Border Collie, but lack the same intensity and focus.  They’re loyal, intelligent, and capable dogs that are equally at home in the city and on the farm, excelling at everything from herding to agility to companionship and service.

The “breed,” as such, is rather poorly defined.  English Shepherds, as a group, are described by what they do rather than what they are; historically, they were livestock herders (i.e., shepherds) from the United Kingdom working on farms, so puppies were chosen from adult dogs who had demonstrated success as herders, so those traits were passed on from generation to generation.  Today, you’ll find a wide range of body conformation types, colour patterns, hair, tails, ears, and eyes.  But inside, they’re mostly the same talented animal.

You can read more about these remarkable dogs in this article written by breeder Mary Peaslee. The rest of her Web site is great, too, and goes into far more detail than we could (and a great deal more eloquently) about how the breed came to be, what they’re like, and why you might want one.  The short version: they’re smart, trainable, and committed to their people.

As breeders, our dogs are part of our family and our daily lives.  Living in Victoria, British Columbia, ours are not master herders or agility champions — but they are spectacular companions, fiercely loyal, good with kids, and great to be around.  We love our English Shepherds intensely, want to see the breed continue and grow and prosper, and are committed to ensuring the long term health of English Shepherds everywhere.

We are currently taking reservations for our Summer 2018 litter.  If you think you might be interested in one of these fabulous dogs, please send us an e-mail: info(at)salishseashepherds.com.