A versatile working-class dog breed, the English Shepherd is a breed developed in the United States primarily for herding and livestock purposes. The breed belongs to the Collie family and is believed to have been around since the 17th century. Extremely intelligent, loyal and athletic, English Shepherds are well-loved because of the many roles that they can take on. They can, however, be a bit stubborn and independent. This means that their owners should be able to confidently enforce and establish rules without being harsh. All in all, the English Shepherd can be a great exercise buddy, guard dog at home, and an everyday companion.
English Shepherds were originally bred centuries ago for one purpose: herding. Although they are currently more popular as house pets and companions, their fundamental herding instinct still exists to this day. In addition, herding dogs are generally in need of ample physical and mental exercise on a daily basis. So, unless you work or live on a farm, you have to find ways to keep your English Shepherd satisfied. A good game to teach your English Shepherd is hide and seek. In this activity, your dog gets to put their alertness to the test. It also enhances their detection skills and helps stimulate their minds.
Part of the natural behavior of herding dogs, such as the English Shepherd, is finding animals or things that are moving and assembling them into a particular spot. A game of Frisbee is a good way to play into this behavior. While not exactly a farm animal, the Frisbee disc makes for a moving object that can get your English Shepherd’s attention. By training them to retrieve and bring the disc back to you, they are somehow mimicking the “herding” action to you. Teaching your dog how to play Frisbee is also a skill that you can put to good use since it can become a constant source of physical and mental stimulation, playable anywhere for free.
English Shepherds are known for being lively and athletic. In fact, a good amount of exercise is required in order to keep this breed in top form. If you want to put your dog’s fitness to the test, a fun activity that you and your pooch can participate in is a canine marathon. These special marathons are particularly made for running enthusiasts and their four-legged friends. By joining a canine marathon, you and your dog have the chance to meet new friends from all over the country. Plus, it is a good way to bond with each other and to meet both of your physical exercise needs.
After a long day filled with physical and mental stimulation, your English Shepherd will be more than happy to curl up in your feet and relax. End your dog’s exhausting day on a good note by giving a doggy massage. Start rubbing your dog’s neck and start making your way towards the entire body. A massage is a good way to show love and affection and can help your dog relax.
Flyball is a canine sport that incorporates both fetch and agility. This activity is a relay race that involves your dog jumping through hurdles and retrieving a ball that is shot out of a flyball box. English Shepherds will do well in this sport. To get started, find a local flyball team or kennel club and find out how your dog can get involved.
Attentive, affectionate and active – these are the three A’s that best describe an English Shepherd. This breed is adaptable and takes on multiple roles as long as they are given the proper training. They also need to engage in a good amount of physical and mental stimulation for them to stay happy throughout their life.