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Old 04-12-2013, 12:32 AM
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Smile The English Shepherd -AKA "No, I'm not a Border Collie"


Hi all, I'm new here. I have noticed in a few places folks having questions about English Shepherds, wondering how they differ from the more common herding dogs, ie Border Collies and Aussies.

While I haven't owned a BC, I have owned and bred Aussies and currently own my first English Shepherd, Paddy Bear. He's 2, a black & white purebred, and in the right light is actually a phantom tri.

After having lived with Aussies for so many years, I imagined this would be a similar experience.

But I was wrong. Really wrong. Sure he's smart like my Aussie girls. Sure, he would never even think of running away or take his eyes off me while out walking...just like my Aussies. But whoa, is this dog unusual!

I had heard the ES is a rule follower. While that is true, the depth of this shocked and continues to amaze me. He doesn't just follow the rules, he observes every single habit and behavior in our home and makes a mental log. If we as much as slightly stray from the norm, we are alerted right away. Here's a few examples of his M.O.

Bear places himself directly in front of me with intense eye contact and begins to make vocalization sounds while moving his lips. It's as close to talking as a dog can get. He is literally shaking with intensity waiting for me to ask, "Timmy's in the well?! Show me!"

As soon as I say, 'Show me' he will run to whatever is out of order, watching over his shoulder to ensure I am following his steps.

So far, he has taken us to a night-time unlocked front door (we thought for sure we were imagining this...surely he did NOT really just do that, until he continued to do it, only on the nights we left it unlocked ), next, he got my husband out of bed to turn off a left on dining room light. I got distracted upstairs and he came to get me to show the ground beef I had forgotten on the stove....cooking and beginning to burn.

The need for exact order continues to his feeding. He expects to be fed second in line. If his pan is placed down first, he will sit down and wait until order is restored. He literally won't touch his food until all is done correctly.

Last summer, he assigned himself the role of night patrol, keeper of all order in the backyard, running figure eights checking for snakes, squirrels, possums or other vermin. Unfortunately, he decided every 90 minutes a check was needed. After weeks of sleepless nights, I bought him 8 small stuffed animals. He picked up each one, placed them in a pile, circled around them and went to sleep. He slept in all night and in the morning, I came down to see they were not longer in a pile.... they were all lined up like little soldiers.

Unlike a BC or Aussie, objects thrown in the air hold no appeal. He watches the hurled objects, lets them bounce off his face, then he inspects the tidbit, taking it to his bed, to sniff, tear off a bit, chew, spit out, look at, play with it.

He guards our house and barks a 5-bark machine gun fire alert if anything is amiss. If he is laying asleep and a person walks down the street, he awakens and runs to the front window to watch. I have no idea how he knows this. He loves anyone we invite into the house and wants to cuddle, preferably in their lap and if they return for a visit, he will cry and cry and cry acting as if Jesus himself has walked in the room. However, he barks at the right times and when he barks, we come to attention to see what is going on.

Once, at a fair, a woman gasped, took a step back and said to a friend as we walked by..."Did you see that DOG?"
My friend asked what she meant and said she knew us.
"That dog...he literally carries peace on him! I've never seen anything like that on an animal before!"

I don't know about him carrying peace, but of all the animals, dogs, cats, horses I've had the honor to live with, he is the most observant, intuned, loving, affectionate, strange little pup I've ever met. Oh...and he has learned to read about six words from cue cards.

This is a very alert, interesting affectionate, loving, freaky intelligent breed. It was described to me as a border collie with an off switch. He does love lying by my feet and will follow me from room to room. He loves the cat and so wants to be in her business. As far as cons, he sheds long soft silky hair. He's about 48 pounds and is one of the most beautiful dogs I've ever seen. He attracts attention everywhere he goes so I have to allow time to answer all the questions we get..including."Is that a border collie?"



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Old 04-12-2013, 02:38 PM
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Wow! I loved reading that. He's pretty amazing.

My last dog is a different breed from my other 3, and I figured the breed was so similar in function and looks that I wouldn't notice a difference. Yep, huge difference. Totally different mindset and perception of his job in the household. But nothing like your story!
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:55 PM
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Welcome we have a couple ES and Aussies around the board, and quite a few non-owners who admire the breeds. Glad to have you -- if you haven't already, please post more pictures of your crew!
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:56 PM
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as a fellow B/W ES owner, I understand the constant "Is the a BC?" questions. That is a lovely description of your boy and I look forward to lots and lots of pictures and stories!
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:39 PM
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Looking forward to more photos of your boy.

How do you find him as far as sport goes? I'm one of those people who posted up one of those "BC vs Aussie vs ES?" threads, and I've been considering one for a sports prospect (agility, comp obedience, flyball, maybe disc). I'm pretty settled on getting a BC, but I'd love to hear your 2c.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:25 PM
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I get are your dogs Border Collies? all the time, tho mine are Aussies. I wonder when the day will come that someone asks "are your dogs English Shepherds?" lol

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Old 04-12-2013, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keechak View Post
I get are your dogs Border Collies? all the time, tho mine are Aussies. I wonder when the day will come that someone asks "are your dogs English Shepherds?" lol
That and "O.M.G. what happened your border collie's TAIL!?!?" *boggle eyes of horror*

At least that what happens to my Aussie friends with non-merled dogs lol
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shai View Post
That and "O.M.G. what happened your border collie's TAIL!?!?" *boggle eyes of horror*

At least that what happens to my Aussie friends with non-merled dogs lol
Hudson with his long bob tail gets this A LOT
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:32 PM
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Aussies are so much more common than border collies around here. I swear they have exploded in popularity in recent years. I can't go to the park without seeing quite a few.
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Old 04-13-2013, 03:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keechak View Post
I get are your dogs Border Collies? all the time, tho mine are Aussies. I wonder when the day will come that someone asks "are your dogs English Shepherds?" lol

Welcome!
It may, and sooner than you think. I've been getting asked if Indy is a Belgian Mal-Annoy/Mali-noise.
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