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Black and Tan English Shepherd: A Loyal Companion

Black and Tan English Shepherd

The black and tan English shepherd is a smart, lively herding dog known for its faithfulness, versatility, and agility. For many years, they have worked as general-purpose, working farm dogs. They do everything from herding and guarding animals to chasing away small pests and keeping the family safe.1 Their special skill of working with different animals and doing various tasks makes them stand out. English shepherds look really strong and well-balanced, with smart eyes showing how clever they are. People love them for being ready to do all kinds of jobs with their owners.

Key Takeaways

  • The black and tan English shepherd is a versatile, intelligent, and energetic herding dog breed.
  • They have been bred for generations as all-purpose working farm dogs with a wide range of responsibilities.
  • The breed is known for its loyalty, agility, and ability to work in partnership with its human companions.
  • English shepherds possess a sturdy, harmonious build and are valued for their versatility and intelligence.
  • This breed is well-suited for active owners who can provide the exercise, training, and socialization they need to thrive.

Introduction to the Black and Tan English Shepherd

The English shepherd is a handy working dog. It’s been a must-have on farms for ages. They are smart and loyal, helping with many jobs. This includes herding animals, protecting the farm, and keeping away pests.2

A Farmer’s Helping Hand

The English shepherd is great with all kinds of livestock. For years, it has been key on farms. They herd animals in a calm way, keeping everything under control. Besides this, they also protect the farm and its people from harm.2

Versatile and Hardworking

English shepherds are super versatile and love to work. They are very smart and easy to train. They can do lots of jobs. This includes hunting, retrieving, and even scaring away big animals like bears.2

They are loyal and work well with their owners. They are true partners on the farm. English shepherds are great for families and anyone who needs a hardworking friend. They shine in both country and city places.3

Origins and History

The English shepherd comes from Shepherds’ dogs of England and Scotland. These dogs are also the ancestors of today’s show Collies and Border Collies.4 In the 1600s, when settlers arrived in Virginia, the story of the English shepherd started. They brought their best dogs but many didn’t make it on the long journey. To replace these lost dogs, they started breeding different Collie types together.4

Roots in the English Countryside

Over time, American Collies became a strong breed. They got bigger and stronger for the new country’s life. Breeding focused on working abilities, not just looks. This led to a variety of sizes and coat types in the breed.5

Journey to the New World

The English shepherd was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1927.5 Before that, it went by many names like Old Fashioned Collie. Other names include Farm Collie, Farm Shepherd, and Black Shepherd.5

Adaptation and Diversification

In 1949, Tom Stodghill started the English Shepherd Club of America (ESCoA). This was because UKC only accepted one coat color, black and tan.6 The first club’s founder, Stodghill, liked black/tan English Shepherds.5 Later, in 1954, Ed Emanual and others started the International English Shepherd Registry (IESR) and Club after a split. This split came from ESCoA’s rules about coat colors.5

5 Until 2005, there were three places to register English Shepherds: UKC, ARF, and IESR. In 2005, the English Shepherd Club Registry (ESCR) was made. The ESCR brings all the breed’s records together. It gives everyone access to the breed’s full genetic history.

5 English Shepherds were created for farming, as a “landrace breed”. This means they were shaped by the land, weather, and farming needs. They vary by region but share features like intelligence and a bond with their owners.5

Physical Characteristics

The English shepherd is medium-sized and looks very sturdy and balanced.7 They usually weigh between 40 and 70 pounds and are 18 to 23 inches tall at the shoulder.8

Size and Stature

The ideal height for them is 18-24 inches, but 19-22 inches is preferred. They should weigh between 35-65 pounds.7 English shepherds are great at herding because they are nimble, strong, and good at many kinds of work.7

Coat and Color Patterns

English shepherds have medium-length coats that can be straight, wavy, or curly. These coats have a soft underlayer that sheds sometimes.7 They come in four main color patterns: black and tan, tricolor, black and white, and sable and white.7 In these patterns, a black face or white chest might be seen. However, a solid white coat or a coat with patches is not what we aim for.

These dogs might be black and tan, or black, tan, and white, among others. Often, there’s tan on black and tan dogs or around certain areas on tricolored dogs.7 They usually have tails of moderate length. But, some are born with short tails, and this is normal too.7

Coat Color Patterns Prevalence Characteristics
Black and Tan Common Black body with tan markings on specific areas
Tricolor (Black, Tan, and White) Common Black body with tan and white markings
Black and White Less Common Mostly black with distinct white markings
Sable and White Less Common Sable-colored body with white markings

The Distinctive Black and Tan Coloration

The black and tan English shepherd is truly striking. Their color mix is unique. They are well-built, standing 18-24 inches tall and weighing 35-65 pounds. This is when they’re at their healthiest weight.8 Their coat is medium-length and can be straight, wavy, or curly. It has an undercoat that sheds at times.

Variations in Coat and Markings

The black and tan look is very popular.6 Yet, English shepherds can also be tricolor, black and white, or sable and white. Many have a black mask and white markings in an “Irish” pattern. A white collar may or may not be part of this pattern. But, if a dog is solid white or has piebald markings, that’s seen as less ideal.8

Finding out about an English shepherd’s coat colors is not too hard.6 Breeding can control these features. Some breeders link certain colors with certain behaviors. But, this is not a sure thing for all dogs.

The black and tan English shepherd’s look shows its long history. People have worked hard to keep its special traits alive. These dogs, in black and tan or other colors, mix beauty with a good nature. They are loved by many for their looks and personality.

Temperament and Personality

The English shepherd has a well-balanced and versatile nature. They are loyal and dedicated to their families. They form strong bonds and care for their owner’s livestock like their own.

These dogs are smart and easy to train. They can work on their own or as a team with people. They keep their home and loved ones safe. Yet, they’re friendly to new people who mean no harm.

English shepherds are known for their calm and steady behavior. These traits help them in many types of jobs.

Loyal and Devoted

English shepherds are famous for their faithfulness and care. They bond deeply with their owners and take care of the animals they look after. These dogs are watchful and protective, showing how much they care.8 People love these dogs for their strong connection with their families.

Intelligent and Trainable

These dogs are very smart and love to learn. They work well alone or with humans. The way they act comes more from their training than just from their parents.

If you teach an English shepherd well and give it lots to do, it can be great at many jobs.

Protective yet Gentle

English shepherds guard their space and family well. But, they are also friendly to new faces if they sense no danger. They learn to be good with people, not just with their family.9 Making sure they meet lots of people helps keep them from being too shy.

These dogs are always calm and ready, making them perfect for many types of jobs. From watching over a place to just being a friend, they do it all well.

Working Abilities

The English shepherd is great at many jobs on the farm. They are skilled in herding and managing livestock without scaring them. This makes them very useful.10

Herding and Livestock Management

English shepherds are good at keeping animals where they should be. They also protect the farm from wild animals.10

Guarding and Protecting

They have sharp senses and are very quick. This lets them find lost animals and keep the farm safe.10

Hunting and Vermin Control

English shepherds are key members of the farm team. They can do everything from moving animals to keeping the farm clear of pests.

Living with a Black and Tan English Shepherd

Black and tan English shepherds need lots of exercise to stay happy. They are always ready to play or work.8 These dogs love activities like herding, agility, and hiking. It’s how they use up all their extra energy.8

Exercise and Activity Needs

English shepherds are smart and easy to train.8 They need proper training from the start. This helps them be the best family dogs ever.

They are very loving and friendly with everyone, especially kids.8 Owners who keep them busy and involved find they make great pets. They love being a part of the family.

Training and Socialization

English shepherds are very loyal to their families.8 They bond deeply with their humans and are great with kids.8

These dogs are calm and do well in different jobs, like guarding or herding.8 They fit in best with active families. Those who can give them the attention and exercise they need.

Family Companionship

Health and Grooming

The English shepherd is usually healthy. But dogs can get some health issues. They might face hip and elbow dysplasia, eye problems, and allergies.11 Good breeders check for these to lower the risks.11

Common Health Concerns

Health issues for English shepherds include hip and elbow dysplasia. They might also get patellar luxation and drug allergies.11 Treating these could cost a lot. For example, treating hip dysplasia can range from $3,500 to $7,000. Elbow dysplasia might cost $1,500 to $4,000. Patellar luxation treatment could be $1,500-$3,000. Eye surgery might cost in between $1,500 to $1,900.11

Grooming and Shedding

The English shepherd’s coat is medium-length and weather-resistant. It doesn’t need much care.12 They have two coats. One is a soft dense undercoat and the other is silky. This makes them able to handle weather well.12 They shed a lot twice a year. But, they need very little grooming between these times.12Usually, just brushing and baths are enough to take care of their coat.

Black and Tan English Shepherd

The Breeder’s Role

Dedicated English shepherd breeders are key in keeping this breed special. They use responsible breeding practices to check health and temperament. This keeps the breed balanced in work, health, and personality.8

Responsible Breeding Practices

Breeders do their best to keep the English shepherd‘s unique bloodlines. These lines have developed over many years to make great farm dogs.6 Groups like the United English Shepherd Association and others set breeding guidelines. They help ethical breeders work together to make sure the English shepherd breed stays healthy and strong.

Preserving the Bloodline

Through bloodline preservation, these breeders secure the English shepherd‘s future. Their hard work means this loyal, hardworking friend will be here for many more years.

English Shepherd Organizations

The United English Shepherd Association (UESA) and the Old-fashioned Black and Tan English Shepherd Association (OBTESA) work hard to keep the English shepherd breed strong.13

United English Shepherd Association

The UESA started in 1927. It began keeping track of English shepherds. They made rules for how these dogs should look and support good breeders.13

Old-fashioned Black and Tan English Shepherd Association

The OBTESA is based in Tennessee. It helps the black and tan English shepherds stand out. They do this by teaching people about them and by helping out through charity.13


The black and tan English shepherd is very flexible and lasts a long time. It has been important in American country life for years.2 These dogs are smart, loyal, and good at work. They are great as farm helpers, shepherds, guards, and family pets.28

A Versatile and Enduring Breed

English shepherds are adaptable and loyal. They need active owners who can give them lots of exercise and training to be happy.8 Many breeders work hard to keep the English shepherd true to its roots. This makes them popular all across the nation.

The Perfect Companion for Active Owners

The English shepherd is ideal for farm work, hunting, or as a pet. It’s full of energy, smart, and loyal.2 These dogs are great for active people who can take care of them and keep them busy.


What is a black and tan English shepherd?

The black and tan English shepherd is smart and full of energy. It’s great at herding and protecting farm animals. It also helps keep homes safe from small pests.

What are the key characteristics of the English shepherd?

The English shepherd is known for being calm yet ready to work. They love working with people and are very loyal. These dogs are smart and easy to train.

What are the origins of the English shepherd?

The English shepherd comes from the Shepherds’ dogs of England and southern Scotland. They are closely related to Collies and Border Collies. The breed’s history started in the 1600s in Virginia, making them strong and versatile.

What are the physical characteristics of the English shepherd?

This dog is medium-sized and looks very balanced. They stand 18-24 inches tall and weigh 35-65 pounds. Their coat is medium-length and comes in a few colors like black and tan, and tricolor.

What are the working abilities of the English shepherd?

English shepherds are great at many jobs on the farm. They herd livestock, guard the farm, and can hunt with you. They are a true helping hand for farmers.

How do you care for an English shepherd?

These dogs need lots of exercise because they are so full of energy. They should also be trained and socialized early. Luckily, their coat is easy to care for but they do shed at times.

What role do breeders play in preserving the English shepherd breed?

Good breeders help keep the English shepherd’s special traits alive. They make sure to breed healthy and good-tempered dogs. This keeps the breed right for working and being part of the family.

What organizations support the English shepherd breed?

The United English Shepherd Association (UESA) and the OBTESA help the breed. They set standards and support breeders who care for the dogs well.

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