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Old 12-04-2013, 11:09 PM   #1
ESy
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Default Our Dog Willow -- An English Shepherd?

Greetings

I came across this site while researching English Shepherds, and I thought I'd reach out to see if someone could help me determine whether our dog is in fact an English Shepherd (at least partly). I was unaware of the breed until I stumbled upon a picture online that looked remarkably like our dog, which got me researching.

We have always thought Willow, who we rescued from a WV shelter as a puppy 4 yrs ago, was a mixed breed of some combination of collie, shepherd and retriever, mainly because that's what the rescue organization guessed based on her appearance as a puppy. But we recently came across several pictures of what different websites identified as English Shepherds that look remarkably like Willow (black and tan). Moreover, descriptions of ES behavior so match how Willow behaves, we think now that she is at least some part , if not wholly, ES.


We had become convinced Willow was at least part German Shepherd, even though she neither looks nor behaves much like a GSD, because she is black and tan and at a year old developed Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (now under control), a condition most common in GSDs. But apparently recent research is finding the condition in other dogs, notably those related to collies (Border and Rough Collies, e.g) so now I am unconvinced of the GSD link. Although, I haven't seen anything associating the condition with English Shepherds, I assume its possible since it's been found in related breeds.

Anyway, here are a couple of pictures of a Willow, if not completely an ES by blood, certainly one in spirit.

Willow at just under a year.




Willow more recently












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Old 12-05-2013, 12:54 AM   #2
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Welcome ESy, great to have you join us :-) What a lovely dog Willow is and what an interesting story. Looking at the physical characteristics of the ES, I can see where you might feel Willow is an ES or ES mix. Has your vet had any input as to his opinion or have you considered a DNA test to try to ascertain what she is a mix of if she is? I might also
try to contact the English Shepherd Club for their opinion and insight (English Shepherd Club - Home). She is a lovely dog and kudos to you for rescuing her and giving her a wonderful home. I'm looking forward to hearing more about her and seeing more pictures.


Physical Characteristics:
HEAD - Medium length with moderately defined stop. Broad and slightly rounded between the ears. Distance from tip of nose to stop roughly equal to the distance between stop and occiput and to width across top of skull between bases of ears.

Teeth full dentition with scissor bite. Note: no penalty for teeth broken or missing due to trauma.

Muzzle moderately broad, neither pugged nor pointy. Flews straight with no sloppy droop.

Nose fully-pigmented, generally solid black; "clear" sable dogs may have brown nose.

Eyes brown and moderately round with a slightly oblique set. Eyes should express character with a strong, intelligent look.

Ears typically wide apart, stand slightly outward at the base with a sharp bend and lie close to the head when relaxed, raised up slightly when alert. Variation in ear set is common and of trivial significance.

NECK - Strong and arched.

BODY - Back strong and level, loins strong and deep with slight muscular arch. Shoulders well laid back. Ribs well sprung and chest extending down in depth approximately to elbows. Body slightly longer than tall. Chest moderately broad.

LEGS - Forelegs straight when viewed from front. Pasterns are short, thick and strong, but still flexible, showing a slight angle when viewed from the side. Back legs well boned and muscled, placed well apart, with moderate angulation. Feet oval and compact, toes together and well arched, well padded and tough. Rear dewclaws common but may be removed.

TAIL - Moderately long with sweep toward end. Carriage may vary, but preferably held low when standing relaxed. Natural bobtails are acceptable. Bobtails may be up to eight inches long. .

GAIT - Viewed from the front at a fast trot, the front feet track close together but do not cross over. The gait should give the impression of ability to change direction instantaneously. The dog moves ahead in a straight line with effortless motion and without a rolling gait. Viewed from the rear, the hind legs are straight and converge as pace increases so as to take the weight under the center of gravity. The gait is smooth without choppiness.

COAT - Medium length and texture, straight, wavy or curly, weather and dirt-resistant, with an undercoat that sheds seasonally. Hair is short and smooth on the head, outside of ears, front of forelegs and below the hocks. Backs of forelegs are moderately feathered; breeches are moderately full; tail is plume-like. Excessively heavy manes and heavy frills on underside of neck and on breast are not desirable. A correct English Shepherd coat should require minimal grooming.

COLOR - The four predominant color patterns are: black and tan, tricolor (black, tan, and white), black and white, and sable and white.
A sable dog may have black-tipped hairs, or may have a solid black saddle pattern, or may be "clear" -- without black pigment in the coat. Sable may appear as shades of brown from a pale honey-gold color through a deep mahogany.

White markings are typically distributed in an "Irish" pattern, with or without a white collar.
A black mask is acceptable in any of the color patterns.
In none of the color patterns is white permitted to be unbalanced to a degree of being splotchy-looking or of covering more than 30% of the body. Solid white coats or piebald markings are not desirable. Merles do not appear in the English shepherd.

SIZE - Range:
height: 18 - 24", preference for 19 - 22";
weight: 35 - 65#, lean and fit condition
males larger than females
Sturdy balance and harmonious proportions are more critical than absolute size.

DISQUALIFICATIONS - Natural reserved attitude toward strangers is acceptable, however viciousness or excessive shyness/ fearfulness are disqualifications; cryptorchid or monorchid adult dogs; merle dogs.

Breed Standard - English Shepherd Club
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:12 AM   #3
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Description seems to match. Welcome to this forum.
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:18 AM   #4
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ESy, welcome to the forum! Willow is beautiful! Looks like a Gordon Setter mix to me.

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Old 12-05-2013, 07:59 AM   #5
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Thanks everybody. Some answers to questions people asked about Willow:

We did ask the vet when Willow was a puppy and she had no reason to question the rescue orgs conclusion that she was collie, retriever mix. She thought maybe Aussie or Border collie, which are closely related to English Shepherds.


We did one of those at home swab, mail in DNA tests before we developed theory that Wilow was an English Shepherd. We got bizarre result indicating Willow was related to Bouvier de Flanders and Scottish Terrier. English Shepherd is not one of the breeds in the company's database, it turns out so I don't think the result is reliable. I did write to a couple of breed sites but haven't heard back.

As to Gordon setter, based on coloring, I can see that. When she was a puppy we thought maybe even some Rottie was possible. but I think Willow's ears and snout don't match well either breed.

Attached below are a couple of pictures of Black and Tan English Shepherds online whose appearance is very much like Willow. But for me what reminds me of Willow as much as the pictures, are description of the breed temperament that we found on line that really match Willow. These say that ES are Generally more relaxed that Borders and Aussies (Willow isn't intensely focused like Borders can be) very tuned into routine ( we joke that Wilow is only dog that can tell time ), intelligent and kind (Willow is sweetest dog on planet earth).





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Old 12-05-2013, 10:11 AM   #6
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Welcome to the forum. I am not up on certain breeds. Others on the forum are much more educated on that topic. However, I can say Willow is a beautiful girl.

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Old 12-05-2013, 11:35 AM   #7
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Wow. Ok, Willow sure does look like an ES.

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Old 12-05-2013, 02:53 PM   #8
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What DNA test did you do? VIN feels that the Mars currently dominates the market. Vets around here tend to use the one that requires drawn blood as opposed to buccal swabs and as the database grows, more accurate results are expected.
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Old 12-05-2013, 03:26 PM   #9
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I saw some aussie characteristics in her when I first looked...Sadie has same feathered legs, ears, eyebrows and tri-color markings but it stops there so saying that she is related to aussies makes sense.
She is definitely a dog and no matter the breed, she appears to be happy with you.
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGLI View Post
What DNA test did you do? VIN feels that the Mars currently dominates the market. Vets around here tend to use the one that requires drawn blood as opposed to buccal swabs and as the database grows, more accurate results are expected.
I think it was the mix breed version of the wisdom panel swab test. But it's been a while so I am not sure.

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