English Shepherds and Australian Shepherds are two popular herding breeds that share some similarities but also have distinct differences. While both breeds are known for their intelligence, agility, and loyalty, the English Shepherd is generally larger and more muscular than the Australian Shepherd.
The English Shepherd has a longer history as a working farm dog, whereas the Australian Shepherd was developed in the United States for herding livestock. Are you considering getting a Shepherd breed but can’t decide between an English Shepherd vs Australian Shepherd?
We will dive into the key differences between these breeds, covering everything from their origin, size, coat type, exercise requirements, trainability, shedding, and temperament. So let’s get started and find your perfect furry friend.
English Shepherd Vs Australian Shepherd: 8 Key Differences
Several key differences exist when comparing the English Shepherd and the Australian Shepherd. The English Shepherd is popular for its versatility and intelligence, making it an excellent working dog on farms or in other rural settings.
It is highly adaptable and can excel at herding livestock, guarding property, or participating in dog sports. On the other hand, the Australian Shepherd is a highly energetic and agile breed that is often sought after for its herding abilities. It requires plenty of mental and physical stimulation to thrive and is known for its loyalty and devotion to its family. Here are 8 key differences between English Shepherd vs Australian Shepherd.
The English Shepherd and the Australian Shepherd have fascinating origins. The English Shepherd breed originated in the United States, while the Australian Shepherd hails from Australia. People bred both breeds for herding purposes but assigned them different roles.
The English Shepherd was primarily handy for herding and working on farms, showcasing its versatility in herding, guarding, and hunting tasks. People specifically bred the Australian Shepherd for herding livestock. Known for their intelligence, Aussies excel in obedience training and agility competitions.
Regarding temperament, English Shepherds tend to have a more laid-back demeanour than their energetic Aussie counterparts. While the English Shepherd is popular for their medium energy level, Australian Shepherds require more mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.
Ultimately, their unique origins and purposeful breeding contribute to the individual traits and characteristics that distinguish these two remarkable breeds.
One notable difference is their size when comparing the English and Australian Shepherd. English Shepherds tend to be larger than Australian Shepherds in weight and height. English Shepherds typically weigh between 40 to 70 pounds, while Australian Shepherds range from 35 to 60 pounds. Shepherds stand at approximately 18 to 24 inches, while Australian Shepherds are around 18 to 23 inches tall.
The size disparity between these breeds can impact their physical capabilities and suitability for certain tasks. The larger size of English Shepherds may make them better suited for herding larger livestock or guarding larger properties. On the other hand, Australian Shepherds are known for their agility and versatility in dog sports and activities. Despite the size difference, both breeds are highly intelligent and trainable.
3. Coat Type & Texture
Both English Shepherds and Australian Shepherds have double coats that require regular grooming to keep them looking their best and prevent matting. The coat of an English Shepherd is medium-length, dense, and has a rough or coarse outer layer with a softer undercoat.
On the other hand, Australian Shepherds have a longer, thicker coat with a straight or slightly wavy outer layer and a dense undercoat. The English Shepherd’s coat is more weather-resistant and provides better protection against the elements than the Australian Shepherd’s coat.
English Shepherds tend to shed moderately throughout the year, while Australian Shepherds have heavier shedding periods twice a year. Grooming during shedding seasons is essential for both breeds to remove loose hair and prevent matting.
4. Coat Color
English Shepherds come in various coat colors, including black and tan, sable, and tricolor. On the other hand, Australian Shepherds commonly have a merle coat pattern, characterized by mottled or marbled patches of color. They can have coat colors such as blue, red, black, and red.
While both breeds may have white markings on their coats, it is more common in Australian Shepherds. English Shepherds tend to have a more consistent coat color with fewer variations within the breed. Additionally, the coat of an Australian Shepherd is usually longer and thicker when compared to an English Shepherd.
5. Exercise Requirements
English Shepherds and Australian Shepherds have different exercise requirements. English Shepherds are generally more active and need more exercise compared to Australian Shepherds. This is because English Shepherds were historically bred as working dogs with a strong instinct for physical activity and mental stimulation.
On the other hand, Australian Shepherds also have a high energy level but may not require as much exercise as English Shepherds. However, both breeds benefit from regular exercise to prevent behavioural problems and maintain their health and well-being.
Due to their high energy levels and intelligence, English Shepherds may excel in herding, agility, or obedience trials. Meanwhile, Australian Shepherds are known for their athleticism and versatility in various dog sports and activities. So, providing enough exercise and mental stimulation to both breeds is important to keep them happy and healthy.
English Shepherds and Australian Shepherds possess distinct trainability traits. English Shepherds possess high trainability and quick learning ability. They eagerly strive to please their owners, responding positively to reinforcement training methods. Australian Shepherds are also highly trainable, although they may require a more consistent and firm training approach.
Their strong herding instinct necessitates early socialization and obedience training for behavioral management. Both breeds excel in dog sports and activities, such as agility, obedience, and herding trials.
Farmers often prefer English Shepherds as working dogs because of their versatile skills and ease of accepting commands. The trainability of these two breeds further highlights their intelligence and adaptability within different training settings.
English Shepherds and Australian Shepherds have different shedding levels. While English Shepherds have a moderate shedding level, Australian Shepherds have a higher one. Both breeds have double coats, but there are some differences in their coat textures.
English Shepherds have a thick undercoat that helps protect them in various weather conditions, while Australian Shepherds have a longer outer coat that is more prone to shedding. Both breeds require regular grooming, including brushing and occasional baths, to control shedding and keep their coats healthy.
If you or someone in your household has allergies, you may prefer the English Shepherd due to its lower shedding level. However, owners can effectively manage both breeds’ shedding with proper grooming and care. Regular brushing and occasional baths will help keep their coats healthy and minimize the amount of loose hair around the house.
8. Coat Type
The English Shepherd has a medium-length, dense coat that protects against the elements. On the other hand, the Australian Shepherd has a longer, double coat that requires more grooming to prevent matting and tangling. The English Shepherd’s coat comes in various colors and patterns, including black and tan, sable, and tricolor.
Similarly, the Australian Shepherd’s coat comes in various colors, including red, blue, black, and red. It’s important to note that the English Shepherd’s coat sheds moderately year-round and may require regular brushing to control shedding.
In contrast, the Australian Shepherd’s coat sheds heavily twice a year and requires more frequent brushing during these periods. Both breeds have unique coat types and grooming needs. So, it’s important to consider these factors when deciding between an English Shepherd and an Australian Shepherd.
Temperament Differences Between English And Australian Shepherds
English Shepherds are known for their calm and gentle nature, while Australian Shepherds are more energetic and active. English Shepherds tend to be more independent and reserved, while Australian Shepherds are often more outgoing and social.
Shepherds are typically more focused on their work and have a strong herding instinct, while Australian Shepherds excel in agility and obedience training. Both breeds are intelligent and trainable, but Australian Shepherds may require more mental stimulation and exercise to prevent boredom.
English Shepherds generally thrive better in a quieter, rural environment for family life. At the same time, Australian Shepherds can adapt well to various living situations as long as they receive enough exercise and mental stimulation.
Which Breed Is Right For You?
Choosing the right dog breed for your lifestyle and preferences is important. There are a few key factors to consider when comparing English Shepherds and Australian Shepherds. Both breeds are popular for their intelligence, loyalty, and versatility, but some differences may influence your choice.
The English Shepherd tends to be slightly larger and more laid-back, making them a great fit for families or individuals looking for a calmer companion. On the other hand, Australian Shepherds are popular for their high energy levels and need for mental and physical stimulation.
They excel in agility and obedience training and are often sought after by active individuals or those interested in dog sports. Ultimately, the right breed for you will depend on your lifestyle, activity level, and preferences regarding size and temperament. It’s important to spend time with both breeds, do thorough research, and consult with reputable breeders or rescue organizations to ensure you make an informed decision that suits your needs.
Both the English Shepherd vs Australian Shepherd have distinct characteristics that make them unique. When deciding which breed is right for you, it’s important to consider their origin, size, coat type and color, exercise requirements, trainability, shedding, and temperament.
Each breed has its own set of strengths and qualities that may align better with your lifestyle and preferences. If you’re still unsure which breed to choose, consult a professional or experienced dog owner to help guide you in making the best decision.
Ultimately, the best choice between these breeds will depend on your needs and lifestyle. Whether you choose an English Shepherd or an Australian Shepherd, you can be sure you will have a loyal and hardworking companion.
Frequently Asked Questions
1.How Rare Are English Shepherds?
Ans: People worldwide consider English Shepherds a rare breed with a small population. Their declining popularity and preference for other herding breeds contribute to their rarity. Finding reputable breeders or rescue organizations may require research and patience. Reach out to breed-specific clubs or organizations for assistance.
2.Are English Shepherds Calm?
Ans: English Shepherds are known for their calm and patient demeanor, making them excellent family pets. They have moderate energy levels and are less hyperactive than other herding breeds. While they require regular exercise and mental stimulation, they can be calm and gentle with children.
3.What Is The Difference Between A Border Collie And An English Shepherd?
Ans: Key distinctions between Border Collies and English Shepherds exist despite their shared herding dog status. Border Collies tend to be smaller, possess an intense work drive and have high energy levels. In contrast, English Shepherds have a more moderate energy level and are larger with a robust physique. Appearance-wise, Border Collies sport long coats, while English Shepherds have shorter, denser ones.
4.Why Are Australian Shepherds So Friendly?
Ans: Australian Shepherds are known for their friendly nature, which stems from their breeding and temperament. Humans have socialized these dogs to work closely, making them naturally friendly and affectionate. Their strong desire to please their owners also contributes to their friendly behavior. Proper socialization and training further enhance their friendliness.
5.How Can You Tell The Difference Between An English Shepherd And An Australian Shepherd?
Ans: When comparing an English Shepherd to an Australian Shepherd, there are a few key differences to look out for. The English Shepherd is typically larger and heavier, with a broader head shape. Their coat is longer and thicker, while the Australian Shepherd has a medium-length, dense coat. Additionally, the English Shepherd comes in a wider range of colors and patterns.