The English Shepherd is an extremely versatile breed of working dog of the collie lineage, developed in the United States from farm dogs brought by English and Scottish settlers in the 17th through 19th centuries before pedigrees became fashionable around the end of the 19th century. Subsistence farmers appreciated the breed for their versatility and not for their flash or strict conformation to a standard of appearance. The English Shepherd is a highly intelligent, all-around farm dog, being used as a herding dog, livestock guardian, farm watch dog, hunting dog, vermin eradicator and a child's companion. English Shepherds were not bred to be specialized to work one type of livestock as some recent herding dogs have been. English Shepherds were bred to do many tasks on the small diversified farms of the 17th through early 20th centuries that had various types of livestock including cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, and fowl. It may have been the most common breed in America during the 19th and early 20th century.
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