Being a herding breed they may be inclined to herd the children or chase the cat. Early socialization, training and rules to live by are recommended to prevent undesirable behaviors.
Being a versatile all-around farm dog the English Shepherd is known to work cattle, sheep, hogs, goats, poultry, ducks and the occasional cat. They were common amongst dairy farmers in the mid west and east coast in the early 1900’s. A single English Shepherd would round up the cattle from the pasture, bring them to the barn for milking, with little or no direction from the farmer. When working sheep they are known to find and protect lost lambs, move the flock from pasture to pasture and are very responsive to the shepherds commands. The breed has a bit of independence that allows them to perform their jobs with minimal direction once they have learned the daily routine. Yet they are biddable and highly intelligent with a unique ability to problem solve. All this makes the English Shepherd a wonderful all-around farm dog and ranch hand.
The breed works with a “loosed eyed” upright working style, meaning they use their body and bark to direct and control the stock. This is unlike their cousins the Border Collie who are “eye’d” herders, meaning they stare at the stock and crouch low to the ground when working. English Shepherds enjoy keeping the mice and squirrel populations down as well when living in the country or on farms. They are good watch dogs and are known to chase off coyotes and any other four legged intruders that are not welcome on the farm.