Many shepherd dog breeds exist in the United States, and all of them have found fans across the country. Shepherd breeds were bred for herding, and are known for their independence, intelligence, and energy. The English Shepherd is recognized by the United Kennel Club but not the American Kennel Club. The American Kennel Club does recognize similar breeds like the Old English Sheepdog, Australian Cattle Dog, Border Collie, and Australian Shepherd, so it’s curious of them not to recognize an old breed like the English Shepherd. Like many shepherd dogs, the English Shepherd is just as smart and hyper, but they’re also lovely pets and family dogs. These animals are great fits for people that live alone, people with children, or older adults. English Shepherd puppies need a lot of activity to stay healthy. This breed also has higher than average grooming needs thanks to its long bushy fur.
English Shepherd dogs are dignified animals and always have an activity in mind. However, they might need some guidance on what activities to do. Dog owners should remember that shepherd breeds can become destructive, depressed, or behave badly when they don’t have a healthy way to release their energy. Knowing about your dog’s physical and mental health needs will help you ensure your pet is as happy as possible.
English Shepherd Dog Health
The English Shepherd is an overall healthy dog breed. These dogs are very friendly to humans, dogs, and other pets alike, so they will likely have very few altercations throughout their life. Most dogs in this breed will grow to stand between 18 to 23 inches tall and might weigh anywhere from 40 to 60 pounds. These big dogs need plenty of exercise to keep them in shape so they reach the breed’s average life expectancy of 14 years, or live even longer! As long as they eat healthily, are well-trained, and get regular vet check-ups, most English Shepherds will likely have long, healthy lives.
In order to find different ways for your dog to stay active, pet owners have to get creative. Dogs are creatures of habit, so they won’t mind doing the same thing for exercise every day, but every now and then, a small change might be great for you and your dog. We’re going to explore 15 fun places to go and new activities to try with your English Shepherd puppy. Let’s dive right in!
15 Fun Places to Take Your English Shepherd
1. On a Walk
Many dog owners take their pets for a walk to help them get their recommended amount of daily activity. This breed benefits from any regular activity, and a daily walk is one of the most convenient and easy options when it comes to getting your dog to exercise daily. And don’t feel bad if you take them on the same path every time. Dogs can always sniff out and hear new sounds or experiences that will excite them. However, if you’re hoping to change your routine, you can always try a different walking path or route to give them a little spice in their normal activities.
2. On a Hike
Going on a hike is a great idea if you’re looking for different activities to do with your English Shepherd puppy. Dogs love hiking, although they do need to be properly prepared if they’re going on a hike. Shepherd dogs have tons of energy, so a hike would likely be perfect, but ensure your dog has the stamina and endurance to go on whichever route you choose. You should ensure you carry essentials your pet might need when you hike, like a water bowl and water, poop bags, and some dog food or treats if your pup gets hungry. Hikes are a great way to get exercise, but if your dog isn’t used to hiking, take them on a shorter and easier route to begin with. Hikes pose all sorts of challenges dogs don’t usually face while they walk since they’ll have to walk across rocks, water, or other animal tracks. It’s very important to practice safety rules when walking your dog and keep a close eye on them to ensure they aren’t getting tired out. You won’t want to take your English Shepherd for a walk in really hot weather since they can overheat easily because of their thick fur.
If you start taking your pet for hikes, you’ll have to learn the B.A.R.K. rule that many national parks have, and that dog owners should follow when they take their pet out in public. B.A.R.K. is an acronym and guideline for the right behaviors owners should adhere to when they’re taking their dog into nature. According to the National Park Service, “B.A.R.K. stands for: Bag your dog’s waste, Always leash your pet, Respect wildlife, Know where you can go.” Knowing these rules will ensure you and your pet stay as safe and respectable as possible while hiking.
3. For a Car Ride
Every dog owner knows the stereotypical image of their pet sticking its head out a car window. The dog will have its ears flapping in the wind and its tongue out in the air. When you are thinking of fun things to do with your dog, you should consider taking them on a car ride. Chances are your English Shepherd will love a car ride because it exposes them to so many new sights and scents. Although this activity won’t provide your dog with exercise, you can always drive to a better walking location or somewhere you can train your dog. Even if you are going on a short drive to the local convenience store, you can take your dog along so they can get outside the house and enjoy the fresh air.
4. To a Dog Park
Many pet owners have strong opinions about dog parks; whether you love them or hate them, there are always benefits and downsides. Dog parks are great times for your furry friends to make other pet pals and socialize while having fun. At the same time, a dog park can be incredibly stressful because so many other dogs are present, and your pet is at the mercy of these dogs and their behaviors. However, if your English Shepherd is dog friendly and loves socializing, they might have a great time in a dog park. Ensure you know your pet is ready and will be safe in a dog park. If you’re even slightly worried your pet might be aggressive or territorial, you should avoid taking them to a dog park out of courtesy to other pet owners.
5. To a Normal Park
If dog parks make you nervous or your English Shepherd isn’t dog friendly, then a normal park is the best alternative option. Dogs love parks since they are open fields with tons of stimuli. Your English Shepherd would likely love a park and will have even more fun if you bring some of their favorite toys along with some treats and water. If you have an extra long yard leash, you should consider bringing one of those too and tying it to a tree trunk or something solid in the park. This way, your pet can have a bit more freedom while out and about in nature. Make sure that if you do give them this extra freedom, other people or animals aren’t around.
6. To the Beach or Lake
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of bathing your English Shepherd puppy, you might notice that they aren’t the biggest fans of water. Many dogs hate bathtime because it washes away the dirty scent they worked so hard to perfect. But the thing many pet owners don’t realize is that most dogs love swimming around in the water and doing the doggy paddle. So if you’re looking for new places to take your English Shepherd, consider taking them to a nearby beach or lake.
Keep a constant eye on your pet if you decide to take them swimming. Never let them go into the water without you near, and make sure they stay in the shallower area. It would be best if you put your dog in a canine life vest. This way, they have protective floaties.
7. On a Kayak
Dogs love swimming, and animals can experience such different environments when they enter an open water area. Kayaking is the perfect chance for your pet to enjoy the open water without getting wet, although your pet will likely jump in if they love swimming.
If you want to take your pet on a kayak, there are a few precautionary steps you should take. First, you have to make sure your pet is comfortable around a kayak by letting them sniff one out when it’s on land. Dogs can get nervous when the kayak starts shaking, and you don’t ever want to force your dog on the kayak, or else they may become fearful of the experience. Instead, offer your pet plenty of treats when they get close to the kayak, and once they are comfortable with it, allow them to climb aboard. You should try to share a kayak with your pet, and you should definitely let them jump in the water if they want since it will probably be to cool down. However, you should absolutely keep your dog in a canine flotation vest so they are safe even when they feel like jumping in the water.
8. To the Dog Store
Retail shopping is a popular pastime for many people in the United States, but you can also go shopping with your dog. Not only do a few different regular stores allow dogs, like Home Depot, Nordstrom, or CVS, but you can take your pet on a shopping spree to local dog stores. When you do, ensure they’re going to get along with other animals since you’ll likely see other dogs in pet stores. If you don’t feel like buying anything at the moment, you can always go window shopping and make a mental list of items your pet seems interested in. Taking your dog to the pet store can be a great time to find a new bed that fits your pup perfectly or to see if your English Shepherd shows any interest in other types of toys or snacks.
9. To an Obstacle Course
If you ever watch the dog show, you’ll see a ton of pups running up and down ramps and jumping through hoops. Some owners love obstacle courses and regularly compete with their dogs, and some dogs love the challenges obstacle courses present them with. Obstacle courses require dogs to exert a lot of physical and mental energy since they need to work on getting through these courses as fast as possible with the right techniques. English Shepherds are incredibly intelligent dogs and can master an obstacle course if their owners are willing to put in the time to help them learn how to get through these courses.
10. On a Doggy Date
If your dog is a friend to other pups, you should take them on a dog playdate so they can mingle and enjoy their canine company. You can take your pet to meet another furry friend at their house or at an open park. Either way, ensure you bring water for your pet to drink and consider bringing some treats, but be sure not to cause any food aggression issues. Practice safety tactics if your pet is a little dog-selective, or even if your pet has long gotten along with this other pup. Please relax and enjoy yourself while your pup reconnects safely with its old friend.
11. On a Boat
As mentioned in both the swimming and kayaking sections, dogs love water. They’re not always a fan of getting a bath, but going in open water is a different experience for your furry friends. If you have the opportunity, your English Shepherd might love boat trips. Ensure that your pup is wearing a canine flotation device so they’re completely safe. If anything, create a ‘dog overboard’ safety plan just in case. Keep treats, fresh water, and some dog kibble in a packed bag so you’re ready to give your dog anything they may need to stay happy.
12. To a Big Open Field to Play Fetch
If you don’t live near any public parks or don’t feel safe taking your pet to a dog park, you can always find an open field to take your pet. As long as you can find an area large enough, an open field is the perfect place for your dog to run and play fetch with a ball or frisbee.
13. Somewhere to Play Hide and Seek
While many people play this game growing up, they don’t realize it’s a great mental activity for their pet to practice. As mentioned earlier, the English Shepherd breed is incredibly intelligent. These dogs are used to sniffing things out, so playing hide and seek with them is a great and fun way to stimulate them while improving your bond. Owners need to hide while someone else asks the dog to find its owner. It’s better to hide in easier hiding spaces until your pet gets a handle on the idea of the game. Once they’re more used to how this game works, owners are encouraged to find harder and harder spots to hide so their pet has to really sniff them out.
14. Go Play in Sprinklers
If you have sprinklers in your yard, then playing in them with your English Shepherd can be really fun in the summertime. These dogs have big and puffy coats, and they can get super hot when the weather is nice. Sprinklers are a great alternative to swimming since you can still run around and play in your yard without having to go into open water. Playing in the sprinklers can be just as fun for your pet if you’re too anxious to take your dog to a beach or lake.
15. To a Grooming Session
Some owners groom their dogs themselves in the comfort of their own home, and you can do this too! Dogs need grooming sessions to stay healthy, especially breeds like the English Shepherd, which has higher maintenance grooming needs. Find a comfortable spot in your home that you don’t mind dirtying up a bit with dog hair and let the grooming begin. Your dog will love being pampered, brushed, and waited on during their grooming sessions. If they’re less than excited about it, you can always give your pet some CBD so they can really relax and enjoy the environment. Most dogs warm up to being groomed the more often it happens, and once they do, they will really start to relish the free attention and pets.
There are many options owners have when it comes to entertaining their dogs. English Shepherds are a herding dog breed, so they have tons of energy. If you’re looking for alternative fun activities to do with your working dog so they can burn off that energy and use their natural agility, you should try any of the 15 things on this list! Any shepherd owner should give their pup plenty of exercise to avoid them developing health issues or other worrisome problems. Most English Shepherds will be very happy as long as their owners are careful to give them plenty of activity and attention.