English dog breeds have been in the United States for so long most people don’t realize they originated in Britain. Many of the breeds have a unique history and were favored by royalty while others were bred to work as herders or hunters.
Companion pets have been in high demand in England for centuries. Many royal family members enjoyed the company of specific dog breeds, including Queen Elizabeth II and her adorable Corgis that roam the castle with her today.
Land, farms, ranches, and families benefit highly from welcoming an English dog breed into their family. An excellent example is a family that lives on a farm and needs assistance herding livestock and other animals on the property.
Many British dog breeds were bred to herd and work alongside their owner for the greater good of the land. These unique dogs often have a desire to please their owners and thrive when they work. The dogs also have a loyal and friendly personality that makes them a great household pet for singles and families.
If you are looking for an English dog breed to fit into your family dynamic or work alongside you on your property, consider the following breeds.
1. Lakeland Terrier
This breed gets its name from the Lake District where they originate from.
They were bred to protect flocks of sheep from foxes.
Today, they are well known as family pets, working pets, and award-winning show dogs. They have a high energy level and require daily exercise.
- Height – 14 to 15 inches
- Weight – 17 pounds
- Physical Features – V-shaped ears that fold, rectangular head, long snout, round eyes, and a wiry coat.
2. Jack Russell Terrier
This English dog breed dates back more than 200 years.
They were originally bred for fox hunting purposes. Jack Russell Terriers are fast and driven to hunt prey such as rats too.
They are highly intelligent, easy to train and like to stay busy.
They have a high energy level that requires plenty of daily exercises.
- Height – 10 to 12 inches
- Weight – 9 to 15 pounds
- Physical Features – Almond-shaped eyes, V-shaped floppy ears, medium-length snout, and tail.
3. English Cocker Spaniel
These popular family pets were officially recognized in 1870 as a separate breed from the English Springer Spaniel.
The Cocker Spaniel gets its name from the woodcock bird since they were originally bred to hunt birds.
They have a gentle, friendly, and sweet personality that makes them excellent companions and family pets.
- Height – 16 to 17 inches
- Weight – 26 to 34 pounds
- Physical Features – Medium-length coat that curls on the legs and ears, almond-shaped eyes, medium-sized snout, and strong solid body.
4. Border Collie
This dog breed is known as one of the most hardworking English breeds and is still known to work on farms worldwide.
They are best as working dogs instead of family or companion pets.
They need to remain busy and entertained to thrive. Running around a large property and herding animals is a great way to keep this breed working and happy.
- Height – 18 to 22 inches
- Weight – 30 to 55 pounds
- Physical Features – Intense gaze in eyes, strong powerful legs, medium-length coat, floppy v-shaped ears, medium-sized snout, and long tail.
5. Manchester Terrier
This breed dates back to the 16th century and is also known as the gentlemen’s terrier. It originates from Victorian England and was bred to catch and kill rats.
Since they have natural instincts to kill rodents and small animals this energetic and friendly companion dog should be kept away from other small pets.
The Manchester Terrier is intelligent, spirited, and athletic.
- Height – 15 to 16 inches
- Weight – 12 to 22 pounds
- Physical Features – Athletic body type, short shiny coat, watchful facial expression, wedge-shaped head, muscular long legs, floppy ears, and medium-size snout.
6. Bedlington Terrier
This graceful English dog breed has a mysterious history that reveals they were bred by gypsies for poaching on English estates.
Noble families caught the Bedlington Terrier in action and were impressed by their hunting skills which encouraged them to adopt the dogs as their own.
This unique breed is an excellent companion and family dog due to its loving and affectionate nature.
However, this breed needs plenty of daily exercises and mental stimulation to help keep their minds and bodies busy and active.
- Height – 15 to 17.5 inches
- Weight – 17 to 23 pounds
- Physical Features – Arched back, curly coat, scimitar-shaped tail, pear-shaped head, tasseled ears, and medium-sized snout.
Queen Elizabeth II has a few of these adorable companion dogs. They originated from Pembrokeshire Wales and were specifically bred to herd sheep, cattle, and horses.
A magical tale about this dog breed still remains today that the Corgi comes from the land of elves and fairies due to their short legs and pointed elf-like ears.
They make excellent companion dogs but need plenty of exercise and room to run.
- Height – 10 to 12 inches
- Weight – 28 to 30 pounds
- Physical Features – Powerful short legs, deep chest, muscular thighs, pointy erect ears, medium size snout, short coat, and almond-shaped eyes.
This happy-go-lucky dog breed is a loyal companion and family dog. However, they were originally bred to hunt in packs and have a superior sense of smell.
Their noses contain about 220 million receptors which is almost as much as a Bloodhound.
Beagles and their super powerful nose make them excellent hunters and working dogs for police and the military.
They are energetic and need plenty of time to play and run off their energy.
- Height – 13 to 15 inches
- Weight – 20 to 30 pounds
- Physical Features – Broadhead, low set floppy ears, long tail, strong legs, short coat, and a sturdy body.
9. Shetland Sheepdog
This dog breed hails from Scotland and is named after the Shetland Islands. They were specifically bred for protecting land and herding animals.
They have a superior herding instinct and are highly intelligent. They require daily walks and are known to attempt to herd animals and sometimes people.
They are eager to learn and do well with obedience training as well as agility competitions.
- Height – 13 to 16 inches
- Weight – 15 to 25 pounds
- Physical Features – Straight coat with a dense undercoat, level-backed torso, deep-chested, erect ears, round eyes, and strong legs.
10. Airedale Terrier
The Airedale Terrier is also known as the king of terriers. They originate from Airedale in Yorkshire and were bred to hunt rats and otters.
This breed is highly intelligent and makes great family dogs. They have a playful attitude and puppy-like temperament that make them great playmates for children.
Due to their intelligence, they are also easy to train and do well in agility competitions.
- Height – 23 inches
- Weight – 50 to 70 pounds
- Physical Features – Muscular legs, wiry coat, long head, folded ears, and the appearance of a mustache and beard.
11. Clumber Spaniel
The Clumber Spaniel is known as the largest of the Spaniel breeds. This breed got its name from the Duke of Newcastle was bred for hunting.
Their incredible hunting skills were sought after by noblemen but today they are known as great family pets.
They have a loving and loyal nature, high intelligence, and eager to learn. Clumber Spaniels are easy to train and require plenty of room to roam around and run out their energy.
- Height – 18 to 20 inches
- Weight – 55 to 85 pounds
- Physical Features – Large head, dense coat, strong sturdy legs, short tail, floppy ears, innocent facial expression, and round droopy eyes.
When choosing an English dog breed, consider your lifestyle and the living environment you have to offer a dog.
Many of them are natural herders which means they require extensive exercise on a daily basis. If you have a large property, farm, ranch, or yard, these breeds will have plenty of room to exercise and be happy.
If you are looking for a family or companion pet, consider the highly intelligent breeds on the list that are easy to train and adapt well to a variety of living environments. They are meant to flourish in their living environment as well as become a loving part of the family.