"…I specialize in True Black-Tan English Shepherds for Foundation Breeding Stock. I have sold 74 properly mated pairs of pups for $100.00 each. These 148 pups were as much alike as Black-eyed peas. I have also sold a lot of off-colored pups at a discount. Now Black with tan trim is the most desirable color for English Shepherds. I don't mean to say that a black-tan dog which also has a touch of white such as a white chest, or a perfect white ring neck and a white tipped tail, is off-color as long as the white is perfectly balanced. I do say that from a breeding standpoint it is more desirable to not have any white, because white will cover up any color. If people didn't know that black-tan was the most desirable, people would be mating two ring neck dogs together and in a few years they would be getting spotted pups and solid white pups.
English Shepherds are cattle dogs and the people who breed Registered cattle appreciate dogs that breed true to color and they demand the most desirable color… the better class of Educated cattle people absolutely will not buy an off-colored calico dog for breeding purposes. Now people will buy an off-colored pup for a working dog or for a pet, that is if they are not going to use for breeding stock. It is a proven fact that a dog can have too much white and still be a good working dog. A dog can also be perfect color and perfect type and not have any training and not know anything about work…. Desirable color does not show pure breeding."
(note: photo caption written by Tom Stodghill ~~ ESCoA = English Shepherd Club of America)