English Shepherds from early 1900s

Photos and Testimonials

English Shepherd Dog, 1903

This photo is from the book “Our Domestic Animals” by Gos. DeVoogt, edited for America by Charles William Burkett (photo published in 1903). English Shepherd pedigrees were not recorded in a formal registry until several decades later. The type was recognized and admired in the early 1900s however, as photos and testimonial letters like these written to a Minnesota English Shepherd breeder, indicate:

Wells, Minn., Oct. 6 1921
“Dear Sir:
I was always going to write you about that grand pup you sent us. A few months after he arrived here he always went out with us to get the cows at milking time in the evening, without me even telling him to go. He just opens the door and goes to get them. He don’t run the cows like some do, but comes with them just like a man. We got a heifer we never milked before and all he did was to get our ten milk cows home every night. We went with him to get the heifer last night and tonight he got it himself with the other cows. He is 22 inches tall weights 45 lbs. We paid you $12.00 for him but would not sell him for again as much. Just as you wrote, he don’t need much training.”
— Ernest Thisius

English Shepherd Dogs, 1919

The photo to the right, and the one below, are from a brochure by Gerhard Wolter, Breeder of “Black English Shepherd Dogs” of Hamburg, MN. There are some great testimonial letters in the brochure, too many to include all of them, but the letter above and the two below are from three satisfied customers…

“Palo, Iowa, April 15, 1919
Dear Sir: I am again writing to you about your cattle dogs. Maybe you remember when we bought the other pup of you… We would not have sold him for $100 or more because we could leave a gate open where there were lots of cattle or hogs and he would stay there till I returned, if I was gone for an hour. He was always at my heels and ready to work. He was the best hunting dog I ever saw…He was a genuine heeler… I believe there are no dogs that will beat these…”
— Mrs. G.B. VanNote”

And from another letter, dated July 14, 1919:

“Dear Sir:
Your inquiry of July 4th at hand. The dog I got from you is not a first class heeler. He usually nips above the hock joint. You asked if I wanted to sell him. Well I have been asked that question a great many times, but money will not buy him. He is a good all around dog, works on any kind of stock from a chicken up. Makes no difference what kind of a job we have for him, he is always ready for work. I never do any driving of cattle; always leave that job to Beaver. All I do is open the gates and barn doors. Beaver puts them any place I want them. He always carries mail, hammers, wood and anything he can carry. Our farm contains 480 acres and Beaver goes any place on the farm for the cattle. I sure am well pleased with him and if ever in need of another dog will give you my order.” —
~ A.C. Davis, Hazen, N.D.