Cumberland Sheepdog: The Obscure Extinct Dog Breed

Cumberland Sheepdog the Obscure Extinct Dog Breed

The Cumberland sheepdog is an extinct dog breed that is somewhere related to the Border Collie and other collies of modern times.

Since they are extinct, some of you might be interested in knowing all about them as we can not have first-hand experience with them.

Due to their extinction a long time ago, very few things can be said certainly about them. However, some things could be gathered that sum up the most about these dogs. 

Here in this article, we are going to tell you all that we could gather about this extinct dog breed named Cumberland Sheepdog. Feed your curious self with these facts about the Cumberland Sheepdog. 

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1. All about their origin

Cumberland sheepdogs are known to be originated in Northern England. We don’t have any original Cumberland sheepdog left now but what we have today is a border collie which is known to be a descendant of the Cumberland sheepdog. However, there is not much data present to compare the Cumberland sheepdog with the present border collie.

2. When and how did they go extinct?

The facts about the Cumberland Sheepdog are rather mired in obscurity due to the uncertainty surrounding everything related to the dog.

However, what is known is that in the 19th century, when the breed was about to go extinct, Lord Lonsdale of London took the initiative of breeding these dogs with other dogs in order to save their gene pool.

The dog selected for the purpose was the old day’s German Shepherd which is not the same as the modern one. 

After 1899, the dog that originated in the place of the Cumberland Sheepdog was just a Border Collie with the same features and characteristics. No record of the Cumberland Sheepdog was found after that time. 

The Cumberland sheepdogs are known by multiple names like Smithfield sheepdog and Dorset Blue shag.

4. What did they look like?

When it comes to the looks of the Cumberland Sheepdogs, they used to look a little different from other dogs.

Mostly, these dogs had white fur with either black or dark brown spots all over its body. With long and fluffy tails, they had flat heads with medium-sized ears. Overall, they were medium-sized dogs.

5. What we got to know about their temperament

Cumberland sheepdogs are known to have been extremely intelligent and sensitive to their surroundings.

As the writings about them suggest, they were easy to train. They could learn complicated things easily because of their ability to learn fast. 

They can behave in a not-so-friendly way if they are given a charge to lead, it’s better if their parent leads them. To be led is something that makes this breed mentally stable and happy.

Even though they were not leaders, Cumberland sheepdogs are independent creatures as they can take good care of themselves because of their intelligence.

Just when it comes to performing a task, they would like to be led. They required early socialization while they are puppies in order to make them friendly toward people.

6. Nothing substitutes for exercise

No matter what breed of dog we are talking about, exercise is always essential. Especially in the case of Cumberland Sheeplands, as we can deduce from the Border Collies, they needed more exercise, not only the physical but the mental stimulus as well.  

It was very essential for them to work hard in order for them to stay stable. They needed tricks and tips to use their brain, brisk walks, and runs to ensure they live a healthy life.

Cumberland Sheepdogs are known to be one of the smartest breeds in the history of dog breeds. They were taught new tricks on an everyday basis to ensure that their mind got tired and they are at ease. 

Overall, they were the happiest when they had a job to do like herding as they were primarily bred for the purpose of herding only.

7. What about grooming?

Considering the fact that they had long hair, grooming would have been a task with this breed. They required trimming and brushing of hair regularly but bathing occasionally. All this can be deduced from the modern Border Collies. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long did the Cumberland Sheepdogs use to live?

Their life span was around 12-15 years.

  1. What about the size of the Cumberland Sheepdogs?

Height: Up to 20 inches.

Weight: Between 35 and 55 pounds.

  1. Did they have health complications?

Mostly like the modern Border Collie, eg. Epilepsy, PRA, hip dysplasia, and deafness.

  1. Are Cumberland Sheepdogs really extinct?

Yes, Cumberland Sheepdogs are really extinct. After 1899, no records are found of the breed. However, they are said to have merged into the Border Collies.

  1. Why are they called Cumberland Sheepdogs?

They might have gotten their name from being found in Cumberland, which was a county in the Northwest of England. 

Sheepdogs because were used as herders of sheep. Hence, they became Cumberland Sheepdogs. 

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