Old English Sheepdog

Old English Sheepdog: Fluffy and Lovable

The Old English Sheepdog has been a part of British culture for centuries. Believed to be derived from the Scottish Bearded Collie, this large and shaggy canine was initially used as a herding dog on farms in England’s rural areas. Bred primarily for their intelligence, strength, and obedience, the Old English Sheepdog is one of the most popular breeds worldwide today.

An Old English Sheepdog are easily recognizable; they have thick double coats which can grow very long, hanging down over their eyes while sporting distinctive ruffs at their necks and chests. They also tend to have white markings above each eye.

In addition to these physical traits, the breed is known for being loyal, gentle, and friendly towards people – making them excellent family pets.

History And Origin

Old English Sheepdog
Old English Sheepdog

The Old English Sheepdog, or Bobtail or OES, is a large-sized dog that originated in the United Kingdom. It has been used for centuries to herd and guard livestock, and many believe it was initially bred from various herding breeds such as Bearded Collie and Welsh Sheepdog.

The modern Old English Sheepdog resembles its ancestors with its shaggy double coat, distinctive long ears, and a black nose. They are often described as loyal, intelligent, gentle giants who love their families but can be pretty aloof towards strangers. The breed’s long coat may have protected them against biting insects while working in harsh terrain or inclement weather.



Their thick coats require regular Brushing and occasional trimming so they do not become matted or tangled. Old English Sheepdogs excel at Agility, Obedience trials, and Herding events due to their intelligence and eagerness to please. They are also excellent watchdogs since they bark when suspicious activity is detected around their home territory.

With proper training and socialization, they make excellent family companions who are devoted and protective of their loved ones.



The Old English Sheepdog Club of America is the AKC parent club for this breed.

Physical Characteristics

Old English Sheepdog Puppy
Old English Sheepdog Puppy

The Old English Sheepdog is a large and powerful breed weighing as much as 77 lbs. They are known for their long, shaggy coats of fur that often become unruly if not consistently groomed.

This renowned breed has been around since the 1700s and was developed in England to assist with herding sheep. This impressive canine stands at an average height of 20-25 inches tall, boasting a solid body frame with strong legs and broad shoulders.

Its eyes are typically dark brown or black, while its nose may range from a light shade of brown to even black depending on coat coloration. The most remarkable aspect of this dog’s exterior is undoubtedly its thick coat which consists of two layers: an outer layer composed of wiry hair atop soft inner skin.

It also has feathery tufts between the toes, giving it a unique appearance, unlike any other breed. Old English Sheepdogs have an average lifespan of 10-12 years, making them one of the longest-living breeds among all dogs today!

They enjoy robust health, and their intelligence makes them easily trainable animals; they feature prominently in service work, obedience training, agility trails, search and rescue operations, and more due to their aptitude for learning new skills quickly.

With proper care and nutrition, these loyal companions serve as excellent family pets whose size does not deter them from being loving housemates who thrive off human interaction.

Temperament And Personality

Old English Sheepdog The physical characteristics of an Old English Sheepdog are pretty distinct, making them a breed easily recognizable. Their trademark is their thick, shaggy coat that can come in any shade from white to gray and brown. They have short legs and are stocky dogs with rectangular bodies. And they boast impressive facial hair, including long double coats over their eyes and muzzles for protection against harsh weather conditions.

Regarding temperament and personality, it is known for being a loyal and friendly companion. Here’s what you can expect when owning an OES:

  1. A strong desire for human interaction – These dogs do not like being left alone for extended periods and will become anxious if ignored or neglected by their owners.
  2. Highly intelligent – With proper training, these pups can learn new commands quickly and retain information well.
  3. An eagerness to please – They strive to make their owners happy and thrive on positive reinforcement during training sessions.
  4. Protective nature – This breed makes excellent guard dogs as they instinctively want to protect their family members from danger or harm.

Overall, the Old English Sheepdog is an ideal companion thanks to its loving yet protective demeanor, intelligence, and devotion towards humans—all qualities that set this breed apart from other breeds of similar size and stature.

Training And Exercise Requirements

This breed is a working breed with exercise needs that should be considered before bringing one into the home. A daily walk or outdoor play session of at least 30 minutes is recommended to keep an Old English Sheepdog mentally and physically healthy. If possible, long walks or hikes with their owner would provide further physical and mental stimulation for these active dogs.

In addition to regular exercise, training is essential to help manage behavior problems such as barking, jumping, digging, and chewing, which can arise from boredom due to lack of activity.

Basic obedience commands such as “sit,” “stay,” and “come” will ensure owners have control during walks or other activities outside the home. Socialization should also be included in any training program for this particular breed; socializing your dog early on will result in a friendly companion who is comfortable around people and other animals.

Consistency and repetition are crucial when training Old English Sheepdogs; patience must be exercised when teaching commands because the breed may need more time than most breeds to master new skills. Positive reinforcement methods work best with this breed since they often get bored quickly by repetitive tasks like drill-based obedience classes – rewards-based systems are more effective tools for motivating them.

Grooming And Health Care

Old English Sheepdog  Maintaining the coat of an Old English Sheepdog is essential to keeping them in optimal health and condition. Proper grooming of this breed can help them stay clean, comfortable, and attractive.

While it may seem complex at first glance, grooming one’s OES properly does not have to be complicated. The thick fur of this breed should be brushed regularly using a slicker brush or comb with rounded safety tips. Brushing helps remove any debris from the fur, such as dirt and dust particles, reduces matting and tangling, keeps the skin healthy, and promotes natural oil production for a beautiful shine.

Ar veterinary visits are necessary for all breeds but essential when caring for an OES. This ensures that they remain up-to-date on vaccinations, parasite prevention treatments, flea control medication, and any other medical concerns that must be addressed to maintain good health throughout their lives.

Care It is also recommended that bathing occur once every month to prevent excess oil build-up on their coats while removing any unpleasant odors. Full attention should always be paid to changes in behavior or physical appearance which could indicate an underlying problem requiring veterinary care.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Old English Sheepdogs make good family pets?

Old English Sheepdogs can make great family pets as they are enthusiastic, bouncy, and love to romp and play. They also make sensible watchdogs but are usually not aggressive.

What Is The Average Life Span Of An Old English Sheepdog?

The average life span of a canine breed known as the Old English Sheepdog is approximately 10-12 years.

Do Old English Sheepdogs bark a lot?

Old English Sheepdogs bark when they want something, such as going for walks, playing, or eating.

Are Old English Sheepdogs hard to train?

Old English Sheepdogs are intelligent and hardworking dogs and can be trained to do various tasks. Old English Sheepdogs are not necessarily hard to train, but providing them with consistent and effective training methods is important.

Are Old English Sheepdogs high maintenance?

Old English Sheepdogs can require a lot of grooming attention. Their thick, long coat needs to be brushed frequently and occasionally trimmed to avoid matting and tangles.


The Old English Sheepdog is a loving, loyal, and intelligent breed. It has an average life span of around 11 to 12 years, making it an ideal companion for families with young children who can grow up alongside them.

Despite its size, the Old English Sheepdog requires relatively little exercise; however, regular grooming is necessary to keep its coat in good condition. Unfortunately, this breed is prone to specific health issues, including hip dysplasia and eye problems.

Symbolically speaking, the Old English Sheepdog stands as a perfect example of loyalty and companionship. Its willingness to please makes it one of the most popular family dogs today. With proper care and attention from their owners, these magnificent creatures will bring joy and love into any home for many years.



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