Archive for the Old English Sheepdog category

Own A Fun Loving, Loveable Beautiful Old English Sheepdog

By Ruth Bird

The Old English Sheepdog comes to us from the west of England. It belongs to a working breed of dogs. This breed was bred because there was a need for a strong dog that was capable of fending off the wolves and protecting the herds. By the middle of the nineteenth century these Sheepdogs were used to herd the flocks to the market. Apparently working breed of dogs did not get taxed, but they had to have their tails docked to prove it. This practice continues in modern times with this breed of dog particularily.

The Old English Sheepdog was already recognized by the AKC in 1905.

AKC Ranking: 69

Family: Livestock, Herding

Origin: England

Date of origin: 1800’s

Function: Sheep Herding

Today: Herding Trials

These dogs could be brown, but today are only recognized in grey and white. This dog has a very compact body. This dog became popular as a pet with the media in the mid 1900’s. It is used mostly as a pet or show dog today, and rarely as a working dog.

This is a gently fun loving dog. It is a marvelous family pet and often entertains its family with loveable and funny antics. It is protective of its family members, looking after the children as it would the sheep herd. It is friendly towards strangers, but can be a little headstrong, because of its intelligence. Dog obedience training is very important with this breed.

This dog needs daily play and exercise, preferably a nice long walk. This breed thrives on company so it does not make a good outside pet. It needs brushing regularly otherwise it tends to mat. It has a lifespan of 10 – 12 years.

It has a bear like shuffle and tends to amble along. It has a very pleasing fun loving intelligent expression.

The Old English Sheepdog is great addition to any family.

Ruth is actively involved with the internet, and she finds it very exciting. Her passions are pet health and dog training. She is a wife, a stepmom a dog owner and a business person. She is married for almost 30 years to Chris who has been, and still is, battling the monster MS. Two of her dogs are Certified Therapy Dogs. She is currently working from her home.

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Old English Sheepdog Complete Profile

Old English Sheepdog Complete Profile

Old English Sheepdog

Key Facts:

Size: Large
Height: Above 54 cm (21 inches)
Weight: About 30 kg (66 lb)
Life Span: 13 years
Grooming: Very demanding
Exercise: Medium
Feeding: Medium
Temperament: Friendly & outgoing
Country of Origin: England
AKC Group: Herding
Other Names: Bobtail

Physical Characteristics:

General Appearance: Ambling walk, shaggy, strong and compact.
Colour: Grey, grizzle, blue or blue merle, with or without white markings.
Coat: The outer coat is shaggy, hard in texture and harsh. The undercoat is waterproof.
Tail: Commonly docked completely or from the first joint.
Ears: Small and carried flat against the side of the head.
Body: The body is quite short and compact. The loins are strong and slightly arched and the shoulders are sloping. The chest is well developed and the brisket is deep and full.

Trustworthy, bold, agile, active and good-natured. Old English Sheepdogs love being part of a family and are a very adaptable breed. They socialize well with other dogs, children and family pets. They greet strangers warmly and are not particularly alert. They can be boisterous in nature and will join in every possible activity with great enthusiasm. Old English Sheepdogs want to please their handlers and rarely show dominant behaviour, however training can be slow.

Grooming with these dogs is very demanding. They require regular, thorough brushing as least once a week. When the coat is moulting its quite possible that a rubbish bag full of hair can be collected after a brush. If the coat is left ungroomed for a length of time it will quickly become matted to a degree that leaves little alternative but to clip. Old English Sheepdogs that are being shown should have a higher rear than the shoulders, which is achieved when the hair is groomed upwards. It is also important that the ears are kept free of dirt and hair and that the nails are trimmed. The excess hair between the pads of the feet should also be clipped short.

Old English Sheepdogs need a fair amount of exercise, but will not grumble if a day goes by without any. They love playing with a ball or similar activities and are best suited for rural homes with a spacious backyard. This breed can do well in various dog sports.

This breed has not been around as long as many other dog breeds. It is thought that they evolved from the Bearded Collie in the early 19th century and possibly with crosses from the Briard and the Hungarian sheepdog. Farmers commonly docked this breeds tails in the early 19th century to claim exemption from English taxes. This was because the longer haired ‘luxury’ dogs only qualified as working dogs if the tails were docked.

Additional Comments:

The Old English Sheepdogs have been nicknamed the Bobtail, because their tails are customarily docked.
If the coat is not properly cared for and well-groomed, it can cause skin parasites.


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