Old English Sheepdog

History

The Old English Sheepdog originated from West England and dates back to the late 1700's, although the exact breed details are unknown. Many believe that the breed was developed by crossing a local drovers dog with a Bearded Collie. It was simply named 'Shepherd's Dog' and was first exhibited in 1873. The breed was exported to America and soon became a popular show dog. It was developed as a strong defender of sheep and cattle from wolves that once existed in England. Dogs kept for work were exempt from local taxes, so the tails were docked to prove they were a working dog. Nowadays, docking is illegal in many countries except on medical grounds.

Behaviour

The Old English Sheepdog is a devoted, sweet natured, family dog who loves being around people. They thrive on affection and love being the centre of attention. Owners describe them as playful clowns who make them laugh. They love to sleep and get comfy on the sofa, a homebody type of dog. An ideal family dog who is friendly and daft. They are quite a large breed, so training needs to be started early on as they can be very boisterous and head strong. Old English Sheepdogs do well in obedience, agility, herding and enjoy working for their owners. Giving them a job to do will result in a happy content dog, who is always looking for approval from you.

They have a fair amount of energy and need daily walks, but once home, will jump up on the sofa and sleep it off. They can be a bit of a couch potato and will want to sleep on your bed whenever you aren't looking. They can be protective of their family but are usually good with other dogs and strangers. They will often come up to you and nudge you for attention or climb on to your lap for a cuddle, forgetting how big they are.

Old English Sheepdogs do moult a lot. Regular grooming is important to keep them looking tidy and preventing fur all over your home. Regular trimming to keep the coat short is common. No major health concerns, it is a fit, robust dog. However, Canine Hip Dysplasia can be a problem with some.

Temperament

Old English Sheepdogs have a comical and relaxed temperament. Happy to go with the flow and adapt to their roles the Old English can fit into many families. They are good with household pets and love to meet other dogs. Good with strangers but sometimes protective instincts make them cautious. They are independent, stubborn creatures so a lot of patience and consistency is needed to train them.

Health Problems

Health problems tht may affect Old English Sheepdogs include canine hip dysplasia (CHD), elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA: degeneration of the retina which can lead to blindness), allergies, bloat and deafness (particularly in puppies with lots of white on their head).

Breed Details

  • Status: Common
  • Life Expectancy: 10 - 11 years
  • Weight: 27.2 - 45.4 kg
  • Height: 21 - 22" +
  • Rare: No
  • Coat: Long - Double
  • Grooming Requirements: Everyday
  • Town or Country: Either
  • Minimum Home Size: Large House
  • Minimum Garden Size: Large Garden
  • Breed Type: Herding
  • Size: Large
  • Energy Level: Medium
  • Exercise Required: Over 2 hours

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