Old English Sheepdog Dog Breed
- General Appearance:
- Old English Sheepdogs are fairly large breeds of dog with distinctive shaggy long white and grey fur which requires regular attention. They are sometimes known as Dulux dogs due to their appearance in these adverts. In addition to their outer coats, Old English Sheepdogs have water resistant undercoats...these two coats help them cope with the extremes of weather. Outer coat should be coarse and harsh, sometimes wiry, while the undercoat should be soft, downy and wavy. Coat should be fluffy, yet not too, giving the dog the appearance of being overweight. They are broad dogs which are strong and fairly square looking. Their eyes appear to be totally covered but their vision is never impaired.
- Other Names:OES, Bobtail, Bob, Dulux Dog
- Country Of Origin:Great Britain
- Dog Group Kennel Club:Pastoral
- Grey, grizzle or blue with white areas.
- Old English Sheepdogs are known to be intelligent, bold, sociable and adaptable. They require quite a considerable amount of exercise due to their herding and working background. They are also good with children, pets and visitors. An intelligent breed displaying no signs of aggression or shyness, the Old English Sheepdog is ideal for the home life. With an even disposition, this breed does very well in a herding or working environment. Natural herding instincts are present and would do exceptionally well in country life. Protective and sweet makes this the perfect household companion, and protector of family.
- Rolling but far reaching and supple in quicker paces.
- Care and training:
- Grooming needs are great and should be started from a very young age. When puppies shed their adolescent coats, it is imperative that you spend the necessary time to ensure the old coat does not become matted with the new one. If left for any length of time, the coat can become so matted that the only solution is to clip which defeats the purpose of owning a long-haired dog! The Old English Sheepdog is a heavy shedder during warmer seasons which makes clipping this breed ideal if not being used for show.
The Old English Sheepdog does wonderfully in herding, and is rather intelligent. This sheepdog requires a firm handler as they can be strong willed and stubborn. A variety of training methods is recommended as this breed tends to do things the way he sees fit. However, they do want to please their handler. Early training is imperative to control the breed's boisterous behaviour.
- Overall Exercise:
- 2 hours per day.
Bobtails need owners who are dedicated to giving them a lot of exercise although care must be taken when they are puppies to ensure no bone problems develop through over-exercise.
- Feeding Requirements:
- As puppies care must be taken to follow the breeder's recommended diet sheet to ensure the correct nutrients are given to promote healthy bones. OES's are not fussy eaters and, indeed, considering their size, are not big eaters.
- Personal Protection:Medium
- Suitability As Guard Dog:High
- Level of Aggression:Low
- Compatibility With Other Animals:High
- Suitability for Children:High
- Often Docked?Yes
- Average Litter Size:5-8
- Life Expectancy (yrs):12-13
- Health issues:
- Hip dysplasia, ataxia (neurological incoordination of muscles), autoimmune disorders, epilepsy, eye problems and OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder). They are also not suited for hot climates due to their heavy, thick coat.
- In early times they were known as just "the Shepherd's Dog". The exact origins of the Old English Sheepdog are unclear, but the most popular consensus is that they were developed from the Bearded Collie, Briard, and the Russian Ovcharkas. Opinions agree that the breed began to develop by the hands of farmers in England's West Country probably around 200 years ago where they were used to herd both sheep and cattle. A painting by Gainsborough reveals an Old English Sheepdog from 1771. Later in 1835 a painting by Sidney Cooper gave history another glimpse at this breed. They are thought to have been developed in the 19th century, and the breed thrived at its job of sheep drover and protector. In the spring, the breed would be sheared down along with the sheep, and farmer's wives would actually spin the fur of the sheep and the dogs to make clothing. When a tax was levied on all dogs kept as companions rather than workers, the state distinguished worker dogs from companion dogs by docking the worker's tails. Because of this, the breed's tail was docked continually for years and years, eventually resulting in the breed no longer eveloping a tail at all.