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Old English Sheepdog: Dog Breed Profile

The Old English Sheepdog is a big, athletic dog with a distinctive shaggy coat. The OES, as aficionados refer to the breed, was originally a drover, assisting farmers in driving cattle and sheep to market. Today, this sweet-natured dog enjoys the comforts of home while competing in conformation, obedience, agility, and herding contests.

Even though they are purebred canines, they may end up in the hands of shelters or rescue organizations. Don't forget to adopt! If you want to bring a dog home, don't go shopping.

The OES is a versatile, clever dog with a laid-back personality. They are loving with all members of their family, and despite their size, they can fit in well with apartment living provided they receive adequate exercise via walks and play sessions. Their shaggy coats don't shed nearly as much as you may assume. If you're seeking for a family friend that is loyal, protective, and loving, this is the breed for you!

See below for a comprehensive list of dog breed characteristics and information about Old English Sheep dogs!

old english sheepdog

Breed characteristics include the following:


Easily Adjusts To Apartment Living

Contrary to common opinion, tiny stature does not automatically equate to an apartment dog. Numerous tiny dogs are much too excitable and yappy for living in a high-rise. Quiet, low activity, relatively tranquil inside, and sociable with other inhabitants are all desirable characteristics in an apartment dog. Additionally, you may get an outstanding dog box here to provide your pet with some additional personal space in your apartment.

Appropriate For Novice Owners

Some dogs are just more amenable to training than others; they are more receptive and laid back. They're also tough enough to bounce back from your blunders or inconsistencies.

Dogs that are very sensitive, independent thinking, or outspoken may be tougher for a first-time dog parent to handle. You'll get your best match if you take your dog-owning experience into consideration when you chose your new canine.


Some dogs would ignore a harsh rebuke, whilst others will take even a filthy glance to heart. Dogs with low sensitivity, sometimes known as "easygoing," "tolerant," "resilient," and even "thick-skinned," may cope better with a noisy, chaotic home, a louder or more forceful owner, and an erratic or varied schedule. Do you have small children, host a lot of dinner parties, sing in a garage band, or live a busy lifestyle? Choose a dog with a low sensitivity.

Allows for Being Alone

Certain breeds have strong bonds with their family and are more prone to concern or even panic when their owner leaves them alone. An stressed dog is capable of wreaking havoc by barking, whimpering, gnawing, and generally wreaking havoc. These breeds thrive when a family member is there throughout the day or if the dog may accompany its owner to work.

Tolerates Extreme Cold

Greyhounds, with their short hair and lack of fat or undercoat, are particularly sensitive to the cold. Dogs with a poor cold tolerance need to reside indoors in cool weather and should wear a jacket or sweater for frigid hikes.

Tolerates Extreme Heat

Overheating is especially likely in dogs with thick, double coats. Short-nosed breeds, such as Bulldogs and Pugs, are also affected, since they can't pant as effectively to cool off. If you desire a heat-sensitive breed, you'll need to keep your dog inside with you on hot or humid days, and you'll need to exercise your dog with caution in the heat.

Around-the-Clock Friendliness

With Family, Affectionate

Certain breeds are independent and distant, even when nurtured by the same person from puppyhood; others form strong bonds with a single person and are indifferent to everyone else; while yet others lavish attention on the whole family. Breed is not the only element that influences love levels; dogs reared in homes with humans feel more at ease with humans and connect more quickly.


Being patient with children, robust enough to withstand the heavy-handed petting and embraces they may give out, and oblivious to running, screaming youngsters are all characteristics of a child-friendly dog. You may be surprised at who is included on that list: Fierce-looking Boxers, like American Staffordshire Terriers, are considered excellent with youngsters (which are considered Pit Bulls). Chihuahuas, being little, sensitive, and possibly sharp, are not necessarily family-friendly.


The terms "friendliness toward dogs" and "friendliness toward people" are mutually exclusive. Some dogs may attack or attempt to dominate other dogs, even if they are human lovers; others prefer to play rather than fight; and yet others will turn tail and flee. Breed is not the only aspect to consider. Dogs who remained with their littermates and mother until they were at least six to eight weeks old and spent significant time playing with other dogs throughout puppyhood are more likely to have developed strong canine social abilities.

Attractive to Strangers

Guests should expect wagging tails and nuzzles from dogs that are friendly to strangers; but, some dogs can be fearful, uninterested, or even hostile toward strangers. Regardless of breed, a dog that was raised in a home with a wide variety of humans of all ages, sizes, and shapes will be more accepting of strangers as an adult. Even nice dogs should be kept on a leash like this while out in public.

Personal Hygiene And Grooming Requirements

Shedding Volume

If you're going to live with a dog, you're going to have to deal with dog hair on your clothing and in your home. However, shedding patterns vary significantly between breeds. Some dogs shed all year, while others "blow" periodically, and others shed seldom. If you are a tidy freak, you will either have to choose a low-shedding breed or lower your expectations. To assist you in keeping your house a bit cleaner
Drooling Possibility

Simple To Groom

Certain breeds are brush-and-go; others need frequent washing, trimming, and other grooming to maintain their cleanliness and health. Consider if you have the time and patience to groom a dog that requires extensive grooming or the financial means to hire someone to do it for you.

Health in general

Particular breeds are predisposed to certain hereditary health concerns, like as hip dysplasia, as a result of improper breeding techniques. This does not mean that every dog of that breed will have those illnesses; it only indicates that they are more susceptible.

If you're considering adopting a puppy, it's a good idea to learn about the hereditary diseases that are prevalent in the breed you're considering. Additionally, you may like to inquire if your shelter or rescue organization has information on the physical condition of your prospective pup's parents and other relatives.

Possibility Of Weight Gain

Certain breeds have a voracious appetite and are prone to obesity. As with people, obesity may result in health concerns in dogs. If you choose a breed that is prone to gaining weight, you will need to restrict treats, ensure enough exercise, and portion out their daily food portions into regular meals rather than keeping food available all day.

Consult your veterinarian about your dog's food and what they suggest for maintaining a healthy weight. Weight gain might exacerbate existing health conditions such as arthritis.


Dogs come in a variety of sizes, from the tiniest Chihuahua to the colossal Great Dane. The amount of room a dog takes up is critical in determining if they are suitable with you and your living environment. While large dog breeds may seem to be frightening and overbearing, some of them are extremely lovely! Take a look and select the dog that is the correct size for you!


Simple To Train

Dogs that are easy to train are more skilled at immediately associating a stimulus (such as the phrase "sit"), an action (sitting), and a consequence (receiving a reward). During training, some dogs need more time, patience, and repetition.

Many breeds are bright but have a "What's in it for me?" attitude toward training, in which case you'll need to utilize prizes and games to persuade them to desire to comply with your instructions.


Dogs trained for occupations that involve judgment, knowledge, and focus, such as herding animals, need cerebral exercise just as much as dogs bred to run all day require physical exercise. If they are not provided with the cerebral stimulation they need, they will create their own work—typically via activities you dislike, such as digging and chewing. Obedience training and interactive dog toys, as well as dog sports and occupations such as agility and search and rescue, are excellent methods to exercise a dog's brain.

Possibility Of Mouthiness

Mouthiness, which is present in the majority of breeds throughout puppyhood and in Retriever breeds at all ages, refers to a proclivity to nip, chew, and play-bite (a soft, relatively painless bite that does not pierce the skin). Mouthy dogs are more inclined to use their jaws to grasp or "herd" human family members, and they must be trained to understand that chewing on chew toys is OK but not on humans. Mouthy breeds often love both fetch and a nice chew on a toy packed with food and goodies.

Prey Attraction

Dogs bred for hunting, such as Terriers, have an innate impulse to pursue - and sometimes kill - other animals. Anything that whizzes past, such as cats, squirrels, and maybe even vehicles, might arouse that reflex. When outside, dogs who like chasing must be leashed or kept in a gated area, and your yard will need a high, sturdy fence. These breeds are often not suitable for households with smaller pets that resemble prey, such as cats, hamsters, or small dogs. Breeds bred for bird hunting, on the other hand, normally do not pursue, but you will have a difficult time attracting their attention when birds pass past.

Proclivity To Bark Or Howl

Certain breeds make more noise than others. Consider how often the dog vocalizes with barks or howls when selecting a breed. If you're contemplating getting a hound, do you find their distinctive howls melodious or obnoxious? If you're contemplating a watchdog, would a metropolis teeming with suspicious "strangers" keep your pooch always on guard? Will your dog actually go feral as a result of the area wildlife? Are you a resident of a building that has noise restrictions? Do you have any neighboring neighbors? Then you may prefer to select a dog that is more calm.

Wanderlust Possibility

Certain breeds are more independent than others. Nordic dogs, such as Siberian Huskies, were designed to cover great distances, and when given the opportunity, they would pursue anything that captures their attention. And many dogs are compelled to follow their noses—or the rabbit that just crossed the path—even if it means leaving you behind.

Physical Requirements

Level of Energy

Dogs with a lot of energy are constantly ready for action. They were originally bred to do a canine task of some kind, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding animals, and they have the energy to work a long workday. They need a lot of movement and mental stimulation, and they're more likely to spend their time leaping, playing, and exploring new sights and scents.

Low-energy dogs are the canine version of a couch potato, willing to sleep away the day. Consider your personal activity level and lifestyle when choosing a breed, as well as whether you'll find a playful, active dog energizing or frustrating.


A lively dog may or may not have a lot of energy, but they do everything with vigor: they strain on the leash (unless you educate them not to), they attempt to plow past obstacles, and they even eat and drink in huge gulps. These dynamos need a lot of training to acquire excellent manners and may not be the greatest choice for a family with small children or an old or fragile person. A low-vigor dog, on the other hand, has a more reserved demeanor in life.

Exercise Requirements

Some breeds are quite content with a leisurely evening walk around the neighborhood. Others, particularly those trained for physically demanding vocations like herding or hunting, need regular, strenuous exercise.

Without proper exercise, these breeds may gain weight and release pent-up energy in undesirable ways, like as barking, chewing, and digging. Breeds that need a lot of activity are ideal for individuals who like being outside and active, as well as those who want to train their dog to participate in a high-energy dog sport like agility.

Possibility of Playfulness

Some dogs are continuous puppies, always yearning for a game, but others are more serious and somber. Although an active puppy seems appealing, consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, as well as if you have children or other canines who can serve as substitute playmates for the dog.

Vital Stats of sheepdog

  • Group of dog Species: Herding Dogs
  • Height: From a shoulder height of 21 inches
  • 10-to-12-year life expectancy

Additional Information about old english sheepdog

The beautifully shaggy Old English Sheepdog is a popular character in children's television programs and films, where he is often an endearing, though sometimes clumsy, protagonist. However, leaving away the hair and Hollywood glamour, who is the OES?

In actuality, the OES — dubbed "Bobtail" because to his docked tail (which was customarily kept short to distinguish him as a drover) — is a laid-back, fun-loving, clever dog. He is a herding group member of the American Kennel Club. He is a giant dog, weighing between 60 and 100 pounds, but his dense coat of blue-gray and white gives him the appearance of being much larger. He is well-known for his amazing disposition and is strong, robust, and diligent.

His sense of humor is well-known to those who know and love him. He may be lively and amusing, despite the fact that he is also the family's guardian and protector.

You cannot discuss the OES without mentioning hair, a lot of hair. This coat requires more attention than others. It is lengthy and prone to matting if not combed frequently. Many owners cut the hair short — but the OES cannot be clipped short if he wants to be a show dog.

Expect three to four hours of grooming each week — maybe more — in addition to weekly grooming salon visits. Unsurprisingly, one of the most frequent reasons OES owners surrender their dogs to rescue groups is the effort and expense involved in caring for the coat. Anyone selecting this breed must examine grooming and associated maintenance in great detail.

The OES is a very versatile system. To some people's surprise, he adapts well to living in an apartment provided he receives frequent exercise. Despite his working ancestry, he is unsuitable as a backyard dog. He wants, and should desire, to be with his family, and if left alone for an extended period of time, he may have separation anxiety. He is trainable and responds well to a compassionate and constant firm owner. He is well-behaved among other dogs and pets.

The OES, with his shaggy coat, sharp intelligence, and bobbed tail, is an excellent addition to any household who has the time and patience to care for him


Old English Sheepdogs need much training and socializing. They are huge, energetic, and eager, but particularly so when they are young. Training must be patient and persistent.

Old English Sheep dogs are not for hypoallergenic individuals. They often drool and are prolific shedders. Additionally, their thick coatings collect debris and filth, which eventually get up on your furniture and floor.

Originally created for the purpose of driving cattle and sheep, the OES is a very energetic breed that demands a great deal of exercise.

The coat of the Old English Sheepdog is quite demanding maintenance. Keeping it clean and tangle-free takes effort and money.

Old English Sheep dogs often exhibit separation anxiety. They exist to serve their family, yet they may turn destructive if left alone for an extended period of time.

Never purchase a puppy from a backyard breeder, puppy mill, or pet shop if you want a healthy companion. Locate a trustworthy breeder that thoroughly screens her breeding dogs for hereditary health problems and temperament issues.


Without a question, the Old English Sheepdog's origins are one of the most obscure in the canine world. There is evidence that the breed originated in the early nineteenth century in the southwestern counties of England, while it may have descended from the Scottish Bearded Collie, the Russian Owtchar, or another dog entirely.

During the breed's presumed beginnings period, texts reported a dog employed to drive livestock and lambs to market. Owners often docked their dogs' tails to demonstrate that they were actually drovers' dogs, and dubbed them "Bob" or "Bobtail."

When the OES arrived in the United States in the late 1880s, he was first owned by a Pittsburgh manufacturer called W. Wade. By the early 1900s, the breed was owned, exhibited, and produced by just five rich households in the United States. This caused one show administrator to tell judges at the 1904 Westminster Show in New York to "take their time; the dogs in the ring are the property of some of our country's greatest citizens."

Henry Arthur Tilley established the Old English Sheepdog Club of America in 1904. Tilley, along with his brother, William Steeds Tilley, were instrumental in the development of the OES breed standard. Numerous dogs they bred may now be found in the pedigrees of OES lines.

The Old English Sheepdog was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885. Even until the 1950s, the OES retained his position as a wealthy man's dog. However, by the 1960s, the breed had evolved from a prestige symbol to a household pet. By the mid-1970s, 15,000 dogs were registered yearly; however, that number has decreased as more individuals become aware of the expense and labor involved in caring for the beautiful but time-consuming OES coat.


Males reach a height of 22 inches and weigh between 80 and 100 pounds. Females are around 21 inches tall and weigh between 60 and 85 pounds.


The Old English Sheepdog is a lovable, cheerful clown who enjoys playing with his family and local youngsters. Indeed, the OES's adolescence often lasts until approximately the age of three, and an adult OES will keep his playful temperament far into his golden years.

The OES is a clever breed that is fast to learn and is always on the lookout for anything exciting and enjoyable to do. He is proficient in a variety of duties, including herding, agility, obedience, and search and rescue.

This breed demands a great deal of physical and mental activity. He dislikes being left alone for extended periods of time and rather prefers — indeed, need — to be around his family.

A well bred OES is gentle and loving, which makes him a terrific companion for youngsters and a wonderful family dog. He is sometimes referred to as a nanny, a word of affection derived from tales about the position he occasionally plays within his family.

The OES, on the other hand, is not well-known as an aggressive watchdog. He may or may not bark when outsiders enter his house. Certain OESs are quite protective, whilst others are not.


Although Old English Sheep dogs are typically healthy, they, like other breeds, are susceptible to some health problems. Although not all Old English Sheep dogs may get one or more of these illnesses, it is important to be aware of them if you are contemplating this breed.

  • Hip dysplasia in dogs is a genetic disorder in which the thighbone does not fit securely into the hip joint. While some dogs exhibit pain and lameness on one or both hind legs, a dog with hip dysplasia may exhibit no indications of discomfort. However, as the dog matures, arthritis may develop. If you're purchasing a puppy, get documentation from the breeder that the parents have been tested for hip dysplasia and are healthy.
  • Cataracts cause the lens of the eye to become opaque, resulting in blurred vision. The dog's eye(s) will seem clouded. Cataracts often develop as people age and may sometimes be surgically removed to enhance eyesight.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a group of eye illnesses that cause the retina to gradually deteriorate. Dogs develop night blindness early in the condition. They also lose their daylight eyesight as the condition develops. Many dogs adjust quite well to eyesight loss, whether partial or total, as long as their surroundings stay unchanged.
  • Hypothyroidism is caused by a deficiency of the thyroid hormone. Infertility is a modest symptom of the condition. Obesity, mental dullness, drowsiness, and erratic heat cycles are more visible symptoms. Fur becomes coarse and brittle, eventually falling off, while the skin becomes harsh and black in color. Hypothyroidism is treated with regular thyroid replacement therapy and is often lifelong.
  • Deafness is quite prevalent and may provide several difficulties for both dog and owner. While some types of deafness and hearing loss may be managed with medicine and surgery, deafness is often incurable. A deaf dog requires patience and time, and there are several aids available, like as vibrating collars, to make life simpler for both you and the dog. If your dog has been diagnosed with hearing loss or complete deafness, consider if you have the patience, time, and capacity to adequately care for him.


The OES enjoys action as a result of his working roots. Today's Old English Sheep dogs are very competent competitors in sheepherding and agility contests, both of which need a physically fit and robust dog. Consider one to two hours of exercise every day as part of the OES regimen.

Naturally, your dog's requirements will differ depending on his or her age. Puppies have a lot of energy — so much so that if they are not kept occupied with acceptable activities, they will use it to damage your house. On the other side, elderly dogs may prefer to curl up on the sofa and take up the whole space, and will need encouragement to exercise. It's important to remember that, although the OES may easily adapt to less activity, this is not optimal for him.

However, when the weather is hot, limit outdoor activity. The OES's deep undercoat is quite warm, and the dog may rapidly overheat.

All dogs, but particularly big breeds like the OES, benefit from obedience training. The fundamental instructions ("sit," "down," "come," and "stay") are critical for regular life with any dog, but when combined with a wet and muddy OES coat, these commands become critical. Fortunately, the OES is very bright and fast to learn.

Because the OES does not often tolerate confinement well, if you crate train your OES puppy, you must be careful not to leave him in the crate for an extended period of time. He should accompany you home; the OES is sensitive to being isolated from the family he adores.

The OES increases from 1 pound to 60 pound within his first year. He may reach a weight of up to 100 pounds when completely mature. They are prone to bone diseases as a result of their fast development, particularly between the ages of four and seven months. Feed your OES puppy a high-quality, low-calorie meal to prevent him from developing too quickly.

Additionally, he should avoid running and playing on very hard surfaces like as pavement; typical grass play is OK. Until the dog is at least two years old and his joints are properly grown, forced leaping or running on hard surfaces should be avoided (puppy agility classes, with their one-inch jumps, are fine).


Daily quantity recommended: 2.5 to 4.5 cups of high-quality dry food.

The amount of food your adult dog consumes is determined by his size, age, build, metabolism, and degree of activity. Dogs, like people, are unique, and they do not all require the same amount of food. It practically goes without saying that a dog who is very active will need more than a dog that is a couch potato. The quality of the dog food you purchase also matters – the better the dog food, the farther it will feed your dog and the less you will need to shake into his bowl.

Overfeeding an OES is made all the easier by the fluffy coat, which conveniently conceals excess weight. It is critical that you monitor your dog's weight on a regular basis and avoid overfeeding him.

For more information on feeding your Old English Sheepdog, check our purchasing the proper food, feeding your puppy, and feeding your adult dog tips.

Color and grooming of the coat

If you're looking for a large-haired dog, the Old English Sheepdog is the breed for you. This breed has an abundance of hair: a scruffy, profuse coat that is neither straight nor wavy. The breed has a double coat that is textured on the outside and velvety on the inside. Gray, grizzle, blue or blue merle, brown, and fawn are among colors that are often combined with white markings.

If you're looking for a grooming challenge, consider the OES. His coat is tough to maintain; you need budget at least three to four hours each week for maintenance. If you're new to dog ownership, you'll need assistance learning how to properly clean and comb your OES. The breeder can assist, and there are several high-quality grooming books and (even better) videos available to assist pet owners with this process.

The OES sheds heavily and needs regular brushing to remove dead hair and maintain a tangle-free coat.

Certain Old English Sheepdogs drool excessively, causing the area surrounding their lips to become yellow. If this occurs, frequent washing, particularly after meals, can assist. Another technique is to dust the beard with cornstarch. Brush out the cornstarch after it has fully dried. This method also works effectively when an OES is experiencing diarrhea.

As is the case with other breeds, it is essential to begin grooming the OES puppy at a young age. Making grooming a pleasurable and calming experience helps guarantee that your OES puppy develops into maturity with ease, both for you and for professional groomers.

To brush and comb your OES, you'll need the following tools: a pin brush, a coarse steel comb, and a slicker brush. Brushing should be a delicate operation to prevent yanking on the dog and injuring it. It is critical to brush the whole coat, not just the top layer, to remove any dirt or hair trapped in the undercoat. Before brushing, spritz the dog gently with a detangler and/or conditioner.

Mats provide a significant risk to the OES and may result in skin disorders. They're incredibly tough to remove, and the dog may need to be shaved in severe instances of matting.

Apart from brushing and combing, the OES requires bathing every six to eight weeks. Once a month, the nails should be trimmed, and the ears should be examined for filth, redness, or an odor that might suggest an infection. Then, using a cotton ball moistened with a moderate, pH-balanced ear cleanser, wipe out the ears. Brushing your dog's teeth on a regular basis using a soft toothbrush and canine toothpaste will help prevent dental illness.

Many owners choose to have a professional groomer maintain the OES coat (in addition to the regular brushing they perform themselves). This is costly, and you must include this into your decision to purchase an OES.

Children And Other Domestic Animals

The well-bred and well-socialized Old English Sheepdog is an excellent companion for youngsters. According to others, he will oversee and herd little children, keeping them confined to a certain area. Others assert that the OES functions as a support for the toddler who is beginning to walk.

Regrettably, there are occasional exceptions to the Old English Sheepdog's position as a loving nanny, owing to faulty breeding practices that have resulted in dogs with bad temperaments and neuroses. Purchase from a reputable breeder and make an appointment to see the puppy's parents. Additionally, children should never be left alone with any dog, regardless of breed or temperament.

The amiable OES gets along well with other canines and pets when properly socialized and trained.

Rescue Organizations

Frequently, Old English Sheepdogs are acquired without a thorough grasp of what it takes to keep one. Numerous Old English Sheepdogs are available for adoption or foster care. We have left out a lot of rescues. If your location does not have an OES rescue group listed, contact the national breed club or a local breed club. They may direct you to an OES rescue organization in your area.
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