picture of an Old English Sheepdog

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Big Dogs

Information About The Old English Sheepdog Dog Breed


History and origin : Also known as the Bobtail, the Old English Sheepdog was developed in England in the 19 th century. This breed served as a guard and a cattle dog. Nowadays, he is kept mainly as a beloved pet and companion.

Description : The Old English Sheepdog stands 21 to 24 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 60 and 90 pounds. He has a strong, broad body, a large head, a docked tail, and an abundant shaggy, wavy shedding coat with a softer undercoat. This coat, which is the most distinctive feature of the breed, requires daily brushing and weekly combing with a steel comb to prevent mats. He is absorbent and should be kept dry to avoid odors. A shorter clip helps reduce grooming maintenance. The color may be gray or blue, often with white markings.

About the breed : The Old English Sheepdog is a very beautiful breed. He is intelligent, home-loving, and gets along well with children as long as there is no teasing or roughhousing. Affectionate with his family, he is suspicious of strangers and can be quite moody at times. The Old English Sheepdog is less energetic than other herders. He is a stubborn breed and can be passive-resistant. The training technique should be persistent, precise, and never overbearing. A trainer who is too harsh could cause timidity and fear-aggression in this breed. Socialization should begin early and will help increase the dog's confidence. Spoiling may lower his confidence and encourage obnoxious, nippy behavior. The Old English Sheepdog may show dog-aggression and may want to chase cars, bikes, or joggers. He is not suitable for confined quarters and will bark and become destructive if left alone for long periods. Though not extremely active, he does need daily exercise in order for him to stay fit.

Feeding : Recommended feeding for the Old English Sheepdog is 1 ½ - 2 ½ cans (13.3oz) of a high-quality meaty product with biscuit added in equal amount or 5 cupfuls of a complete dry food.

Ideal home : A house with a fenced yard is essential. The owner of an Old English Sheepdog should be a strong, confident, patient leader who desires a somewhat easygoing, serious, discriminating pet that will be initially suspicious of strangers and serve as a good watchdog. Spoiling may encourage pushy, nasty behavior in this breed, and an overbearing owner could incite fear-aggression. The elderly and the disabled might not be able to handle this large breed. Time to train, socialize, exercise, and groom this breed must always be available.

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