The Old English Sheepdog comes from a breed of dog that originates in England. Names that are now obsolete for this breed include Shepherd’s Dog and Bob-Tailed Sheep-Dog.
The Old English Sheepdog was historically a drover which means it helped farmers drive cattle and sheep to the market. Today, they are more of companion dog than anything. They make great family pets are adaptable, intelligent, and very easy-going.
All around, the Old English Sheepdog is friendly; and although they are larger dogs, they would be as happy in an apartment as in a home. As long as they are with family, they would do well in most environments. Being not only kid and stranger-friendly, they are also dog-friendly.
The exact origin of an Old English Sheepdog is not known. There were dogs there were similar to the Old English Sheepdog, but there were no records that were kept. There is a small dog that looks similar to an Old English Sheepdog in a painting by Gainsborough in 1771 that many believe could be an earlier type of Old English Sheepdog. Then in the early 19th Century there was a dog called a Smithfield or Cotswold Cor that could have been an ancestor as well. The Bearded Collie is agreed to be among the original stock that was used in creating todays breed. Some think the Russian Owtchar was part of the ancestor list as well.
When the Old English Sheepdog was called the Shepherd’s Dog, it was first exhibited in 1873 in Birmingham, England. The breed was exposed to the United States in the 1880s, and by the 20th Century, the breed has been bred by five of the ten wealthiest American families.
The Old English Sheepdog is considered a large-sized dog. The average height of a male Toller is about 24 inches, with a female Old English Sheepdog slightly smaller on average. There isn’t really an average set weight for a standard Old English Sheepdog, but the Old English Sheepdog can be up to 101 pounds.
Old English Sheepdogs are not nervous or aggressive animals. They are sometimes lazy and enjoying laying around the house and other times they may even try to herd children, family or other objects.
The Old English Sheepdog is a bit of a playful clown and loves to play with family and other children who come to frolick. Old English Sheepdogs also are quick learners and love to find things to do that are interesting. They need lots of exercise and are not fans of being alone for long periods of time.
All around the Old English Sheepdog is good-natured and kind and is a great companion for kids. They truly are great family pets. Old English Sheepdogs are assertive watchdogs; and although they may bark when strangers come to the house, he may also not bark. Depending on the pet, some are overly protective and some are not.
Old English Sheepdogs are generally healthy dogs that live between 10 to 11 years. As with most dogs, Old English Sheepdog are prone to some health issues, but, in general, are a healthy breed. Some of the possible health problems may include Canine hip dysplasia, Cataracts, Progressive retinal atrophy, Hypothyroidism, and Deafness.
To ensure that your Old English Sheepdog is well taken care of, make sure to take your Old English Sheepdog to its regularly scheduled veterinarian visits so any potential problems can be seen ahead of time.
Old English Sheepdogs should also be groomed starting from an early age. The Old English Sheepdog can grow a very long coat that can cover its face and eyes and need to be brushed every day due to its long and big hair. It is very important to keep an Old English Sheepdog groomed because hair mats can be a real problem for their skin. You should bathe your Old English Sheepdog every six to eight weeks.
Nails need to be trimmed once per month, and you should check your pets’ ears one a week for dirt, redness, or a bad odor that may tell you there is an infection. Regular teeth brushing is very important and should be done between one to three times per week but more is better.
Here is a link to the Old English Sheepdog Club of America. Please check your local area for other rescues near you or to learn more about this breed.