Old English Sheepdog

Breed Rating

family friendly:
Dog friendly:
Watch/guard dog:
Affection / Dependance:
Exercise needed:
Space needed:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:

Breed Attributes


Breed group: Working    Type: Pure Breed    Talent: , ,


Size: Large     Weight: 60-75 lbs     Fur length: Long    Ears: Flappy    Fur type: Straight    Fur Color: Black & White, Gray / Salt & Pepper, White / Cream


Life Expectancy: About 12 – 13 years    Rarity: Common    Availability: Easily available    Climate: Good for every climate.

Breed Details


There are a few theories concerning the origin of the Old English Sheepdog (Bobtail).

One of them is that the breed comes from the Barbone and the Deerhound. Another one states that it comes from the Briard and the Bergamasco, and the third one says that the Old English Sheepdog is a descendant from a Russian dog called Owtchar, which was brought from the Baltic to the United Kingdom on ships.

The last theory is that the breed is a mix of breeds like the Bearded Collie and some other dogs brought from Russia, France, or the Baltics. The Old English Sheepdog was first developed in West England by farmers that needed herders for their sheep.


The Old English Sheepdog can come in any shade of gray, blue or grizzle with or without white markings.


The Old English Sheepdog?s coat is profuse, with a hard texture, not straight, but shaggy. The undercoat is thick and waterproof. The ears are moderately coated while the rest of the body is well coated.


The Old English Sheepdog is extremely gentle and affectionate. Friendly, kind, loving and lovable, it?s an excellent family dog that loves children. Loyal, this dog is entirely devoted to its family and will always be ready to protect it. It?s a calm and patient breed that will tend to adopt smaller family pets or little children. Because of its high herding instinct, it may try to herd family members or other pets. The Old English Sheepdog is intelligent and will easily adapt to new situations. It will enjoy having other pet?s company.


This breed is generally very healthy, however, it is sometimes prone to hip dysplasia, cataracts and IMHA (Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia). Due to its extremely thick coat, it is not a dog made for hot climates. The coat of the Old English Sheepdog needs constant care. At least three times a week, it needs to be brushed and combed through the thick undercoat. If not, the undercoat may become matted and the dog can have skin problems or parasites. The Tangles have to be clipped carefully to not hurt the dog. It?s preferable to see a professional trimmer every two months. With blunt-nosed scissors, trim around the eyes and rear-end. This breed sheds heavily.


The Old English Sheepdog is very intelligent and might want to think on his own more than to listen its owner that?s why the dog can be quite stubborn and will need to be trained early to learn good manners. This breed needs firm training because it tends to anticipate orders and do them the way they want. The best way to train them is by motivating them.


The Old English Sheepdog needs a lot of regular exercise and a safe place to run off the leash.

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