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Old English Sheepdog
Old English Sheepdog

Country of Origin: Great Britain

Group: Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs)

Section: Sheepdogs

Original Function: sheep herding

Todays Function: herding trials

Dimension Male: 56-61 cm

Dimension Female: 51-56 cm

Weight Male: 29-45 kg

Weight Female: 27-45 kg

Litter Size: 4-8 puppies, average 6

Life span: 10-12 years

Other Names: Bobtail, Oes, Bob

Colors: Black/white, grey/white, grey, white markings, black markings

Living: The old english sheepdog requires intensive exercise on a regular basis, and enjoys a variety of act



The Old English Sheepdog is a large, squarely proportioned, agile dog with a profuse shaggy coat. The body is stocky, well-balanced and muscular. The topline slopes upward from the withers to the loin. This unusual topline is an important breed characteristic. The brisket is very deep and the chest broad. The forelegs are straight with small, round feet pointing directly forward. The large, rather square head is covered with hair and has a well-defined stop. The small ears lie flat. The dog may have blue or brown eyes, or one of each color. The nose is large and black. The teeth should meet in a level or tight scissors bite. This breed is either born tailless (as the name Bobtail implies) or the tail is completely amputated. The Old English Sheepdog has a long double coat with coarse guard hair and a soft downy undercoat, which insulates the dog. The accepted coat colors are blue, gray, blue gray or blue merle, often with white markings. Sometimes white is the predominate color with markings of the above listed darker colors. This breed has a rolling, bear-like gait and a distinctive low-pitched, loud-ringing bark.


The amiable Old English is jolly but gentle. At home, it is a well-mannered house pet that often amuses its family with comical antics. It thrives on human companionship and is very much a homebody. It is extremely devoted to its family and protective of family members, tending children as flock members. It is friendly toward strangers. Some can be headstrong.


The Old English sheepdog needs daily exercise, either a moderate to long walk or a vigorous romp. It particularly enjoys herding. It can live outside only in temperate to cool climates, but it is strongly advised that this breed have access to the house or indoor quarters because it thrives on togetherness. Its coat needs brushing or combing every other day, or it may form mats. It may tend to track in debris.


The coarse, longhaired coat needs constant care to keep it in top condition. Unless it is combed and brushed right through to the dense, water-proof undercoat at least three times per week, it will become matted and the dog may develop skin problems to be


Major concerns: CHD

Minor concerns: gastric torsion, otitis externa, retinal detachment, cataract, deafness

Occasionally seen: none

Suggested tests: hip, eye, (hearing)