Old English Sheepdog

The Old English Sheepdog, also known affectionately as Bobtail, is probably the most huggable breed in the whole canine world and a real show-stopper. His beautiful shaggy coat covers his whole body leaving just the tip of his black nose exposed. His steady, trusting nature and strong protective instinct made him very popular as a herding and drovers dog and a family companion. So, if you like the pretty looks of this longhaired beauty, but are not prepared to go to the trouble and the expense of keeping his luxurious coat properly maintained, it won't stay healthy and looking good for long.

Old English Sheepdog Breed Outline

Other Names: Bobtail

Country of Origin: Great Britain

Utilization: Sheepdog

Old English Sheepdog, Bobtail Photo courtesy of OES from Mystery Avalon

FCI Classification: Group 1 Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs; AKC Classification: Herding Group

Size: Medium (22-24 inches at shoulder)

Colors: Any shade of gray, grizzle or blue. Body and hindquarters are of solid color with or without white socks.

Litter Size: 5-8

Life Span: 10 years

Grooming Requirements: Prepare for brushing and combing your Bobtail buddy at least three or four times a week to keep the coat free from mats and tangles.

Shedding: Heavy seasonal

Personality: High-energy, athletic, friendly, gentle and playful. Its distinctive deep bark keeps sends a strong message to intruders.

Social skills: The Old English Sheepdog readily accepts other dogs and strangers.

Suitability for Children: Bobtails love children and make exceptional playmates. Puppies are pretty strong and can take roughhouse play without getting hurt. On the other hand, adult Bobtails of about 75 to 100 pounds can easily knock off a child younger than 6 years of age.

Exercise Needs: These athletes have boundless energy and need space and time to burn it. Two hours of daily exercise is imperative.

Train Ability: Very intelligent, yet strong-willed and sometimes very stubborn breed. Obedience training can present a real challenge. Boisterous puppies can grow into unruly adults. You are strongly advised to start when the puppy is three or four months of age.

Health & Behavioral Issues: The Old English Sheepdog is a relatively healthy breed. Responsible breeders will test their dogs for temperament and genetic problems (hypothyroidism, or low thyroid hormone level, PRA, and atopic dermatitis).

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