Old English Sheepdog
The Old English Sheepdog has a profuse, shaggy coat with a harsh texture. The coloring of the coat can be blue, blue merle, grizzle, or gray, and this may be with white markings. The height of the Old English Sheepdog is around 21-26 inches, and the weight is around 65-100 pounds. The short tail of this dog has earned him the nickname of 'bobtail'.
Old English Sheepdog Temperment
Loyal, affectionate, and protective of his loved ones, the Old English Sheepdog is an intelligent breed. These dogs have plenty of enthusiasm and energy, and love to play - although their large size means that they should be watched around smaller children who could easily be knocked over. The Old English Sheepdog loves the company and attention of his owners and family, and likes to be involved with everything that is going on. This is not the right dog for those with little time to devote to a pet, as failure to provide your Old English Sheepdog with the necessary attention and interaction can lead to boredom and destructive behavior. This is a very entertaining breed, and will keep you amused for hours with his clownish ways. He is also very friendly and sociable, making a good family pet.
Although the Old English Sheepdog gets along well with children he can be quite independent and sometimes may play rough, which means that he is best around older children. These dogs will bark to raise an alarm, making them effective watchdogs. With strangers the Old English Sheepdog tends to be polite, and he enjoys the company of other pets. It is important to socialize your Old English Sheepdog early on to ensure a well balanced personality and temperament, as some can be timid if not properly socialized at an early age. Watch out for the herding instincts of the Old English Sheepdog, which may still be evident in the way he tries to herd people and animals - often by nipping at the ankles. The Old English Sheepdog can be a stubborn breed, and this can make training more difficult. These dogs are best suited to those with some experience of dog ownership
The grooming requirements for the Old English Sheepdog are moderate to high, and those will little time to carry out the grooming themselves may find that they have to go to the expense of professional grooming in order to keep the coat of this dog looking good. You need to brush the coat of the Old English Sheepdog several times a week, and each grooming session can take one or two hours. Clipping may also be required several times a year. The Old English Sheepdog is a moderate shedder, which means that he may not be suitable for those with allergies. However, proper grooming may help to keep shedding levels down.
The Old English Sheepdog has been used as a herding dog and pet for thousands of years in Europe. There are many theories as to the true origin of this dog, and many believe that it is related to the Barbone and the Deerhound. Others think that it may be related to the Briard or Bergamasco, as well as being a descendant of the hairy Russian dog known as "Owtchar" that was brought to the United Kingdom from the Baltic region.
It is likely that cross breeding occurred throughout England and Russia, especially with the Bearded Collies and other animals brought in from France and the Baltics. The Old English Sheepdog was first used by many farmers in England's West Country, the groups of people in need of cattle drivers and natural sheep herders. The breed became very common in the 19th century, and has been used widely in many agricultural areas.
The dog has often been called the "Bobtail" because of it's lack of a tail or short stump. The dog's tail was customarily docked as a way to identify tax-exempt herding dogs during the 18th century. In the spring time, farmers often sheared this dog along with the sheep and then used the dog hair to make blankets. Clothing and blankets trading were another part of the old English economy, and the prevalence of the Old English Sheepdog made this a natural commodity.
The Old English Sheepdog has also become famous for herding, watch dogging, and retrieving. Still, it is a fine herding dog and one that has even been used for reindeer herding because of its ability to tolerate cold weather. Show dogs are another popular activity for these dogs; they were first shown in Britain in 1873, and are well-received in a variety of competitions and show dog circles.
The Old English Sheepdog is naturally intelligent and will enjoy ongoing training and growth. They learn quickly and they will get along well with most owners an trainers. Since they do have natural herding instincts, they have a natural drive to work and take on new tasks. They are also very strong-willed and stubborn, so it is best to teach them positive habits at a very young age. Trying a variety of training methods works best for them since they can become quite grounded in routines.
Motivational training is a good idea for these dogs, and they will continue to stay interested, alert, and attentive. The dogs are good at managing challenges and overcoming difficult tasks; they are also helpful and will fare well with working with their owners. These dogs enjoy learning new tricks and skills, and will develop their personality very quickly.
These dogs are sensitive and will respond to correction and harsh tones. It is important to be firm and confident with them, but they will listen to their masters and owners, especially when they have learned boundaries and lines of respect. It's important to remember that these dogs are even tempered and very faithful; they have a tendency to develop a strong bond with their owners and will fare well with ongoing encouragement, nurturing, and attention. Overcoming training difficulties may take time and patience, but the reward is a very affectionate and well-behaved dog.
The life expectancy of the Old English Sheepdog is around 12-14 years, and there are a number of health problems to look out for with this breed. This includes cataracts, glaucoma, entropion, thyroid problems, deafness, diabetes, HD, PRA, allergies, skin problems, and heatstroke in full coated dogs. The parents of the Old English Sheepdog puppy should have OFA and CERF certificates.