Its origin is not very clear but as its name suggests, it was discovered in the western regions of England. It was mainly used by farmers to herd their flock. In the 19th century, their tails were docked to identify them as working dogs hence were given the name bobtailed sheep dog. Their long coat makes them well adapted to cold weather and once in a while it was sheared to make coats and other warm clothes. They are nowadays a typical home dog that provides great companionship to its owner and is very calm.
This is a large drover dog that has long bushy hair that covers its entire body. It has a square form and generally sturdy body. It stands at 20 – 24 inches tall and weighs over 60 pounds. Its hair covers its entire facial and body features hence trimming is essential. It has dark eyes and a medium sized muzzle that is tipped with a black nose. Its teeth close with a scissors bite and the hair covering its face forms a long moustache and eyebrows. Its ears droop flat on the side of its head and covered with its thick coat. They have a very short tail or none at all.
It is an emotionally stable, easy going dog. It provides great companionship with lots of love and affection. It is very playful and will bond very easily with children. Though they have well behaved indoors, they will preferably thrive in the countryside where they can run free as they herd sheep. Being a very independent thinker, they may be a bit challenging to train as they are already used to making their own decisions. They are diligent workers and will obey commands from a firm owner
The Old English Sheepdog requires regular exercise and playtime to maintain its mental and physical wellbeing. Its dense coat is not good for hot climatic conditions hence always ensure that it is in a cool environment. When training the dog, the trainer has to be firm in order to gain respect and attention from the dog otherwise it may end up ignoring him.
They are generally a healthy breed of dogs however they are prone to certain health conditions such as hip dysplasia, cataracts, blood conditions and deafness. They have a general lifespan of 11 to 15 years.
The Old English sheepdog should be fed with high-quality food in the right portion per day. The amount of food given to the dog depends on its age, weight, and level of activity.
Coat, Color and Grooming
Their coat is very long and dense. It has a hard and rough texture, and the top layer has a shaggy appearance. Its coat comes in a variety of colors such as white, gray, bluish and a combination of white and black. Its coat is high maintenance and will require regular grooming to untangle any knots and prevent it from hosting parasites.
With family and other pets
This dog is very sociable with family and will engage both young and old. Due to their calm nature, they get along with children and even to an extent supervise them out of its natural instincts. It is open to other pets especially it if has been exposed to them before.