Old English Sheepdog

The Old English Sheepdog is a livestock herding breed which originated in the southern part of England during the 19th century. The breed’s ancestors may include the Scottish Bearded Collie and the Russian Owtchar. The breed was likely used as a “drover’s dog” which would drive cattle and sheep to market.

The Old English Sheepdog is large, standing 22 inches high and weighing 60 to 100 pounds. The coat of the breed is excessively shaggy, covering their entire body and face. The coat begins as black and white, but once the puppy coat is shed a shade of gray, grizzle, blue, or blue merle appears with white markings. The coat is double layered and acts as a weather-repellent and insulator. The tail of the breed is typically docked short.

The breed is intelligent and adaptable. Its herding instinct is surprisingly strong; not only will the breed herd livestock, it may also attempt to herd family members. The breed is gentle and makes an excellent family pet, typically getting along with children, other pets, and visitors. The breed is playful and requires a good deal of mental and physical stimulation. It needs regular exercise.

The breed is incredibly high maintenance when it comes to grooming. The coat needs to be kept long in order to protect it from cold, eat, and sun. It requires brushing only weekly, but this task can take over an hour. It is important to keep the breed well-groomed so its fur does not mat. The hair on its feet and toes should be trimmed regularly, and the hair behind the ears and at the base of the legs of the breed also needs to be closely watched for mats. During the summer months, the breed will need a slight trim in order to avoid overheating. The breed may also have problems with matting of the hair inside of the ear canal, so the ears of the dog should be cleaned regularly.