The Old English Sheepdog!

A robust yet easygoing, compact, balanced dog, a marked characteristic of the Old English Sheepdog is its gait, which is quite like the shuffle of a bear. The Old English Sheepdog has over 150 years history, believed to be developed in the west of England, yet still rather uncommon . It is one of the well-loved breeds, and was even featured in Disney's The Little Mermaid, as Prince Eric's faithful companion. The breed’s intelligence is great and exhibits deep devotion to his friends and will bark at any unusual occurrence.

Some Quick Facts:

Life Expectancy:
12-15 years

Energy Level:

Living Conditions:
Flexible; robust


Exercise Needs:
Frequent walks and yard play.

Breed Group:


21-27 inches

60 to 100 pounds

Standard Hair Colors:
Gray, grizzle, blue or blue merle with or without white markings.

National breed club:
Old English Sheepdog Club of America

Old English Sheepdog Skills

The Old English Sheepdog first emerged at the beginning of the 18th century and is believed to have been developed in the west of England in the counties of Devon and Somerset, and the Duchy of Cornwall. There were dogs known as "drover's dogs" and were used to drive sheep and cattle to market. To prove their occupation as working dogs, their tails were docked; thus, their owners were exempt from taxes placed on dogs kept as pets. Today,the Bobtail is an excellent house pet because of its clownish sense of humour. Few breeds of dogs demand and inspire the emotional commitment as does the Old English Sheepdog.

Old English Sheepdog Personality

An adaptable, intelligent dog of even disposition, with no sign of aggression, shyness or nervousness. The bobtail is a loving pet, a perfect companion to children and equally happy in an apartment city or country home, provided he is with his family. Coupled with an inbred stubbornness, he is determined to be the center of attention at all times.

Exercise Needs

The Old English Sheepdog does not adapt to confinement and needs lots of human attention. Neglect will negatively affect his temperament. Take the Bobtail to frequent walks or playing with him in a fenced yard will keep him happy, and will return that which is given to him many times over.

Living Conditions

The dogs do well under almost any climatic conditions, their coats serving as insulation against heat, cold, and dampness. The Old English generally has a happy, rough and tumble disposition; he is always ready for action. He makes an ideal house pet not usually given to roaming. If your preference is for an outdoor dog to be left pretty much to fend for itself, this is not the breed for you. The OES is a hardy, intelligent herding dog, which prefers to spend his time with his family.

Grooming Requirements

The massive coat of the Old English may serve as a deterrent to some who feel they may not be able to undertake the responsibility for its care; however, once a week thorough grooming will keep the dog relatively mat-free. Without regular grooming, the dog can quickly become dirty, matted, and unpleasant to have around.

Health Issues

Although a generally healthy breed, some of the known health issues include hip dysplasia, as well as genetic eye problems.

If you liked this dog…

The Old English is home-loving, not given to roaming or fighting, extremely agile, intelligent and affectionate and makes an ideal house dog. It can also be trained as a Retriever. It makes a first-class sledge dog, and is satisfactory as a companion equally at home in an apartment, large house, drawing room, and practically anywhere else. However, if you like the more boisterous kind, go for the Collie.

old english sheepdog


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