The Old English Sheepdog is an extremely large dog breed that was developed and bred in England. It is said that this breed stems from early herding types of dogs. The Old English Sheepdog is known for its particularly long fur that tends to cover its face and eyes. Due to tail docking, the removal or portions of an animal’s tail, this breed of dog was nicknamed the “Bobtail”, since docking was such a strong tradition in the Old English Sheepdogs.
The Old English Sheepdog is said to have derived from the Bearded Collie or Russian Owtcharka in the west of England. This dog breed was the solution to the need for a mighty dog competent of protecting the flocks and herds from wolves that existed that the time. This dog breed was used primarily to drive cattle and sheep to market by the middle of the nineteenth century. Since they were working dogs, the Old English Sheepdog was exempt from dog taxes. However, in order to prove their occupation, their tails had to be docked. Ironically, this custom has continued to modern time and has created the nickname of Bobtail. This dog breed was first revealed in the late 1800’s and by the early 1900’s it was an admired show exhibit. In 1905, the Old English Sheepdog was recognized by the AKC. In earlier times, this breed could be brown, but then later was restricted to only shades of gray with white. Even though the modern Bobtail is extremely like the early breed, it has a more plentiful coat and solid body. As a pet, the Old English Sheepdog slowly grew in popularity. However, by the 1970’s this dog breed became a favorable house dog. Once this happened, its popularity skyrocketed with pet owners desiring a unique but loving pet.
The Old English Sheepdog is a very large dog and is most known for its long, thick, shaggy gray and white coat. This fur is most recognizable due to its long nature causing it to cover its face and eyes. The Old English Sheepdog has ears that lie flat on its head. Its origins show that the Old English Sheepdog’s tail was commonly docked. However, now days, it is common to see an Old English Sheepdog tailed due to a large number of countries outlawing cosmetic docking. When the Old English Sheepdog is seen with a tail, it is low set and hangs down, covered in long fur that feathers out. This breed of dog tends to stand lower at the shoulders than at the loin. Many people associate the Old English Sheepdog’s walk with that of a bear, due to its rolling motions from the rear. The male Old English Sheepdog stands at about 24 inches tall at the withers and females are only slightly smaller than the males. The Old English Sheepdog’s body is compact and short, weighing in around 101 pounds for males. Females weigh in only slightly lighter than the males of this breed. The Old English Sheepdog has a double coat, with the outer coat being seen in various shades of gray, black, blue, or blue merle, with occasional white markings. The under coat is extremely water resistant. Almost all Old English Sheepdog puppies are born with a black and white coat. Then, when the puppy coat starts to shed, the more common coat colors of gray and silver shaggy hair begin to appear.
The Old English Sheepdog is a good-natured and overall happy and gentle dog breed. This breed of dog makes a remarkably great house pet because of its extremely good manners. The Old English Sheepdog has a unique personality and loves to entertain its family with comical actions. This type of dog blossoms with ample human companionship, making it quite the homebody. When it comes to its family, the Old English Sheepdog is exceptionally committed and devoted and treats children as if they were part of the flock. Even with strangers, this dog breed is overly friendly and welcoming. However, while it is extremely friendly and gentle, the Old English Sheepdog can have the tendency to be stubborn at times.
In order to stay in shape, the Old English Sheepdog needs ample amounts of daily exercise, whether in the form of a long walk or a run-around in the yard. This dog breed especially loves herding. It can live in the outdoors only if the climate is temperate to cool. However, it is strongly suggested that this breed has easy access to the indoors with its family because it craves togetherness. It is important to brush or comb this dog breed’s coat every other day in order to prevent mats from forming. The Old English Sheepdog also tends to track debris into the house on occasion.
The Old English Sheepdog has a life span of ten to twelve years. Dog Vitamins will keep their immune system up to par. However, one of the major health concerns seen in this breed of dog is CHD. Some of the more minor health concerns associated with this breed are gastric torsion, otitis externa, retinal detachment, cataract, deafness, PRA, ceresbellar ataxia, and hypothyroidism. Other health issues that veterinarians are seeing more and more in the Old English Sheepdog breed are hip dysplasia, glaucoma, diabetes, entropion, PRA, allergies, and skin problems. However, there is not research data that states how many dogs in this breed are affected with these health problems. Heatstroke is also a serious health concern associated with most full coated dogs. It is important, as an owner, to keep your Old English Sheepdog out of the sun for long periods of time. The major cause of death amongst Old English Sheepdogs is cancer. When this breed is a puppy, it is important to make sure it was tested for these types of disorders. In order to keep this dog breed healthy, it is advised to have specific health tests done such as hip, eye, thyroid, and hearing tests. Dog Vitamins are recommended daily.link:http://www.akc.org/breeds/old_english_sheepdog/index.cfm
Overall, while the Old English Sheepdog may have a variety of health problems, that does not make this breed a bad pet. With its unique personality and fun nature, the Old English Sheepdog makes a great companion for a family. The love that this breed shows for its family and friends makes it obviously a great choice for a home pet. You cannot go wrong with a friendly, gentle, and welcoming dog. With all of these great friendly personality traits, it is easy to see why the Old English Sheepdog has become one of the most popular house pets in the history of dog breeds.