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Old English Sheepdog – Facts, Temperament & Health Issues

Old English Sheepdog
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Archetypical shaggy Old English Sheepdog is famous for its good nature, peek-a-boo hairdo, and profuse double coat. This agile dog act as a good companion and show dog. As it is a big dog, it enjoys good romp and exploring.

We might miss this delightful ball of fur in parks anymore. Nowadays, dog lovers prefer fashionable dog breeds over traditional dog breeds including Old English Sheepdogs.

The Kennel Club has recently warned that teenager and adult prefer more lapdogs and if this trend continues, the Old English Sheepdogs will go into extinction. A spokesperson from the kennel club claimed that the iconic dog now is part of the “At Watch” list.

As per reports, if the numbers don’t increase, then this breed could be included in the “Vulnerable Native Breeds” list. The breeds that have less than 300 registration in the year will be added in this list.

Old English Sheepdog Breed Characteristics

  • Origin: England
  • Size: Large
  • Dog Breed Group: Herding Group
  • Purebred: Yes
  • Lifespan: 10-12 Years
  • Height: Male: 22 inches (56 cm) or more; Female: 21 inches (53 cm) or more
  • Weight: 60-100 pounds (27-45 kg)
  • Coat Appearance: Shaggy, double coat, with a textured outer coat and soft, waterproof undercoat
  • Coat Colors: Typically gray, grizzle, blue, or blue merle with or without white markings
  • Temperament: Intelligent, sociable, bubbly, adaptable, friendly, playful
  • Good With Children: Yes, excellent with children
  • Intelligence Level: High
  • Good With Pets: Yes, gets along well with other dogs and pets
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Grooming: High, requires regular brushing and grooming to prevent matting
  • Barking: Moderate, tends to be vocal
  • Suitable For Apartments: No, best suited for homes with more space
  • Need For Exercise: High, requires regular exercise to stay healthy and happy
  • Easy To Train: Yes, intelligent and generally eager to please, but can be stubborn
  • Good For First Time Owners: No, better for owners who have experience with large, active breeds
  • Health Issues: Hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, thyroid issues, deafness
  • Litter Size: 5-8 puppies
  • Average Price: $1,200 to $1,500 USD

Old English Sheepdog Facts

  • Origin – England
  • Size – Large
  • Height – Male 22 – 24 inches, Female 20 – 22 inches
  • Weight – Male 29 kg, Female 27 kg
  • Lifespan – 10-12 years
  • Litter size – 5 to 12 puppies
  • Group – Herding
  • Coat – Shaggy grey and white coat
  • Attention needs- High
  • Colors – Blue & White, Blue Gray & White, Blue Merle & White, Gray & White, Grizzle & White

Old English Sheepdog Appearance

A strong, square, balanced, and compact dog. Old English Sheepdogs have coated, able-bodied, muscular, and thickset.

This dog carries a unique “broken” ring like bark.

It has long hair, black nose, large head, and brown or blue eyes. Their front legs are straight and hind legs are muscular and round.

They have straight small feet with arched toes.

Old English Sheepdog Temperament

Old English sheepdog is a happy-go-lucky and stable dog. They are friendly, loving, intelligent, protective and loyal. This dog breed loves children and moves well with other family members. These dogs are best family companions.

Generally, these breeds need a calm, consistent, firm, and confident leadership. These dogs are lovely family companions with an excellent attitude. They need good grooming and enough exercise and are not ideal for a city lifestyle.

Old English Sheepdog Grooming

The coat is the main attractive feature of this dog. This dog is double-coated. They require good shampoo bath and thorough grooming at least once a week to keep their full coats in good condition.

“Puppy trims” are always encouraged for pet dogs. Do not forget to brush regularly between haircuts and baths to keep the dogs free from ticks and fleas.

Trim around eyes with blunt scissors and also keep the nails short.

Old English Sheepdog Shedding

Old English Sheepdogs are heavy shedders and tend to drool. The dog’s coat traps dirt and debris and this ultimately sticks to your floor and furniture.

The Old English Sheepdog is a very high maintenance dog.

Old English Sheepdog Interesting Facts

  • Due to their unique sense of humour, Old English Sheepdogs have appeared in various movies, TV shows.
  • The popular nickname of Old English sheepdog is “bobtail.”
  • Their coats are water-resistant and protect them from wet winters, and other chilly conditions.
  • The even-tempered and easygoing nature makes the Old English Sheepdog the best guard dog.
  • This dog is really versatile and smart.
  • The most popular OES was Martha, Beatles Paul McCartney’s dog who gave us the famous number “Martha My Dear.”



Old English Sheepdog Feeding Schedule

These dogs generally perform well on a premium best-quality dog food.

Any meal you serve your dog it should be based on your dog’s age and activity.

Old English Sheepdogs are also susceptible to obesity.

Fresh, clean drinking water should be present at all times day and night.

Food For Your Sheepdog

Do Not Feed These Foods

Old English Sheepdog Care

  • Feed high-quality dry foods along with canned food supplements.
  • This breed needs a lot of exercises. Plan wisely.
  • Trim fur around your dog’s eyes and between pads of feet. Hire a professional groomer if required.
  • If you notice any unpleasant smell or discharge from your dog’s ears or eyes then contact your vet immediately.
  • Ensure that the nails are also regularly clipped.

Old English Sheepdog Names


Recommended Read: Majestic Names For Your Male Dogs, Cute Names For Female Dogs

Old English Sheepdog Health Problems

Some of the common health problems faced by an Old English Sheepdog include:

1. Hip dysplasia:

It is a common skeletal condition in large dogs which cause loss of activity in joints.

  • Symptoms – Pain, narrow stance, stiffness, decreased activity, looseness in joint and lameness in the hind end.
  • Treatment for hip dysplasia –Weight reduction to reduce the stress on hips, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication and joint fluid modifiers.

2. Hereditary deafness:

Usually, it is due to a genetic defect.

  • Symptoms – Unusual vocalizing, lack of activity, disorientation and confusion.
  • Treatment – No treatment but regular checkup during pregnancy is needed.

3. Cardiac anomalies:

A congenital heart defect is a birth problem found in most Old English Sheepdogs.

  • Symptoms – Lethargy, coughing, weakness, stunted growth and inability to exercise.
  • Treatment Invasive or non-invasive surgery.

4. Autoimmune thyroid:

A common problem witnessed in this dog breed.

  • Symptoms – Memory lapse, depression, hair loss, weight gain, tiredness and sensitivity to cold.
  • Treatment – Feed iron and calcium supplements

5. Hereditary cataracts:

Hereditary cataracts are caused due to the breakdown of tissues in the eyes, which result in blindness.

  • Symptoms – Clumsiness, walking with caution and bumping into furniture.
  • Treatment – Oral antibiotics and pain medication is prescribed.

Old English Sheepdog Mix

The Old English Sheepdog consists of plenty of personality features that will easily appeal to all potential dog owners.

They are, in general, playful, intelligent, loving, outgoing, adaptable, bubbly, and loyal.

We have presented some of the most popular Old English Sheepdog mixes.

Sheepadoodle (Poodle + Old English Sheepdog)

The Sheepadoodle is widely known for being friendly, happy, sweet, gentle, and silly. These dogs are highly smart and trustworthy dog. It’s a hybrid dog. They move along well with all ages. Sheepadoodles are easy going with other dogs and small kids.

Border Collie + Old English Sheepdog

This cute dog belongs to the Border Collie and Old English Sheepdog gene pool.

German Shepherd + Old English Sheepdog

The German Shepherd and Old English Sheepdog hybrid will make sure you have a good loyal companion for eternity.

Golden Retriever + Old English Sheepdog

The crossbreed of an Old English Sheepdog and the Golden Retriever will give us a hairy pooch.

Siberian Husky + Old English Sheepdog

Crossbreeding a Siberian Husky with an Old English Sheepdog will produce a stunning lazy dog in pristine white.

Old English Sheepdog Price / Breeders

The average price of Old English Sheepdog puppies is between $1200 – $1500 USD.

Old English sheepdog breeders in the UK:

  • Mrs J M Forbes
    Address: Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire
    Telephone: 01224 825904
  • Mrs L C Bull
    Address: Bournemouth, Dorset
    Telephone: 01202 546932
  • Mrs J & Mr D J Howsam
    Address: Spalding, Lincolnshire
    Telephone: 01406 370632

Old English sheepdog breeders in the US:

  • Cathy Turtle Schellenberg
    Address: Tumbleweed
    AB T6G 0G8 Canada
    Telephone: 780-988-5744
  • Robert Caswell & Diana Caswell
    Address: Cottonwood
    CA  91901
    Telephone: 619-445-3517
  • Tina Dougan
    Address: For-Pause OES
    CA  92660-6632
    Telephone: 949-644-7907

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