Old English Sheepdog Description
They have a very distinctive coat which is extremely long and shaggy. Usually, Old English Sheepdogs are white and gray but can also be found with grizzle, blue, or blue merle coats. Their undercoat is water-resistant and is an insulator in hot and cold weather. The exact origins of the breed are unknown and widely debated. There are several theories on how the breed came into existence. What is known is that they were developed in the West Country in England. Their original purpose was herding livestock. Today they are usually used as companion dogs.
Also Known As
Country of Origin
Once considered to be fierce and untrustworthy those characteristics are no longer present whatsoever in the breed. The Old English Sheepdog is considered one of the best choices as a family pet. They have been referred to as “giant teddy bears”. They are affectionate and gentle, perfect for households with children. They love attention but are not considered “needy”. They have even tempers and are easily trained. They are protective, but never vicious.
Old English Sheepdog is generally healthy and not prone to many diseases or disorders. They can become afflicted with hip dysplasia due to their large size. Cataracts can also form later in an Old English Sheepdog’s life. They are also more prone to Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA) than some other breeds.
Old English Sheepdogs are energetic and must have room to run. They also enjoy playing games. Old English Sheepdogs also enjoy long walks and are very easy to leash train. Many people limit their Old English Sheepdogs activity in the warmer spring and summer months because they fear they will become overheated, this is not advised. An Old English Sheepdogs coat provides great insulation for warmer climates as well as colder ones. If an English Sheepdog doesn’t get the proper exercise they can easily become depressed. The importance of exercise when it comes to properly care for an Old English Sheepdog cannot be stressed enough.
Special Grooming Needs
Old English Sheepdogs need a great deal of grooming. It is necessary to brush them once a day. The areas around the feet can easily become matted if not cared for properly. Many people choose to shear their Old English Sheepdogs. Shearing may cause more harm than good as an Old English Sheepdog coat insulates them for all seasons.