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Old English Sheepdog

Old-English-Sheepdog

Affectionate and Easygoing

Companionate, Gentle, Herding group

Old English Sheepdogs are extraordinary pets. While it is interesting to learn about the breeding purpose of Old English Sheepdogs, their genetics actually influence health, outward appearance and behavior. Some behaviors make the Old English Sheepdog and some can be quite irritating! Understanding her unique needs will help you keep her healthy and will create a stronger bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about where she came, which health conditions are a risk to her and how to keep her feeling her best.

Breed Details

Height:21-22" Weight:60-90 lbs Lifespan:10-12 years

Size
4

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
4

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
3

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
1

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
5

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
4

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: An Old English Sheepdog is a smart dog with lots of energy, so keep her mind and body active, or she'll get bored. She is an energetic and active dog that excels at canine sports like agility, obedience, flyball, and herding. She can be sensitive to warm temperatures; avoid any prolonged exposure and be very alert to the signs of heat stress.

Grooming: Brush her coat as needed, at least weekly.

Dental: Old English Sheepdogs generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

Ear Care: Clean her ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


The Old English Sheepdog is determined to be the center of attention, and she’ll act like a clown to earn the spotlight.

Positive Traits:

  • Affectionate, easygoing, and lovable

  • Good watchdog with a loud bark

  • Good with children and other pets

  • Bouncy, cheerful, loyal, and enthusiastic

  • Lively, with a friendly personality

  • Energetic and playful

Negative Traits:

  • Has a tendency to herd, including small children

  • Prone to boredom and separation anxiety when left alone and will find trouble

  • Can be strong-willed and difficult to train

  • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

  • Doesn’t do well in the heat

  • Needs frequent attention from her family

Whether you are considering adding a new Old English Sheepdog to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Old English Sheepdog will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds.

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Old English Sheepdog you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. She’s counting on you to be her health expert.

Some health issues an Old English Sheepdog could encounter:

Bloat

Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia

Joint Disease

Hemolytic Anemia and Thrombocytopenia

Bleeding Disorders

Diabetes

Allergies

The Old English Sheepdog originated in England during the 1800’s. They were bred to assist cattlemen used to drive livestock and sheep to market. The Sheepie is well known for its shaggy gray and white coat. Another popular nickname for the OES is “bobtail.” It is believed that owners would dock the tails of working dogs to prove working status, which exempted them from taxes.

The Old English is an intelligent, social, and adaptable family companion. They are a fun-loving breed that enjoys outdoor activities with their owners. The OES is devoted, trustworthy and unlikely to stray far from her family or home.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Old English Sheepdog shows signs of the following:

  • Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen

  • General reluctance to run or play

  • Gums that are a color other than bright pink

  • Increased hunger and thirst, weight loss

  • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

  • Fainting, collapse, breathing issues, cough

  • Cloudiness to eye lens

  • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

  • Slow or stunted growth; sometimes seizures after eating

  • Swollen lymph nodes or glands, unexplained weight loss

  • Lameness with or without swelling

  • Pain or straining to urinate, bloody urine

  • Dry, scaly, sometimes itchy hairless patches on face or paws

  • General listlessness, droopy facial expression, vomiting, diarrhea

  • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

  • Care

    Routine Care: An Old English Sheepdog is a smart dog with lots of energy, so keep her mind and body active, or she'll get bored. She is an energetic and active dog that excels at canine sports like agility, obedience, flyball, and herding. She can be sensitive to warm temperatures; avoid any prolonged exposure and be very alert to the signs of heat stress.

    Grooming: Brush her coat as needed, at least weekly.

    Dental: Old English Sheepdogs generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

    Ear Care: Clean her ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


  • Characteristics

    The Old English Sheepdog is determined to be the center of attention, and she’ll act like a clown to earn the spotlight.

    Positive Traits:

    • Affectionate, easygoing, and lovable

    • Good watchdog with a loud bark

    • Good with children and other pets

    • Bouncy, cheerful, loyal, and enthusiastic

    • Lively, with a friendly personality

    • Energetic and playful

    Negative Traits:

    • Has a tendency to herd, including small children

    • Prone to boredom and separation anxiety when left alone and will find trouble

    • Can be strong-willed and difficult to train

    • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

    • Doesn’t do well in the heat

    • Needs frequent attention from her family

  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Old English Sheepdog to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Old English Sheepdog will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds.

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Old English Sheepdog you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. She’s counting on you to be her health expert.

    Some health issues an Old English Sheepdog could encounter:

    Bloat

    Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia

    Joint Disease

    Hemolytic Anemia and Thrombocytopenia

    Bleeding Disorders

    Diabetes

    Allergies

  • History

    The Old English Sheepdog originated in England during the 1800’s. They were bred to assist cattlemen used to drive livestock and sheep to market. The Sheepie is well known for its shaggy gray and white coat. Another popular nickname for the OES is “bobtail.” It is believed that owners would dock the tails of working dogs to prove working status, which exempted them from taxes.

    The Old English is an intelligent, social, and adaptable family companion. They are a fun-loving breed that enjoys outdoor activities with their owners. The OES is devoted, trustworthy and unlikely to stray far from her family or home.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Old English Sheepdog shows signs of the following:

    • Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen

    • General reluctance to run or play

    • Gums that are a color other than bright pink

    • Increased hunger and thirst, weight loss

    • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

    • Fainting, collapse, breathing issues, cough

    • Cloudiness to eye lens

    • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

    • Slow or stunted growth; sometimes seizures after eating

    • Swollen lymph nodes or glands, unexplained weight loss

    • Lameness with or without swelling

    • Pain or straining to urinate, bloody urine

    • Dry, scaly, sometimes itchy hairless patches on face or paws

    • General listlessness, droopy facial expression, vomiting, diarrhea

    • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

Old English Sheepdog Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Old English Sheepdog breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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