Old English Sheepdog
Its trademark is its beautiful, profuse coat, but the intelligent and agile Old English Sheepdog (OES) can easily complete any demanding task asked of him by a shepherd or drover. Square in build and possessing great strength, the OES enjoys working and is seen in the conformation, obedience, agility and herding rings today with their characteristic shuffling gait. His coat, which serves as insulation, can be any shade of gray, grizzle, blue or blue merle with or without white markings.
The Old English Sheepdog originated in the early 19th century in the western counties of England and is believed to have descended from the Scotch Bearded Collie and the Russian Owtchar. The OES herded sheep and cattle into major city markets, earning the nickname “bobtail” due to their docked tails. The short tail signaled their working status, earning their owners a tax exemption.
In the early 19th century a bobtailed drovers dog, called the Smithfield or Cotswold Cor, was noticed in the southwestern counties of England and may have been an ancestor. Most fanciers agree that the Bearded Collie was among the original stock used in developing today’s breed. Some speculate that the Russian Owtchar was among the breed’s ancestors.
The OES is an athletic animal, filled with clownish energy, and therefore requires regular exercise or a job to do. Although affectionate with his family, he may try to herd people or other objects. If the coat is of the correct texture, the breed should not be any more difficult to groom than other long-haired dogs, provided a dog is introduced to it early.
- Herding Group; AKC recognized in 1888.
- Size: 21 inches tall and upward at the shoulder.
- Sheep/cattle driver.
- Apartment is ok.
- Low to moderate activity indoors.
- Daily moderate exercise.
- Daily brushing and combing.
- Regular professional grooming recommended.
- Light to average shedding.