Old English Sheepdog Information

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(Bobtail) (OES) (Bob)The Old English Sheepdog is unique looking breed with one interesting feature: their coat.  The breed’s round head looks like a puff ball.  Also covered with fur are their small, round eyes which are rarely seen, and their square muzzle with a beard hanging off it.  Set low on the side of their head are two floppy ears.  A thick neck which is also covered with their fluffy fur leads to their deep chest.  Long legs, which look like they have boots on thanks to their coat, lead to huge round feet.  That thick coat covering their bodies comes in white with blue, gray, blue merle, or blue gray.

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The Old English Sheepdog is a sweet lovable breed.  Loving to be with their family, this breed does wonderful with all children and their family.  Not only does this dog love their family but they also are sweet with strangers.  However, this is a devoted and protective dog that will do anything for their owners except be aggressive.  Training is vital for the Old English Sheepdog because they are stubborn and will often not listen to their owners. 

If not properly socialized they become wary of strangers.

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20 – 24 inches
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60 – 100 pounds
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General Health

 The Old English Sheepdog is prone to a few diseases that rarely occur in the breed, such as cataracts, hip dysplasia, and Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia.  This breed’s average life expectancy is 10-12 years.

This breed can live up to 15 years.

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The origins of the Old English Sheepdog are not well-known, but the general theory is that it was created from the combination of other English or Russian dogs.  The modern version of the breed was created in England and was used for herding cattle and sheep – that much is known.  Some farmers would shear their Old English Sheepdogs and use their plentiful coat to make blankets or clothes as if it were one of the sheep being herded.  The breed was first shown in the UK in 1873.

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As most people would expect by looking at the Old English Sheepdog they need lots of grooming.  Brushing should be done three times a week and needs to reach the under coat.  Matting occurs frequently and needs to be taken care of immediately.  Clipping out all the tangles is important to prevent skin problems caused by keeping mats in the fur.  If an Old English Sheepdog is used only as a pet than getting a profession trim is only needed once every two months.  Exercise is essential to a happy and healthy Old English Sheepdog.   This breed mostly enjoys being allowed to run off leash and play in the house.

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Ideal Environment

The Old English Sheepdog is a wonderful family that does great with all people.  Training is very important to this breed and should be done consistently with a firm hand.  Living in an apartment is fine for this breed, however, they enjoy having a yard to play in.  The Old English Sheepdog is not for an owner who has little time or money for their extensive grooming.

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Dog Training!

If you're having problems training your dog or getting control, you should read our review of DogProblems.com. Adam will do whatever it takes to help you whip your dog into shape. I've used them to help with my Great Dane as well as help friends train their dogs. It's the first place I go to help answer users Questions. Many training issues are too extensive to answer in this forum, which is why I refer a lot of the load to his site. Update: I've been using and recommending DogProblems for three years now. I, as well as my users, value the techniques we've learned. I get weekly emails from users who have become better owners from the information they received.

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Old English Sheepdog Q&A

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I have just taken in a 2 year old OESD from a rescue , she is very nervous and urinates at the slightest noise or If I even call her name. Being male I thaught maybe that was an issue but things are the very same with my partner.I have another 7 month old male that i also rescued seperatly but niether dog has been house trained and its becoming an issue.The female just urinates at the slightest noise or movement. The male refuses to go to the toilet out side even on his long walks he seems to want to use the kitchen floor for a toilet. He does know that he is wrong as he will not return to the living room after he has messed but almost cowers at the foot of the stairs iun total fear of our discovery.I have had both dogs checked at the vets and both are fine and healthy with no medical reason for the behaviour.I am at a loss as I have tried all standard practices fro house trainng.I have tried news paper trainig, positive reinforcment with lots and lots of praise for using the proper facility. I have even tried treats to achieve my goal. The final resort was when I set the alarm to activater every hour on the hour and took both dogs out side seperatly and waited for movment. I had some succes with the female but none at all with the male he simply waits untill we stop asking him to go and goes on the floor.Niether OESD have been mine since they were puppies so I realise that my training method must be at fault. I hope you can help if not I will have to put both dogs up for adoption again as I have a young child in the home and my marraige to consider

maybe they've had a bad experience with their previous owner. try scolding them every time they do it


A friend of mine has asked my parents to watch his old english sheep dog for a month or two while hes abroad. He's still somewhat of a puppy so still tearing things up, my parents wont let him in the house for fear of the furniture, but i have huge fenced in yard. Would he be okay in teh summer with a close haircut and dog house to stay out in the yard even to sleep at night? (they also have a lab and mutt at home who play in the yard all day but go in the house at night.)

I would not suggest leaving the dog outside completely unsupervised. Do they have a crate or pen to keep the dog confined indoors where he/she cannot get into anything?


hello , what is the significance of cropping their tails? I adopted a 4 month old who is now 8 months old and still has her tail. i wouldn't even consider cropping it now, i was just curious as i really am just learning about this breed. sooooo much fun

I think back in the day the tails were docked only to be tax exempt and classify the dog as a true working dog. . . .today may just be to maintain the look of the breed. Most of the time tails are docked when puppies are only a week old . . .a bit harsh to put an older dog through it . . . since I'm anthropomorphizing iit would be like getting your wisdom teeth out, just a routine !


Hi, we just got an OESD, he is two months old and up till now, very well behaved. We were wondering if it is definitely best to crate train them. I have a big terrace with grass on it, where he is learning to go, he only pees on newspaper inside sometimes but usually we let him out and he goes there.


Hello. I have just recently rescued an Olde English Sheep Dog from a Native reserve. He was tied to a pole in the back yard about 50 feet from the house. He was in horrendous conditions. His coat was very matted and dirty. I had a groomer take care of that. He was somewhat semi-aggressive with her. He is very out of character for his breed. Knowing the conditions he was left in and mistreated I understand this is something I will need to work on with him. He is very loyal and obediant for me and my partner, however we have 3 cats also, and I'm afraid to trust him with them, as he is friendly with humans but aggressive with other animals (please also consider that as he was tied there were two smaller dogs at the same residence that ran freely and a husky neighbour who was also always untied). We figure he is no older than a year old. Is there a way I can trust him not to eat the cats? He tends to attack them only from behind. If he has gone some what wild and become a predetor/hunter is it too late now to train him to live peacefully with the other animals in our home? Please anything to help this poor guy and the rest of my animal family would be great. p.s. I also have 3 rats, a chameleon and frogs and fish that he does not bother at all. But has attacked 2 of the 3 cats and barks at dogs, big trucks, and trains.

My grandfather rescued an old english that was malnurished and slightly aggresive. At the time my grandfather was a police officer and was able to have a "heavy" hand with him. My grandfather never mistreated the dog or ever hit him. It was all in the tone of his voice and the grip on the collar that trained Duffy. Sorry to say that even with all that Duffy still has his faults. He hated cats, and he once attacked my baby brother because he had gotten to close to his food bowl, leaving my brother with a scar on his nose. Please do not think that there is no hope for your sheepdog. Besides those faults (and it took massive will for my pap to not shot that dog after what he did to my brother) that dog was great. He was very loyal and very prtective of my grandmother. He saved her life twice. So I think that with a "heavy" hand and a firm grip your dog can be saved! Good Luck!


We purchased our OESD from a breeder. We have had 3 OESD in the past. This one has a bad temperament- biting, jumping up, wrestling with other dog, grabbing anything within his reach. We have a trainer that comes to help us every two weeks. Does a dog that has a bad temperament as this ever grow to be a loving, gentle dog?

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