Beneath the Old English Sheepdog’s profuse double coat is a muscular and compact drover, with plenty of bone and a big rump, standing 21 or 22 inches at the shoulder. Their eyes (when you can see them) are dark brown, or blue, or one of each. The OES breed standard says the skull is “capacious and rather squarely formed, giving plenty of room for brain power.” OES move with a bear-like shuffle but are famous for their nimbleness afoot. Regular exercise is required for these strong, able-bodied workers. Equally famed are their many fine housedog qualities: watchfulness, courage, kindliness, and intelligence. Great with children, OES make patient, protective playmates. They are sensible watchdogs known for a loud, ringing bark.
Weight: 60–100 pounds
Height: 21–22 inches
American Canine Association Continental Kennel Club Universal Kennel Club International American Kennel Club United All Breed Registry America's Pet Registry, Inc. United Kennel Club (Based on breed recognition. See store for details on this particular puppy.)
Originating sometime in the 18th century in England, the Old English Sheepdog was developed from several herding types of dogs of that time. This breed’s job was to herd sheep and cattle into major city markets.
Large, 20-24” (or more) at the shoulders, weighing anywhere from 60-100 pounds. Their double coat is long and full, with an over coat that is shaggy and textured, and an under coat that is waterproof and soft. The coat colors can be blue, blue gray, blue merle, gray, gray with white markings, white with gray markings, and grizzle.
The Old English Sheepdog has a life expectancy of 10-12 years. This breed is also prone to cataracts and hip dysplasia.
The Old English Sheepdog is amiable, loyal, friendly, trustworthy and gentle … although they are a herding breed and may be prone to herding the humans around them by bumping them. You’ll need to teach them not to herd you and your family. They are highly intelligent and can be strong-willed requiring your consistent and humane leadership guidance.
They are athletic.
Grooming Requirements: The Old English Sheepdog requires brushing their long coat at least every other day (preferably daily) to prevent tangles and matting, as well as helping to prevent skin problems. Many people have their Old English Sheepdog professionally clipped to keep the coat short. Coat: Long and shaggy. Shedding: Light to moderate shedding. Hypoallergenic: No, due to shedding. Apartment Living: Yes, suitable for apartment living as long as a daily walk, run or jog is provided. Lap Dog: No Good With Children: Good with all children. Good With Other Pets: Generally good with other pets.
A strong, compact, square, balanced dog. Taking him all around, he is profusely, but not excessively coated , thickset, muscular and able-bodied. These qualities, combined with his agility, fit him for the demanding tasks required of a shepherd's or drover's dog. Therefore, soundness is of the greatest importance. His bark is loud with a distinctive "pot-casse" ring in it.
Type, character and balance are of greater importance and are on no account to be sacrificed to size alone. Size-- Height (measured from top of withers to the ground), Dogs: 22 inches (55.8 cm) and upward. Bitches: 21 inches (53.3 cm) and upward. Proportion-- Length (measured from point of shoulder to point of ischium (tuberosity) practically the same as the height. Absolutely free from legginess or weaselness. Substance-- Well muscled with plenty of bone.
Head-- A most intelligent expression. Eyes-- Brown, blue or one of each. If brown, very dark is preferred. If blue, a pearl, china or wall-eye is considered typical. An amber or yellow eye is most objectionable. Ears-- Medium sized and carried flat to the side of the head. Skull-- Capacious and rather squarely formed giving plenty of room for brain power. The parts over the eyes (supra-orbital ridges) are well arched. The whole well covered with hair. Stop-- Well defined. Jaw-- Fairly long, strong, square and truncated. Attention is particularly called to the above properties as a long, narrow head or snipy muzzle is a deformity. Nose-- Always black, large and capacious. Teeth-- Strong, large and evenly placed. The bite is level or tight scissors.
Neck-- Fairly long and arched gracefully. Topline-- Stands lower at the withers than at the loin with no indication of softness or weakness. Attention is particularly called to this topline as it is a distinguishing characteristic of the breed. Body-- Rather short and very compact, broader at the rump than at the shoulders, ribs well sprung and brisket deep and capacious. Neither slab-sided nor barrel-chested. The loin is very stout and gently arched. Tail-- Docked close to the body, when not naturally bob tailed.
Shoulders well laid back and narrow at the points. The forelegs dead straight with plenty of bone. The measurements from the withers to the elbow and from the elbow to the ground are practically the same.
Round and muscular with well let down hocks. When standing, the metatarses are perpendicular to the ground when viewed from any angle.
Small and round, toes well arched, pads thick and hard, feet pointing straight ahead.
Profuse, but not so excessive as to give the impression of the dog being overly fat, and of a good hard texture; not straight, but shaggy and free from curl. Quality and texture of coat to be considered above mere profuseness. Softness or flatness of coat to be considered a fault. The undercoat is a waterproof pile when not removed by grooming or season. Ears coated moderately. The whole skull well covered with hair. The neck well coated with hair. The forelegs well coated all around. The hams densely coated with a thick, long jacket in excess of any other part. Neither the natural outline nor the natural texture of the coat may be changed by any artificial means except that the feet and rear may be trimmed for cleanliness.
Any shade of gray, grizzle, blue or blue merle with or without white markings or in reverse. Any shade of brown or fawn to be considered distinctly objectionable and not to be encouraged.
When trotting, movement is free and powerful, seemingly effortless, with good reach and drive, and covering maximum ground with minimum steps. Very elastic at a gallop. May amble or pace at slower speeds.
Adaptable, Gentle, Smart
Because the Old English Sheepdog tolerates cold weather, they are often used for reindeer herding. Some puppies are born without a tail and some tails are docked (docking is illegal in Europe) and have earned the nickname "Bobtail". 18th century farmers began the practice of docking tails because the short tail signaled working status and the farmers then earned a tax exempt status.