Old English Sheepdog Overview
The exact origin of the Old English Sheepdog is unknown, however, there is thought that the breed came from a mix of Briard, Scottish Deerhound and Russian hounds. The breed has a dense, plush coat that keeps him dry and warm even in the damp conditions of the land. The coat was then sheared the same time as the sheep to remove any mats, dirt, and debris.
Old English Sheepdog Characteristics
The Old English looks like a woolly sheep companion among the herds of England. His eyes are often covered, and tongue out giving him a comical look. The breed features a woolly coat with a combination of greys and whites throughout it. Even-tempered and friendly, the breed makes a great companion both at work herding and in the house.
Old English Sheepdog Temperament
The Old English is a combination of smarts and gentle nature. In the field at work, he is alert and protects his flock, however, at home, he is calm, gentle and friendly. The Old English may try to keep his smaller family members in line, however, potentially herding them around. However, the breed loves children and is playful and friendly, even with his herding instincts.
Old English Sheepdog Care
The average lifespan of the Old English is 10 to 12 years, typical for other dogs of his size. Health concerns include epilepsy, hip dysplasia, cataracts and cerebellar abiotrophy. The large size of the breed also makes them prone to bloat, or Gastric Dilation and Volvulus.
Old English Sheepdog Coat
This is a breed that requires a lot of grooming care. In the field, the breed was traditionally shaved down yearly to prevent matting and clean up any dirt or debris in the coat. However, for those who like the long woolly coat, daily brushing to keep the coat free of mats, and occasional professional grooming are needed to maintain the look.
Old English Sheepdog Training
The Old English can be strong-willed due to his independent herding nature. However, with a positive training method, the friendly breed is eager to please and will respond well. Patience is key, as well as getting the Old English to think what he is doing is his own decision.
Old English Sheepdog Activity
While active, the breed does not need intensive exercise. Daily walks, exploration outdoors or other activities with the family will keep him happy. The breed is also very happy in traditional working roles or fun hobbies like herding trials and agility.