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Old English Sheepdog

What is an Old English Sheepdog?

The Old English SheepDog Breed Is An Athletic Large Breed With An Unmistakably Shaggy Coat. Historically known as a drover, the OES has been traditionally used by ranchers to help herd their animals. In today’s world, dogs enjoy the comforts of home life just like people do, but they still compete at shows for titles such as Best in Show, Obedience Champion, Agility Champion, Herd Dog, etc.

These are purebred dogs, but they might be found at shelters or rescue groups. 

An OES is an adaptive, intelligent dog who has a gentle temperament. Despite the fact that they are big dogs, they can adapt easily to living in an apartment if they get plenty of exercise through walking and playing games. They’re not just for show; their shagginess actually helps them keep warm when they’re outside. If you want an affectionate, playful, and devoted pet who loves attention from people, then you might enjoy owning one of these dogs.

Canis Lapus Familiaris

Female: 27-36 kg
Male: 32-45 kg

Life Span: 10-12 yrs.

Blue Merle

Female: 51-56 cm
Male: 56-61 cm


Old English Sheepdog


The OES were bred to be companions for their owners. These dogs are great for people looking for a loyal companion who loves adventure but isn’t afraid to get dirty! Like most breeds, if they aren’t given enough chances to interact socially, play, and learn from their peers, the Old English Bulldog may grow up to be timid and withdrawn.

People who excel at working tend to enjoy their jobs; therefore, they’re likely to become enthralled by the movement and excitement of others. They’ll probably not like long runs with you because of their thick winter coats, but they might be able to get into some fun activities such as playing in the snow, catching balls or Frisbees, or taking long walks through the neighborhood. Daily opportunities for exercise and play are important to creating a happy, healthy old English Sheepdog.

Like most dogs, the OES needs to feel like he belongs somewhere — whether it’s at home or outside playing with friends. To start off, you need to get started early by consistently socializing your pup from day one. Regularly offering short walks and quick tricks during playtime helps dogs learn new skills and stay mentally stimulated.


An Old English Sheepdog is an adorable, playful clown who loves playing with his family and neighbors’ kids. Adolescence usually lasts until about age 3, but an older OES may continue to be playful for several decades after he reaches adulthood.

A smart breed, the OES learns quickly and enjoys new things. It’s curious by nature. She’s capable of doing multiple things, such as herding, agility, obeisance, and search and rescue (SAR).

They require lots of exercises and mental stimulation. He likes having people around him but he really enjoys being in the presence of his loved ones.

A properly bred OES is good-natured and kind, and this is what makes him an excellent children’s companion and a super family dog. Sometimes referred to as “a nanny,” this term comes from stories involving the roles he plays within his family.

It’s not known for being an aggressive watchdog either. He may bark when strangers come to his home or he may not. There are some OESs that are extremely protective, while there are others that aren’t


Old English sheepdogs tend to be healthy, but just like any breed, they’re susceptible to some common health issues. Some Old English Sheepdogs may not develop any or all of these conditions, but knowing they exist helps owners understand their dog better.

Canine Hip Dysplasia is an inherited disorder where the thigh bone doesn’t fit properly into the socket (hip). If you see no obvious symptoms of pain or lameness when examining a dog with hip dysplasia, there’s probably nothing wrong with him. Arthritis develops as the dog gets older. Ask the breeder if he has any evidence that his parents were tested for hip dysplia­sia before they gave birth to their puppies.

A cataract causes opacification on the lens of the eyes, which results in poor vision. A dog’s eyes may appear clouded due to an infection (conjunctivitis). Usually occurring in older people, cataracts may be surgically removed to help improve eyesight.

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a family of eye diseases that involves the gradual deterioration of the retina. In the early stages of glaucoma, dogs may be able to see during the day but not at night. With time, people who suffer from glaucoma lose their daytime vision too. Most dogs adjust quite easily to blindness if they’re kept indoors and given plenty of stimulation.

Hypothyroidism occurs when there’s an insufficient supply of hormones made by the thyroid gland. Infertility is one of several symptoms associated with Hypothyroidism. Obvious symptoms include obesity, mental dullness (lack of energy), lethargy, and erratic menstrual cycles. Fur turns into thick, coarse, and brittle scales; skin turns hard and black. Thyroid disease is typically treated by taking a medication every day for life.

Hearing loss is quite common among dogs and may present some challenges for them and their owners. Deafness and hearing loss may not always be curable, but they often can be managed through medications and surgeries. There are many products available today that help dogs who are deaf learn sign language so they don’t need their owners to speak. If your dog has been diagnosed with hearing loss or complete deafness, consider evaluating whether you have the patience, the time, and the ability to provide proper care for him.

Old English Sheepdog Training

Socializing an Old English Sheepdog is important because he needs to learn new things. They’re big, bouncy, and energetic, but when they’re younger they can get particularly rambunctious. Consistent training is essential for success.

Old English Sheepdogs aren’t for people who like to keep their homes spotless. They’re usually drooling and they shed heavily. Their thick fur traps dust and dirt, so they end up leaving dirty paw prints everywhere.

It was originally developed for use by farmers who needed to drive their livestock from one place to another.

An Old English Dogs’ coat requires regular grooming. It takes time and effort to keep things neat and tidy.

Separation anxiety is not uncommon among old English sheepdogs. They live for their family members, so they need to be kept busy. If they get bored, they might start acting out.

If you want a healthy dog, don’t ever purchase one from any kind of breeders, puppy mills, or pet stores.

You need to find a reputable breeder who has tested their breeding dogs for genetic health issues and good temperaments.


Brushing an old English sheepdog’s long coat takes anywhere from 1–3 hours per week depending upon its length. If left untreated, matting can cause pain to an animal, especially if there is any restriction of movement due to mats becoming too tight. If prospective buyers want their dog groomed regularly, they might be discouraged from buying an ungroomed breed because grooming takes time and effort.

When it comes to grooming, most people prefer to start at the bottom of their hair so they don’t get tangles. Brushing should start when they’re puppies so they’ll learn to like it from an early age. If a dog has an eye problem, a bandana may help prevent his or her eyes from becoming irritated by rubbing against something like grass or dirt. Some people trim their dog’s coat to a shorter length than they would like. An electric trimmer saves time by reducing the need for manual cutting. In addition, dogs that are being judged for conformation must keep their coats intact.

Physical Needs

Happiness for an Old English dog comes from having enough time spent with his owner. They’re not dogs who want to stay home by themselves and because they’re so big, keeping them locked up at home isn’t really an option either.

The OES is an excellent family pet. They’re dedicated to their people and willing to go for long walks together, take trips in the car, camp out, or pretty much anything else the person likes doing.

If an OES isn’t given enough opportunities for physical activity and mental stimulation, he may develop stress or anxiety issues.

This can lead to behaviors like excessive barking, chewing, or an inability to relax. Like most herding dogs, old English sheepdog breeds need plenty of exercise every day. Teaching them skills, techniques, and competitive sports are excellent methods for enriching their lives.

Exercising dogs requires commitment from owners but if done correctly, exercise is essential for their health. While the OES is a great dog breed, they don’t do well when confined indoors without an exercise routine. They need to be able to run free outside.

Since the OES is a herding dog, he has a strong desire to “herd” people who aren’t his own kind (i.e., humans). He might even chase them if they get too close! Because of this, the OES isn’t recommended for households with young kids. 

Before making a commitment to adopt a particular breed of dog, it might be helpful to talk with an experienced breeder or rescue organization about their expectations so that you know what kind of life they expect from you.

Life Span

Life Span: 10-12 yrs.

Photo from: Collinsdictionary