The Old English Sheepdog has a muscular and compact drawer under its prolific double coat, with lots of bone and a large tail, 21 or 22 at the shoulder. Their eyes (when you can see them) are dark brown, or blue, or one of each. The OES breed standard states that the skull is “”capable and rather square, giving plenty of room for brain power.””
The OES moves with a shuffle like a bear, but is noted for its quickness. Regular exercise is required for these strong, capable workers. Equally famous are his many fine housing qualities: surveillance, courage, kindness and intelligence. Great with children, OES patients make protective playmates. They are savvy watchdogs known for a loud, ringing bark.
The Old English Sheepdog, like the Bulldog and the Collie, is actually one of the iconic dogs of the British Isles. Bobettles, as the breed is often known, were most likely to develop in the counties of Devon and Somerset and the Duchy of Cornwall in the west of England.
The name Old English Sheepdog is of some misnomer. As a creature of the late 1700s, OES is not particularly outdated by canine standards. By blood, they do not fully English; Possible OES component breeds include dogs of Scotch, European and Russian ancestry. And, technically, they don’t even do the sheepfoot: The OES were primarily employed as disputes that took over the dusty country roads, from pasture to city markets. In Germany, around the same time, the Rotwiler was building a reputation similar to a butcher’s dog. In some pastures, shepherds will clad the OES blue-gray and white coats once a year and use clippings to make yarn for clothing.
His full coat, with independent and powerful moves and a warm personality, shows well in the OES ring. He was present at the beginning of the game. Stockmen have been exhibiting their OES since 1865 in England. The AKC registered its first OES in 1888, and in 1914 the breed made its first appearance in the winner’s circle at the Westminster Kennel Club.
Their looks and intelligence make OES a natural actor, seeing good effects in Disney’s The Shaggy Dog and The Shaggy D.A. The most famous real-life OES was Paul McCartney’s Martha, which inspired the Beatles song Martha My Dear.
A strong, compact, square, balanced dog. Moving him around, he is skilled, but not highly coated, thickset, muscular and capable. These qualities, along with their agility, make them fit for tasks requiring a shepherd or diver’s dog. Therefore, sound has the greatest importance. His bark is loud with a distinctive “pot-case” ring.
The gestation period in lasts for 60-64 days The primary period of the reproductive cycle of the female is called Proestrus and goes on for around 9 days. During this time the females begin to draw in males. The subsequent part is the Estrus when the bitch is receptive to the male. It goes on for around 3 to 11 days. The third part is the Diestrus. Usually, it happens around day 14. In this period the bitch’s discharge changes for distinctive red and reaching its end. The vulva gets back to average, and she will no longer allow mating. The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time span between heat periods ordinarily keeps going around a half year. The litter size ranges between 6 to 8 puppies at a time.
The coat is what attracts most people to Old English Sheepdogs. The breed is double-coated and in order to fully maintain its entire coat, the skin needs to be completely groomed over the entire dog at least weekly. “Puppy trims” are good choices for pet dogs, but they also require regular brushing between baths and haircuts. Keeping the legs tangled (“poodle feet”) will reduce problems and cleanliness. Potential owners need to pay a professional groomer for several sessions each month to spend the time required to do so, or for the dog’s life. As with all breeds, nails should be trimmed regularly.
A long-time breeder advises, “Never allow your puppy to do something you don’t want a big, shaggy, wet, possibly sloppy dog in your house.” All OES puppies are adorable, and all are large, shaggy dogs. Most Old English sheepdogs are quite intelligent and have a temperamental nature. When they learn something, they do not forget it. They get bored with repetitive, robotic training exercises. If you want to participate in some of those activities, then you need to change things and make it new and fun. As with all dogs, early socialization is important in puppies.
It is a breed that requires some physical activity. There is a wide variance in activity levels, but all require some regular exercise. Fortunately, they have a “closed switch” when they get inside the house.
Old English Sheepdogs should perform well on high quality dog food, whether it is commercially manufactured or prepared with the supervision and approval of your vet. Any diet should be appropriate for the age of the dog (puppy, adult or senior). Some dogs are at risk of being overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treatment training can be an important aid, but giving too much can lead to obesity. Know which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. If you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet, check with your vet. Clean, fresh water must be available at all times.
Responsible breeders screened their stock for health conditions such as hip dysplasia, eye conditions (PRA and hereditary cataract), autoimmune thyroiditis, cardiac anomalies and hereditary deafness. Fortunately, DNA tests now exist for cerebellar ataxia and primary ciliary dyskinesia, two fatal diseases that breeders can avoid producing only by identifying carriers and not breeding them to other carriers. DNA tests are also available for drug sensitivity and exercise-induced relapse.
Recommended health tests from the National Breed Club: