The Old English sheepdog originated in England, possibly due to interbreeding of collie or Russian ovcharka. It mainly served the purpose of strong dog for defending the herds. In the middle of the 19th century, it was mainly to drive cattle and sheep to the market. As working dogs, it was exempted from dog taxes, but its tail had to be docked as evidence of its occupation; from where it got its nickname "bobtail." It was recognized by the AKC in 1905. In 1970s it became a favourite media animal; which led to its growing popularity as a pet.
The English Sheep Dog is intelligent, well manner dog; which thrives on human companionship. It is devoted and extremely protective towards family. It is powerful, sturdy and hardworking dog. It is a quick learner which always looks for something interesting and fun filled. It has ability to carry numerous tasks such as herding, searching and rescue.
- Activity Level: 4/5 (highly active)
- Intelligence Level: 4/5 (very intelligent)
- Curiosity: 3/5 (moderately curious)
- Friendliness: 4/5 (extremely friendly)
- Vocal: 4/5 (can be loud)
The Old English Sheepdog is a very strong and compact square dog. Its chest is deep and broad. The head is large and has a well-defined stop. Its nose is black. The teeth meet at a tight scissors bite. The ears are medium in size and are carried at flat to head. The front legs are straight; and the hind legs are round and muscular. The feet are small and has well-arched toes. Either they are born tailless (what the Bobtail implies) or it is completely amputated.
- Fur: It has shaggy double coat. The outer coat is hard and textured; while the undercoat is soft and waterproof. It can be in colours like blue, blue gray, blue merle gray, grizzle, white with gray markings or gray with white markings.
- Eyes: Eyes are either brown or blue; or one of each colour.
- Body Structure: The body is strong and compact. Its topline is lower at the shoulders, which slopes higher toward end of the back.
- Facial Features: The eyes cover face and eyes.
- Weight: Males: up to 29 kg and females: up to 27 kg.
The Old English Sheep Dog is prone to IMHA (Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia); the symptoms are weakness, lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting. The diagnosis tests for IMHA are blood test, biochemical analysis, urinalysis and x-ray of thorax and abdominal region. The other health concerns are hip dysplasia and cataracts. Some of it may carry a MDR1 gene due to which it can become sensitive to certain drugs which might kill it.
It is a very active dog and needs regular exercise in form of long walks or a vigorous romp. Its coat has to be combed and brushed daily in order to avoid the formation of mats. Thorough brushing of the coat can be done once in a week. It should be given a bath every six to eight weeks.
We have gathered this information from our breeders based on their experience with this breed. However, remember that each animal is different with its own personality and needs (just like people!), so use this information wisely.
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