Dog Breed: Old English Sheepdog


Old English Sheepdog – Breed Information

Breed Information: The Old English Sheepdog is a large, square dog with an unusual topline the rump is higher than the shoulder. This is a very distinct characteristic and is very important to the breed look. The Old English Sheepdog has a plentiful, shaggy coat that is hard and shaggy, but not curly. The head is large and square and ends in a black nose the English Sheepdog may have brown or blue eyes, or one of each color. This breed has straight legs ending in small feet that point forward. This dog is born without a tail, though occasionally puppies are born with tails which are later completely amputated – be sure to check kennel club regulations on tail docking before international competition.The Old English Sheepdog coat can be any shade of grey or blue with or without white markings.

  • Size:Dogs Height: 22-24 inches/Weight: Over 65 pounds Bitches Height: 20-22 inches/ Weight: Over 60 pounds 
  • Breed Specific Health Issues: This breed is generally very healthy although Hip Dysplasia does affect some dogs, as do cataracts. 
  • Life Expectancy: The Old English Sheepdog lives, on average, 10-12 years
  • Grooming Requirements: This dog can be difficult to groom, as you must groom through the long, coarse outer layer to reach the soft, dense undercoat. This undercoat must be brushed frequently, three to four times per week, so it remains tangle-free if this layer gets matted it can cause much pain to the dog. Another option is for the dogs coat to be clipped short, thus eliminating the need to brush through a long overcoat, although even this length coat should still be brushed frequently. This should be done every few months to keep the coat at a manageable length.This breed of dog usually sheds their coat heavily once a year, usually in the Spring to get rid of its heavy winter coat.

Old English Sheepdog – Breed Behavior


This breed is very even-tempered and loving; they are often called teddy bears because of their love for children. As they were originally bred to herd sheep, they are still known to try to herd family members, especially children, by bumping or nudging them in the direction they want them to go. Because this breed can be stubborn, training from an early age is important as is early socialization with other dogs and people.

Activity Level:

Because the Old English Sheepdog was bred to work hard, they have a lot of energy and need a fair amount of exercise. This breed loves to play and has the energy of a puppy for most of their life, even as adults. Although they are quite active indoors, this breed would suit apartment life as long as they were given enough exercise, though they would do best with a backyard/garden.

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