The Old English Sheepdog was originally a drover, used to help farmers drive cattle to the market, and is recognizable by its large build and shaggy coat. This dog is known for its easygoing and obedient disposition and enjoys living a comfortable life at home.
It still remains unclear as to the exact origin of this dog breed, though it is placed around Western England in the early 19th century. Oldest writings tell of a dog that was used to drive cattle to the market and in a painting by Gainsborough in 1771 there is a dog, believed by some so be represent the early type of the Old English Sheepdog.
It was first called the Shepherd’s Dog and was first exhibited in a show in 1873 at a show in Birmingham, England. From that point on, the dog became a popular show dog.
This dog breed became quite popular in the late 19th century when it was first introduced in the United States of America and was only made available to a handful of wealthy families. To date, this dog retains its status as a rich man’s pet.
The coat is the Old English Sheepdogs trademark. The long coat requires a thorough brushing at least once a week, which may take up to four hours to complete! Unless you do this, the dog may develop skin problems, as the coat may become a trap for dirt.
Heigth / Weight
The Old English Sheepdog is quite large and typically weighs in anywhere from 27-46 kg (59-101 lbs), the males can be 56-61 cm (22-24 inches) tall and the females 51-56 cm (20-22 inches)
His large shaggy coat does give him an even larger appearance.
Temperament and Personality
The Old English sheepdog is a stable and happy breed. It is obedient, playful and enjoys playing with his family. They are an intelligent dog and a remarkable fast learner, you can easily teach this dog to perform a variety of tasks and it will be quick to obey.
The breed is also quite curious and always on the lookout for something new and interesting. It is a very loyal dog, protective of its family, but not suited as a watchdog because of its friendly nature, even to strangers.
This dog loves to be around people and thrives when he’s in their presence. Because of this, it may not be ideal to leave him outside the house too much. If left alone for long, they are known to develop both anxiety and depression.
Generally, this breed of dog is healthy, but it is prone to some conditions such as deafness, cataracts, canine hip dysplasia as well as hypothyroidism. However, because of its playfulness, it does tend to be a very fit dog.