Breed Organization Old English Sheepdog Club of America Website: http://www.oldenglishsheepdogclubofamerica.org Native Country Great Britain Other Names Bobtail, OES, Bob, Old English Sheepdog Life Expectancy Approximately 10-12 Years Litter Size Average 5-8 Puppies Breed Group AKC Herding
Breed Appearance The OES is a large dog, immediately recognizable by its long, thick, shaggy grey and white coat, with fur covering their face and
eyes. The ears lie flat to the head. Historically, the breed's tail was commonly docked (resulting in a panda bear-like rear end), but tailed sheepdogs are now
common, as many countries have outlawed cosmetic docking. When the dog has a tail, it has long fur (feathering), is low set, and normally hangs down. The OES
stands lower at the shoulder than at the loin, and walks with a "bear-like roll from the rear". The body is short and compact.
Color of the double coat may be any shade of grey, grizzle, black, blue, or blue merle, with optional white markings. The undercoat is water resistant. Puppies are
born with a black and white coat, and it is only after the puppy coat has been shed that the more common grey or silver shaggy hair appears.
Breed Description Head: Strong and blocky. Capacious skull. Well-defined stop. Square, strong, truncated muzzle. Large nose. Ears: Small, carried flat against the head. Eyes: Wide-set. Dark color or walleye. Blue eyes are acceptable. Body: Short and compact. Deep, full chest with well-sprung ribs. Shoulders well laid back. Legs with plenty of bone. Withers
lower than the loin. Gently arched, stout loin. strong neck. Tail: Bobtailed or docked. Hair: Profuse, hard texture, shaggy, free from curl. Thicker on the hindquarters than on the rest of the body. Soft, dense
undercoat. Coat: Any shade of gray, grizzle, or blue. The body and hindquarters are of uniform color, with or without small white markings
on the feet (socks). The head, neck, legs, and underbody must be white. Any brown markings are faults. Size: Dog: minimum of 61 cm. (24 in).Bitch: minimum of 56 cm. (22 in). Weight: 25 to 30 kg (55-66 lb).
History The OES comes from the very old pastoral type dogs of England, but no records were kept of the dogs, and everything about the earliest types
is guesswork. A small drop-eared dog seen in a 1771 painting by Gainsborough is believed by some to represent the early type of the OES. In the early 19th century
a bobtailed drovers dog, called the Smithfield or Cotswold Cor, was noticed in the southwestern counties of England and may have been an ancestor. Most fanciers agree that the
Bearded Collie was among the original stock used in developing today's breed. Some speculate that the Russian Owtchar was among the breed's ancestors.
The OES was at first called the "Shepherd's Dog" and was exhibited for the first time at a show in Birmingham, England, in 1873. There were only three entries,
and the judge felt the quality of the dogs was so poor that he offered only a second placing. From that beginning, the breed became a popular show dog, and, although the shape
of dog itself has changed very little over the years, elaborate grooming including backcombing and powdering the fur were recorded as early as 1907. The breed was exported to
the United States in the 1880s, and by the turn of the 20th century, five of the ten wealthiest American families bred and showed the OES. The breed continues
to be a popular show dog today.
Behavior They are a vigorous, playful animal. He is neither fearful nor aggressive. This affectionate breed is calm and
even-tempered. Nicknamed the "nanny dog," he always looks out for the children. Though he has the heart of a guardian, he is not
aggressive and will not bite. Besides, with his teddy bear appearance and "pot-casse" bark, he does not look particularly
Health Prone to IMHA (Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia), hip dysplasia and cataracts. Some herding dogs carry a MDR1 gene which makes them sensitive
to certain drugs that are otherwise okay to give another dog, but if tested positive for this gene can kill them.
Advice They can adapt to city life in an apartment if he is always with his owner and can have time to run each day.
He does not bear the heat well. This intelligent dog has a mind of his own, and therefore needs firm training. Daily brushing is
very important to keep his profuse, shaggy coat from knotting.
Function Sheepdog (now rarely used as a sheepdog), Pet.