The Old English Sheepdog is actually not that old dog breed. They were developed probably 2 or 3 hundreds years ago in southwestern counties of England as drover dogs. Which means that they were used to drive cattle and sheep to market. We are not sure about its ancestors, but it is believed that Continental sheep herding dogs, Scottish Bearded Collie or South Russian Ovcharka played role in the breeds development.
This dog was used as a herder and drover dog and they used to work for long time. So its no exercise, they need daily proper exercise to stay healthy and happy. Especially when they are younger, they are bouncy, rowdy and enthusiastic. They are also very intelligent, so they need to exercise their mind as well. Regular training sessions and task oriented playtime is a great way how to exercise both – body and mind. Or you can try some dog sport with them
The coat of the Old English Sheepdog is stunning, isnt it? But not only that it looks great, it also serves a purpose. It is a very thick dense doublecoat, which is insulating and waterproof and it is definitely protecting the dog from both – hot weathers and especially chilly and wet winters. It probably also helps the dog blend in with the sheeps, which is helping them while working.
It is true, that the Old English Sheepdog is a very intelligent breed, but they are not pushovers to train. It is because their independent nature. They are pretty strong willed and they need consistent and firm leader. But they are capable of becoming extremely obedient dog that knows tons of tricks and commands.
If you want a grooming challange, you can try it with an Old English Sheepdog. Due to their large amount of hair, the Old English Sheepdog needs to be thoroughly brushed on a daily basis. You will definitely spend few hours a week only on grooming your OES. But hey, the grooming is a bonding experience, so be prepared for a lot of bonding. This is a heavy shedder so the daily brushing will remove the dead hair and minimize it.
6) Movie stars
Old English Sheepdogs were used as working dog for most of their history. But in the 1960s they became quite popular as family companions as well. One of the reason, they became popular companions was, that they played in some famous movies, cartoons and TV shows, for example The Shaggy Dog, Barney, The Brady Bunch, Dennis the Menace or Sesame Street.
7) Separation Anxiety
This is a social animal, they want to be part of the pack, part of the family. They just live for the family and they want to spend every moment with it. That is great, but it can be little bit problematic, if you will often times leave your dog alone for long periods of time. Than they can easily develop a separation anxiety and become destructive or very very vocal.
8) Bear like gait
When an Old English Sheepdogs moves, especially in slower pace, their gait can be an ambling roll which resembles a bear gait. At the gallop, an Old English Sheepdog shows an elastic gait, but when they are walking or trotting, they typically pace.
They might look like giant balls of fluff, but under all that coat is a solid and pretty powerful dog. The average height should be between 22-26 inches which is 55-66 cm and weight between 30-46 kg, which is 66-101 pounds. The females are naturally little bit smaller than males.
This is relatively healthy dog breed with average lifespan between 10-12 years. Just like all the dog breeds, even the Old English Sheepdogs suffer from some health issues, most commonly from hip dysplasia, cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, Hypothyroidism, entropion and deafness.