Origin and Brief history
The true origins of the Old English Sheepdog, originally called the Shepard’s dog and also known at times as the BobTail, Bob, or just plain old OES for short, are a bit unclear. Thought to be related to the Scotch Bearded Collie by most aficionados, and perhaps the Russian Owtchar as well, the dog was first bred and used for herding purposes by English farmers around the early part of the 19th century. The first time the breed was exhibited at a show was in Birmingham England in 1873. The Old English Sheepdog has also been used to herd reindeer due to its tolerance for cold weather because of its long shaggy coat.
The Old English Sheepdog is a spirited, highly exuberant breed of dog and will require a good deal of regular exercise, and can remain very much like puppies in disposition for many years. They have a strong herding instinct and can sometimes revert to these instincts by trying to herd people, not aggressively, but by trying to nudge, and may have to be reminded not to try and herd the people it lives with. They are good family pets who are good with children and other animals as well as being loyal and protective they are very gentle and obedient dogs.
The Old English Sheepdog will require a considerable amount of grooming due to its long coat. To maintain this breeds coat will require regular combing and care to keep it from being tangled and matted with everything that the dog gets into. It will be a good idea to start the grooming routine as early in its life as possible to get it comfortable with it. Some people opt to trim their dogs with electric trimmers every couple of months or so to keep the coat a little more manageable and easy to maintain. They are not heavy shedders.
The Old English Sheepdog can get quite large, the males are typically 22-24 inches in height and weigh in the 65-85 pound range, but can get as large as 100 pounds or more. The females as You would expect are slightly smaller generally standing 20-22 inches in height and weighing in the 60-80 pound range. The typical life expectancy for this breed is about 10-12 years.
Some of the considerations to be aware of if thinking about owning this breed are as mentioned above, it does require a fair amount of regular grooming and upkeep to keep their coats in tip top condition. This breed can also be affected by hip dysplasia as well as cataracts, and can be prone to a type of anemia. One last thing to be aware of, some herding dogs carry a specific gene which makes them susceptible to having problems taking certain drugs, something a owner would probably want to discuss with their vet and perhaps test for to determine.
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