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Old English Sheepdog Dog Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

The perfect family dog!

If you ask us here at IndulgeYourPet, we seriously believe that the Old English Sheepdog (OES) is perhaps the friendliest of all dog breeds out there.

And sure…

There will be those out there that may want to argue with us about this but it’s tough to argue that they’re not super friendly, and then when you combine this undeniable truth with the fact that they look like a giant stuffed animal…

Well…

That’s usually when folks who may have initially disagreed with us begin seeing the…

“Error of their ways”

But just because…

We feel that these guys are awesome, doesn’t automatically mean that they are going to be the “right” dog breed for you.  You might prefer a pet that has a more “dignified” look and doesn’t constantly look like he just rolled out of bed!

Side note…

The Old English Sheepdog, also called as the Shaggy Dog for his shaggy hair and unkempt appearance, and his role in a popular 1960’s TV show of the same name.

This is why…

We wanted to take a moment and discuss exactly what it might be like to own one of these awesome creatures so if you’re ever given the opportunity to adopt one, you won’t regret your decision six months later.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Old English Sheepdog Fast Facts

 Country of Origin: The UK

 Height: 21 inches and up at the shoulder

 Weight: 60 to 100 pounds

Dog Breed Classification:  Herding group

 Life Span: 10 to 12 years

Origin of the Old English Sheepdog

The Old English are working dogs that have been around in the Southwest of England since the early nineteenth century. It is theorized that these dogs were developed by cross breeding the Bearded Collie with the Russian Owtchar.

Back then…

These dogs were used primarily by farmers as a working dog or herding dog. It was his job to drive cattle or sheep to the market. Which he proved quite efficient at due to his calm and composed nature.

This plus…

His loyalty and the way he responded to the owner’s commands made him a favorite with many English farmers.

And…

Even though this dog has been around for quite a while and was one of the first dog breed to be “officially” recognized by the American Kennel Club all the way back in 1888, these dogs didn’t start to become really famous until they made their way to the United States.

It was here…

In the US that the modern breed standard for the Old English was developed in the United States by the brothers, Henry and William Tilley and her in the US where these dogs became really popular with the help of Hollywood in the 1960’s and 70’s where they played starring roles in TV shows like “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies,” “The Shaggy Dog,” and “My Three Sons.”  He remains a popular breed even today.

Physical Characteristics of the Old English Sheepdog

The OES is a big dog. He stands at a height of 22 inches and weighs 70 to 100 pounds. He is a muscular, heavy dog with a properly balanced, square-shaped body. He is agile and athletic, and can move fast despite his bear-like gait.

He has a broad chest…

A large head and a well-defined stop. His ears are small and flat and eyes blue or brown. His coat may be of the colors gray, blue merle, grizzle, blue, brown or fawn. He is covered with a lot of hair from head to tail.

Temperament and Personality of the Old English Sheepdog

The Old English can be very funny and loves playing the clown. He is a good-natured dog that can serve multiple roles. He can be a family dog or companion dog, a herding dog or working dog, watchdog or even a show dog.

 And despite his looks…

He is a very athletic, fast and nimble and quick to learn new tricks. He is very good at dog sports such as agility, flyball and obedience.

But probably the…

Best thing about the OES is that he can adapt to any setting – he is just as comfortable living in an apartment in a city as he is running around the countryside – As long as he gets to live with a loving family, one that cares for him and respects him.

And as we’ve…

Already mentioned a couple of times, these guys are extremely loyal.  He is one of those dogs that gets strongly attached to his human family and considers himself to be a part of the family.  When you are happy, he is happy, and when you are sad, he is sad.

He is that sort of a dog.

Old English Sheepdog Health Problems

The Old English is a “relatively” healthy dog for the most part, but even he can suffer from certain health issues such as.

  • Addison’s Disease
  • Behavioural Disorders
  • Cerebellar Ataxia
  • Demodicosis
  • Distichiasis
  • Entropion
  • Factor IX Deficiency
  • Sebaceous Adenitis
  • Haemolytic Anaemia
  • Cervical Vertebral Malformation
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypopigmentation
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Protein-losing Enteropathy
  • Microphthalmia
  • Otitis Externa
  • Protein-losing Enteropathy
  • Pododermatitis
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Silica Urolithiasis
  • Immune-mediated Thrombocytopaenia
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease

Phew! That’s a long list of health problems!

And while…

Many of these conditions may not be life threatening, they can certainly become quite expensive to deal with particularly if they become recurring issues.

This is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

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