Country of OriginEngland
Nicknames and Other NamesOES
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypePurebred
GroupHerding Group
Working Group
Bred ForHerding livestock
Recognized ByAKC, CKC, KC, NZKC, UKC, ANKC
Life Span10-12 years
Ideal Weight60-100 pounds (male and female)
Ideal HeightMale: 22 inches and up
Female 21 inches and up
Fur TypeLong, dense, shaggy
Common ColorsGray and White, Blue and White,
Grizzle and White, Blue Merle and White
AvailabilityCommonly available
AchievementsFeatured in movies and music,
Service dog
Suitable for ApartmentsNot suitable
Used in World WarArmy service during World War II
Most Similar ToPolish Lowland Sheepdog

Old English Sheepdogs are easily recognizable with their shaggy coat and gentle disposition. They are one such dog which is very calm, gentle and non-aggressive. Traditionally, Old English Sheepdogs were nicknamed as “Bobtail” due to their docked tail.

Old English Sheepdog often known as Sheepie, are good-natured, enthusiastic and sociable dogs. They do best with family, who can give them at least one hour of the day to romp and exercise.

Origin And History

Old English Sheepdog dates back to the late 1700s or the early 1800s. The “Bobtail” was developed in the west of England, in the counties of Devon and Somerset and the Duchy of Cornwall.

By blood, the breed are not fully English, in fact, they have Scottish, European and Russian ancestry. And technically, they aren’t even sheepdogs, OES were employed to drove cattle over the market in the county roads. Shepherds would often shear down the Sheepdog’s blue-grey coat once a year and use the clippings to yarn for clothing.

With their powerful gait and personality, the Sheepdogs showed well in the show rings. The Stockmen represented their OES in England since 1865. However, the American Kennel Club registered its first OES in 1888 and in the year 1994, the breed made their first appearance in the winner’s circle at Westminster Kennel Club.

Old English Sheepdog And Children

Old English Sheepdogs are very gentle and protective of children. They are great protectors and tend to herd children to some safe place. They’re even great nanny for toddlers teaching and supporting them while walking.

Watch These Cuties Playing Fetch Game.

Don’t be surprised if your OES runs after your children’s school’s bus. They just want to confirm if their playmates have reached to school safely or not. No matter how friendly your pets are, always supervise them around children. They might unintentionally hurt them while playing.

Temperament And Personality

Old English Sheepdogs are devoted and clown pets who love people. Thanks to the breeders, they are one great protector of the house. When it comes to protecting, they take all by themselves. OES are loyal, calm and non-aggressive. They may be quite reserved with strangers but will not attack instead they will bark and let you know about the intruder.

I want Attention.

Sheepie considers them as part of the family and needs to participate in each and every activity. If left for a long period of time, they will become anxious. Old English Sheepdogs are smart and independent thinkers. They might be strongly willed of their own, therefore, they should be guided from an early age to be in the right path.


Training an Old English Sheepdogs can be quite challenging. Since they were left to make their own decision while herding, the modern breed still maintains independence. You teach them how to do something and when mastered it, they will think another better way to do it on their own.

Old English Sheepdog Training.
Old English Sheepdog Running. Image Source-Bobtail Bear

Firm leadership is a must while training OES. The Sheepdog responds well to motivating and consistent training. If you give your OES little bit of leeway, they will take it as a chance to and will start making their own rules.

Did You Know?

  • The Old English Sheepdog is featured in the Disney’s The Little Mermaid, as a faithful companion of Prince Eric.
  • Paul McCartney owned a Sheepdog named “Martha” who was the inspiration for the song, “Martha My Dear”. Though the actual song is probably one of McCartney’s love interest,
  • The 1993 live album, “Paul is Live” features one of Martha the dog’s puppy on the cover.

Common Health Issues

General HealthHealthy
Common Health IssuesCataracts, Diabetes, Entropion, Deafness,
Allergies, Hip Dysplasia, Heat Intolerance
Vaccination RequiredRabies, Canine Coronavirus,
Kennel Cough, Leptospirosis,
Canine Parainfluenza, Canine Distemper,
Canine Parvovirus
SheddingHeavy Shedder
DroolingBig Drooler
GroomingProfessional Grooming Required
Weight Gain PotentialAverage to High
Separation AnxietyHigh Chance
AllergiesSkin Allergy
Diets and SupplementsProtein: 32%
Fat: 15%

Hypothyroidism: Old English Sheepdogs are prone to suffer from hypothyroidism which is caused by the deficiencies produced by the thyroid gland.

Deafness: Deafness, however, is considered fairly common among the old dogs. Some forms of deafness and hearing loss can be treated with medication or surgery but usually, it cannot be cured.

Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is a heritable condition where the thigh bone does not fit into the hip bone. Some dogs show lameness in one or both legs causing discomfort to walk.

Price Of The Old English Sheepdog Puppy

The average price of the Old English Sheepdog puppy is $1,200 – $1,500 for the purest breed.

Litter Size

The Old English Sheepdog gives birth to 5-8 puppies at a time.

Size of Old English Sheepdog

Height: The male Old English Sheepdog stands up to 22-24 inches whereas, the female OES would stand up to 20-22 inches which probably makes them the large sized dog breed.

Weight: The OES should weigh up to 60-65 pounds to keep them healthy and free from any kind of diseases caused by overweight.

Color Patterns

The Old English Sheepdogs are found in five different colors.

  • White and Blue
  • Gray and White
  • White and Grizzle
  • Blue Merle and White
  • White and Blue Gray

Breeds That Are Similar To OES

  • Briard
  • Polish Lowland Sheepdog
  • Bearded Collie
  • Bergamasco Sheepdog
  • Schapendoes

Therefore, Old English Sheepdogs are wonderful breeds with their loyal and loving personality. They need enough daily exercise to maintain their physique and stay mentally stable.

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