|Group:||Working Dogs (Group 5)|
|Club:||Old English Sheepdog Club Of Victoria Inc|
|Phone:||0417 330 760|
Background The Old English Sheepdog, as its name suggests, was bred to guard, herd and drove. Like all sheepdogs they are very intelligent and the shepherd relied on them not only to protect the sheep day and night, but also to help keep the sheep together on the unfenced fields and then drive them to the market. They are a sizeable dog with a thick blue grey coat, which protects them against the heat and cold. The English Kennel Council recognised the Old English Sheepdog in 1888 and they quickly became popular in the USA as well.
Average Lifespan When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime. Old English Sheepdog live up to 15 years, but the average would be 12 years.
Breed Personality/Characteristics/Temperament The Old English Sheepdog is a delightful dog. They are described as a perennial Peter Pan: they never grow up. Devoted to its family, it is not a one-man dog. Full of fun, loves to play. If you are a jogger then that is its desire; if you are a bush walker then that is its joy too. If you are a homebody then they are happy to lie at your feet and they love to go in the car. In fact they are never happier than with the family. They possess a very even temperament and are an excellent watchdog, but never aggressive.
Compatibility with other pets The Old English Sheepdog loves the company of others of their breed whether it be dogs or bitches. They mix well with other breeds too. Remember the secret of bringing up any dog is correct socialisation with other animals and, of course, people. Although a big dog, they are gentle by nature and easy to train. Therefore it is up to you, the owner, to have the companion you want.
Care Requirements The Old English Sheepdog is a high maintenance breed because of its beautiful jacket, which is both dense and profuse. However there is nothing against keeping its coat shorter (say 5cms [2"]) and combing to thin out the undercoat. They do not shed, as their coat is wool, not hair. It is most necessary to check and clean its pendant ears regularly, keep its eyes clean and check the rear end and in between the toes. In the summer it is of the utmost importance to check for grass seeds all over the body and head as these can cause great trouble when they enter through the skin. A regular groom and bath makes them nice and to have in the house. An Old English Sheepdog is quite happy in an ordinary suburban garden provided it has a daily walk to keep this large dog fit and well.
Please Take Note The Old English Sheepdog is an intelligent dog bred to guard with a mind of its own and, whilst not at all aggressive, if pushed by either human or another dog, will stand its ground particularly if its family or car is threatened. They have a very loud, deep bark with a ringing resonance, which would make a burglar think twice. They have an active mind and take readily to obedience training, which you should consider.
Ideal Owner/s Anyone who will love and spend time with them. They adore their family, particularly children. But remember young children should never be left unsupervised with any dog. They love to be in the house with you and just adore a romp and a play. The Old English Sheepdog is very agile, and to see them at a gallop is pure delight.
In Conclusion Now you know a little about the Old English Sheepdog and have decided this is the dog for you or you want more information, make contact with the breed club or your State controlling body for purebred dogs. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog shows where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs.