American Canine Association

Breeds

Breed Name: Old English Sheepdog


History

Originating prior to the 1800's, the Old English Sheepdog has some controversy surrounding the exact bloodlines that created the breed. What we do know for a fact, is that the Old English Sheepdog originated in England and were used for herding livestock for their farmers. This breed is quite popular in the USA today and can be seen fairly often as companions.

Appearance

The Old English Sheepdog is a large breed dog with males and females measuring 20-24 inches in height and weighing 60-95 pounds in weight. This breed has a very large head that forms into a rectangular shaped muzzle. Their two ears are medium in size and held close against their head. Their two round eyes are large in size and available in blue, light hazel to brown in color. Their four legs are very long; the two hind legs are built wide near the body and taper down to equal width of the front two. Their body build in general is large, tall, rectangular in shape and very solid in appearance. The Old English Sheepdog is born without a tail. Their coat is shaggy in appearance, soft in texture and a double coat. This coat is available in gray, grizzle, gray with white markings, blue, blue and gray ad blue merle.

Temperament

The Old English Sheepdog can surprisingly do well within an apartment environment if properly exercised daily. This breed is a great choice to add to any family with other pets, dogs and children of all ages. The Old English Sheepdog is calm, loving, affectionate, loyal and happy. This breed requires a confident owner who is simply able to set rules and boundaries within the home for the new dog to follow. It is important to note that this breed takes years in order to mentally mature as an adult dog, and will remain with puppy behavior for awhile. Early socialization and obedience class can help teach both owner and new dog how to handle these issues and certain training tips to help everyone through this. This breed is a natural herder at heart and may try to herd small children or groups of people, innocently. This breed is wonderful at following commands and needs a job to do daily to remain happy.

Grooming

This breed sheds little. Daily brushing and bathing when needed. Regular trips to a professional groomer are required.

Special Notes

Please fully educate yourself about the Old English Sheepdog prior to adding one to your family to ensure you are able to provide life long physical and financial care to your new family member. A properly fenced in area or properly fitting harness and leash are required while outdoors at all times. This breed is prone to getting the MDR1 gene, which is able to be tested for at any time, that causes the dog to be extremely sensitive to medications and can result in fatality of the dog. This breed is also prone to cataracts, and IMHA. All dogs originate from wolves (Canis Lupus). Each breed of dog was originally created by mixing different breeds together in an effort to bring forth certain characteristics. Once a breeder has created acceptable “breed characteristics” within their bloodline and these “breed characteristics” have shown to be reliably reproduced in the offspring for three (3) generations, the bloodline may be upgraded from the category of “foundation stock” to “pure-bred”. The same “pure-bred” breed standards vary from different continents, countries, territories, regions, breed clubs, and canine pure-breed registries depending on the goals of their breeders. Dog DNA testing companies can have accurate results for a specific bloodline of a small colony of dogs. However, there are tens of thousands of different bloodlines in the world which have not yet been tested for marker baseline results by Dog DNA testing companies as of 2017. For this reason Dog DNA testing companies do not guarantee the 100% accuracy of their breed lineage results and will also show different marker results for the same pure-bred breed in different continents, countries, territories, regions, breed clubs, and canine pure-breed registries depending on the goals of their breeders.

© 2017 American Canine Association, Inc.