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Old English Sheepdog Dog Breed

About the Old English Sheepdog

The Old English Sheepdog, also known as the Bobtail, is an adaptable, intelligent dog with a clownish personality. It is a sturdy, athletic dog with a distinctive shaggy coat. Historically, this drover assisted farmers in transporting cattle and sheep to market. Today, this sweet dog enjoys the comforts of home life while competing in Conformation, Obedience, Agility, and Herding competitions.

AKC Group

AKC Group


Dog Breed Height


21 – 22 inches

Dog Breed Weight


60 – 90 pounds

Dog Breed Lifespan


10 – 12 years


Country of Origin England
Bred For Herding & Droving, Companionship
Known For Shaggy Coat, Gentleness, Loud Bark
Popularity Moderate
Temperament Adaptable, Even, Intelligent
Activities Herding, Running, Hiking, Conformation Shows, Dog Sports

History of the Old English Sheepdog

The Old English Sheepdog has one of the most enigmatic canine origin stories. There is evidence that the breed originated in the southwestern counties of England in the early nineteenth century, while it may have descended from the Scottish Bearded Collie, the Russian Owtchar, or another dog entirely.

Writings during the time of the breed’s putative origins reported a dog used to drive cattle and lambs to market. Owners docked their tails to indicate they were drovers’ dogs, and they were usually dubbed “Bob” or “Bobtail.”

When the Old English Sheepdog first arrived in the United States in the late 1880s, it was owned by a Pittsburgh manufacturer called W. Wade. By the 1900s, just five affluent American families owned, showed, and bred the breed. One show administrator advised judges at the 1904 Westminster Show in New York to “take plenty of time; the dogs in the ring are the property of some of our leading Americans.”

Henry Arthur Tilley started the Old English Sheepdog Club of America in 1904. Tilley and his brother, William Steeds Tilley, were instrumental in the development of the breed standard. Many of the dogs they bred can still be found in Old English Sheepdog lines today. In 1885, the American Kennel Club recognized the Old English Sheepdog.

General Appearance

Height & Weight

A mature male Old English Sheepdog typically stands 22 inches at the shoulder or more, while females usually measure around 21 inches.

Male Old English Sheepdogs typically weigh between 70 and 90 pounds, while females are slightly lighter at 60 to 80 pounds.

Proportion & Substance

The Old English Sheepdog is a well-balanced and sturdy dog, built for herding livestock and driving them to market. The breed has a strong, substantial bone structure that supports its well-muscled and solid frame. In terms of proportion, the breed’s body length is approximately the same as its height, displaying a compact and practically square silhouette.

Coat Texture, Colors & Markings

Texture: The coat of the Old English Sheepdog is profuse, but not so much so that the dog appears excessively fat. The hair has a hard texture; not straight, but rather shaggy and without curls. It is a double coat, with the outer guard hairs rough in texture and the undercoat dense and waterproof.

Old English Sheepdog Colors

Standard Color
Black & White ee
Fawn & White ee
Brown & White ee
Blue Merle ee
Blue ee
Grizzle ee
Gray ee
White ee
Blue Gray ee
Grizzle & White ee
Blue & White ee
Blue Gray & White ee
Blue Merle & White ee
Gray & White ee
Grizzle & White ee

A Note About Color: The Old English Sheepdog has an unmistakable double coat that’s harsh and waterproof. On the head the hair is profuse, completely covering the eyes, but the hair on the ears is more moderately long and dense. The body is covered in a long, thick jacket, longer still over the hindquarters, and the legs are well coated all around. Puppies are born black and white without an undercoat, but as they mature the coat becomes hard in texture and lighter in color. A brown tinge may be apparent during the transition, but any brown (or black) in an adult coat is unacceptable.


  • Skull: The Old English Sheepdog’s skull is relatively large and capacious, rather squarely formed in every direction. The stop is well-defined as are the ridges over the eyes, but these should not be too abrupt.
  • Expression: The breed’s expression is intelligent, alert, and endearing. The shaggy eyebrows, beard, and mustache contribute to its unique and charming appearance.
  • Eyes: The eyes are oval in shape and set well apart. They may be brown or blue in color, or they may be one of each. Brown eyes are preferably dark, and blue eyes may be china, pearl, or wall-eyes. Eye rims may or may not have pigment.
  • Ears: The ears are small, set moderately high, and lie flat against the head. They are covered with a characteristically shaggy coat.
  • Muzzle: The Old English Sheepdog’s muzzle is broad, deep, and square, maintaining the same width from the base to the tip.
  • Nose: The nose is large in proportion to the foreface. Color is usually black; however, blue dogs at birth will have slate-colored pigment.
  • Bite: The Old English Sheepdog typically has a level or tight scissors bite, where the upper incisors closely overlap the lower incisors.


Often referred to as the “Bobtail,” the Old English Sheepdog has traditionally had its tail closely docked. The purpose of tail docking was to prevent injury to the tail while the dog worked as a herding and drover dog, and to avoid taxes levied on dogs that did not work. The natural tail of an Old English Sheepdog is bushy and typically carried below the level of the back. It is often described as plume-like and gives the dog an oddly distinctive appearance.

The Old English Sheepdog – What to Consider?

The Old English Sheepdog is known for its powerful, sturdy, and hardworking temperament. However, these dogs are also fun-loving and playful, and their comical side shows up a lot. Apart from all of that, the Old English is a great guardian and protector of its family. The beautiful, long, shaggy coat represents them, but that beauty comes with consequences. Taking care of this coat requires a bit more than with other breeds. Surprisingly, while being large dogs, they adapt well to an apartment as long their exercise needs are fulfilled.

Family Life

Affectionate With Family

How affectionate a breed is likely to be with family members, or other people he knows well. Some breeds can be aloof with everyone but their owner, while other breeds treat everyone they know like their best friend.
Independent Lovey-Dovey

Good With Other Dogs

How generally friendly a breed is towards other dogs. Dogs should always be supervised for interactions and introductions with other dogs, but some breeds are innately more likely to get along with other dogs, both at home and in public.
Not Recommended Good With Other Dogs

Good With Young Children

A breed’s level of tolerance and patience with childrens’ behavior, and overall family-friendly nature. Dogs should always be supervised around young children, or children of any age who have little exposure to dogs.
Not Recommended Good With Children


Shedding Level

How much fur and hair you can expect the breed to leave behind. Breeds with high shedding will need to be brushed more frequently, are more likely to trigger certain types of allergies, and are more likely to require more consistent vacuuming and lint-rolling.
No Shedding Hair Everywhere

Coat Grooming Frequency

How frequently a breed requires bathing, brushing, trimming, or other kinds of coat maintenance. Consider how much time, patience, and budget you have for this type of care when looking at the grooming effort needed. All breeds require regular nail trimming.
Monthly Daily

Drooling Level

How drool-prone a breed tends to be. If you’re a neat freak, dogs that can leave ropes of slobber on your arm or big wet spots on your clothes may not be the right choice for you.
Less Likely to Drool Always Have a Towel

Coat Type


Coat Length


Social Attributes


Trainability Level

How easy it will be to train your dog, and how willing your dog will be to learn new things. Some breeds just want to make their owner proud, while others prefer to do what they want, when they want to, wherever they want!.
Self-Willed Eager to Please

Barking Level

How often this breed vocalizes, whether its with barks or howls. While some breeds will bark at every passer-by or bird in the window, others will only bark in particular situations. Some barkless breeds can still be vocal, using other sounds to express themselves.
Only To Alert Very Vocal

Energy Level

The amount of exercise and mental stimulation a breed needs. High energy breeds are ready to go and eager for their next adventure. They will spend their time running, jumping, and playing throughout the day. Low energy breeds are like couch potatoes – they are happy to simply lay around and snooze.
Couch Potato High Energy

Mental Stimulation Needs

How much mental stimulation a breed needs to stay happy and healthy. Purpose-bred dogs can have jobs that require decision-making, problem-solving, concentration, or other qualities, and without the brain exercise they need, they will create their own projects to keep their minds busy — and they probably wont be the kind of projects you would like..
Happy to Lounge Needs a Job or Activity

Old English Sheepdog Health

Old English Sheepdogs are generally a healthy and robust breed, but like all dogs, they are susceptible to certain health issues. Responsible breeding practices, regular veterinary care, and a healthy lifestyle can help minimize the risk of any health problems. The average lifespan of the Old English Sheepdog is 10 to 12 years.

Potential Health Risks

Although generally healthy breeds, some of the dogs can be prone to certain health conditions, including:

  • Canine Hip Dysplasia: The thighbone does not fit securely into the hip joint in this heritable disease. Some dogs exhibit pain and lameness on one or both back legs, but a dog with hip dysplasia may show no signs of discomfort. However, arthritis might develop as the dog ages.
  • Cataracts: Cataracts cause opacity on the eye’s lens, resulting in blurred vision. The eye(s) of the dog will appear clouded. Cataracts typically develop in old age and can occasionally be surgically removed to improve eyesight.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): It is a group of eye illnesses characterized by the slow degradation of the retina. Dogs become night blind early in the disease. They lose their daytime eyesight as the condition worsens. Many canines adjust well to limited or full visual loss as long as their surroundings do not change.
  • Hypothyroidism: It is caused by hormone deficits produced by the thyroid gland. Infertility is a modest symptom of the condition. Obesity, mental dullness, drowsiness, and erratic heat cycles are more visible symptoms. The hair becomes coarse and brittle and eventually falls off, while the skin toughens and darkens. Hypothyroidism is treated with a daily thyroid replacement and is usually lifelong.
  • Deafness: This is fairly common and can present numerous difficulties for both the dog and the owner. Some types of deafness and hearing loss can be treated with medication and surgery, but deafness is seldom curable. A deaf dog requires patience and time, and there are several devices on the market, like vibrating collars, to make life simpler for both the owner and the dog.

Old English Sheepdog Personality

Old English Sheepdogs are known for their friendly and affectionate nature. They have a gentle and loving disposition that endears them to people of all ages. Their welcoming demeanor and warm personality make them excellent family pets and wonderful additions to households with children. These dogs often display remarkable patience and tolerance, making them an ideal choice for families seeking a canine companion that can coexist harmoniously with young ones.

One of the standout qualities of the Old English Sheepdog is their playful spirit. They retain a youthful exuberance well into adulthood, which means they can engage in playtime with children or enjoy an active lifestyle alongside their owners. Their boundless enthusiasm for games and outdoor activities provides a perfect opportunity for families to stay active and engaged with their pets.

Their intelligence is another distinguishing trait. Old English Sheepdogs are quick learners and have a knack for understanding and responding to commands. This makes them responsive to training, although they may display a bit of stubbornness at times. Patience and consistency are the keys to unlocking their full potential.

While their intelligence is evident, their humorous and sometimes mischievous side should not be overlooked. The shaggy appearance, including a distinctive beard and mustache, adds to their comical charm. Their expressive eyes and playful antics often bring smiles to the faces of those fortunate enough to share their lives with these dogs.

The Old English Sheepdog’s herding heritage is still evident in their personality. They may exhibit herding behaviors, such as gently nipping at heels, a carryover from their historical role as herders. These tendencies can be managed with proper training and redirection.

Old English Sheepdog Feeding & Nutrition

Old English Sheepdogs are a large breed known for their sturdy build and dense, shaggy coat. To support their overall health and maintain their impressive physique, it’s crucial to provide them with a well-balanced and high-quality diet.

Selecting the right type of dog food is the first step in ensuring Old English Sheepdog receives the necessary nutrition. Protein is essential for muscle maintenance and overall health. Additionally, moderate fat levels are needed to provide a reliable energy source.

Carbohydrates provide energy, and they also contribute fiber, which is important for digestive health. Looking for foods that include healthy carbohydrates, such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, or whole grains is crucial.

The average adult Old English Sheepdog needs from 2.5 to 4.5 cups of high-quality food a day. Still, portion control is a key aspect of nutrition for Old English Sheepdogs. Their large size can make them prone to obesity if overfed. It is important to adjust their portions as needed based on their age, activity level, and body condition. A healthy weight is essential to prevent a range of health issues.

Old English Sheepdog Training

Training Old English Sheepdog should start as early as possible. Puppies are like sponges and can quickly learn and adapt to new commands and routines. Socialization should also begin in the puppy stage to ensure they are well-adjusted around people, animals, and various environments.

Old English Sheepdogs are known for their intelligence and eager-to-please nature. This combination makes them highly trainable and enjoyable to work with. However, their occasional stubbornness and independent streak can present some challenges.

Consistency in training is essential, as well as establishing clear rules and boundaries and ensuring that all family members follow them. This helps prevent confusion and reinforces the desired behaviors. Basic obedience training is a must, apart from that leash training and recall training are also important.

Old English Sheepdogs can be sensitive, so patience is crucial. Avoiding harsh training methods or punishment is crucial as this can damage the dog’s trust and willingness to learn. Instead, using positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, praise, and toys is advisable.

Old English Sheepdog Exercise

Exercise is a fundamental component of caring for an Old English Sheepdog. These lovable, shaggy dogs have a boundless amount of energy and require regular physical activity to maintain their health and happiness.

Exercise Expectations

Energy Level Moderate
Exercise Requirements 2 Hours/Day (Minimum), Daily Walks, Vigorous Running, Regular Exercise, Playing with Another Dog, Mental Stimulation

Old English Sheepdogs are a large and active breed known for their agility and strength. They have a history of herding and working long hours, and this legacy has left a mark on their exercise needs. Providing them with at least 2 hours of exercise per day is crucial.

Exercise is essential for maintaining the physical fitness of Old English Sheepdogs. They require regular activity to keep their muscles toned and their joints healthy. Exercise helps prevent obesity and related health issues, which can be a concern for larger breeds. Anything from walking, running, herding trials, agility or just exploring around a park is a great way of exercise for an English Sheepdog.

In addition to physical exercise, Old English Sheepdogs need mental stimulation. These intelligent dogs thrive on activities that challenge their minds. Games, puzzles, and obedience training provide mental exercise and prevent boredom.

Due to their thick coat, exercising in hot weather can be challenging for an English Sheepdog. They should be secured with fresh water and shorter walks are recommended when it is hot outside. Otherwise, when it is cold, the English Sheepdog could use a warm doggy coat.

Old English Sheepdog Grooming

The Old English Sheepdog is renowned for its iconic shaggy appearance, but this charming coat requires regular attention. They are heavy shedders and grooming them can be challenging.

Grooming Expectations

Coat Type Profuse, Shaggy, Hard Texture
Grooming Requirements Daily Brushing, Occasional Bathing, Routine Ear Cleaning, Periodic Nail Trimming, Regular Tooth Brushing

Brushing is a fundamental grooming task for Old English Sheepdogs. Their double coat consists of a soft, insulating undercoat and a longer, coarse outer coat. Regular brushing is essential to prevent matting and tangling. It should be done daily if possible, or at least 3 times a week.

Bathing an Old English Sheepdog should be done as needed, typically every 6-8 weeks or when they get dirty. Because their coat is dense, it’s important to make sure they are completely dry after a bath to avoid skin issues.

Because their eyes are partially obscured by their hair, it’s important to ensure their eyes are clean and free from discharge. Also, trimming the hair around the eyes is advisable.

Once a month, the nails should be clipped, and the ears should be checked once a week for dirt, redness, or a strong odor, which could suggest an infection. The hair between the paws should be trimmed.

Living with an Old English Sheepdog

Living with an Old English Sheepdog is a delightful adventure filled with love, laughter, and a healthy dose of playful antics. Their iconic appearance, affectionate disposition, and intelligence make them wonderful additions to any family. They bring companionship, security, and a distinctive sense of charm that can quickly win over your heart

The Old English Sheepdog’s appearance is instantly recognizable, with its shaggy, floor-length coat and endearing expressions. Their distinctive appearance often draws attention and compliments from admirers. However, this gorgeous appearance needs regular maintenance, so grooming them can be challenging.

They thrive on human interaction and are known for forming deep emotional bonds with their families. Their loving nature makes them excellent family pets and cherished companions. Despite their size, Old English Sheepdogs exude playfulness and vitality. They maintain a youthful exuberance well into their adulthood.

Old English Sheepdogs are known for their loyalty to their families. They are also natural watchdogs, alerting you to any unusual sounds or strangers. Typically sociable and friendly, both with family members and other pets. They often welcome guests warmly, making them an asset to social gatherings and family events.

Their shaggy coat is well-suited for colder climates, but it can make them prone to overheating in hot weather. Adaptability to different climates can be achieved with appropriate grooming, providing shade and water in hot weather, and ensuring their coat is properly maintained. While they do well in larger homes with access to a yard where they can exercise and play, they can also adapt to apartment living as long as their exercise needs are met.

Old English Sheepdog Puppies

Old English Sheepdog puppies are incredibly cute and endearing. However, when bringing one into the home, it’s essential to be well-prepared for the responsibilities and joys that come with raising a puppy of this breed.

Caring for an Old English Sheepdog Puppy

Caring for Old English Sheepdog puppies is a delightful but demanding task that requires dedication, patience, and a lot of love. These adorable, shaggy puppies quickly become cherished family members, but they also come with specific needs and challenges.

Early socialization is crucial for Old English Sheepdog puppies. Exposing them to various people, animals, and environments ensures that they grow up to be well-adjusted and confident adults. Positive social experiences during their formative months will help prevent behavioral issues in the future.

Old English Sheepdog puppies are known for their playful and energetic nature. They require ample exercise to burn off their boundless energy. Regular playtime, short walks, and interactive games are crucial for their physical and mental development.

Puppies often chew to alleviate teething discomfort. Providing a variety of safe and appropriate chew toys prevents them from chewing on furniture or other objects. Chewing is a natural behavior for puppies and helps soothe their gums.

Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial for a puppy’s health. They will require vaccinations, deworming, and preventive care to protect them from common puppy illnesses. Veterinarians can help create a vaccination schedule and provide guidance on preventive measures.

Old English Sheepdog Activities & Dog Sports

Old English Sheepdogs are intelligent and active dogs that thrive on mental and physical stimulation. Engaging in various activities and dog sports can provide both exercise and mental enrichment for Old English Sheepdog.

  • Agility: Old English Sheepdogs excel in agility due to their agility, speed, and intelligence. Agility courses involve navigating obstacles, such as tunnels, jumps, weave poles, and A-frames.
  • Obedience: Obedience trials test a dog’s ability to follow commands and perform specific tasks with precision. Old English Sheepdogs are known for their obedience and can excel in obedience competitions.
  • Flyball: Flyball is a relay race for dogs. Teams of dogs jump over hurdles, trigger a spring-loaded box to release a tennis ball, and then race back with the ball. This sport combines speed and agility and can be an exciting activity for dogs.
  • Rally Obedience: Rally Obedience is a combination of traditional obedience and agility. Dogs and handlers navigate a course with various stations, each requiring a different task or command. It’s a great way to enhance obedience skills while adding an element of fun.
  • Tracking: Tracking involves teaching the dog to follow a specific scent trail. It’s an excellent way to engage Old English Sheepdog’s strong sense of smell and mental acumen.
  • Swimming: Many Old English Sheepdogs are natural swimmers. Swimming is a low-impact exercise that’s easy on their joints and a great way to cool off in hot weather.
  • Fetch and Retrieval Game: Old English Sheepdogs often enjoy games of fetch and retrieval. These activities not only provide exercise but also satisfy their herding instincts.

Group Classification & Standards

The Old English Sheepdog is recognized by the world’s leading registries and kennel organizations, which categorize the breed into a specific Group based on its unique characteristics. This breed is recognized worldwide under the following Group designations.

International Organizations

Organization Group Classification
AKC (American Kennel Club) Herding
UKC (United Kennel Club) Herding Dog
CKC (Canadian Kennel Club) Herding
ANKC (Australian National Kennel Council) Working Dogs
RKC (The Royal Kennel Club) Pastoral
FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) Group 1: Sheepdogs and Cattledogs; Section 1: Sheepdogs

The ideal Old English Sheepdog is described by a Breed Standard that is approved by each of the world’s leading registries and kennel organizations. The Breed Standards for this breed may be found in the following links.

Breed Standards

Organization Breed Standard
American Kennel Club AKC Old English Sheepdog Breed Standard
United Kennel Club UKC Old English Sheepdog Breed Standard
Canadian Kennel Club CKC Old English Sheepdog Breed Standard
Australian National Kennel Council ANKC Old English Sheepdog Breed Standard
The Royal Kennel Club RKC Old English Sheepdog Breed Standard
Fédération Cynologique Internationale FCI Old English Sheepdog Breed Standard

Old English Sheepdog Clubs

Old English Sheepdog clubs are indispensable in preserving the breed’s standard, promoting responsible breeding practices, and fostering a community for enthusiasts and breeders alike. These organizations often serve as hubs for education, events, and advocacy for the Old English Sheepdog breed.

The Old English Sheepdog Club of America (OESCA) is the official breed club recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) for Old English Sheepdogs in the United States. They offer a variety of resources for breed enthusiasts, including information on breed standards, health, and events. The club also hosts national specialty shows and events.

Many regions and states have local Old English Sheepdog clubs. These clubs often organize events, gatherings, and activities specific to their geographic area. For example, the Old English Sheepdog Club of Greater Seattle or the Old English Sheepdog Club of Southern California.

Old English Sheepdog Rescue Groups

When purchased without previous knowledge, Old English Sheepdogs often end up searching for an adoption or fostering.

The Old English Sheepdog Club of America (OESCA) has a rescue committee that assists in rescuing and rehoming Old English Sheepdogs in the United States. They work with regional coordinators to facilitate rescue efforts.

Old English Sheepdog Facts

  • Herding Heritage: Old English Sheepdogs were originally bred in England as herding dogs. Their name reflects their historical role as herders of sheep and other livestock. Their shaggy coat helped protect them from the elements while working in all kinds of weather.
  • Gentle and Affectionate: These dogs are known for their gentle and affectionate nature. They form strong bonds with their families and are often described as “gentle giants.”
  • Adaptability: These dogs are adaptable and can thrive in various living environments, from apartments to larger homes with yards. They do require regular exercise to stay happy and healthy.
  • Beard and Mustache: The fur around their muzzle and face often form a “beard” and “mustache,” adding to their distinctive and comical appearance.
  • Famous Movie Stars: Old English Sheepdogs have been featured in various movies and television shows. One of the most famous Old English Sheepdogs in pop culture is “The Shaggy Dog,” featured in the 1959 Disney film of the same name.
  • Beatles: The Beatles’ song “Martha My Dear” is about Paul McCartney’s English Sheepdog, Martha, who was originally named Knickers.
  • Thick Coat, Light Shedders: Despite their long, shaggy coats, they are surprisingly light shedders. Their hair often becomes trapped in the dense undercoat, reducing the amount of hair that ends up around the house.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do Old English Sheepdogs shed?

Old English Sheepdogs are known for their profuse, shaggy coats, and they do shed. They require regular grooming to prevent matting and to manage shedding. During seasonal changes, they may shed more heavily, and their thick undercoat requires extra attention during these times.

Are Old English Sheepdogs hypoallergenic?

Despite their thick coats, Old English Sheepdogs are not considered hypoallergenic. They produce dander and shed, which can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Regular grooming can help reduce the amount of hair and dander in the home, but it may not be sufficient for those with severe allergies.

Do Old English Sheepdogs have tails?

Old English Sheepdogs are born with tails, but it is a common practice to dock their tails at a young age. Tail docking is done for historical and breed standard reasons, although it is becoming less common and is illegal in some countries. If an Old English Sheepdog’s tail is not docked, it is long and bushy.

How big do Old English Sheepdogs get?

Old English Sheepdogs are large dogs, typically weighing between 60 and 100 pounds, with some individuals even exceeding this range. Males generally stand at 22 inches tall at the shoulder or more, showcasing their impressive stature, while females are slightly smaller, standing at 21 inches or more.

How long do Old English Sheepdogs live?

Old English Sheepdogs have a lifespan of around 10-12 years, which is typical for a dog of their size. Proper care, a balanced diet, regular veterinary checkups, and a healthy lifestyle can contribute to a longer, healthier life.

Are Old English Sheepdogs aggressive?

Old English Sheepdogs are not typically aggressive. They are known to be playful, affectionate, and good-natured. However, like any breed, they require proper socialization and training to ensure they are well-behaved and comfortable around different people and situations.

Are Old English Sheepdogs double coated?

Yes, Old English Sheepdogs have a double coat, consisting of a dense, soft undercoat and a long, coarse outer coat. Their double coat provides insulation and protection, but it also requires regular grooming to prevent matting and to manage shedding.

Are Old English Sheepdogs easy to train?

Old English Sheepdogs are intelligent and generally eager to please, making them trainable. However, they can be stubborn at times, and consistent, positive reinforcement training methods work best. Early socialization and obedience training are essential to bring out the best in this breed.

Are Old English Sheepdogs good family dogs?

Yes, Old English Sheepdogs are known to be excellent family pets. They are affectionate, playful, and get along well with children. Their gentle and protective nature makes them a great addition to families, although their size and energy level should be considered.

Are Old English Sheepdogs good guard dogs?

Old English Sheepdogs can be good guard dogs due to their protective nature. They are vigilant and may bark to alert their owners of anything unusual. However, they are generally not aggressive and should be trained to respond appropriately to different situations.

Are Old English Sheepdogs good with cats?

Old English Sheepdogs can get along well with cats, especially if they are raised together or properly introduced. Their herding instincts may come into play, but with training and socialization, they can learn to coexist peacefully with feline family members.

Are Old English Sheepdogs protective?

Old English Sheepdogs are known for their protective nature, especially when it comes to their family. They are loyal and will look out for their loved ones. Proper training is important to ensure that their protective instincts do not lead to overly territorial behavior.

Are Old English Sheepdogs rare?

Old English Sheepdogs are not as common as some other breeds, but they are not considered rare. They have a dedicated following of enthusiasts and breeders. However, their popularity has declined in recent years, partly due to their grooming requirements.

Are Old English Sheepdogs smart?

Old English Sheepdogs are intelligent dogs with a problem-solving nature. They respond well to training but may display an independent streak. Providing mental stimulation and engaging activities can help keep their minds sharp.

Do Old English Sheepdogs bark a lot?

Old English Sheepdogs have a deep, distinctive bark, and they can be quite vocal. They may bark to alert their owners to something unusual or when they are bored. Training and ensuring they have enough physical and mental stimulation can help manage excessive barking.


Dan Sayers

Dan Sayers

Dan Sayers is the Editor-in-Chief of SHOWSIGHT digital and print publications. He received a B.S. from Drexel University where he studied interior architectural design. His professional career has allowed him to develop his planning, problem-solving, and project management skills, which were employed in the office, educational, and financial sectors. While working as a project manager, he earned a Graphic Design Certificate from the University of the Arts and began creating ads for many of America’s top-winning show dogs. Through this work, Dan became Editor-in-Chief of the nation’s first online-only dog show publication. His current role expands on this experience and broadly extends to cover the sport of dogs in Companion and Performance events as well as all aspects of Conformation.

Dan is a long-time member of the Irish Water Spaniel Club of America and is the organization’s current AKC Delegate and Archivist/Historian, as well as a club-approved Breed Mentor. From 2000-2010, he was the club’s AKC Gazette Columnist. He breeds Irish Water Spaniels under the Quiet Storm prefix and has judged the IWSCA National Specialty Sweepstakes twice. Dan is a member of the Morris and Essex Kennel Club as well as the Dog Writers Association of America, which recognized his illustrations in the award-winning canine compendium, the Encyclopedia of K-9 Terminology.

Find a Breeder or Rescue

The best way to ensure a long and happy relationship with a purebred dog is to purchase one from a responsible breeder. Not sure where to begin?

Contact the National Parent Club’s Breeder Referral Program, which is listed on the AKC Breeder Referral Contacts page.

Find an Old English Sheepdog Puppy
Find a Breeder or Rescue