The Old English Sheepdog is a large dog, immediately recognizable by its long, thick, shaggy grey and white coat, with fur covering their face and eyes. The ears lie flat to the head. Historically, the breed’s tail was commonly docked (resulting in a panda bear-like rear end), but tailed Old English sheepdogs are now common, as many countries have outlawed cosmetic docking. When the dog has a tail, it has long fur (feathering), is low set, and normally hangs down. The Old English Sheepdog stands lower at the shoulder than at the loin, and walks with a “bear-like roll from the rear”
Colour of the double coat may be any shade of grey, grizzle, black, blue, or blue merle, with optional white markings. Theundercoat
is water resistant. Puppies are born with a black and white coat, and it is only after the puppy coat has been shed that the more common grey or silver shaggy hair appears.
The breed standards describe the ideal Old English Sheepdog as never being nervous or aggressive. The New Zealand Kennel Club adds that “they are sometimes couch potatoes” and “may even try to herd children by gently bumping them”. This breed’s temperament can be described as intelligent, social and adaptable. The American Kennel Club adds that the breed has “a clownish energy” and “may try to herd people or other objects”.
With wide open spaces being the ideal setting for an Old English Sheepdog, the breed is a natural fit in a rural setting, such as working on a farm; although, with proper exercise and training, they are perfectly comfortable with a suburban or urban lifestyle. Their remarkable, inherent herding instincts, sense of duty, and sense of property boundaries may be nurtured and encouraged accordingly, or subdued by their owners. Old English Sheepdogs should not be deprived of the company and the warmth of people.
Some diseases like hip dysplasia can occur, also , entropion, thyroidproblems, deafness, diabetes, HD, PRA, allergies and skin problems.