Old English Sheepdog Dog Breed Information

Old English Sheepdog: The wonderfully shaggy Old English Sheepdog is a favorite in children’s television shows and movies, where he’s usually affable, if sometimes bumbling, character. But, hair and Hollywood glitz aside, who is the OES?

In reality, the OES — nicknamed “Bobtail” because of his docked tail (traditionally kept short to identify him as a drover) — is an easygoing, fun-loving, intelligent dog. He’s a member of the American Kennel Club Herding Group. He’s certainly a large dog at 60 to 100 pounds, but his profuse coat of blue-gray and white makes him appear even larger. Known for his wonderful temperament, he’s powerful, sturdy, and hardworking.

Old English Sheepdog Dog Breed Information
Old English Sheepdog Dog Breed Information

Those who know and love him are familiar with his sense of humor. He can be playful and comical, although he is also the guardian and protector of his family. You can’t talk about the OES without talking about hair, a lot of hair. This coat needs more care than most. It’s long and prone to matting if not regularly brushed. Many owners clip the hair short — but if he is to be a show dog, the OES cannot be trimmed short.

Expect three to four hours of grooming per week — perhaps more — plus monthly visits to a grooming salon. Not surprisingly, a common reason that OES owners surrender their dogs to rescue organizations is because of the time and cost of caring for the coat. Anyone considering this breed must think long and hard about grooming and related care.

The OES is highly adaptable. To some people’s surprise, he does well in an apartment if he is exercised regularly. In spite of his working heritage, he is not a good candidate for a backyard dog. He wants to be and should be, with his family, and he can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone too long. He is trainable and responds well to a firm owner who is kind and consistent. He gets along well with other dogs and pets.

With his shaggy coat, keen mind, and bobbed tail, the OES is a great addition to any family with the time and patience to care for him.

Old English Sheepdog Puppies

Huggable, huge, and puffy, the Old English Sheepdog is kind of a big deal. This breed was the original cinematic Shaggy Dog, and Paul McCartney’s Old English Sheepdog, Martha, inspired “Fool on a Hill” and other Beatles songs.

These fun-loving, eye-catching dogs are somewhat rare and are among the hairiest breeds around. Old English Sheepdogs got their start herding cattle and sheep in Western England. These days they compete for herding trophies and for their family’s affection.

Originally from—you guessed it—England, this large-sized breed can grow to between 60-80 pounds and lives an average of 10-12 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Herding group.

Breed Information

Popularity 2018: #72

2017: #70

2016: #75

2015: #74

Name Old English Sheepdog
Other names OES
Origin United Kingdom
Breed Group Herding (AKC:1888 & UKC)
Size Large
Type Purebred
Life span 10-12 years
Temperament Adaptable







Height Male: 22-24 inches (56-61 cm)

Female: 20-22 inches (51 cm)

Weight Male: from 65 pounds (29 kg)

Female: from 60 pounds (27 kg)

Colors Blue & White

Blue Gray & White

Blue Merle & White

Gray & White

Grizzle & White

Litter Size 5-8 puppies
Puppy Price Average $1200 – $1500 USD

Old English Sheepdog Rescue

Old English Sheepdog Puppies
Old English Sheepdog Puppies

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”.

Height at the withers is at least 61 cm (24 in), with females slightly smaller than males. The body is short and compact, and ideal weights are not specified in the breed standards, but maybe as much as 46 kg (101 lb) for large males.

Colour of the double coat may be any shade of grey, grizzle, black, blue, or blue merle, with optional white markings. The undercoat 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. Old English Sheepdogs only shed when they are brushed.

Old English Sheepdog Puppy

The Old English Sheepdog should do well on high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

Old English Sheepdog Rescue Uk

Old English Sheepdog  Uk
Old English Sheepdog Uk

The charity relies on donations, sponsors and the goodwill of volunteers.
The aim of the rescue is to provide shelter, care, love and affection, medical treatment and re-homing, where possible for Old English Sheepdogs in need, who come to us by reason of sickness, poor circumstances, hardship, maltreatment, stray, injury, unwanted or homeless.
The Charity also works with other all-breed rescues large and small to help the plight of unwanted Old English Sheepdogs.
The charity is run by Trustees who also play an active role in caring for the dogs.  The dogs live with Julie and her husband, where they have 2.5 acres for the dogs to safely exercise, run and play – or plod as the case may be!
Originally Julie worked with another OES Rescue, and before that with the RSPCA. She is also a qualified dog Behavioural Trainer and keeps up to date with the latest training methods. Her own rescue Old English Sheepdogs all have their KC Good Citizens Dog Scheme Gold Awards and have trained for various disciplines/sports.  They can sometimes be found out and about giving demonstrations, promoting the breed, obedience & rescue.

Old English Sheepdog Puppies For Sale Uk

We always have a waiting list of people wanting an Old English Sheepdog; so please be prepared to be patient, whilst we try to match the right dog for your lifestyle.
Dogs don’t come to order so you may just be lucky that the right dog for you comes along quickly!
It is so very important that we get to know about you and your family so that the dog gets the right home.  In this way, he or she will be happy, you will be happy and the dog will not end up back in rescue.
We recommend that you read our “Care for your rescue Old English Sheepdog” prior to applying for a dog – see here.
Once we think we have the right dog, you will be invited to spend the day here with us and the dog.

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