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Old English Sheepdog


  • Origin: United Kingdom
  • Alternate names: OES, Bobtail, Bob
  • Size: Medium to Large
  • Life Span: 10-12 years
  • Popularity: Ranked #70 in 2017
  • Availability in India: Moderate
  • Avg Puppy Price in India: ₹50,000 and above
  • Dog Breed Group: Herding Group
  • Guide Dog: No

Is Old English Sheepdog Good for Indians?

The Old English Sheepdog is a fairly rare breed and is not very easily found in the Indian households. Their availability and demand are quite mediocre in the country and there are two main reasons for that:

  1. This breed is pretty expensive to both bring home and then to properly maintain and raise.
  2. Their tolerance to hot weather conditions is fairly low and thus they cannot comfortably thrive in many parts of India as the temperatures can rise up to very high levels especially during the summer season and it can be really harmful to the OES’s health. These dogs prefer a colder environment and are good for snowy regions or places with relatively low temperatures.

Old English Sheepdog Official Breed Standards

The Old English Sheepdogs are quite strong, well-balanced and squarely built canines. These dogs are well-muscled, profusely coated and are fairly sturdy and tough. The official standards for the Old English Sheepdogs are given as follows:

  • Old English Sheepdog Height and Weight

The OESs are medium to large sized dogs and the male and the female OESs are almost similar to each other when we look just at their mass and their overall stature. The average weight of an OES is around 27-45 Kilograms and its height should be above 21 inches (at the shoulders).






27-45 kg

22 inches & up


27-45 kg

21 inches & up

  • Coat

Their coat is fairly heavy and shaggy which possess a good hard texture and is free from curliness. The undercoat is somewhat waterproof and the outer coat is evenly spread all over the body.

  • Body

They possess a well-built structure which is immensely sturdy and durable. The neck is gracefully arched and is fairly long. Their chest area is decently deep and capacious in nature and the back region is quite powerful and strong. Their tail is mostly docked close to the body. And, the forelegs and hind legs are a bit round, well-muscled and are very well-coated.

  • Head

They have a deep and rather squarely formed head. The eyes are medium in size and are mostly found in a brown or blue color, but, sometimes they can also have one of each color. The ears are mostly carried flat to the side of the head and are usually medium in size.

  • Jaws

Their jaws are very strong, long and broad. The teeth are large and are evenly placed inside the mouth. The overall muzzle is fairly wide and is free from any snippiness.

  • Temperament

The Old English Sheepdogs have an all-around friendly and welcoming attitude. They are very affectionate with their family members and are also kind and gentle with the small kids present in the house. They like to meet new people and are warm and amiable with them (but early socialization is still important for them). They mostly remain in a playful mood and enjoy spending time with their loved ones. These dogs do possess a lively character and they know how to bring happiness and joy into someone’s life. The temperamental traits of this breed are listed below:

  • Loving
  • Playful
  • Bubbly
  • Intelligent
  • Adaptable
  • Sociable
  • Protective

Old English Sheepdog Overview

The Old English Sheepdog is an easily recognizable canine because of its long and hard-textured coat which gives this breed a fluffy and fuzzy appearance. Their whole body is heavily feathered and sometimes the hair on the forehead is clipped or tied in a knot so that it doesn’t cover their medium sized eyes.

These dogs were bred as sheep herders but unlike several other herding breeds, the Old English Sheepdogs are very adaptable and are happy to stay inside the house with their loved ones. They also do require a fairly decent amount of exercise to remain healthy, but it is enormously less than many other herding breeds.

They are considered awesome companions and house pets because of their friendly attitude and loving character. They gel well with almost everyone and also possess a decent watchdog ability and are quite protective of their loved ones. Anyone who is looking for a lively and spirited breed will be happy to have an Old English Sheepdog in their life.

Popular Old English Sheepdog Types and Colors

The Old English Sheepdogs are divided into different types on the basis of the various colors that their coat is available in. These colors are as follows:

  • Blue & White
  • Blue Gray & White
  • Blue Merle & White
  • Gray & White
  • Grizzle & White

Old English Sheepdog Breed Characteristics



Sensitivity Level


Affection Level


Potential for mouthiness




Drooling Potential


Barking Tendencies


Energy Level


Friendly towards dogs


Health Issues


Friendly towards other animals




Child Friendly




Exercise Needs


Shedding Level


Grooming Needs


Social Needs


Good for novice owners


Stranger Friendly




Watchdog Ability


Tolerates Heat


Tolerates Cold


Old English Sheepdog Maintenance and Care

  • Feeding

The Old English Sheepdogs do well on a high-quality feeding material which can be commercially manufactured or home-prepared but first, it is better to take the advice of a vet if you are cooking the meal by yourself at home. These dogs do get overweight if proper attention is not given to their overall calorie consumption. Treats should only be given sparingly and must be avoided altogether if they have a high-fat content inside them.

  • Exercise

This breed, being a herding type, do require regular exercise but only in moderate amounts. Daily short walks in a park and playing time with the housemates should be enough to suffice their exercise needs. They are quite different in this aspect when to compared to many other herding breeds who usually have very high exercise requirements.

  • Training

It is important not to make the training sessions boring and repetitive for the Old English Sheepdogs as they might get distracted and become inattentive during the training exercises. The owner/trainer should try to make the training process more fun and exciting for the OESs as then, they are more responsive and positive towards learning new things and skills from their owners.

  • Grooming and Shedding

Their long and heavy coat requires a good amount of grooming to remain tidy and beautiful. Most people seek the help of a professional groomer for this purpose. These dogs need to be brushed at least 2-3 times a week, they should be bathed at least once a month and trimming of nails and brushing of teeth can be done as deemed necessary by the owner/groomer. These dogs do shed quite a lot and during the shedding period, constant brushing of the coat is required.

  • Health Issues

The Old English Sheepdogs can get affected by quite a few health-related problems during their lifetime. But proper nutrition, exercise, and care can prevent some of the health issues that may harm them. Common health concerns regarding the OESs are:

  • Hereditary Deafness
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Hereditary Cataracts
  • Cardiac Anomalies
  • Autoimmune Thyroiditis
  • Cerebellar Ataxia
  • Visits to the Vet

It is better to take the Old English Sheepdogs to a vet’s clinic at least once a month for general health check-up and consultation.

Old English Sheepdog History and Background

The Old English Sheepdogs originated in England in the early 19th century. They, as apparent by their name, used to herd sheep for the farmers that resided near the western counties of England.

There are several theories and speculations regarding the true origin of this breed. Some say that they are related to the Scottish Deerhound and the Poodle. Others speculate that they are the result of breeding between the Bergamasco and the Briard or the Russian Owtchar and the Bearded Collies.

Whoever might be the true ancestor of this breed, it turned out to be extremely functional. Not only it was a well-coordinated sheepherder, but it was also used by the farmers to guard their stocks, retrieve various stuff for them, drive their cattle to the market. They were exceptional at their job and thus were widely appreciated not only for their looks but also because of their talents.

They were given the nickname “Bobtail” when the farmers started to dock their tails as a way of marking the dogs who were exclusively used for working purposes. Because of the canines, the farmers could get a tax exemption and thus this practice became very popular around the United Kingdom. It was registered by the UKC and the AKC in the year 1888 as a distinct breed.