The Old English Sheep Dog was bred to herd and to guard sheep. Similar to all sheep dogs they are very intelligent and the shepherd relied on them not only to protect the sheep day and night, but also to help keep the sheep together on the unfenced fields and then drive them to the market.
Old English Sheep Dogs can live up to 15 years of age.
Average height & weight
56cm to 60cm
23kg to 42kg
Breed personality, characteristics & temperament
The Old English Sheep Dog is a delightful dog totally devoted to its family. It is full of fun and so loves to play. If you are a jogger then that is its desire, if you are a bush walker then that is its joy too. If you are a homebody then they are happy to lie at your feet. They never grow up and love to go for a ride in the car, in fact they are never happier than with the family. They possess a very even temperament and are an excellent watchdog, but never aggressive.
Compatibility with other pets
The Old English Sheep Dog loves the company of its own breed. They mix well with other breeds too. Remember the secret of bringing up any dog is correct socialisation with other animals and of course people.
The Old English Sheep Dog is a high maintenance breed because of its beautiful jacket, which is both dense and profuse. However, there is nothing against keeping its coat short. They do not shed as their coat is wool and not hair. You will need to check and clean its ears regularly, keep its eyes clean and check its rear end and in between the toes. In the summer it is of the utmost importance to check for grass seeds all over the body and head as these can cause great trouble when they enter through the skin. A regular groom and bath makes them pleasant to have in the house.
The Old English Sheep Dog is an intelligent dog bred to guard, with a mind of its own and while not at all aggressive, if pushed by either human or another dog, it will stand its ground particularly if its family or property is threatened. They have an active mind and take readily to obedience training.
Anyone who will love and spend time with them is a must. They adore their family particularly children. But children should never be left unsupervised with any dog.
Click here for advice on adopting a rescue dog and finding a breeder. All information has been provided by the Kennel Club.