An Old English Sheepdog, also known as Shepherd’s Dog, is a very distinctive breed, which makes them easily recognizable at first glance. These big, bear-like dogs have a long shaggy coat and so much fur in their eyes you wonder how they can see. Here are some other characteristics of the breed.
Physical characteristics; an Old English Sheepdog can:
- Grow as large as 21 inches and up for a female, and 22 inches and up for a male.
- Weigh from 60 to 100 pounds.
- Have eyes that are dark brown, blue or one of each.
- Live from 10 to 12 years.
Old English Sheepdogs are considered to be intelligent, good-natured, friendly, and very playful, to the point of being considered clownish. They love people and become very unhappy when left alone for extended periods. They can also be very messy; they track mud, splash in their water bowl, and then set their dirty, wet, hairy face lovingly in your lap.
Bred to be Herders
The name “sheepdog” may be a bit inappropriate since, initially, they were used to herd cattle from the farm to the market. Although the breed is now used more as show dogs or pets, some still possess the herding instinct, and may even try to herd your children and other pets by circling them, and poking or nipping at them. This is an attempt to keep them in a safe place and not to actually hurt them.
Given their size and love of play, the best environment for these dogs is where they have a large, safe space to roam. Suburban homes with large backyards or farms are ideal.
There is much more to learn about Old English Sheepdogs. Just like any other breed, do your research before you bring one home.