paint advert, the Old English Sheep Dog is one of the most recognisable English breeds. He is a large dog standing up to 60cm at the shoulder and weighing between 30 to 45kg. A square dog with a large head his grey and white double layered coat is long and shaggy, covering the face and eyes. His ears fall down by the side of his skull and his tail is virtually nonexistent, known as a bobtail.
A happy go lucky character, the Old English sheep dog is friendly and gentle. He has a strong herding instinct and will do his upmost to keep everyone together when out in the open and may need to be trained not to herd people.
Bred to work, the Old English Sheepdog needs plenty of exercise with at least one hours walk a day to keep him happy and well balanced. Boisterous puppies soon grow into large, strong adults which makes this breed far more suited to the countryside than the town. The breed has a distinctive bark which may be useful for seeing off intruders.
The coat needs daily attention otherwise it is likely to become matted or cause skin problems. If not a show dog the coat can be professionally clipped a few times a year to make it more manageable but it still requires daily grooming and baths when necessary. Clipping the coat gives the dog a very different appearance to the dog on the Dulux paint adverts but at least it means he won’t bring half the countryside into your home. Old English Sheep dogs can be prone to hip dysplasia and cataracts but are generally healthy animals with a life span of up to 12 years.