Known as “the Bobtail” in Britain where this breed originated about 200 years ago, the Old English Sheepdog is thought to descend from a variety of European herding breeds. It was originally developed by sheep farmers in the English West country to herd and drive sheep to market. The practice of cropping the tail was started in order to identify the breed as a working dog, which made it’s owner exempt from taxes. These highly intelligent, highly adorable dogs can also be used as a soft-mouthed retriever with the proper training. Old English Sheepdogs are broad and robust with a long, harsh, shaggy coat for which the breed is renowned. The coat comes in shades of grey, grizzle, blue or blue merled with or without white markings. Old English Sheepdogs are wonderful family pets who love children and will play with and mind (herd?) them form hours! Despite their size, these dogs are very agile, measuring from 22 inches and up from the shoulder with females measuring slightly less. If kept long, the coat needs a thorough daily brushing to keep it shiny and tangle-free. It can also be kept short and easy to care for with regular trips to the groomer for trimming – a great way to keep your dog cool in the hot summer months. Old English Sheepdogs are dependable family protectors, and are best suited to country living and plenty of room to run out of doors.
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