Old English Sheepdog - Bobtail
The Old English Sheepdog, also known as the Bobtail, is a large and athletic dog breed developed in England in the early 19th century. The Old English Sheepdog was bred for cattle herding and helping farmers drive cattle and sheep to the market.
FUN FACT: These dogs were nicknamed „Bobtail“ because their docked tail was traditionally kept short to identify them as a drover whose job is to make sheep or cattle move from one place to another. The tax exemption was granted to drover dogs, so it was important for a dog to be recognized as a drover. Today, tail docking is forbidden unless there is a health reason to do so.
21-22 in (53-56 cm)
60-100 lb (27-45 kg)
Dog Breed Characteristics
Male dog stands 22 inches (56 cm) tall and weighs 80-100 pounds (36-45 kg). Females are just a bit smaller and stand 21 inches (53 cm) tall and weigh 60-85 pounds (27-38 kg).
Grooming a Bobtail
A shaggy coat that is neither straight nor curly is what attracts most people to the Old English Sheepdog. The breed has a double weather-resistant coat with a textured outer coat and soft undercoat that is pretty difficult to maintain. The coat comes in gray, grizzle, blue or blue merle, brown, and fawn, usually mixed with white markings.
The Old English Sheepdog is a heavy shedder and requires regular daily brushing to remove dead hair, prevent mats, and keep the coat clean, healthy, and free of tangles. You will probably need to invest some serious money in a few tools to brush and comb your Old English Sheepdog.
It is important to brush through all layers of hair and to the skin. Frequent trimming of the coat is also essential. Many owners decide to have a professional groomer to keep their Old English Sheepdog’s coat in good condition.
TIP: Before brushing your Old English Sheepdog, spray the coat lightly with conditioner so the brushing will go more smoothly.
Besides daily brushing and combing of the coat, these dogs also need regular bathing (every six to eight weeks). Nails should be trimmed when needed. Ears should be checked regularly to make sure that there is no wax built up in a dog’s ear because that can lead to a painful infection.
Because of their working origin, Old English Sheepdogs are active and high-energy dogs that need proper daily exercise and mental stimulation. Make sure that you give your Old English Sheepdog enough exercise and time when they can let off steam. Otherwise, they will probably become rambunctious, bored, and destructive.
FUN FACT: During his first year, the Old English Sheepdog grows from 1 pound to 60 pounds. This is a period of the Old English Sheepdog's life when their joints and bones are growing rapidly and when these dogs are especially sensitive. Because of that, during this rapid growth, the puppies should not be over-exercised.
Old English Sheepdogs are extremely adaptable. They do great in apartments if regular exercise and walks are provided. These dogs thrive on human companionship and love to spend time with their families. Old English Sheepdogs are likely to suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long.
These dogs get along well with other dogs and pets but sometimes are prone to jealousy.
Old English Sheepdogs are intelligent, alert, responsive, and quick learners. Because they have a mind of their own, these dogs need a firm leader and practice consistency during training. Proper training and early socialization are essential for Old English Sheepdogs.
FUN FACT: Old English Sheepdogs are known to have a very loud bark and are great watchdogs.
Old English Sheepdogs are usually healthy dogs with a lifespan of 10-12 years. But, like most breeds, they are also prone to some health conditions. These health conditions are hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy (an eye disease that involves the gradual deterioration of the retina), hypothyroidism (caused by deficiencies of the hormone produced from the thyroid gland), and deafness.
FUN FACT: Old English Sheepdogs tend to drool a lot, especially after eating and drinking. Some Old English Sheepdogs drool so much that the coat around their mouths turns yellow. Regular washing of the mouth area can help.
Old English Sheepdog breeders
If you are interested in getting an Old English Sheepdog, make sure you get a puppy from a responsible breeder who is ready to answer all your questions about the puppy’s parents. Unknowledgeable and irresponsible breeders often overbreed their dogs or breed dogs with some temperament faults and, as a result, get puppies with neurotic behaviors, including hyperactivity, fearfulness, and aggression.
World Dog Finder team