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Adopt an Old English Sheepdog

Old English Sheepdog Dog Breed

Picture:Henry Ausloos/Animals Animals


livestock, herding

Area of origin:


Original function:

sheep herding

Average size of male:

Ht: 22+, Wt: 70-90

Average size of female:

Ht: 21+, Wt: 60-80

Other names:


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    Friendliness towards dogs

  • Friendliness towards other pets

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    Friendliness towards strangers

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    Ease of training

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    Watchdog ability

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    Protection ability

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    Cold tolerance

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    Heat tolerance

Old English Sheepdog Dogs Available on Petfinder Right Now

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Old English Sheepdog Dog Temperament

The amiable Old English is jolly but gentle. At home, he is a well-mannered house pet that often amuses his family with comical antics. He thrives on human companionship and is very much a homebody. He is extremely devoted to its family and protective of family members, tending children as flock members. He is friendly toward strangers. Some can be headstrong.

Old English Sheepdog Dog Care

The Old English Sheepdog needs daily exercise, either a moderate to long walk or a vigorous romp. This breed thrives on togetherness so it is necessary that he have access to the house. His coat needs brushing or combing every other day, or he may form mats. He may tend to track in debris.

Old English Sheepdog Dog Health

Major concerns: CHD
Minor concerns: gastric torsion, otitis externa, retinal detachment, cataract, deafness
Occasionally seen: none
Suggested tests: hip, eye, (hearing)
Life span: 10-12 years

Interested in the history of the Old English Sheepdog dog breed?

The Old English Sheepdog originated in the west of England, possibly from the bearded collie or Russian Owtcharka. The breed was the answer to the need for a strong dog capable of defending the flocks and herds from the wolves that existed at one time in England. By the middle of the 19th century, these dogs were used mainly to drive cattle and sheep to market. The breed was first exhibited in the late 1800s, and by the early 1900s the breed was a popular show exhibit. The Old English was recognized by the AKC in 1905. Early Old English Sheepdogs could be brown, but were later restricted to shades of gray with white. Although the modern OES is very similar to the early specimens, he has a more profuse coat and compact body. The breed's popularity as a pet grew slowly, until the 1970s when he became a favorite media animal. His popularity exploded, with pet owners wanting an exotic but lovable mop. Since that time, his numbers have gradually declined, but the OES still remains a well-known breed. He is now more often seen as a pet or show dog than as a working dog.

Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based on

Shelters with Old English Sheepdog Dogs

Some animal welfare organizations with Old English Sheepdogs ready for adoption:

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