The Old English Sheepdog is a big dog, with a height of 20-24 inches and weigh over 60 pounds, with some weighing up to 100 pounds. They have a shaggy coat, which is thicker around the hind legs, with a waterproof, almost downy, underside. Their head hair often covers, or shields, their eyes, like a natural pair of sunglasses. They are grey to blue in colour mixed with copious amounts of white, they can also be brown but this is not the norm. They are a strong dog, with great stamina, and their general muscle shows that. Some have docked tails but the ones that don't have a feathered abundant look to them. The main body is quite short, wide, and muscular. They have the look of a dog you could instantly fall in love with.
History. As its name suggests the Old English Sheepdog was originally bred in the 18th century as a sheep herding dog that could also protect the flock from predator attacks, most commonly fox's. The shepherds used to have the tails docked to prevent entanglement, stop any predator from being able to attach, and general cleanliness. Some puppies of the breed are actually born with no, or very short, tails, which also encouraged the docking of the ones that had tails. It was also common for farmers to sheer the dog along with the sheep and use their copious hair for making, blankets, clothing, cushions, and similar items. Fame came to this breed in the 1980s when a company used one in their advertising campaign thereby earning the nickname Dulux dog.
Temperament. The Old English sheepdog has a temperament that is somewhat typical of many sheep dogs. It is sociable, friendly, playful, intelligent, faithful and protective, to name but a few of its character traits. They love being with the family and play well with children. Care should be taken when playing, as they do get fully involved and may get a hint over zealous. Given their size, weight and strength, it is a good idea to supervise fashion coats online play when small children are involved. Should the dog happen to injure a member of the family it would be very unhappy, so it is only fair on both the family and the dog to ensure a safe playtime. One thing to be aware of is, as they were bred originally as herding dogs and their instincts run deep, there is a possibility they will try to round up the children. If nothing else it would be fun to watch.
Health issues. Generally, the Old English Sheepdog do not have any serious genetic problems; they have the common thoroughbred issue of hip displasia. Their minor problems are. Cataracts and Entropion. Entropian is when the eyelid curls into the eye; this can of course cause severe irritation to the eye, and needs to be rectified by a vet.
Grooming. Are you ready for this? Only joking. Apart from needing better, and slightly different, tools, the grooming of the Old English Sheepdog is quite similar to other dogs. They need to be groomed 1-3 times a week, starting with a comb like tool; either a dematting comb or a rake (a dog grooming rake, not a garden rake). Once the dogs' hair is unmated and knots removed then a normal brushing will suffice, as a rule of thumb. Cutting the hair is probably going to mean a trip to the salon, as it is nearly as bad as shearing sheep.
Living conditions. Although the Old English Sheepdog breed has a thick luxurious coat, they can not be kept outdoors in cold climates. They enjoy the normal warm home, and bed, as do we all. Some care should be given though as you do not want to cover them to get too hot, although they should throw off items if too warm.