The Old English Sheepdog is a large dog that originated in England. It is immediately recognizable because it is profusely covered in grey and white shaggy coat all over its body. The eyes and face are also covered in fur. It has a general appearance of a strong, square-looking dog. It exhibits a gently rising topline, with a head that is proportional to the size of the pear-shaped body (when viewed from the back). The skull has a well-defined stop, strong, square muzzle with a large, black nose with wide nostrils. It has dark or wall eyes set well apart. The ears are small and carried flat side to head covered with fur all over. The head is supported by a fairly long and strong neck. The short but compact body has well sprung ribs supported by perfectly straight front legs while the hindquarters are well-boned and muscular with well-turned stifle but not exaggerated. The back legs are more heavily coated than the rest of the body. All four legs are supported by thick and hard pads that cushion the whole body. The feathered tail is either customarily docked or a natural bobtail that normally hangs down. The breed stands lower at the shoulder than at the loin and exhibits a bear-like roll from the rear when walking. Coat colour comes in all shades of grey, grizzle or blue. Dogs typically stand at a minimum height of 61 cm while bitches stand at 56 cm upwards.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
There are no written records as to the origins of the Old English Sheepdog but the known earliest types of its ancestors are the very old pastoral type dogs of the early 19th century from the south western counties of England. Some suggest that this breed has a large gene pool of the Scottish Bearded Collie and the Russian Owtchar brought to Scotland by Baltic sailing ships. Others maintain that the Briard and the Bergamasco are the progenitors of this breed. The oldest portrayal of this breed on painting was done by Gainsborough in 1771 depicting the Duke of Buccleugh with a “bobtail collie.” The breed was first shown in England in 1873. In the old days, shepherds would dock the tail of the Old English Sheepdog because it was primarily used to drive sheep and cattle to market and not for herding. It was this customary docked tail which led to its nickname “bobtail”.
The Old English Sheepdog is a bright and social animal with a jolly attitude and a very flexible temperament, able to adjust to different surroundings. It is loyal and protective which makes it an excellent addition to the family. It also has a very high herding instinct which makes it a reliable guard dog.
The Old English Sheepdog is one remarkable breed. It is highly intelligent and obedient and can compete in dog agility trials, obedience, Rally, showmanship, flyball, tracking and herding trials. It needs a firm, calm and gentle owner that it can look up to for training. Like any other sheepdogs of its size, this breed is an excellent worker and is able to follow commands without hesitation provided that the owner knows how to properly train the dog
The harsh texture coat of the Old English Sheepdog is shaggy but free from curl with a waterproof undercoat. This breed requires a great deal of grooming requirements because it is covered in fur all over the body. Many Old English Sheepdog owners often end up clipping the fur because of this. However, clipping is not necessary. Daily brushing or combing with a small size, medium-teeth comb is sufficient to strip the undercoat and maintain not only a full or partial length fur but also a healthy skin underneath. It is best to do this while the dog is laying down on the floor or on a grooming table.
The Old English Sheepdog typically lives between 10 and 11 years. Among the health issues associated with this breed include:
This is a large breed that requires ample amount of exercise on a daily basis. An ideal setting for the Old English Sheepdog is a wide open space where it can run and play until it is tired. A house on a farm is the typical home for this breed, although it can be a great companion in an urban or suburban setting if it is exercised and trained properly.
The Old English Sheepdog is an intelligent and social breed which makes it highly suitable to a family with children, although it may sometimes gently bump children in an attempt to herd them. It can be as docile as a couch potato or it can be clownish at times. Because this is a large breed, adult supervision is required when the dog is playing around small children as it can easily bump a small kid during “innocent” play.
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