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Old English Sheepdog Appearance
Its highly adorable appearance is what attracts people to keep it as a pet. These dogs are immediately recognizable due to their large size and fur covering. They have thick, long shaggy grey or white coat and fur that entirely covers them. The ears are flat toward the head. The dogs have a low-set, long fur tail hanging down.
The Sheepdog stands low toward the shoulders as compared to the loin and has a bear-like gait. The height of a male Sheepdog is around 24 inches, whereas the female is a tad smaller than that.
The coat color varies from shades of black, grey, blue, blue merle, and grizzle and may even have white markings. It also has a water-resistant undercoat. Puppies usually have a black and white coat, which essentially sheds and changes into a silver or grey coat. They only shed their coats when they are brushed.
Old English Sheepdog Grooming
The coat of the Old English Sheepdog is extremely high maintenance. It requires a minimum of 3 to 4 hours per week to maintain and keep the fur tangle-free. Since this breed of dog sheds heavily, it requires constant brushing so as to get rid of dead hair and keep the fur free of tangles.
Sheepdogs tend to drool heavily, which leads to discoloration of hair around the mouth. Washing their face several times can keep discoloration to a minimum.
The rear also requires cleaning on a daily basis. Applying cornstarch on the beard and rear can help maintain the sensitive parts. It would be a good idea to trim the fur short during summers to prevent overheating.
Regular inspection of ears is a must to prevent wax buildup, infection or irritation. Do not use a cotton swab to clean the dog’s ear. Instead, use a veterinarian-approved cleanser to clean and ward off infections.
Old English Sheepdog Temperament
This breed has been described as not being aggressive or nervous. Sometimes, the Old English Sheepdog is referred to as a couch potato. It is highly intelligent, quick to adapt and socialize.
The American Kennel Club has described it having clownish energy and the tendency to herd objects or people. Hence, the Old English Sheepdog breed fits perfectly in a rural setting and can work in a farm.
Given proper training and exercise, this breed can also adapt perfectly to a suburban or urban setting. The Old English Sheepdog immensely enjoys company and, therefore, is the ideal breed to be kept as a pet.
Old English Sheepdog Training
Building a loving bond before you train your Sheepdog is essential. The learning phase of a Sheepdog can constitute of many stages.
The first is the teaching phase. Here, physical demonstration starts. You must tell your dog exactly what you expect it to do. Whether you are training it to use the bathroom or some playful tricks, be sure to be concise about what you want.
Dogs do not understand words; they only understand what is exhibited through action. For instance, a simple teaching technique would be going out the door first and coming in to be assertive and show leadership.
The Old English Sheepdog can easily compete in showmanship, tracking, and agility trial events designed for dogs.
Its quick and intelligent mind makes it easy to train it. As is the case with all animals, it should be given love and respect so as to create a lasting bond.
Old English Sheepdog History
The Old English Sheepdog, like Bulldogs, are among the most iconic dogs of the British era. The breed, often known as Bobtail, was developed in Devon and Somerset counties in the west of England. It was called Bobtail because the tail was docked traditionally.
These dogs by blood are not completely English. Their ancestry includes Russian, European and Scotch lineage.
Technically speaking, they are not Sheepdogs. The English Sheepdogs were initially used as drovers who would move cattle over country roads, staring from pastures to the markets in town. Sometimes, shepherds used to shear their coat in order to use it as yarn for making clothes.
With their powerful gait and beautiful, full coat, Sheepdogs were a constant present in the early sport. The stockmen in England have been showcasing their Old English Sheepdog since 1865.
Olde English Sheepdog, Shepherd’s Dog, bob-tailed sheep-dog