Old English Sheepdog: Breed Facts and Temperaments
Old English sheepdogs are a famous breed of dogs with incredible personalities. They come from a background of being helpful dogs to their owners, and have left several footprints of being resourceful when needed. The Old English sheepdog have striking resemblances to sheep, and their coats allow them to have beautiful and distinctive appearances. They are also an amazing breed of intelligent dogs, making them great for homely settings. Are you considering adopting an Old English sheepdog? Then our put-together article on everything you need to know about this breed of dogs is a must-read. From their history to temperaments, and all the necessary grooming pointers has been specially put together just for you.
History of the Old English Sheepdog
The origin of the Old English sheepdog is one that is still up for question and input of necessary theories and learnings. However, there are tales of its origin occurred in the 19th century. They are said to have originated as herding dogs, situated in England that helped several farmers in the movement of their farm animals to the marketplace, such as cattle and sheep. These dogs were referred to as drover dogs, specifically defined as such because they drove the farm animals. These dogs worked like humans, and amazingly, caused their owners to be exempted from paying taxes on them.
As a total guaranteeing factor of the processes of labor that these dogs were undergoing, their tails were docked. This created an avenue for the sheepdog to be referred to as the bobtail. Since the major activity of these dogs were mainly to push or drive the cattle to the market, their docked tail had no effect on their working process.
Interestingly, these dogs later took base in the United States, and in a short space of time, in the century that approached, the Old English Sheepdogs were owned by five out of ten of the wealthiest families in America. Having this dog displayed a great amount of worth, and these breed of dogs were displayed on TV shows back in 1904. Importantly, having such high class of dogs, these families had to hire some staff that helped with the proper care and grooming processes needed to make them retain their beautiful appearances.
Quick Facts About the Old English Sheepdog
- In comparison to other dog breeds, it’s insightful to say that the Old English Sheepdogs are not as ancient as people claim. This breed of dogs originated sometime in the 19th century, and they’ve been able to create a stable appearance ever since. Unlike other breeds that are more ancient in origination, the Old English Sheepdogs are rather new in the line of dog breeds.
- Old English Sheepdogs developed their coating hair structure over a span of many years. This was largely due to the environment these dogs worked in. The coat acts as an insulator, keeping the cold outside, and also insightfully, acting as a waterproof base. Their coat is essentially a form of protection during the diverse weather circumstances, even the hot weather. Another reason its coat was formed in that manner was based on the notions of the sheep it usually worked with. Undeniably, its coat allows it to blend effortlessly with the sheep, serving as an advantageous feature to them over the years.
- The Old English Sheepdog is interestingly one of the most recognizable breeds. Apart from just their appearance, what makes them easily identifiable is the unknowing efforts made by Hollywood, which helped in publicizing this dog’s image. In 1959, Disney admittedly released a movie called ‘The Shaggy Dog’ and the storyline of this movie was centered on a boy who had been turned into a This dog was surprisingly an Old English Sheepdog. There are also other animated movies which have several characters that are Old English Sheepdogs, making this breed a well-accustomed favorite.
- Old English Sheepdogs are undoubtedly a breed of beautiful dogs. Nonetheless, keeping the dog in its beautiful and lush state requires some work. This work majorly entails a lot of time put into its grooming process. An approximate hour every week, perhaps 4 hours, needs to be put into the personal care of an Old English Sheepdog for major advantages.
- Like mentioned earlier, Old English Sheepdogs are also referred to as Bobtails, due to the fact that over the years, their tails were docked to show they were working dogs, making their owners to be exempted from payment of taxes on their ownership.
- When the English sheepdog was first welcomed on American soil, only the wealthy owned this breed of dogs, and was seen on major TV shows, showcasing this splendid breed of dogs to the world.
- Old English Sheepdogs are undisputedly easy-going and loving dogs. They have a calm persona attached to their livelihood, making them identifiably great family pets.
- The sheepdog has a bark that is clearly distinguishable from the rest. This is because of its loud tone, usually declared as a pot-casse ring. Interestingly, an Old English Sheepdog will only bark when something out of the ordinary is happening, calling for its owner’s attention towards the issue.
- Old English Sheepdogs are not necessarily great for use as protection or guard dogs. This is due to Old English sheepdog personality, which is usually calm and laid-back.
- English sheepdogs have splendid personalities which entail playful moments, as well as moments involving a lot of laughter. They have funny sides, yet they are incredibly intelligent as declared by owners. They may also exhibit some rigid and stubborn sides, but with adequate training, they’ll get around quite easily. They have great manners when it comes to homely situations, ensuring that their playfulness is not entirely out of proportion.
Things You Should Know About the Old English Sheepdog
It’s a known fact that regular grooming is an essential factor that prevents certain illnesses. Regular grooming is bound to prevent the occurrence of infections, as well as others, making it a mandatory part for livelihood. Another important factor that prevents illnesses is the type of meals eaten. It is essential to feed proper nutritional food to your dog in order to achieve this. Some of the health issues that can arise in an Old English sheepdog are as follows:
- Eye conditions/diseases
- Hip and elbow dysplasia (hip sockets become abnormally formed, leading to crippling lameness)
- Hypothyroidism (not enough thyroid secretion which causes metabolism to slow down)
- Bloat (a condition that causes the stomach to dilate, twist, and may lead to death)
- Heart disease
Old English sheepdog puppies, when given proper training during their tender ages, get along with others quite effortlessly. If given adequate socialization training, it will be great with little ones and other animals as well. This is one reason why training an Old English sheepdog is essentially important. To a better advantage, this breed of dogs is conveniently responsive to training, and this is majorly because they are one breed of dogs that have the ability to think on their own.
However, due to the fact that they can think well on their own, they tend to develop a mindset towards how they prefer to behave. This is why it is essential to ascertain a consistent level of training with this breed of dogs. Allowing your Old English sheepdog to participate in some performance events like herding or tracking helps incredibly well in the training processes. It allows them to adapt easily and gives them the thrills that their lineage had in ancient times.
Old Sheepdogs require a lot of exercise. Due to their background of threading long miles, it’s inherent that they should have walks every day, in order to keep their excitement and happiness in check. Though this breed of dog is up and about, it may hang around the house for long hours without a fuss. However, going around and engaging in exercise gets their energy going. Playing games of fetch helps to keep them entertained for long periods, and is a great implementation for exercise.
Nutrition is highly important for an Old English sheepdog, because it is incredibly easy to fall short in this area. The coat makes it hard to tell whether the dog is losing weight or not, hence, calls for constant monitoring. This monitoring should be accompanied with a nutritional diet, and not just an increased amount of food. A balanced, nutritious diet will help to avoid obesity, alongside other related conditions, and will keep the dog healthy at all times. Picking the right dog food may seem tedious, but what it entails is majorly looking for the right ingredients. Foods that contain great protein content are the best choice for Old English sheepdogs.
Also, food that contains lean meats is regarded as an excellent choice. This leans meats could either be chicken, turkey, and other related protein contents. It is also important that fatty foods should be at a tremendous reduced rate due to the fact that Old English sheepdogs don’t undergo enough activities to burn them out.
Feeding your pet simply depends on your preference and what your dog would generally like. It could be a major meal, or several small meals in a day. Depending on which suits your dog, then it should be incorporated accordingly. If you’re having a hard time picking between wet and dry dog food, any decision made is advantageous to your dog. This is because dry food promotes healthy eating and cleaner teeth, meanwhile wet dog food is easily digested. Mixing these two is also a recommended option, ensuring your dog gets the best of both foods.
Due to the amount of coat on the Old English sheepdog, it is essential that grooming becomes a priority. The level of grooming and care involved with having a sheepdog may be considered as too stringent, however, the results are always worth it. The beautiful and clean appearance of the Old English sheepdog needs to be retained at all points in time for the general well being of the dog. Commitment to grooming is an essential key and something that all prospective owners of the Old English sheepdog must keep in mind.
Another thing to note is that their hair grows at a fast rate, and due to the length it acquires, it tends to tangle. An adequate grooming routine requires daily brushing of the hair of this dog, in order to keep your dog healthy. This also ascertains that dirt doesn’t get locked up in the hair, as brushing will undoubtedly remove dirt. There are many other advantages of daily brushing as a grooming routine, and one of it is to adequately control the Old English sheepdog shedding. Inherently, daily brushing will help save costs involved in going to a professional. Bathing is another tedious task that accompanies grooming an Old English sheepdog, but with regular practice, owners can get accustomed to the process. The hair around the eyes are also known to get too long and further obstruct their vision. It is important to trim around these areas, or call a professional to do so.
Old English sheepdogs are cool-tempered and have friendly personalities. They are incredibly sociable and are enthusiastic around people. They are also incredibly intelligent as declared by several owners. Old English sheepdogs don’t like being left by themselves, and may demand for attention in many cases. They may also exhibit some rigid and stubborn sides, but with adequate training, they quickly adapt.
They have great manners when it comes to homely situations, and Old English sheepdogs are fun to be around. They also ensure that their playfulness doesn’t overrule their serious sides, as they tend to laze around when they need to, and be helpful in uncommon situations. Old English sheepdog temperaments are easy to accommodate without hassles. Duly incorporating all the essential keys to make them live happily and adequately with everyone, having an Old English sheepdog is sure to be a great experience.