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Old English Sheepdog


General Description:

An Old English Sheepdog is a strong, compact, square, balanced dog. Taking him all around, he is profusely, but not excessively coated, thickset, muscular and able-bodied. These qualities, combined with his agility, fit him for the demanding tasks required of a shepherd's or drover's dog. Therefore, soundness is of the greatest importance. His bark is loud and sounds like a cracked bell.



Females: Preferred height at the withers is 21-22 inches and up, and roughly 65-75 pounds. Males: Preferred height at the withers is 22-24 inches and up, and roughly 75-90 pounds.



Any shade of gray, grizzle, blue or blue merle with or without white markings (splash) or in reverse. Any shade of brown or fawn to be considered distinctly objectionable and not to be encouraged. Dark brown eyes or blue eyes are the standard. No other colors are acceptable.


Energy Level:

Old English Sheepdogs need to be exercised daily.


Life expectancy:

11 to 12 years.



Old English Sheepdogs are adaptable, intelligent dog of even disposition, with no sign of aggression, shyness or nervousness. They love children. However, they are herding dogs and very easily get under foot or could knock down small children.


Other animals:

Most sheepdogs get along with other animals that can adapt to the herding instincts of an Old English Sheepdog.



Old English Sheepdogs are known to compete in conformation, herding, agility, obedience, flyball, and rally. They have also been trained and used as service dogs and therapy dogs.



Although Old English Sheepdogs don’t “shed”, their coat, even at shorter lengths require daily or every other day brushing. Their size and coat length make this time consuming. The coarse, long-haired coat needs to be brushed right through to the dense, waterproof undercoat or the hair will become matted and the dog may develop skin problems and be plagued by parasites.



Old English Sheepdogs are generally healthy but sometimes prone to hip dysplasia, cataracts, IMHA, and chronic ear infections if ears are not cleaned regularly and can have skin conditions if not groomed properly/regularly.


Best with:

Active families that have time to run/play with the dog every day. Old English Sheepdogs are people oriented dogs and will follow and “herd” their flock (family).


Not for:

Anyone that doesn’t have the time, energy or ability to properly groom and exercise their dog.



Old English Sheepdogs are gentle, loving teddy bears. They are comical and clown like. They are friendly, intelligent, faithful and protective. They are even tempered and adaptable.



Their coat requires extensive grooming. They can be strong-willed and require firm training.


Further Information:

Old English Sheepdog Club of Greater Seattle
Old English Sheepdog Rescue of Washington State
Breed Details

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