One of the most good-natured dogs around, Old English Sheepdogs are absolute gems as family companions. They love to goof around with their humans especially little children. These dogs are quick learners who grasp commands fast.
The Old English Sheepdog is a dog which is typically bred for herding sheep (as its name implies). However, due to its obedient, playful and attentive way, it has left its original craft aside to become a great companion dog in many countries. In general, they have a playful attitude and can indulge in hours playing with their humans, especially children. Also, Old English Sheepdogs always exhibit a curious attitude, and take great interest in each and everything they are not doing. He is adept at performing tasks like herding, agility, commands, search and rescue etc. In general, they are not assertive watchdogs and hence, they may or may not bark at the people who are coming to his home.
With extremely long and thick fur, Old English Sheepdog attracts attention wherever it goes. Its coat is characterised by blue or gray tones over a white marking. The most common is that its back and ears are darker than the rest of the body, but variations of the “pirate” type are also well accepted by lovers of the breed. As puppies, they are often darker than adults. Regarding hair, Old English Sheepdogs generally have a shaggy coat which is neither straight or curly. Also, they have a double coat with a textured outer coat with a soft undercoat. As these dogs are heavy shedders, it is essential to brush their coat daily for removing dead hair and to keep the coat free of tangles. Begin the grooming from a young age so that your dogs get accustomed to it and also make sure the sessions are always fun.
The diet of an Old English Sheepdog will primarily include lean meat and whole foods. Like most other dogs, OED's too need a rich protein content to build lean muscle mass and strength. They need highly digestible protein so that they don't need Also, minerals like Calcium and Phosphorus are important for these dogs as they often suffer from joint issues. Essential fatty acids like Omega 3 and Omega 6 are also vital as they boost the skin and coat health of these dogs. Regarding their diet plan, puppies should be fed 3 times daily whereas adults should be fed three times daily. You may reduce the calorie content of Senior Old English Sheepdogs as they will be pursuing a sedentary lifestyle when they become mature. Lastly, the choice between wet and dry food can be a bit tricky as they both have their own benefits. Dry food helps in cleaning their teeth whereas wet foods is easier on the dog's digestive system. You can feed them both foods as per your vet's diet plan.
Old English Sheepdog has a rough and harsh coat that needs regular grooming to keep it neat and clean. The grooming of OED's should start from a young age as the puppies grow 12 inches of hair in their first year itself. It is suggested that you groom these dogs once in every week with a pin brush and small-slicker brush. These two brush are effective in cleaning the dense undercoat of these dogs and also helping to eliminate dirt, rake and debris. When it comes to bathing, you can bathe them once every month as it will help them stay hygienic. You should also consider using some high quality shampoo for keeping them clean and to leave a lasting fragrance in them. Before you bathe your dog, it is important to groom them for keeping their coat tangle and mat free. Also, it is important to dry OEDs thoroughly after bath as a damp coat will mat quickly.
The sheepdog needs a lot of care with the hair, because the occurrence of knots can be frequent and in addition to causing pain and discomfort, it makes it more predisposed to skin problems. Daily brushing is indicated to keep the coat beautiful. Also, one needs to remove the dead hair of this dog, otherwise it may get scattered around the house creating more problems. As previously mentioned, the breed is more sensitive to medications that contain ivermectin, so the pet should not be medicated without the approval of a veterinarian.
Dog Experts are still unclear about the definite bloodline of the Old English Sheepdogs. Though they are believed to be emerged from England in the 1880's where farmers used them a "drove" dogs. These dogs helped the farmers by pulling carts and wagons to the market mainly owing to their incredible strength. Also, the owners of these dogs docked its tails to prove they were indeed working dogs, and they got the nickname "Bobtail" because of it. Today, OES's are one of the best family dogs in the world as they have stopped being a work dog and more as a friendly companion of their owners.