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Old English Sheepdog


Old English Sheepdog Facts

  • Group
  • Herding
  • Affiliations
  • Height
  • 21" - 22"
  • Weight
  • 80-100 lbs.
  • Lifespan
  • 10 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • Moderate - This breed enjoys typical daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • Average Training Time
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Difficult
  • Colors
    • White
    • Silver / Grey
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Can be trained as a watch dog or guard dog
    • Good with children

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names



The Old English sheepdog originated in Great Britain.

Date Of Origin

This breed developed in the 1800's.


The Old English sheepdog was developed in the late nineteenth century as a herder and drover, as well as a livestock guardian. It is believed to have descended from the bearded collie and Russian ovcharks. The tail was originally docked to exempt the tax levied on dogs kept as companions rather than workers.


This is a large, strong, compact dog with square proportions. It is taller at the loins than at the withers. It has a square shaped head with a muzzle and skull that are equal in length. The eyes are brown or blue, or one of each, and the medium size ears are drop. It has a black nose. The tail is a natural bob or docked. The long, hard, profuse coat is gray and white with facial hairs that cover the eyes.


The Old English sheepdog is a spirited, active dog that is friendly with almost everyone. It is highly intelligent, adapts easily, and is good with children and other animals. This breed makes an excellent house dog but does shed heavily.


This breed is an outstanding herd dog. It is also used as a guard dog, sled dog, retriever and companion dog. It is particularly good with children.

Health Concerns

Ataxia, auto immune disorder, epilepsy, eye problems, hip dysplasia, OCD.

Additional Information

This breed does well with an active family in a rural or suburban home.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle

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