Meet the Breed: The Old English Sheepdog
The Old English Sheepdog is a large, squarely built athletic dog, though the actual shape and athletic build is somewhat hard to detect under all of that shaggy fur. The coat may be gray, silver, blue-gray, grizzled, with white. The eyes are brown, blue or may have one of each color. The teeth come together in a scissors bite. They are either born tailless (hence the bobtail name) or may be docked, though the practice is now illegal in many European countries.
The Old English Sheepdog was bred to herd sheep and drive cattle. Their coats were sheared in the spring along with the sheep to make clothing. These dogs were quite popular among the Western counties of England. They were given docked tails as a way to designate them as working dogs, which would also make them tax exempt.
The Old English Sheepdog is a happy hard worker. They are clever and often think independently as a way to manage livestock well. They are loyal, protective, and energetic. As a large, independent thinker, it is wise for the trainer to be firm, clear, concise, yet kind to get the best results.
Breed Club Links: Old English Sheepdog Club of America
BaxterBoo.com Perfect Pairings: Zanies Barnyard Grunter for Large Dogs, Sheep.
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Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.