Old English Sheepdog Resource

Old English Sheepdog

Nicknamed the bobtail, the Old English is a playful, agile dog that’s extremely fond of children. Of British origin, the bobtail has been known in its homeland for about 200 years. The breed is thought to descend from a variety of European herding breeds and was developed by sheep farmers in the English west country to herd and drive sheep to market. Some people say the highly trainable Old English also makes a soft-mouthed retriever. Squarely built and robust, the Old English is covered head to bobtail with a harsh, shaggy coat in gray, grizzle, blue or blue merle, with or without white markings. The coat needs frequent brushing to keep it tangle-free. Pet coats may be scissored for convenience and comfort during the summer months. Dogs measure 22 inches and up at the shoulder, females slightly less. A dependable family protector, the OES is best suited to suburban or country living and plenty of outdoor exercise.

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Breed Details

Country of Origin:
Large Dog Breed
Gray, grizzle (a mixture of black and white hairs), blue or blue merle with or without white markings or in reverse; eyes, brown or blue

Profuse but not excessive, hard texture, shaggy but free from curl


Brush three to four hours weekly.

Life Expectancy:
10 to 12 years
AKC Group:
Herding Group
Males, 22 inches and up; females, 21 inches and up.
Males, 70 to 100 pounds; females, 60 to 80 pounds
Use Today
Herding trials, companion