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Old English Sheepdog

Personality:Adaptable, smart, gentle; OES are famous for their sweet, agreeable nature

Coat & Grooming:The profuse, shaggy coat requires diligent grooming

Energy Level:Somewhat Active; A mellow housedog, but the OES is a big, agile dog who likes exploring, long walks, and a good gallop

Originally: England

Nicknames: OES; Bobtail

Size: Large

Meet the Old English Sheepdog

​Say “shaggy dog” and this is the breed most people think of first. Beneath the profuse double coat is a square, muscular, big-boned dog standing 21 or 22 inches at the shoulder. Their eyes (when you can see them) are dark brown, or blue, or sometimes one of each; the nose is big and black. The OES breed standard tells us the skull is “capacious and rather squarely formed, giving plenty of room for brain power.”

What's Their Story?

​An authority notes that Old English Sheepdogs, creatures of the late 1700s, aren’t particularly old by canine standards. And they aren’t fully English; OES component breeds include dogs of European and Russian ancestry. And they aren’t even sheepdogs: They were bred as cattle drovers who helped move stock from pasture to market. A more accurate breed name might be the Relatively New Somewhat English Cow-Moving Dog. But who’d want a pet with an awful name like that?

What are they Like?

​These lovable souls move with a bear-like shuffle, but don’t be deceived. OES are famed for their nimbleness and regular exercise is a must. Equally famous are their fine housedog qualities: watchfulness, courage, kindliness, and all that “brain power.” Great with kids, OES are patient, protective playmates who might enjoy herding their “flock” around the yard. As with any large, full-coated dogs, time must be made for consistent grooming. OES are level-headed watchdogs known for their loud, ringing bark.

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