One only has to watch an Old English sheep dog at play to feel a smile tugging at the corners of their mouth. Watching these large shaggy doubled coated dogs at play is a sight to behold. Their square shaped body and lolling tongue make an amusing picture, but there is much more to these happy go lucky dogs than their happy go lucky personality.
Old English Sheep Dogs stand close to two feet tall and weigh 60 to 65 pounds. Though a fairly large dog they have small feet that look almost dainty compare to their bulky kind of square body. Their shaggy double coat has a bit of a wave to it and they come in a variety of gray and blue colors.
Although these dogs were originally bred as a herding dog, their personality makes them ideal family dogs. They are extremely loving and friendly and are particularly good with children, tending to be very protective of the smallest members of the family. They are loyal to a fault and while they will alert you to strangers with a deep low pitched bark, they are much more likely to greet a stranger by lapping their face on drooling on their shirt than by attacking them.
However, they are not the neatest dogs in the world and will happily roll around in the mud, streak up your floors and play in their water dish. They will also tend to herd family members by nudging and bumping them unless a firm hand is taken with them right from the start.
They are also a dog that needs extensive grooming. They need to be brushed all the way down through their under coat at least three times a week and they need a regular trim around the eyes and rear end on a regular basis.
While Old English Sheep dogs have been known to live happily in apartments with only a daily walk and can entertain themselves inside as well as out, they much prefer to live in a place with at least a medium size yard where they can run and jump about at will. Left alone inside for long periods on a regular basis they can become destructive so it is best to either have someone at home to give them attention or hire a dog sitter to keep them entertained.
This is a dog that can benefit greatly from obedience training and you may want to include some alpha dog training as well, as this dog is strong minded and may try to over-power any owner who does not maintain a firm hand. They are not a good dog for first time dog owners or for those who do not want to exercise control over their pet.
While an Old English sheep dog is not a dog for every family, they may well be the perfect dog for the family who doesn’t mind a bit of a mess and enjoys the happy go lucky, playful personality of these comic dogs who enjoy bonding with the people they love.
Originally posted 2016-10-23 09:26:00.