Old English Sheepdog Breeders, Breed Clubs and Rescue
The Old English Sheepdog, also known as the Bobtail, is regarded as a British breed though his ancestry goes back to the European Shepherd Dogs, Owtcharka (Russian Shepherd) and Italian Bergamasco bred to native British sheepdogs. There are obvious similarities to the Polish Lowland Sheepdog, though the Polish is naturally bob-tailed. The Old English Sheepdog is a large dog, 24″ and upwards but square and thick-set together with his profuse and shaggy coat, he seems larger. it is probably some time since he has been used as a working dog, though it is said that he would have been clipped at shearing time by the shepherds along with the flock. He is to be seen in a painting by Gainsborough in 1771.
The Old English Sheepdog coat is quite a challenge; it is essential that he is groomed regularly to stop mats forming. This is a breed where grooming is a significant feature in his life. He can be any colour of grey, grizzle or blue with white on the head, neck, forequarters and underbelly. He is generally a biddable dog who fits well into family life and makes an excellent guard. He has a distinctive ringing bark which has great carrying qualities!
The Old English Sheepdog is a lovely dog, but do not underestimate the time involved in keeping him looking glamorous. The dogs you see in the Dulux commercials have just that second been blow-dried and fluffed-up.
Rescue and Rehoming
In the unfortunate event you need to re-home your dog, or you are looking to give a home to an older dog, contact the Breed Clubs for their assistance. It is always wise to speak to people who are expert in the breed so you can get the best possible help.