Understanding the Old English Sheepdog
At Feathers And Fleece we have been breeding the finest Old English Sheepdogs since 1993. With the popularity of our stunning Sheepadoodle puppies at Feathers And Fleece we have stepped up our game by health testing every dog in our program. This is the best way to ensure our puppies are the finest we can possibly offer to both our clients and to our hybrid program. Feathers And Fleece offers the absolute most beautiful, well bred Old English Sheepdogs and Sheepdoodles in the country. The coats of our Old English Sheepdogs are soft to the touch and low shedding. The temperament of our Sheepadoodle puppies are calm and less alpha than the Old English Sheepdog making a better family member for our clients. At Feathers And Fleece we believe the key to a happy client is to provide them with not only a healthy puppy but a highly social puppy that blends into the family, not a puppy a client would resent due to unsocial like behaviors, poor health and a stubborn untrainable puppy demeanor.
Why the Old English Sheepdog Hybrid is the best choice for your family.
Lets start by learning more about the Old English Sheepdog
The Old English Sheepdog, also known as OES, is a large breed developed in England. The OES is able to grow a very long coat with fur covering the face and eyes. Other names for it are Shepherd’s Dog and Bob-tailed sheepdog. It is still known as Bob-tail because historically, the tail was always traditionally docked. The OES can easily be recognized by its long, thick, shaggy grey and white coat. Their ears lie flat to the head. They stand lower at the shoulder than at the loin and walk with a “bear-like roll from the rear.” Height at the withers is typically at least 24 inches, with females slightly smaller than males. The body is short and compact, and ideal weights are not specified, but may be as much as 101 pounds for large males. Color of the double coat may be any shade of gray, grizzle, black, blue, or blue merle. The undercoat is water resistant. Puppies are born with a black and white coat. After the puppy has shed and grown, the black fades to gray. OES’s only shed when they are brushed.
For fun, we found a list of famous Old English Sheepdogs:
Barney in Barney (TV series)
Barkley in Sesame Street
The Colonel in One Hundred and One Dalmatians
Edison in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Farley in For Better or For Worse
Hot Dog in Archie Comics
Max in The Little Mermaid
Mooch in Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure
Nana in Hook (film)
Niblet and Rebound in Pound Puppies
Sam in Cats & Dogs
Schaeffer in The Raccoons
Tiger in The Patty Duke Show
Wordsworth in Jamie and the Magic Torch
The Old English Sheepdog coat requires weekly brushing, which could take 1-3 hours. Without regular care, the coat can gather dust, fecal matter, urine, and moisture. Matting may be painful for the dog, especially between the toes, which can restrict movement in severe cases. The preferred method of grooming involves starting from the base of the hairs to keep the thick undercoat hair mat- and tangle-free. A hairband or clip may be used to keep a dog’s fur out of its eyes. Many OES owners trim their coat to a more manageable length.
US and UK surveys put the average lifespan of the Old English Sheepdog at 10-11 years. All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, as do people. This is why you should run, not walk, away from breeders who do not offer you a health guarantee. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur in their lines. Some health concerns can include hip dysplaysia, eye conditions such as progressive retinal atrophy, a common hormonal disease in dogs in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone, deafness, and heart diseases such as atrial septal defect. Cancer is also seen in this breed. In terms of hip dysplaysia, all of our Old English Sheepdog parents are OFA certified. This means that none of our parents have any sign of hip dysplaysia. When you receive your puppy, you will also get a copy of our OFA certifications. With this being said, there is little to no chance that your OES pup will have hip displaysia. In terms of everything else, our parents are free of any health concerns. At Feathers and Fleece Farm, we guarantee a healthy puppy. If we have any stent of a concern, we will delay your arrival in order to see our veterinarian before departure. Dr. Bradford (our veterinarian) will have typed out and signed a contract that says your pup is free of any diseases. Heatstroke is a serious concern in full coated dogs so it is vital that you only allow your dog to be in extreme heat for a limited time. One last thing to note is that once you have taken in a new OES puppy, you now have the power to protect him from one of the most common health problems: obesity. Keeping an Old English Sheepdog at an appropriate weight is one of the easiest ways to extent his life.
The breed standards describes the Old English Sheepdog as never being nervous or aggressive. The New Zealand Kennel Club adds that “they are sometimes couch potatoes” and “may even try to herd children by gently bumping them.” Some common qualities of OES’s include intelligence, social and adaptable. The American Kennel Club adds that the breed has “a clownish energy.” With wide open spaces being the ideal setting for this breed, it is a natural fit for a rural setting, such as a farm. However, with proper exercise and training, they are capable of living in a suburban or urban setting as well. Their inherent herding instincts, sense of duty, and sense of property boundaries may be nurtured and encouraged accordingly. Old English Sheepdogs should NOT be deprived of the company and warmth of people.