The PERFECT guide for any new Bobtail owner! Learn everything you need to know including:
- Preparing your home for a Sheepdog
- Training during the first few weeks
- Proper Nutrition and Diet for a Sheepdog
- Avoiding the common mistakes most new Old English Sheepdog owners make
- Exercise tips and Socialization ideas
See an Old English Sheepdog in the show ring with its immaculately-groomed, flowing coat and it's hard to imagine the hard knock life for which they were originally bred.
Beneath all that fur and abundant fringe, there lies the heart and soul of a working dog. Big-boned and robust, the Old English Sheepdog is never happier than when at the center of attention or in the middle of the action.
First appearing in the mid 1700's, this comparative newcomer to the canine world was originally bred for the tough life of a drover in Southwest England. Here, they were responsible for driving sheep and cattle to market.
It was at this time that they picked up the nickname Bob-Tails because of their docked tails which identified them as working dogs and allowed their owners to avoid paying pet tax.
Tasked with guarding and moving sheep and cattle across windswept moors and dales, they are doubly blessed with brain and brawn.
Their loyalty and companionship are beyond reproach, but it is the breed's sense of fun that is as strongly imprinted in their DNA as their instinct to herd.
The Old English Sheepdog is often called the clown prince of dogs, which is a great indication of the indelible imprint he leaves on owners and breeders alike.
A large breed, adult Old English Sheepdogs reach around 21-22'' at the shoulder and weigh as much as 80 pounds. Hugely affectionate and attention seeking, they will never be far from their owner's side. So, if personal space is high on your list of priorities, this may not be the ideal breed for you.
As long as an OES is part of the family, it doesn't matter if you live in a penthouse or a farmhouse. What does matter, though, is exercise and lots of it. Be aware, this love of human company also means that your new best friend will not make a good yard dog.
Everything about this breed is larger than life, from their abundant shaggy coat to their outgoing quirky character. They also live to around 12-years of age, so making this affable breed of dog a member of the family is a long-term commitment.
For all these reasons, knowledge of this large breed is essential before committing to welcoming one into your family.
Are you intending to go down the puppy route, or maybe offering a loving home to a rescue dog? Then the chapters of this guide will provide you with all the information you need to get the best from your big bouncy bob tail.
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About the Author
After enjoying a successful career in the UK in magazine publishing and receiving a Master’s Degree in Interactive Journalism, author Malcolm Lee re-located with his family to the Greek Islands.
Mal’s love of dogs began at an early age and has continued on for well over 40 years. His first experiences of the ‘clown prince of dogs’ began when his brother opened his home to Charlie an Old English Sheepdog puppy. From there, his passion for this wonderful breed led him to share his knowledge and experiences of life with a bouncing Bobtail.