Olde English Sheepdogs and Grooming Advice


 Olde English Sheepdogs

Old English Sheepdogs are a large, shaggy breed of dog, originating from England. Here are some key characteristics and information about this endearing breed.

The Olde English Sheepdog (


  1. Nicknamed “The Bobtail”: Old English Sheepdogs are often referred to as “Bobtails” due to their distinctive bobbed tail. In some countries, they are officially called the “Bobtail.”
  2. Herding Heritage: Originally bred for herding livestock, these dogs are known for their herding instincts. They have a strong drive to chase and control, even if they aren’t working on a farm.
  3. Shaggy Appearance: Their shaggy, dense coat is not just for looks; it also served to protect them from harsh weather conditions when herding sheep in the English countryside.
  4. Soft and Fluffy Puppies: While adult Old English Sheepdogs have a thick, coarse coat, their puppies are born with a soft and fluffy fur that gradually changes as they grow.
  5. Playful and Energetic: These dogs are known for their playful and energetic personalities. They maintain their puppy-like behavior well into adulthood, which makes them great family pets.
  6. Good with Children: Old English Sheepdogs are typically gentle and patient with children, making them excellent family dogs.
  7. Intelligent: They are a highly intelligent breed and can be trained for various tasks. However, they can also be a bit stubborn at times, so consistent and positive reinforcement training is essential.
  8. Big, but Not Too Big: While they are considered a large breed, Old English Sheepdogs are not as massive as some other large breeds, making them a bit more manageable for some households.
  9. Slobber Alert: Be prepared for some slobber! Old English Sheepdogs are known to drool, especially after eating or drinking.
  10. Movie Stars: Old English Sheepdogs have appeared in various movies and TV shows. They are known for their roles in popular films like “The Shaggy Dog” and “The Little Mermaid.”
  11. High Maintenance Grooming: Their beautiful coat requires regular grooming and maintenance to prevent mats and tangles, which can be quite time-consuming.
  12. Loving Companions: Despite their somewhat imposing appearance, Old English Sheepdogs are affectionate and loyal dogs that form strong bonds with their human families.

The Olde English Sheepdog (

Appearance: The breed is a strong, square-built dog with a distinctive shaggy coat. They have a dense double coat that consists of a soft, waterproof undercoat and a harsher outer coat. The coat covers their entire body, including their eyes, which gives them a unique and characteristic look. Their coat can be various shades of grey, blue, or a mixture of grey and fawn.

Size: Olde English Sheepdogs are large dogs. On average, males stand about 22 inches (56 cm) tall at the shoulder and weigh around 80 pounds (36 kg), while females are slightly smaller, standing at around 21 inches (53 cm) tall and weighing about 70 pounds (32 kg).

Temperament: Olde English Sheepdogs are known for their friendly, affectionate, and sociable nature. They are generally good-natured and enjoy being around people, including children. These are intelligent dogs but can be a bit independent, so consistent training and socialization from an early age are essential. They are generally not aggressive but can be protective of their family.

Exercise  As a high-energy breed, Olde English Sheepdogs require regular exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. Daily walks, play sessions, and access to a securely fenced yard are recommended.

Health: Like all dog breeds, Olde English Sheepdogs are prone to certain health issues. Some of the common concerns include hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cataracts, hypothyroidism, and deafness. It’s important to work with a reputable breeder who conducts health screenings on their breeding dogs to minimize the risk of genetic conditions.

Olde English Sheepdog Lifespan: The average lifespan of an Olde English Sheepdog is around 10 to 12 years. However, with proper care, nutrition, and regular veterinary check-ups, some individuals may live longer.

The Olde English Sheepdog

Grooming Advice For Olde English Sheepdogs

These large breed dogs, with exceptionally long and thick fur need regular grooming to stop matts forming. A professional groomer will help you decide how long or short the fur should be, and regular visits are advised. However, in between appointments, the owner will need to keep this amazing coat in tip top condition.

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How To Bath An Olde English Sheepdog

Before You Start:

  1. Gather Supplies: Prepare everything you’ll need, such as dog-specific shampoo, towels, a brush, a leash, a non-slip mat (if you’re bathing your dog indoors), and a treat or two for positive reinforcement.
  2. Choose the Location: Depending on the size of your dog, you can bathe them in a bathtub, a large utility sink, or even outdoors with a hose if the weather permits.
  3. Brush Your Dog: Before the bath, brush your dog’s coat to remove any tangles, mats, and loose hair. This makes the bathing process more effective.

Prep the Area: Place a non-slip mat or towels in the bathtub or on the ground to provide stability for your dog.


Control the Water Temperature: Make sure the water is lukewarm, not too hot or too cold, as dogs are sensitive to temperature changes.

Leash Your Dog: Attach a leash to your dog’s collar or harness to maintain control throughout the bath.

Wet Your Dog: Use a handheld showerhead or a container to wet your dog’s coat thoroughly. Start from the neck and work your way down, avoiding the eyes, ears, and nose.

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Apply Shampoo: Apply a dog-specific shampoo evenly over your dog’s coat. Be careful not to get shampoo in their eyes or ears. Use your fingers to massage the shampoo into their fur, paying attention to areas that are particularly dirty or smelly.

Rinse Thoroughly: Rinse your dog’s coat thoroughly, ensuring all the shampoo is washed out. Leftover shampoo can cause skin irritation.

Dry Your Dog: Use towels to pat your dog dry, removing excess water. For large dogs, consider using a high-velocity pet dryer or a hairdryer on a low-heat setting. Make sure not to use a high heat setting, as it can harm your dog’s skin.

Brush Again: After your dog is mostly dry, give them a gentle brush to prevent tangles and mats.

After the Bath:  Reward Your Dog: Praise your dog and give them a treat for good behavior during the bath. This positive reinforcement can help them associate bath time with a positive experience.

Olde English Sheepdog Puppies

Are you thinking of adding an OES puppy to your family?

Here is some helpful information about research you need to do to make sure your new puppy is happy and healthy.

  1. Research Breeders: Start by researching breeders in your area or those with a good reputation. Look for breeders who are members of breed clubs and organizations, as they often adhere to ethical breeding practices.
  2. Visit the Breeder: Arrange a visit to the breeder’s facility. This allows you to meet the puppies and their parents, assess the living conditions, and ask questions about the breeder’s practices.
  3. Health Screening: Ensure that the breeder conducts health screenings on both the parent dogs to reduce the risk of genetic health issues in the puppies.
  4. Ask for References: Request references from previous puppy buyers to get insights into their experiences with the breeder.
  5. Ask About Socialization: Inquire about the breeder’s socialization practices for the puppies. Well-socialized puppies are more likely to grow up as well-adjusted pets.
  6. Contracts and Guarantees: Be sure to review any purchase contracts and guarantees provided by the breeder.
  7. Meet the Parents: Meeting the parent dogs can give you an idea of the temperament and physical characteristics of the puppies.
  8. Ask About Vaccinations and Health Care: Inquire about the puppies’ vaccination schedules, deworming, and overall health care.
  9. Prepare Your Home: Make sure your home is ready for a puppy by puppy-proofing it, getting essential supplies, and creating a safe space.

Famous Olde English Sheepdogs

The Dulux Dog (Digby): Mascot of Dulux paint.

Sophie (Einstein): Star of “The Family Man” (2000).

Max (Shaggy Dog): Lead in Disney’s “The Shaggy Dog” (2006).

Albert (voiced by John Cleese): Voice of reason in “Barnyard” (2006).


Additional Reading

Dog Bathing Solutions


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