Old English Sheepdog

Herding Group

Old English Sheepdog lying down in front of white background

Height at Shoulders

Females 21+ in, Males 22+ in

Weight

60-100 lbs

Life Expectancy

10-12 yrs

History

The Old English Sheepdog originated in western England during the late 1700's, although their exact history is a bit unclear. They were not actually used as sheepdogs, but drover dogs that would lead cattle to and from market. Some farmers would even shear their dogs once per year to make yarn from their fur. It is widely accepted that the Bearded Collie is in the Old English Sheepdog's ancestral lineage, and less widely accepted that the Russian Owtchar is also present.

Breed Characteristics

While not all Old English Sheepdogs will display the exact characteristics typical of the breed, most share a personality and temperament can be generalized by the characteristic rankings below. 

Intelligence

Affection Towards Family

Friendliness Towards Strangers

Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

Exercise Needs

★★★★☆

★★★★★

★★★★☆

★★★★☆

★★★★☆

Energy Level

Sensitivity

Noise Level

Prey Drive

Shedding

★☆

★☆

★☆☆☆☆

★☆

★☆☆☆☆

Intelligence

★★★★


Affection Towards Family

★★★★★


Friendliness Towards Strangers

★★★★


Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

★★★★☆


Exercise Needs

★★★★☆


Energy Level

★☆


Sensitivity

★★★★☆


Noise Level

★☆☆☆


Prey Drive

★☆


Shedding

★☆☆☆

Common Traits

Comical, fun-loving, easy-going, and adaptable

Protective of their family and house, making them great guard dogs

Mature slowly, taking about 3 years to grow out of "puppyhood"

Highly intelligent, easy to train, and require lots of mental exercise

Very people-oriented and can become destructive if left alone for long periods of time