Animals

Old English Sheepdog Facts

Old English sheepdog facts for kids are educational!
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The Old English sheepdog is a large dog breed that is athletic in nature and has a shaggy coat that requires a lot of grooming! The OES, originating in the English counties, were working dogs and helped farmers in driving sheep and livestock to markets. They can grow a large coat that covers their face and eyes and unless they are brushed, they will not shed!

They are good-natured dogs that are great family pets as they have a friendly nature and can adapt to any living habitat! They enjoy the comfort of home and are an absolute joy to have around as they are playful and will get a good amount of exercise out of you! They are good with other pets, making them a great addition to your family if you have other pets!

If you like these facts about Old English sheepdog, then you'll surely like these facts about the English cocker spaniel and the Presa Canario too!

Old English Sheepdog

Fact File

What do they prey on?

N/A

What do they eat?

Dog food

Average litter size?

5-8

How much do they weigh?

60-100 lb (27.2-45.3 kg)

How long are they?

N/A

How tall are they?

21-22 in (53.3-55.8 cm)

What do they look like?

Blue, white, gray, brown, fawn

Skin Type

Fur

What are their main threats?

Diseases, starvation

What is their conservation status?

Not Listed

Where you'll find them

Breeders, animal shelters, households

Locations

All over the world

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Mammal

Scientific Name

Canis lupus familiaris

Family

Canidae

Genus

Canis

Old English Sheepdog Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Old English Sheepdog?

The Old English sheepdog is one of the oldest working breeds of dogs that can be found in England. They are large and athletic in nature with a thick, shaggy coat. The OES, as they are more commonly known, were working dogs that acted as drovers. Drovers were used by farmers in order to drive sheep and other livestock to the market. They are agile in nature and possess good intelligence and stamina.

These good-natured dogs now have adapted to the comfort of domestic life, and with proper training and care, can compete in obedience, agility, and herding trials, or as a show dog.

What class of animal does an Old English Sheepdog belong to?

The Old English sheepdog much like the other species of dogs belongs to the Mammalia class of animals.

How many Old English Sheepdogs are there in the world?

As per the American Kennel Club, the Old English sheepdog is on the Watch List and is monitored closely as these herding dogs are becoming lower in number and their population is dropping due to a steady decline. In 2018, the lowest number of Old English sheepdogs was registered by the Kennel Club with only 384 puppies being registered. It is believed the number of Old English sheepdogs has gone down by 67% over the last 20 years.  

Where does an Old English Sheepdog live?

The Old English sheepdog, a shaggy dog breed, was bred as a herding animal that served the purpose of herding sheep and other livestock by helping farmers drive them to the animal market. They were mostly found in the United Kingdom before being introduced to other parts of the world. As of now, they can be found all over the world in households, animal shelters, and with breeders. They are people-friendly and like to be among family members and have a moderate to high energy level.

What is an Old English Sheepdog's habitat?

The Old English sheepdog breeds can be an outdoor as well as an indoor species of dog. They can be well suited to life in apartments and good for novice owners and their friendly behavior makes them affectionate towards family, especially kids, under supervision of course! They can live outside, however, the temperature should be cold and must not get too hot otherwise they will be uncomfortable.

Who do Old English Sheepdogs live with?

Old English sheepdogs show well-known adaptability and are suited to a variety of domestic situations as they are friendly to other breeds of dogs as well as other smaller pets like cats and hedgehogs. These shaggy dogs are great with family members and are kid-friendly and will thrive with owners who like grooming and training their dogs.

As pets, they are often better being the sole pet in a household, but given time and proper introduction can thrive in a household with more other pets like cats or dogs.

How long does a Old English Sheepdog live?

An Old English sheepdog lifespan expectancy is 10-12 years if they are tended to properly with a good exercise plan and diet.

How do they reproduce?

The age of sexual maturity for these dogs can be anywhere from six to 12 months of age, the exception being larger dog breeds where the sexual maturity can be delayed up to two years. Female Old English sheepdogs have a gestation period like all the other dog breeds which is approximately 63 days after mating. Pregnancy in Old English sheepdogs is possible when they reach their first estrus cycle, but a breeder will take no chance and make sure the breedings happen during the second cycle as it is only during the estrus cycle that copulation will result in pregnancy.

What is their conservation status?

Although the Old English sheepdogs are one of the most famous dogs in England, their numbers are decreasing day by day as fewer than usual puppies are being registered at kennel clubs. These dogs have gone from being working dogs to just house pets and that has decreased their functionality to farmers or other people who deal with livestock. They are, however, being kept from becoming extinct by breeders who sell them to people looking for pets. So as of now, Old English sheepdogs are Endangered, but not extinct.

Old English Sheepdog Fun Facts

What do Old English Sheepdogs look like?

Old English sheepdog facts are informative!

Old English sheepdogs are a large dog breed and have a square body shape. They have ears that hang down and their tail is as close to the body as possible. Their eyes are dark hidden by their heavy bangs. Their shaggy coat is almost a double coat as it is thick and dense in nature.

Old English sheepdogs are limited in color as they can be found only in a shade of blue, gray, and white.

How cute are they?

Old English sheepdogs are some of the cutest dogs that can be found! They have a vibrant and happy-go-lucky personality that makes them a fan favorite among dog lovers! Old English sheepdogs are intelligent, friendly, and gentle.

The cross between Old English sheepdogs and a miniature poodle result in a miniature Old English sheepdog which in turn is ever cuter!

How do they communicate?

Old English sheepdogs communicate through visual and vocal communication. Visual communication includes licking, sniffing, the positioning of their tail and ears, gazing at each other, and through facial expressions. Auditory or vocal communication includes barking, growling, whining, whimpering, panting, and sighing. They also communicate through scents and pheromones.

How big is an Old English Sheepdog?

Compared to the bearded collie, which resembles the Old English sheepdogs, the OES can grow 21-22 inches tall at the shoulder which is similar to that of the height of the bearded collie.

How fast can an Old English Sheepdog run?

Due to data deficiency, an accurate speed of the Old English sheepdog cannot be stated. However, it is known that these dogs are agile in nature!

How much does an Old English Sheepdog weigh?

Old English sheepdog weight differs as males are heavier than females. On average, the weight of a healthy male should be around 70.5-99.2 lb (32-45 kg) and the average weight of females should be 59.5-79.3 lb (27-36 kg)!

If overweight, health issues can become a recurring factor that might cause them to lose their fur and contract illnesses.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Like all breeds of dogs, males are called dogs, and females are called bitches.

What would you call a baby Old English Sheepdog?

A baby Old English sheepdog is called a puppy.

Old English sheepdog puppies are born in an average litter of between five and eight puppies. With proper care, grooming and training, a puppy will become social and energetic and will adapt to the habitat of the household, and become an excellent pet!

What do they eat?

An Old English sheepdog's diet should consist of a healthy formula of dog food that can help with weight management. For puppies, they should be fed food for large puppies to help them grow in their first year of life with proper weight distribution and good health.

Are they slobbery?

If you are a pet lover and also a clean freak, then the Old English sheepdog is not for you as these dogs show heavy signs of drooling. You may find yourself draped with slobber on your arms or body when they come to you for pets, but if you are fine with drool, then they are amazing!

Would they make a good pet?

An Old English sheepdog will make for an excellent pet as it can easily adapt to apartment life and is great for novice owners who are new at keeping a pet dog and want to take care of a dog.

They are great in cold weather and are one of the most friendly dogs that can be found! They are affectionate towards the family they live with and are kid-friendly if proper training has been provided to them. They are also friendly towards other dogs and smaller pets like hedgehogs and cats. Old English sheepdogs are also intelligent which makes training them less of a hassle and they are perfect for people who want an exercise buddy! Their playful nature helps them in being one of the best pets! An Old English sheepdog is a great starter dog if you are going to a breeder to buy or adopt a good pet dog!

Did you know...

The Old English sheepdog originated in the southwestern English counties as sheep and livestock drovers!

The OES has a thick double coat that they acquired from working in and around the environment that had sheep in them. Their coats are waterproof in nature and protect them from harsh weather. This coat has a weight to it and resembles a sheep, making it easier for them to blend in.

OES was acknowledged by the American Kennel Club in 1885.

If you are to get an Old English sheepdog, grooming will become a part of your routine as Old English sheepdogs shed more than normal. They require proper care and grooming to keep their gray and white coat shiny and pretty!

Old English sheepdogs have featured in popular culture like the 1959 comedy 'The Shaggy Dog' and also in animated movies like 'The Little Mermaid' and '101 Dalmations'!

OES was the first dog breed to win the 'Best in Show' award in 1914, at the Westminster Kennel Dog Show.

OES was called 'Shepherd's Dog' when one of them was exhibited in 1873 for the first time at a show in Birmingham.

Characteristics and health issues

The Old English sheepdog is prone to diseases like hip dysplasia, a condition where the thigh bone doesn't fit the hip joint. Discomfort in one or both rear legs can be seen in dogs that suffer from this, and at old age, it can take the form of arthritis. If a breeder is selling you a puppy, make sure it has been tested for hip dysplasia.

They are also prone to cataracts, as it causes opacity on the lens of the eyes which results in poor vision.

Hypothyroidism is another illness that can cause problems for your Old English sheepdog, in this condition, there is a deficiency of hormones that are produced by the thyroid gland and it can lead to a mild symptom of infertility. Apparent signs of this condition are obesity, irregular heat cycles, and mental dullness, with the fur becoming coarse as they fall out and the skin becomes tough and dark. It can be treated with thyroid replacement which in turn is a lifelong treatment.

Deafness is also a common condition in dogs and can be problematic to both the dog and the owner, some of these forms can be treated with surgery and medication, but usually, it has no cure. There are many ways to help your deaf dog through deafness, by providing good care for them with aids like vibrating collars.  

Getting your own Old English Sheepdog

If you want to get your own Old English sheepdog, you can get them from breeders or a pet store near you! An Old English sheepdog puppy will cost around $1000-2000 USD! They will make excellent pets are they take to training easily and with proper love and care can become great pets. Their temperament can vary from cheerful to moody, so make sure you provide them with great care and make sure to keep a check on their health even if they show the slightest traces of discomfort!

If you have your own Old English sheepdog, here are some of the ways you can train them.

First of all, start training them as puppies and the first thing you should do is teach them to respect you because a dog that does not respect you will get aggressive and moody towards you!

Always go out or come in through the door first, as you are the leader. Don't let them set the rules by paying attention to them when you think fit and not when they demand it.

Make sure you control their diet, as an Old English sheepdog's diet should be well balanced or they will become overweight.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including the chow lab mix and the border collie.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our sheepdog coloring pages.

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