Old English Sheep Dog

...they're in there somewhere!

Old English Sheep Dogs are medium large herding dogs covered in long, shaggy fur which covers their face and eyes. They are very heavy set and can weigh up to 50kg. They are excellent companion dogs because they are exceptionally friendly and sociable. They love children, will be delighted to see your friends and get on well with other dogs and all manner of household pets. They are very enthusiastic and will need to be supervised around small children in case they accidentally knock them over. (Remember they can weigh up to 50kg). They will be happy to rough and tumble with you for hours and love to be part of family outings.

Old English Sheep Dogs need lots of exercise. As puppies, their exercise needs to be carefully controlled to stop damage to their growing bones, but as adult dogs they need vigorous exercise every day. They expect considerable attention from their owners and can become fretful if they don't get it. If left for long periods without company they can be very destructive so good quality toys and a big back yard are important to keep these dogs entertained when you are not there. When you are home and exercise time is over, Old English Sheep Dogs will be happy to be your couch companion.

Their friendly nature does not make them good watch dogs, but their deep bark will probably be enough to scare off most intruders. Training is the key to successful Old English Sheep Dog ownership. Because of their size and natural hyperactivity, it is essential that Old English Sheep Dogs are fully obedience trained. They can be quite stubborn and are slower to train than many other dog breeds. However, patient, firm owners will achieve a very obedient dog that will do well in obedience trials and other dog club activities.

Grooming is a daily necessity. These dogs are heavy shedders so what you don't brush out will end up on your floor. Their coats can become very matted if left, particularly as the old coat falls out and the new one grows in. To keep their coat at show standard takes hours of grooming every day but even if you have no intention of ever showing your Old English Sheep Dog, you will need to regularly clean their buttocks, clean and clip around their ears and remove excess hair from between their toes. Professional grooming is a good idea from time to time.

Well cared for Old English Sheep Dogs will live about 12 years. Their common health problems are hip dysplasia (which should be screened for before buying a puppy) and cancer. Also remember, that like most long coated breeds, they will overheat if exercised in extreme weather.

<ul> <li>Medium / large, big bodied dog</li> <li>Long hair - lots of grooming required</li> <li>Very sociable - loves children</li> <li>Hard to train - needs patience</li> <li>Vigorous daily exercise required</li> </ul>