Old English Sheepdogs
The Old English Sheepdog is a large breed dog with a thick, shaggy gray and white coat, which typically covers it's face and eyes. Color of the double coat may be any shade of gray, grizzle, black, blue, or blue merle, with optional white markings. Puppies are born with a black and white coat which grays as the puppy coat is shed and the adult coat emerges.
Historically, the breed's tail was commonly docked (resulting in a panda bear-like rear end), but tailed Old English sheepdogs are now common, as many countries have outlawed cosmetic docking.
Typical height at the withers is at least 24 inches with females slightly smaller than males. Typical weights are not specified but can be between 65 lbs for smaller females to 100+ for large males.
The breed standards describe the ideal Old English Sheepdog as never being nervous or aggressive. The New Zealand Kennel Club adds that "they are sometimes couch potatoes" and "may even try to herd children by gently bumping them."
This breed's temperament can be described as intelligent, social and adaptable. The American Kennel Club adds that the breed has "a clownish energy" and "may try to herd people or other objects."
Although the breed is said to be relatively non-shedding and allergy friendly, the coat of the OES does need to be brushed thoroughly (at least once a week) to be kept clean and tangle free. Failure to brush regularly will result in loss of hair (shedding) during grooming times. Old English Sheepdogs will "blow out" their puppy coats around 8 months of age. Many OES owners prefer to keep them in a much shorter and more manageable "puppy cut".
Life expectancy of an Old English Sheepdog is approx. 10-13 years. Common health issues include hip dysplasia, deafness, cataracts, allergies and ear problems.