Old English Sheepdog

Other names

Bobtail, Altenglischer Schäferhund

Life expectancy

13 years

Age adult

22 months

Height (Shoulder height)

60 cm


35 kg

Coat texture

long-haired / undercoat / stiff/rigid / dense / ragged

Coat color

grey in all shades, blue-grey, each with or without white markings

Common illnesses

dysplasia of the hip joint / eye diseases / MDR1 gene mutation / cataract / primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) / Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC)

Food expenses per month in €

about € 72

Suitable for children

Rather yes

Needs a garden

Rather not

Hunting motivated / needs alternative employment

Rather not

First dog suitable

Rather yes

Allergy friendly

Rather not


Very atletic


Needs much attention

Care and grooming

High grooming effort

Eager to learn



Needs a lot of exercise


happy / alert / playful / intelligent / lively / funny / loving / stubborn / likes to work

Bred for

shepherd dog / cattle dog cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, bulls

Common illnesses

dysplasia of the hip joint / eye diseases / MDR1 gene mutation / cataract / primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) / Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC)

Dog type according to FCI

sheepdogs and cattledogs (exept swiss cattledogs)

FCI description

Shepherd dogs have the task to defend their herd from bear and wolf attacks. They are usually suspicious of strangers. Especially at dusk, when people go to rest, their instincts of defense and guarding become active. They are often insecure outside their territory. These animals need a task as working dogs. Shepherd dogs are not dependent on humans, because they must react independently and quickly to danger.

Cattledogs drive the cattle of the traders with a lot of barking, sometimes over long distances, to the market. They protect it from thieves and make sure that none escapes. These powerful, robust dogs have great assertiveness, because in certain situations they have to decide for themselves what to do.

Shepherd dogs emerged as agriculture grew and wolves were largely extinct. No longer protecting the independent, but keeping and driving the herd animals together without much barking became their tasks. They work together with the shepherd, have to react to his instructions as quick as lightning, but are also able to make their own decisions. They are fast, intelligent, agile, persevering and want to work.

Undemanded dogs in this group tend to have behavioural problems. Their instinct to keep the herd together is innate. For example, it happens that fast-moving children are tweaked into change. They need a clear, loving education, a task or a substitute task and are to be inspired for sporty activities.

Also, these animals must learn to come to rest. The active part is no problem for them, but if they are overstrained and do not come to rest, this can also lead to behavior problems.

Short description

The Old English Sheepdog and is one of the most popular family-dogs because of his loving nature and strong attachment to his family. Nevertheless, he needs a lot of exercise, mental as well as physical, and a soft but firm training. He likes to be in nature not minding any weather condition, and is therefore, not suitable for city-life. His coat needs a lot of care and is not suitbale for people who love a very clean house. The long hair above his eyes should be trimmed or tied.

This information is indicative and adheres to the breed standard. Each animal is an individual and has a personal character, as well as its own needs. Thus, a breed is not a guarantee of certain behaviors, etc.