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Old English Sheepdog

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Old English Sheepdog
Pair of Old English Sheepdogs
Pair of Old English Sheepdogs
Alternative names
Country of origin
United Kingdom
Common nicknames
Classification and breed standards
FCI: Group 1 Section 1 #16  
AKC: Herding  
ANKC: Group 5 (Working Dogs)  
CKC: Group 7 - Herding Dogs  
KC (UK): Pastoral  
NZKC: Working  
UKC: Herding Dog Breeds  
Not recognized by any major kennel club
This breed of dog is extinct

An Old English Sheepdog is a breed of dog formerly used for herding livestock, and now primarily kept as a pet. They are best known for their shaggy grey and white fur which also covers their face, including their eyes, which leads some casual observers to wonder how they can see.


Males generally weigh 70 to 100 pounds although some can get up to 100 pounds (45 kg); females, 60 to 80 pounds. They stand around 22 inches at the withers. Their long coats can be any shade of gray, grizzle, blue, or blue merle, with optional white markings. The undercoat is water resistant. The Old English Sheepdog's abundant coat is an effective insulator in both hot and cold weather.


This breed is intelligent, funny, social, and adaptable. It generally gets along well with children, other dogs, other pets, and visitors. Like all herding breeds, it requires plenty of exercise, both mental and physical.


The long coat requires thorough brushing at least weekly, and the long hair around the pads of the feet can form mats if it isn't kept trimmed.

Some people save their Old English Sheepdog's shed hairs at moulting and have spun it into yarn.


Famous Sheepdogs

  • Alfie from Serpico
  • Ambrosius and Merlin from Labryinth
  • Edison from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  • Farley, the first dog of the Patterson family in the comic strip, For Better or For Worse. Modeled after Lynn Johnston's own dog of the same breed who in turn was named after Farley Mowat.
  • Hobo from Please Don't Eat The Daisies
  • Martha, sheepdog belonging to Paul McCartney (featured in the song "Martha, My Dear")
  • Max from The Little Mermaid
  • Nana from Hook
  • Sam from Cats & Dogs
  • Sam Sheepdog from the Sam Sheepdog and Ralph Wolf Looney Tunes cartoons.
  • Shag from Road Rovers
  • The Shaggy Dog from The Shaggy Dog, The Shaggy D.A., and The Shaggy Dog Returns
  • Tiny, pet of FDR
  • The English Sheepdog (real name: Wolfie) from 101 Dalmatians, both the animated and live-action versions.

External links

Home | Up | Old Danish Pointer | Old English Bulldog | Old English Sheepdog | Olde English Bulldogge | Otterhound

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