Everything about dog care, dog grooming and dog training

English Sheepdog

The Old English Sheepdog, or Bobtail, is an extremely popular breed. It is a devoted friend and guardian of children and has a sound, sensible temperament. It will live contentedly in a fairly small house despite its bulky appearance.

Origin and history

The Old English Sheepdog is often, for obvious reasons, known as the Bobtail. How it came to England is a subject of conjecture, for the breed is said to have evolved through the crossing of the Briard with the large Russian Owtscharka, a dog related to the Hungarian sheepdogs. It was used in England as a cattle dog and guard but nowadays is kept mainly as a much loved pet. Because of the Bobtail’s

reliability with children, a number have found their way into schools for handicapped youngsters. The

first breed club for the Old English Sheepdog was established in the United Kingdom in 1888 and the standard has altered little in the intervening years.

Good points

  • Excellent with children
  • Gets on well with other animals
  • Sound temperament

Take heed

  • No drawbacks known


Height: dog 22in(56cm) and upwards; bitch slightly less.


Regular walks of average length ­ perhaps two good walks of 20 minutes duration per day; and, of course, you need a garden.

General appearance
A strong, compact-looking dog of great symmetry; absolutely free of legginess; profusely coated all over; very elastic in a gallop but in walking or trotting it has a characteristic ambling or pacing movement; its bark should be loud, with a peculiar ‘pot casse’ ring in it. All round, it is a thick-set, museular, able-bodied dog with a most intelligent expression, free of all Poodle or Deerhound character

Health care

Check the ears for canker, and take care that dead, matted hair does not accumulate around the feet. Some Bobtails are born with that stumpy tail; otherwise it is docked to a length of 2in (5cm).

Any shade of grey, grizzle, blue or blue merle with or without white markings; any shade of brown or sable is considered distinctly objectionable and not to be encouraged.

Head and skull
Skull capacious and rather squarely formed, giving plenty of room for brainpower. The parts over the eyes should be well arched, and the whole well covered with hair. Jaw fairly long, strong, square and truncated; the stop should be defined to avoid a Deerhound face. Nose always black, large and capacious.

Puppies requiring docking should have the operation performed within a week of birth, preferably within four days.

Small and round; toes well arched, pads thick and round.


Daily brushing and weekly combing with a steel comb. The hair is brushed forward to cover the eyes. I don’t know how, but it can see! White parts are powdered for showing.


Recommended would be 20-330z (587-936g) of a branded, meaty product with biscuit added, or 3-5 cupfuls of a dry food, complete diet, mixed in the proportion of 1 cup of feed to 112 cup of hot or cold water.