5 Facts About Old English Sheepdogs

old english sheepdog puppy lying outside

Old English Sheepdogs are large, fluffy dogs with playful, energetic, lovable personalities. They make a great fit for families. Here are a few facts about Old English Sheepdogs:

1. Their Exact History is Still a Mystery

The Old English Sheepdog is known for their unique look and being one of the fluffiest dog breeds, but their exact history is still unknown. It is widely accepted that the Old English Sheepdog was developed in England. They are also likely descended from the bearded collie.

However, we still don’t know much about their ancestry beyond that or their exact origins. In fact, records featuring descriptions, imagery, etc. of this dog breed are only traced back to the 19th century.

2. Old English Sheepdogs Used to be Called “Bobtails”

Old English Sheepdogs were originally bred to herd sheep, cattle, or other livestock. They were drovers. So, during the 19th century, their tails were docked or cropped to identify them as drovers. This was a way for England to identify and tax working dogs. It also resulted in these dogs being referred to as “Bobtails” or “Bobs”.

3. The Working Dog Was Popular With the Wealthy in the U.S.

Although the OE Sheepdog was a common working dog in England, they became quite popular with the wealthy upper classes in the United States. Old English Sheepdogs made it “across the pond” when they were imported into the U.S. during the 1880s.

From there, they quickly became popular with upper-class families. Not long after their arrival in the United States, this distinctive dog breed was being shown and also bred by half of the wealthiest families in the country.

4. OE Sheepdogs Are Lovable Clowns

Old English Sheepdogs are known for being highly intelligent, competent, skilled, and focused working dogs. At the same time, they are also known for being playful, sweet, and affectionate clowns.

Like, Labrador Retrievers, OE Sheepdogs tend to have an extended puppyhood that lasts until they are about 3 years old. They will maintain a playfulness after that, but will calm down a little on the excitable, puppy-like energy.

In addition to getting along with children, this comedic and playful personality when they are not working a specific job is one of the many reasons the Old English Sheepdog makes a fantastic family companion. Old English Sheepdogs often take on a “nanny” role with children.

5. They Can be Couch Potatoes

Although they are working dogs and are inherently energetic, Old English Sheepdogs can also be huge couch potatoes when they are not working. When nothing is going on, they can often be found lounging around and comfortable doing nothing.

As they grow older, an Old English Sheepdog can start preferring to lie around. At the same time, these dogs will also match the pace of their families. As one of the most affectionate dog breeds, they love nothing more than spending time with their favorite humans.

If you lead a more active lifestyle, your OE Sheepdog will be likely to love coming along and being active with you. They’re also one of the dog breeds that love winter, so they’ll be happy to play outside with you year-round.

These are just a few facts about Old English Sheepdogs. If this sounds like the right dog breed for you, learn more about them, and then check out the available Old English Sheepdog puppies. Who knows? You could end up finding the perfect addition to your family!