Bobtail or Old English Shepherd

The bobtail or old English shepherd , also known as the old English shepherd , is a large dog, with a square body, and with long, abundant fur that covers the entire body, and which needs certain care . If you are thinking of adopting a bobtail or old English shepherd puppy, in this AnimalWised sheet you will find the keys to know everything and thus be able to decide when choosing. You will need to know the physical characteristics, behavior, necessary care, how to educate them and what these animals are prone to. Therefore, before adopting any pet, make sure that you will be able to maintain and care for it for many years, because to have an animal in your care, the first thing is to take responsibility for it.

If you are reading this article, perhaps you may also be interested in knowing some Names for large dogs.

Origin of bobtail or old English sheepdog

The dog breeds that gave rise to the Old English Shepherd are not known with certainty . Among the possible ancestors, the Brie shepherd , the Bergamasco, bearded collies and dogs originating from Russia (the ancient Ovtcharka breed) are suggested . What is known about the origin of this breed is that it was created in the west of England, during the 19th century, by shepherds who were looking for an agile and resistant dog to take their flocks and cattle from the fields to the markets. After a first presentation at an exhibition, in 1880, the bobtail breed was recognized in the Kennel Club.

The docked tail of the bobtail was a characteristic used in the 18th century to identify sheepdogs, so that their owners would not pay taxes on these dogs. The custom, although no longer useful, was fixed in the breed standard. In addition, those breeding lines that did not have tails were used for breeding.

Physical characteristics of the bobtail or old English shepherd

We could define its appearance as sweet and good-natured although its size turns it into a giant stuffed animal: males measure up to 61 centimeters at the withers and females about 55 centimeters. The breed standard used by the International Cynological Federation does not specify a certain weight for the Old English Shepherd, but the weight of males is usually around 29 kilograms and that of females around 27 kilograms.

Some of the characteristics of the bobtail or old English shepherd:

  • The compact and muscular body presents an unusual characteristic in dogs, the level of the withers is lower than the level of the back : so the top line rises from the withers to the back.
  • The head of the Old English Shepherd is square : with a voluminous skull. The stop is well defined, but cannot be easily seen due to the dense, long hair that covers the head. At the end of the Old English Shepherd’s strong, square, truncated snout is a large black nose.
  • The ears are small and hang on the sides of the head.
  • The eyes are well separated from each other : they can be dark brown, light blue, or one brown and the other light blue.
  • Large and strong teeth : they have a scissor bite.
  • Bobtails or Old English Shepherds are usually born without a tail : when they are born with a tail, this appendage is usually completely amputated.
  • The Old English Sheepdog has an abundant long, shaggy and rough outer coat : as the years go by, the bobtail’s coat becomes longer, harder and denser, which makes it require constant care. The outer coat should not be curly or smooth. The inner layer is waterproof.

Now that you know what the characteristics of the Old English Shepherd are, let’s get to know what his personality is like and what makes him so special.

Character of the bobtail or old english sheepdog

The personality of the bobtail or Old English Sheepdog falls in love with those who have had one since most people refer to it as ” a very human dog ” due to the trust, affection and rapport they experience when getting to know this breed. In England he is known as nanni-dog since he is a patient, affectionate dog that many parents usually trust when playing with their children.

Docile and good-natured , the Old English Shepherd is a faithful, adaptable and trustworthy dog. He should not be fearful or aggressive. This dog is usually appropriate for families with children, because he adapts easily to different circumstances , is resistant and very playful. However, he has a very strong herding instinct that can lead him to try to direct the children by pushing them with his body. If not encouraged to play and exercise, the Old English Sheepdog can become lazy. They also need their space to be alone when they need it and they tend to get along well with other pets that we may have in the home.

Bobtail or Old English Shepherd Care

This dog has two very important needs that we must meet if we want him to be a happy dog ​​with us: exercise and brushing. Even so, we are going to review what the care of the bobtail or old English shepherd is:

  • Food : the bobtail or English sheepdog can be a great glutton, so we have to be careful with the amount of food we offer it. The right amount that we should give ranges between 1,400-1,500 calories per day of dry food. A sign that we are not feeding our bobtail well is massive hair loss, so you have to be careful.
  • Exercise : it requires large doses of exercise and walks, which is why it is ideal for people who practice various types of sports with their animals or who are available to take routes and excursions. We must be aware that this dog needs at least 3 walks a day combined with some exercise, something that will help keep its muscles strong and healthy. So much so that forgetting to exercise in this breed will be a disaster as it can lead to serious problems of stress and frustration. The well-exercised bobtail will even adapt to living in an apartment, as long as we have time to dedicate to it and a temperature in it that is stable and cool, the bobtail cannot tolerate extreme heat.
  • Grooming : another aspect that we must be very clear about is the dedication that we must put into his coat so that it appears beautiful, healthy and free of tangles. Brushing it daily is going to be one of our daily tasks. Furthermore, since we have long hair that is susceptible to tangles, we must be aware that we will have to take it to the hairdresser (an economical cost) or learn to cut our hair ourselves, a task only suitable for careful and delicate people, but it is preferable that The hair cut is done by a professional whenever necessary.

Education of the bobtail or old English shepherd

As with all dogs, we must socialize the bobtail from a puppy so that it respects, knows and begins its training as another member of our family. They empathize quite well with their family members if they receive cordial, affectionate treatment based on positive reinforcement . The Old English Sheepdog is easy to train when using reward and play-based dog training methods. When traditional techniques are used, he can be a bit stubborn, since he is a cooperative but not submissive dog.

Here you can consult some dog training techniques to put into practice with your English sheepdog.

Health of the bobtail or old English sheepdog

The Old English Sheepdog is a dog with little susceptibility to hereditary diseases , so the first problem that we have to comment on is the risk of suffering from otitis since ears full of fur encourage humidity and therefore a possible infection. We will also have to take care of the hair on our face so that it doesn’t end up in our eyes.

Additionally, they are susceptible to hip dysplasia , a common problem in large dogs. This disease is degenerative and mainly affects mobility as a cause of joint malformation. Another very similar ailment is Wobbler syndrome that affects puppies causing lameness in their hind legs.

Other health problems can be:

  • Diabetes . _
  • The deafness .
  • Eye disorders : such as cataracts and retinal atrophy .

To end the bobtail’s health, we mention its predisposition to suffer stomach torsion , something that we can easily avoid by dividing its food intake and avoiding exercise before and after eating.

Where to adopt a bobtail or old English shepherd?

We have been able to read how the bobtail dog is a unique breed of dog, either because of its physical qualities or because of its loving and endearing personality. If you are wondering whether or not to adopt an Old English Sheepdog, you should keep in mind that there may not be an exact specimen with all the characteristics. Even so, at ExpertoAnimal, we always want to remember that the important thing is not the dog’s physical traits, but rather offering it a life full of love and affection. You can go to a shelter or animal shelter near your area to see if they have an English sheepdog or bobtail. Otherwise, you can also go to a breed club to consult .

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