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Description of Old English Sheepdog

The Breed History

This breed originates in England and many believe that the Bearded Collie is an important ancestor. Other breeds listed in various accounts include Briard, Russian Owtchar, Bergamasco and others. About 150 years ago, the first breed representations appeared in works of art. The first AKC registration occurred in 1905. These dogs have gained popular recognition via many television, film and cartoon appearances.

Breeding for Function

These were drover's dogs, or dogs used to drive cattle and sheep. They tolerated cold, damp and hot environmental conditions well. Their coats were considered such good insulators that the shepherds would shear their dogs along with the sheep, and the dog hair was used to make clothing. They are also excellent companion animals and are sometimes also used as sled dogs. The tradition of tail docking them was started during their early working days in order to designate them as working dogs, and thus their owners would be granted tax-exempt status for the dog.

Physical Characteristics

Height at Withers: female 21" (53 cm) and up, male 22" (56 cm) and up.

Weight: females 60 lb (27 kg), males 65 lb (29.5 kg).

Coat: Their heavy coat is pigmented blue, blue-gray, blue merle, or gray with or without white markings.

Longevity: 10-12 years

Points of Conformation: The shaggy profuse coat and square athletic build characterize this breed. The eyes are brown or blue or sometimes one of each. They have a large black nose and medium ears falling against the head, a well-defined stop and strong jaw and muzzle. The topline is slightly arched, and lower at the withers than loin; the latter being a distinct breed characteristic. They are deep-chested but not too wide, and a body wider at the rump than shoulders are also distinguishing breed features. The tail is docked very short to the body when not born bobbed. Good solid bone and straight limbs with small, arched round feet are characteristic. The gait is long and elastic and they tend to do a rolling pace, or amble much like a bear's way of going.

Thanks for description - Animal life club

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