The Old English Sheepdog, currently called the Bobtail, is a very charming and extremely loving dog from England. They are dogs that belong to the family of sheepdogs as their name suggests. His name has a justification found in this article in the History section. In this note, the question What does a Bobtail look like? Both from their physical characteristics and temperament, to the basic care and some curiosities of this beautiful breed of dogs.

History and origins of the Bobtail or Old English Sheepdog

This canine breed has its origin in the west of England, around the 19th century.

It is not known exactly which breeds influenced its creation, but both the Bearded Collie and the Ovtcharka (Russian Sheepdog, of good size) would have played an important role. It is believed that they were also crossed with herding dogs from the west of England. 

Its name comes from the fact that its tail was supposedly tied to show it was a working dog. In 1880 the first club of this breed was created and that same year it was officially recognized by the Kennel Club. However, it is currently very popular due to its excellent character. 

Bobtail physical characteristics

The Bobtail or Old English Sheepdog breed of dogs are totally great dogs that are very cheerful and energetic, social and highly loving. According to the FCI classification, these dogs are in Group 1: Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs. (except Swiss Cattle Dogs). Section 1: Sheepdogs. In addition, these huge dogs are in the category of large breed dogs, as are the Kuvasz, Golden retriever and the Doberman.

What is the body of the Old English Sheepdog like?

The Bobtail, also known as Old English Sheepdog, has a square-shaped physique, which means that it is rather short and compact. The area of the body where the animal's back is located is above the height, it has a deep and quite wide chest and its ribs, being well rounded or arched, make it have a fairly circular shape. Its tail is long, although it is usually docked in many countries where it is allowed, despite the risks involved in such a surgery.

The Bobtail has a strong, large loin that slopes slightly. The limbs of the Old English Sheepdog have a good angle that favors their joints, they are straight and with strong bones. Their legs are compact and rounded, with well arched toes and spurs that tend to be good to remove. The neck of the animals of this breed is strong and quite long with a small curvature.

What is the head of a Bobtail like?

On the side of the skull, this is presented with a fairly square shape and a stop or front part of it in sight. Both the muzzle and the skull are usually quite similar in length. Their eyes are quite far apart from each other and are usually dark brown or bluish in color, their teeth can be scissor-like, which is preferable, but there are also specimens that have pincer-shaped teeth. Finally, to finish defining their physical complexion in the upper area of these puppies, it would be necessary to write on the ears that hang on both sides of the head and have a small size.

How tall is an Old English Sheepdog?

The height at the withers of the Bobtail is between 56 centimeters and 61 centimeters for males; while being a female it ranges between 51 centimeters and 56 centimeters. However, some specimens may be about 6 centimeters more or less.

How Much Should an Old English Shepherd Weigh?

The weight of this breed is between 27 and 36 kilograms in the case of females and between 32 and 45 kilograms in males. However, it is possible to find some specimens with more or less weight, but not more than 3 Kilograms of difference.

Old English Sheepdog coat

The coat of the Old English Sheepdog is one of the main distinguishing characteristics of this breed. It is a coat that is composed of long, resistant and quite hard hair. It is rough but falls short of being defined as curly, and the lower layer of this mantle is waterproof. The hindquarters usually have a much greater amount of hair than the forequarters. The color can vary between different shades of gray or blue, always in combination with white. In competitions it is not very well seen that the colored areas have white spots. In several specimens it can be seen that they have white booties or socks present.

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Temperament of the Bobtail or Old English Sheepdog

The Old English Shepherd dog breed has a somewhat loving, cheerful and playful temperament with a lot of energy to be able to give to its family and all its environment. In addition, they are extremely intelligent and very sociable with any other person and animal that is not in their family environment. In this section we will explain what its character is like and how it behaves on a daily basis.

What is the character of the Bobtail like?

The Bobtail is a dog with great intelligence, very loyal, docile, friendly and in most cases very cheerful. These dogs are characterized by being very obedient to humans and by the ease they have to adapt to various environments, both climatic and home. As a puppy it is normal for some to be quite unruly, but their high levels of obedience do not make them a major problem in any home. Many specimens retain this degree of disorder until maturity.

How does a Bobtail behave?

The English Sheepdog Bobtail is a dog that loves company, so it is not highly recommended for families in which there is no one in the house for very long times. They enjoy company and suffer in solitude. It is recommended that they always leave them entertained before leaving them alone in a house.

Old English Sheepdogs are dogs that are sociable with both unfamiliar humans and other animals. Be other dogs, cats, rabbits, etc. It is a good dog for living with children but it is not the best in this aspect since at times it likes tranquility.

Although it tends to bark when it feels or sees something dangerous, it is not a dog that is characterized by being a great watchdog or a barking dog, so it would not enter the group of guard dogs.

General care of the Bobtail or Old English Sheepdog breed

The basic cares for a Bobtail or Old English Sheepdog are not many, however it is important to mention that the coat is one of them. In this section we will answer the question How to care for an old English shepherd dog? with all possible details; both from their diet, such as grooming and hygiene with their brushing, health and life expectancy and some possible diseases that this great breed of dogs may have.

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Grooming and hygiene for a Bobtail or Old English Shepherd dog

The Bobtail breed of dogs needs at least one weekly brushing to be able to remove traces of dirt or dead hair that are trapped between its large coat of hair. You have to brush it well, paying attention that the brushing is not only superficial but also reaches the hair that comes into contact with your skin. Pay close attention to the areas in which the dog tends to have a greater amount of fur (mainly hindquarters), in these areas many tangles of hair tend to be generated.

How to care for the hair of a Bobtail?

In times of shedding, brushing is recommended to be done every two days at the most since the amount of hair that it gives off is quite large. You can take baths with lukewarm water at these times that will be quite productive to reduce the amount of hair shed around the home.

It is recommended to wash both the mustache and beard area frequently to prevent these hairs from losing color and it is also necessary to trim the excess hair that can go to the eyes and prevent you from seeing clearly and the excesses that you may get to have between the pads of the feet.

In exhibitions, to enhance the animal, the hair is brushed forward to gain volume and mainly to show its hair.

How to bathe an Old English Sheepdog?

It is always advisable to bathe these dogs with a frequency of not less than 6 or 8 weeks, since in this way their skin and coat would be taken care of so that they are not irritated. We recommend a Shampoo for dogs with pH7 and especially for dogs that have this style of coat or hard and rather rustic coat.

It is important not to shave these dogs, or at least cut them at a recommended veterinary or pet shop. Since if this action is carried out, the dog's hair will lose quality and hardness; and it will grow curlier hair which is quite different from the characteristic hair of the Old English Sheepdog.

How to train or educate an Old English Sheepdog?

Regarding the training for a Bobtail, the affection and patience that you have with this animal is important. As we have said before, he has plenty of qualities to learn in a good way due to his intelligence and his good predisposition. He loves to please his master and his family. You just have to be constant and loving. Bobtails are not usually dominant dogs, very rarely that happens, which is why it is highly recommended for families who are beginners in dog ownership but other care such as exercise, feeding and grooming should not be neglected. As the brushing of these shepherds is very important for their cleaning, it is highly recommended to do it a constant ritual from puppyhood. Otherwise, it could become torture every time you want to do it when the animal grows up.

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How to train an Old English Sheepdog?

This breed requires, like all, exercise. A minimum of 40 minutes a day or an hour and a half every two days is usually recommended. He loves ball games or catching things on the fly, although it is not one of the competitions in which he excels.

It is essential, due to its voluminous coat, that in places where the temperatures are high, it stays hydrated and does not over exert itself on the animal when exercising.

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Food and diet recommended for the Bobtail or Old English Shepherd

The Bobtail is a large and strong dog that will require a good quality feed, rich in protein and low in fat to maintain good health. Due to its size and its energetic nature, it is common for it to consume large amounts of food, always consult your veterinarian about the daily rations that depend largely on the exercise that your dog performs. 

Another very important factor to take into account is that this breed can suffer from gastric torsion, therefore, to try to avoid this problem, it is advisable to give it its daily food ration 2 or 3 times throughout the day. 

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How much should an Old English Sheepdog eat?

It is a very frequent question that they ask us since they are dogs with a large body size and they tend to eat a lot and fast, so they are prone to gastric torsion. Generally the recommended portion for an Old English Sheepdog is between 1,400 and 1,500 calories per day; so an adult Bobtail dog should eat between 500 and 600 grams per day. In any case, the veterinarian will determine the exact portion of dry food or balanced food for dogs based on the amount of exercise the dog performs, weight and age. 

Common health and diseases of the Bobtail or Old English Sheepdog

The Old English Sheepdog is in excellent health and extremely active, so frequent exercise or routine walks are important. Among the diseases that it can present we will find gastric torsion, hereditary cataracts and hip dysplasia. Even so, it is rare to find specimens with these diseases. Beyond this, it is important to carry out medical check-ups with your animal health specialist from time to time, to check that the dog does not have health problems or diseases.

How old does a Bobtail or Old English Sheepdog live?

This breed of dog has great health and this is reflected in its life expectancy, which ranges between 10 and 12 years. However, this will be determined based on the care given to this dog. They are dogs that must be given a good diet and routine walks. In any case, we always recommend that you approach a veterinarian once a year to verify the health of the animal and that everything is in order.

Uses of the Bobtail dog breed

It usually has an excellent performance in all kinds of dog shows or competitions. Both those related to agility and obedience.

Curiosities of the Bobtail or Old English Sheepdog breed

They are too energetic dogs, practically having almost unlimited energy and needing to exercise continuously. If you notice that he is very upset and unruly at home, it is because he probably needs to go for a walk. 

Although it is a very docile and playful dog, we must not forget its strength and size, it is capable of knocking down practically any object.

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