Old English Sheepdog Dog Breed

Old English Sheepdog
Males – at least 22 inches at the withers, Females – at least 21 inches at the withers
60 to 100 pounds
Any shade of gray, grizzle, blue, or blue merle with or without white markings; or the reverse
Agility, Conformation, Herding, Obedience, Rally Obedience

The Old English Sheepdog originated about 150 years ago in western England to help drive cattle to market.


A loving housedog, the Old English Sheepdog is intelligent, agreeable and equally at home in an apartment or large house. His even-tempered nature and patience make him a wonderful companion for children.

An athletic dog with clownish energy, he requires regular exercise or a job. One of these can be family guardian—the breed is known as a dependable watchdog.


A member of the Herding group, the Old English Sheepdog may look like a shaggy, lumbering bear. But under that ample double coat is a muscular, surprising agile body.

Nestled under the long hair that usually covers much of his face are eyes of either dark blue, brown or one of each color.


10 to 12 years


The Old English Sheepdog’s coat is a combination of white and one other color: blue, blue gray, blue merle, gray or grizzle.


The Old English Sheepdog’s luxurious double coat sheds occasionally, and requires brushing down to the skin once a week or more, and more often when he is shedding. For pet dogs, puppy clips can make grooming easier.


A hearty breed, Old English Sheepdogs can still be a risk for health conditions such as hip dysplasia, some eye conditions (PRA and hereditary cataracts), autoimmune thyroiditis, cardiac anomalies and hereditary deafness. Responsible breeders will screen for these potential issues.

Best Dog Food for Old English Sheepdogs & Puppies

Old English Sheepdogs may benefit from a large breed dog food. For OESs who need help with weight management, consider a healthy weight formula.

OES puppies should eat a large breed puppy food for their first year of life to aid in their growth and development.


Like his fellow British breeds the Bulldog and Collie, the Old English Sheepdog is known as an iconic figure of the British Isles. The breed likely originated in the west of England around Cornwall.

Although “English” is part of this breed’s name, among its possible ancestors are breeds from Scotland, Europe and Russia, making its bloodline much more complex.

The OES has been a fixture in the show ring since 1865, when stockmen exhibited their dogs in England. The breed was first recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1888, and made its inaugural appearance as a Westminster Kennel Club winner in 1914.


  • Old English Sheepdogs are naturals on camera, starring in television shows and films such as the Disney classics “The Shaggy Dog” and “The Shaggy D.A.”
  • Old English Sheepdogs have been featured in several Jim Hensen creations, including the popular children’s television show “Sesame Street,” the 1986 fantasy film “Labyrinth” and the television series “Fraggle Rock.”
  • President Franklin Delano Roosevelt owned an OES named Tiny.
  • Paul McCartney’s OES Martha was the inspiration for the Beatles song “Martha My Dear.”