Bobtail or Old English Sheepdog: Everything you need to know and the characteristics of a very furry dog. The English Sheepdog has made a place for itself among the list of popular breeds because of its beautiful long white shaggy coat and its affable and good-natured personality. They are a large, strong, and agile breed that loves to play and run.
The English Sheepdog is a powerful large dog with a thick double coat, black or blue eyes, and a prominent head. This breed usually has to stop by the groomer once or twice a year and requires daily brushing on your part. It has a strong and compact tail with ears that are long and hang down over its head.
English sheepdogs take about a year to reach adulthood, however, they are very slow-growing dogs and it may take at least two years for them to reach their maximum height and weight.
What is the History of the English Sheepdog or Bobtail?
This breed of sheepdog has been bred in England for more than 200 years!
The origins of this breed are not very clear; however, it is known that they were crossed with sheepdogs in the South East of England in the early 19th century, as it is very apparent in their fluffy appearance.
Even though it was bred as a sheepdog in England, it was in the USA that the current breed standard of the Bobtail was finally achieved. At the end of the 19th century, these dogs became popular companion pets and became symbols of status and social wealth.
The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Bobtail or English Sheepdog as a breed in 1885. However, the new modern standard for the breed arrived in 1904; so it is therefore considered a relatively new breed of dog.
What are The Characteristics, Temperment, And Personality of The English Sheepdog?
The English Sheepdog is very affectionate and good-natured, it never usually shows aggressive behavior, anxiety, or stress. They are very good with children, making them a great family pet.
Despite being a great breed of dog, they love to sleep and lie with you at home. However, you must still ensure that your English Sheepdog receives two or three long walks per day; they also enjoy running around in the countryside on the weekends.
The English Sheepdog or Bobtail makes a perfect family pet. They love to play and run around with children. They need ample space to run around in to burn off their excess energy, so they may not be the best dog for you if you live in a small apartment.
Your English Sheepdog loves attention and your company. It is not a dog to be left alone at home for extended periods of time as they will develop separation anxiety. However, this can be solved with proper socialization.
What Are Common English Sheepdog Health Issues?
Due to their large size, they have a relatively short life expectancy. Bobtails are fairly healthy dogs, but their 12-year life expectancy makes them a short-lived breed.
English Sheepdogs are usually very healthy dogs; however, it is recommended to provide them with regular veterinary checkups to receive proper vaccinations and to ensure they are not suffering from any health problems. Common health problems that Bobtails or English Sheepdogs suffer from are:
Addison’s disease: This causes irregularities in cortisol levels and autoimmune destruction of the adrenal glands. Symptoms of this disease include vomiting, diarrhea, and fatigue.
Sebaceous adenitis: This disease causes the animal’s immune system to attack its skin, causing hair loss and skin wounds. The vet will solve this problem, and you will have to wash your Bobtail with a follicular cleansing shampoo.
Hemolytic anemia: This involves the loss of red blood cells due to a failure of the immune system. If you notice your dog is losing weight and always tired, run to the vet. It could be hemolytic anemia which is lethal.
Cerebellar ataxia: This disease generates uncoordinated movements. It is due to the underdevelopment of the rhombencephalon.
Progressive retinal atrophy: This involves loss of vision caused by progressive malfunction of the eyes eventually leading to blindness.
Hip dysplasia: This disease is inherited and causes bone malformations in the hip joint.
Hemophilia B: This disease prevents blood clotting in males; females are only carriers.
Ear infection: This is a widespread health issue in this breed due to their floppy ears. It would help if you were very strict with the hygiene of your Bobtail’s ears.
Wobbler syndrome: This disease causes the nerve of the spinal canal in the neck to narrow and compress; generating a lack of coordination when walking and lameness.
Immune-mediated thrombocytopenia: This is a dysfunction of the dog’s platelets that leads to improper blood clotting. It has symptoms very similar to those of hemophilia B, only that instead of red blood cells, it is platelets that are depleted.
Silica urolithiasis: This involves the accumulation of silica crystals in the urine, with consequent damage and obstructions. This can be prevented through proper hydration and a correct diet.
Does The English Sheepdog needs Alot Of Daily Exercise?
You will need a lot of time and space to make this breed of dog happy. Because of their energy level, if you do not dedicate at least two hours a day to walks and games outside the home, do not adopt this dog. In addition, they are not dogs that live comfortably in small apartments in the city.
The English Sheepdog needs plenty of open space to run around in and use up all of its energy. In addition, these dogs love to play fetch and can be taught how to engage in sports with their human counterparts.
Despite their long and double coat, they are not animals that like low temperatures. So never let your pet sleep outside in winter; they will not adjust well to this.
How do You keep Good Hygiene For The English Sheepdog? Heavy Shedder – Remove Dead And Shaggy Hair
This breed needs special attention in the care of its coat. Therefore the cost of its maintenance is considerable.
It would help if you brushed the coat of your English Sheepdog every day to keep it in perfect condition. However, it is not necessary to cut their hair if you are strict with your brushing. But visiting the hairdresser from time to time will make things much easier for you. Also, be sure to trim your dog’s nails regularly and brush their teeth four to five times a week; don’t forget to clean their ears as well to prevent ear infections!
One last tip in regard to behavioral issues. I’ve said before that separation anxiety is a common problem in this breed. So get your Bobtail puppy used to your absence from home little by little; extending the time of your outings. With this, as part of their socialization from puppyhood, you will avoid unwanted behaviors when your pet suffers from your absence.
If you want an English Sheepdog, it is best to look for them in shelters and zoological centers. This act links you to your pet in a deeper way. It’s more ethical and humane and the very least that your new dog deserves.