Old English Sheepdog

If you need someone to watch your herd of rowdy kids, I’m a natural. Smart, easygoing, and cheerful, I’m a gentle, comical soul in a big fluffy package. I’m very affectionate and will be a playful friend into my senior years—but because of my bulk, do take care with little ones. I will draw on my sheepherding instincts to protect the family children if they are threatened.

I’m built for hugging (but not riding!) at 21 to 22 inches tall and 60 to 90 pounds. A long walk or playful romp each day should satisfy my high energy level and intense approach to play. Training is fairly easy, though I can sometimes be quite stubborn. I’m very social and don’t like being alone, and I do tend to bark. New dog owners should find me adaptable and easy to manage.

If you’re a neatnik and crunched for time, you might want to consider another breed. My long coat sheds profusely and needs special care; expect to spend 3 or 4 hours a week brushing and combing to maintain my classic shaggy coat. I also drool a lot; wash my mouth after each meal to avoid stains. My coloring may be gray, brown, fawn, blue or blue merle, or grizzle (mixed hair colors), often with white markings.

People love having sheepdogs as a member of the family for about 10 to 12 years. One major health issue to watch for is hip dysplasia, with lesser risk for gastric bloat, hypothyroidism, eye problems, and deafness.