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Troy

Old English Sheepdog

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Troy   

The Old English Sheepdog

ANKC Standard

(from http://www.ankc.org.au/home/breeds_details.asp?bid=21 )

Group: Group 5 (Working Dogs)

General Appearance: A strong, compact-looking dog of great symmetry; absolutely free of legginess; profusely coated all over. All round he is a thick-set, muscular, able-bodied dog, with a most intelligent expression, free of all Poodle or Deerhound character.

Characteristics: The dog stands lower at the shoulders than the loin. When walking or trotting has a characteristic ambling or pacing movement. His bark should be loud with a peculiar "pot-casse" ring in it.

Temperament: (There is no specification for temperament.)

Head And Skull: Skull capacious and rather squarely formed, giving plenty of room for brain power. The parts over the eyes should be well arched and the whole well-covered with hair. Jaw fairly long, strong, square and truncated; the stop should be defined to avoid a Deerhound face. Nose always black, large and capacious.

Eyes: Dark or wall eyes are to be preferred.

Ears: Small and carried flat to side of head, coated moderately.

Mouth: Teeth strong and large, evenly placed and level.

Neck: The neck should be fairly long, arched gracefully, and well coated with hair.

Forequarters: The forelegs should be dead straight, with plenty of bone, holding the body well from the ground, without approaching legginess, well coated all round. The shoulders sloping and narrow at the points, the dog standing lower at the shoulders than at the loin.

Body: Rather short and very compact, ribs well sprung and brisket deep and capacious. The loin should be very stout and gently arched.

Hindquarters: The hindquarters should be round and muscular, hocks well let down and the hams densely coated with a thick, long jacket in excess of that of any other part of the body.

Feet: Small, round; toes well arched, and pads thick and round.

Tail: Interim Description:

Docked: Previously completely docked.

Undocked: Natural carriage. Well feathered with abundant, hard-textured coat. Can be naturally bobtail.

Gait/Movement: Very elastic in gallop but in walking or trotting has a characteristic ambling or pacing movement.

Coat: Profuse and of good hard texture; not straight, but shaggy and free from curl. The undercoat should be a waterproof pile when not removed by grooming.

Colour: Any shade of grey, grizzle, blue or blue merle, with or without white markings; any shade of brown or sable to be considered distinctly objectionable and not to be encouraged.

Sizes: 56 cms (22 ins) and upwards for dogs, slightly less for bitches. Type, symmetry and character of the greatest importance and on no account to be sacrificed to size alone.

Faults: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

A long narrow head.

Notes: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum

QUESTIONS

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

3. How common is it in Australia?

4. What is the average lifespan?

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

9. How much grooming is required?

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

If you wish to contribute to the knowledge about this breed, please answer the above questions. (Copy and paste them into a new post).

  • Please only answer if you breed or own a pedigree example of this breed.
  • You do not have to answer all questions
  • Please keep posts limited to answering questions or for asking further questions if you require more (or expanded) information.

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QUESTIONS

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

First time owner (and shower - sort of :eek:)

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

The origin of the Old English Sheepdog remains a question of keen interest to Bobtail fanciers, and is still open to new theories and discoveries. However, there are traces of evidence which place its origin in the early nineteenth century, centered in the Southwestern Counties of England. Some maintain that the Scottish Bearded Collie had a large part in its making; others claim the Russian Owtchar as one of the progenitors of the Old English Sheepdog. Writings of that time refer to a "drovers dog" which was used primarily for driving sheep and cattle to market, and it is speculated that these drover's dogs were exempt from taxes due to their working status. To prove their occupation, their tails were docked...leading to the custom of calling the sheepdog by the nickname "Bob" or "Bobtail".

Quoted from National OES Council website

3. How common is it in Australia?

At the moment, not that common. Almost becoming a bit of a rare breed!

4. What is the average lifespan?

10 - 14 years

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

General temperament is that the OES is happy to lean up against you where ever you are. They are considered clowns. They have a very even temperament and are known to be VERY good with children (and I can vouch personally for that)

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

A walk a day is suffice for an OES. They enjoy getting out.

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

Yes & No. A fully coated OES is a lot of work. Many people think their coats shed...They do NOT. Hair will come out of them, but it will not be strewn all over the house. Their coat can matt easily as it is double coated and requires daily/weekly grooming. It is possible to clip an OES, but it would still have to be maintained. The inside of their ears need to be plucked and nails clipped (as all dogs do). They are a very family orientated dog, and they would not appreciate being left outside while everyone else is inside. If you want an outdoor dog...do not get an OES. Like most dogs as puppies they can get distructive if bored and need toys to keep them occupied. They just love being with people so you have to REALLY REALLY want a dog!

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

As mentioned above as puppies they can get distructive when bored, but nothing that a kong or snack toy can't fix. My OES is an only dog and he is kept indoors when I'm out and is fine for a few hours on his own.

9. How much grooming is required?

A LOT! Even clipped I would give them a quick brush over to avoid matts. Especially in places such as behind the ears, around the netherregions, armpits and down their sides.

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

I would say no, as long as there is no fuss made. If you stay calm, they stay calm. They are big and can get excited. They need to be trained to not do those things such as jumping up etc. They are more happy to sit on your feet and get a pat than jump and slobber all over you.

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

Hip problems is all I know of.

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

Ask if both the parents have had their hip scores done. Make sure the score is not high (the breed average score escapes me at the moment)! Ask about the parents temperaments too

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Bjelkier   

Does anyone on here have a show OES?

What kind of grooming is required for one before a show?

Is it just a case of brushing and combing (like the Sammies) or do you need to style and scissor the coat?

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Hi Bjelkier - sorry I missed this post!!!

My sister has a show OES which I was grooming and showing for 2 years while she was overseas (in fact i was doing it before she moved, too!).

Grooming an OES for the show ring is NOT easy at all... and it all depends on coat and the way grooming is done in certain states.

for example, the OES I showed, Charlie, had a huge coat. I currently show his son, who i am sure has an even bigger coat!! (but i dont groom him!).

When I was grooming charlie for a show, the brushing out would start the day before and i would allow myself at least 3-4 hours to brush him all over. although, i would do some brushing and stripping the week before a show, and maybe even some trimming to allow it to settle (plus the usual maintenance brushing which is at least every 3-4 days). With OES you have to work in lines and go ALL over - problem areas are usually ears, bum and any area that rubs (so legs/elbows, tail). once he was completely brushed out, I would wash his whites (only - you don't need to wash the greys), with specific attention to face and nether regions ;). He was then blowdryed, brushed again, trimmed and stripped.

trimming is ears, head, feet, and rear coat (oh, and tail!). Stripping is the jacket (shoulders, neck and over the wither), a little around the tail and rear legs also. i like to cover the jacket with a damp towel to keep the coat sitting flat. You also need to pluck ears and trim between the foot pads.

Trimming them is NOT easy... it needs to be short enough to stand up on it's own but long enough to be a full coat. They are also supposed to be shaggy, so generally my trimming doesn't appear to be obvious scissoring (although i do love beautifully sculpted feet!)

When you get to the show, if you've done everything right the day before, you will need to brush out again (not as thorough but just focus on the problem areas), tease up hair on the head and the rear coat. Potato flour is your friend in order to dry their faces and feet. In other states, people really sculpt their OES, following a similar way that it is done in the US. In WA, most exhibitors generally do not use any hairspray, and the only things used at the show are water and potato flour. it is a personal choice how you present your OES, but if you are up against illuminous white, well groomed OES, unless the judge knows the breed well, your chances are slim.

Advice for anyone interested in showing an OES and starting out, would be to ensure you have help from someone experienced to show you what to do, start out on the brushing at a very young age on a table so they get used to it, and be prepared for constant maintenance of the dog if you want to do well. They are absolute show ponies and really enjoy showing most of the time... they love to be the centre of attention and a beautiful example of the breed really stands out in the line up... but they are such hard work.

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Bjelkier   

Wow, thats a lot of work :eek:

As much as I would love to show one it looks like a pet is much more my level at this point, I just wouldn't have the time or energy to do everything with an OES and the Samoyeds before a show.

Thank you Sparky, that was really helpful :)

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No worries :) They are really fabulous dogs. If I didn't love my gundog breeds so much, I would actually consider one.

it's a shame, also, that Samoyed's are in a different group to OES, because ineveitibly the breeds or at least the groups always clash!!

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Bjelkier   

Yeah that was something else I was worried about, showing two dogs in different groups is a PITA.

Mr Bjelkier offered to show it as long as I groomed :laugh:

Another few questions about them ... sorry :o

How do they go with other dogs?

And with the coat, I know they are often shaved as pets but does this ruin the coat if you wanted to grow it back later?

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Fantastic with other dogs... usually it's other dogs that have issues with them, as they can be a bit "bullish" and if they are coated, other dogs sometimes have issues understanding what they are/body language. The number of breeds that have "gone" for charlie and he has just stood there has been amazing!! plenty of socialisation is a must, though, as they can be a little "rude" because they are quite enthusiastic and need to be taught manners like any friendly breed. They are really an ideal, lovely breed and would suit a LOT of people and families, but the coat requires maintenence even when clipped (like a poodle - regular clipping and brushing out as the coat grows) and unless owners are prepared for even just the general maintenance between grooms (plucking ears is a pretty important part, and keeping their beard clean and staying on top of problem matting areas while coat is growing back) they aren't suited to thsi breed.

With the coat, shaving them generally doesn't matter, their coat can grow back to full coat with little difference... it just takes a long time. The coat also goes through a lot of stages if left in full coat... starts out as soft when a puppy (one of the hardest stages, imo), then goes really light and starts getting harder texture and then changes back to darker great, or stays light but is harder from the longer outer coat (guard hairs) covering the softer, shorter undercoat. The coat itself is quite human like. I'm not sure about dogs that are desexed how the coat grows back, but in non-desexed dogs I've seen clipped dogs grow a full adult coat and be shown with no issues.

Funniest thing is watching a mosquito trying to get through an OES coat. they usually get lost and squished trying!! :laugh:

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Bjelkier   

They sound lovely and a lot like the Samoyeds actually.

Mr Bjelkier and I forsee a OES in our future one day ;)

Thanks :)

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trifecta   

The OES thread in breed sub-forums has expired, so I am posting here instead :)

There is an OES currently impounded & for sale at Queanbeyan pound. The website is here then click on animals for sale. She is an older girl & not desexed. :(

Hope someone with breed experience can help find her an appropriate home!

ETA Queanbeyan is in NSW just across the border from ACT / Canberra.

Edited by trifecta

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