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Old English Sheepdog

Race History

The Sheepdog originated in western England possibly from bearded colleys or Russian owtcharka. The breed was a response to the need for a strong dog, capable of defending herds from the wolves that existed in England. In the mid-19th century, these dogs were primarily used to drive cattle and sheep to market. The breed was first seen in the late 1800's and in the early 1900's the breed was displayed at a popular show.
The Sheepdog was recognized by the AKC (American Kennel Club) in 1905. Early Sheepdogs could be brown, but later were restricted to shades of gray with white. Although today's dogs are very similar to the first, they have a fancier coat and a more compact body.
The breed's popularity as a pet grew slowly until the 1970s, when it became a popular animal in the media. Its popularity exploded, with owners wanting an exotic but adorable dog. Since then, their numbers have gradually dwindled although it is still a well-known breed. He is now more often seen as a pet or show dog than a working dog.


breed standard  

GENERAL APPEARANCE L :  Strong, appearing to be inscribed in a square, with a very harmonious structure and robust constitution. Absolutely free of leggy appearance, all covered with abundant fur. Muscular, stocky with a very intelligent expression. The original shapes must not be artificially modified by trimming with scissors or clipping. Endowed with great vigor, with a slightly ascending upper line and, seen from above, it has a pear-shaped trunk. It presents, in the trot, a typical waddle, when it walks with the step of camel or the normal step. Its bark has its own timbre.

PRO IMPORTANT PORTIONS :  The dog, when standing, has the withers lower than the loin. The head is proportional to the size of the body. The muzzle measuring approximately half the total length of the head.

BEHAVIOR  AND  TEMPERAMENT:  Docile and of equal character. Courageous, faithful and trustworthy; is in no way shy or aggressive if not provoked.



skull :  Bulky and square in shape. Well arched over the eyes.


Stop:  Well defined.


Truffle :  Large and black. The nostrils are wide.

Muzzle :
  Strong, square and truncated.

Jaws and Teeth :  Strong, large and regularly aligned teeth with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, ie the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth and are set squarely to the jaws. Pincer biting is tolerated but unwanted.

eyes :  Insert well separated. They are dark or different colors. Both blue eyes are accepted. Light eyes are unwanted. Pigmented eye contour is preferred.

Ears :  Small and carried flat against cheeks.

NECK :  Of good length, strong and gracefully arched.


Loin :  Very robust, wide and slightly arched.


chest :  Deep and wide. Ribs well sprung.

TAIL:  Previously it was customary to have the tail docked or naturally anuran

Cut : it was customary, completely cut.


Uncut : Carried naturally. Well feathered with abundant coat of hard texture.





Shoulders :  The shoulder blades are quite oblique, and narrower at the withers than at the point of the shoulders. Loaded shoulders are undesirable.

Elbows :  Well fitted to the chest.

Forearms :  Perfectly straight, strong boned, keeping the body well off the ground.

Paws :  Small, round and compact. Fingers well arched. Thick, hard pads. Not turned either in or out.


HINDQUARTERS :  They are well covered, round and muscular.

Knees :  Well angled, but not exaggerated.

Metatarsals :  Parallels when viewed from behind.


Paws :  Small, round and compact. Fingers well arched. Thick, hard pads. Not turned either in or out.

DRIVE :  When it walks, it waddles its hindquarters in the manner of bears. When trotting, the reach is easy and the propulsion provided by the hindquarters is powerful; the limbs move in planes parallel to the body line. The canter is very elastic. Regarding the slow stride, some specimens may have a tendency to walk like a camel. During movement, the dog can naturally hold its head down.


  • COAT


Hair : Abundant, with a very rough texture, but bristly and free from curls. The undercoat is a waterproof covering. The head and skull are well covered with hair; the ears are moderately fitted. The neck is well-groomed, as well as the forelimbs, especially the outline. The coat is more abundant on the hindquarters than on the rest of the body. More importance should be given to the quality and texture of the coat than to its length and abundance.


Any shade of grey, gray or blue. The trunk and hindquarters are solid in color, with or without white spots (stockings). White marks on solid areas should be discouraged. The head, neck, forelimbs and ventral face should be white with or without markings. Any shade of brown is undesirable.

SIZE : Males: 61  cm or above

            Females: 56  cm or above

  • FAULTS  


Any deviation from the terms of this standard should be considered a fault and penalized in exact proportion to its severity and its effects on the health and well being of the dog.  and on their ability to perform their traditional work.




• Aggressiveness or excessive shyness.

• Any dog that shows any sign of physical or behavioral anomaly must be disqualified.



• Males must present both testicles, of normal appearance, well let down and accommodated in the scrotum.

• Only clinically and functionally healthy dogs with typical breed conformation should be used for breeding.

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