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Welcome to Deb's Old English Sheepdogs!
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BJ's Page
Murphy's Page
Sheepdog Pictures
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History of the OES
Overview of the Sheepdog
OES Breed Standard Comparison
Grooming Tips for the Pet Sheepdog
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Links to Sheepdog Related Sites
Dog treat Recipes
Words of 'Dog Wisdom'
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Murphy's Merchandise


















 

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Overview of The Breed

Originally a herding dog, the Old English Sheepdog is good-natured, patient, eager to please and is very family oriented yet at the same time a very competent guard dog. A natural clown and sure to steal your heart.
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Height to the shoulder ranges between 21 to 25 inches, weight varies from 60 to 90 pounds and their average life span is 10 to 12 years.
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A double coat with a wiry, shaggy topcoat and a downy undercoat. It is important that the Old English Sheepdog is groomed weekly, to ensure that the coat does not become matted.
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Reportedly moderate shedders, my experience is that virtually no hair comes off on your hand while petting and I would actually consider them to shed very minimally.
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Contrary to popular belief, Old English Sheepdogs can not see with the hair in front of their eyes.  The hair should be put into a 'topknot' or trimmed away from the eyes for visibility.  The breed originated with a much shorter and less dense coat than is seen today.  The longer, denser coat  is purposeful breeding for those characteristics and is not  a natural phenomenon. 
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Old English Sheepdogs are not generally 'high energy' dogs but are exuberant family members and are happiest when included in family activities whether it be going for car rides or just spending quiet time together.   They like to be close to their 'pack' and follow family members from room to room, earning them the nickname of 'velcro' dog. Sheepdogs don't require a lot of space to run, but do need regular daily exercise. 
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Old English Sheepdogs do well with older children, but are not recommended for families with children under 5 years of age.  Sheepdogs are  large and exuberant and can easily take food out of the hands of smaller children and also tend to knock children over unintentionally.  One thing to note with Sheepdogs is that being a herding dog, children running is usually not tolerated and they will nip to get them to stop.  This is part of their natural herding instinct.
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Flower Bar
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Known Medical Problems

Old English Sheepdogs have hereditary genetic problems to be aware of.  Please do not purchase a puppy if the breeding sire and dam have not been tested and cleared/certified.
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Hips

Like many large breeds, Old English Sheepdogs have a history of hip dysplacia which can be simply described as a malformed  joint which does not 'cup' and hold the leg bone properly thereby allowing it to 'slip', causing pain and discomfort for the sheepdog.  Hip dysplacia is complicated with the onset of arthritis and can be very expensive to treat and heartbreaking to watch your beloved dog suffer and become more and more immobile.  Solutions can be extreme as hip replacements, but are commonly lifelong steroid treatment to ease the discomfort once the disability begins to affect quality of life.  It is therefore very important not to breed dogs with hip dysplacia, thereby not perpetuating the problem.  All breeding sires and dams should be x-ray certified from the national kennel club in your country of origin to ensure the adults are not going to pass this defect on to the new litter and future generations.

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Eyes
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Eye Problems such as Cataracts and Progressive Retinal Atrophy are becoming increasingly more common.  All breeding sires and dams should have their eyes checked and cleared by a qualified ophthalmologist annually.
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Deb's Old English Sheepdog Page copyright © 2009
Graphics may not be used from this site without permission

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