Old English Sheepdog

Some people think this dog is actually older than it really is. The earliest record of this breed is from an engraving done in the late 18th Century. The breed became known in the 1800's. It was bred in West England in the counties of Devon, Somerset, and the Duchy of Cornwall from mixtures of what is thought to be the Scotch Bearded Collie and the Russian Owtchar.

The Sheepdog was known as a drover of sheep and cattle. Drover dogs were not taxed if they had their tails docked. It became customary to dock the Sheepdog's tail at the first joint to signify their position. Some dogs are actually born without a tail, a short tail, or a longer tail. The tail should be about an inch and a half to two inches in length.

The dog has a profuseness of coat which comes in gray, grizzled, blue, blue-merled with white markings, or white with blue-merle markings. It has a thick, strong, compact squarish body. The dog is almost perfectly symmetrical with good bone, a deep chest, and a hard coat. The coat, although thick, is good for all climes as it acts as insulation for both cold and warm temperatures. It's about 22 inches high, with a gait like a bear, and a loud bell-toned bark.

The Sheepdog is a homeloving dog who is agile, intelligent, and affectionate. Its lack of roaming, fighting, and boisterousness make it an ideal house dog and companion. It has a tender mouth and can be taught to retrieve. It has also been used as a sledge dog.

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