Olde English Sheepdog
Narrator: The Olde English Sheepdog. Who can resist, this fun loving creature looks a whole lot like a giant stuffed animal come to life.
Zak George: Olde English Sheepdogs are huge, fuffy, the first thing anybody wants to do is give it a huge hug.
Narrator: Huge they maybe, but Pres. Franklin Delano Roosevelt humorously named his Olde English Sheepdog tiny. And Paul McCartney’s fluffy friend Martha inspired at least three Beetle songs including Fool on the Hill. Featured in movies like the Shaggy Dog, the Olde English Sheepdog bear like appearance gives them star appeal.
Andrea Arden: Olde English Sheepdogs are perfect for people who want a lot of attention when they walk down the street, because this is probably the hairiest dog out there.
Narrator: Like all pure breeds they have a history. These charismatic canines can trace their origins back to the early 19th century when they were used to herd sheep and cattle in Western England. History has it that shepherds look to avoid taxes legged on pet owners and docked their tails to show they were working dogs.
Andrea Arden: And that’s how they got the nickname a Bobtail.
Narrator: For many years the dogs were shunned as pets. Their coats were called Profuse conjuring up images of extreme grooming. To this day they’re still not the most common pooche in the park.
Dr. Cherise Clement: You don’t see too many of them and I think that’s probably because of the perception of how much work it takes to maintain one.
Narrator: A marked characteristic of this buoyant breed is its bark which some describe as dark and gravelly.
Dr. Karen Halligan: It’s kind of a raspy Demi Moore type bark. It’s really unique.
Narrator: Although tail docking is sometimes considered controversial the Olde English Sheepdog’s bobbed tail is a common feature of the breed. Sick or well the Olde English Sheepdog is not a low maintenance pet. Their size and exuberance demand lots of exercise, about an hour every day. You’re better off with a good size yard where they can run and release all that childlike energy. They can suffer from health problems like hip dysplasia and cataracts. The bigger concern though is whether or not you want to care for old that hair.
Andrea Arden: I can’t think of a dog that’s more difficult to groom than an Olde English Sheepdog.
Narrator: They need a thorough brushing three to four hours a week. Removing matted hair prevents skin problems and their bangs need attention too.
Dr. Karen Halligan: You can either choose to put their hair up in a knot or just make sure it’s groomed in front of their eyes.
Narrator: Training these people loving pets should be a rewarding activity.
Dr. Cherise Clement: They’re really easy to train, they’re really intelligent.
Narrator: As a family dog Olde English Sheepdogs fit right in. These highly social animals are protective of children; just make sure to monitor young ones.
Andrea Arden: You need to make sure that kids understand that they are not to be climbed all over.
Narrator: The gist of it is that the Olde English Sheepdog is not for everyone. These animals need lots of exercise and prefer room to roam. They can suffer from health problems like hip dysplasia, cataracts, and like many breeds cancer. And unless clipped short their coat demands hours of weekly grooming. On the other hand training them is a pleasure and as long as small children are monitored they make wonderful family pets. If you’ve got the time, energy, and love to spare the Olde English Sheepdog is sure to reward you with laugher and loyalty for many years.
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