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Are Old English Sheepdogs The Worst Dog? – Food for Thought

Written by: Ejay Camposano
A college graduate with a degree in Electrical Engineering, Ejay has a diverse background that combines technical expertise with a passion for pets and is now one of the content writers at IHD. Read more
| Published on January 9, 2024

Old English Sheepdogs, with their shaggy coats and amiable nature, are a breed that embodies a playful spirit and a gentle demeanor. Known for their distinctive ‘bear-like’ trot and an impressive coat of fur, they have been a beloved breed for families and individuals alike. Originally bred for herding and farm work, these dogs are intelligent, adaptable, and have a strong sense of loyalty. However, owning an Old English Sheepdog is not without its challenges. Potential owners need to consider these challenges to ensure they can provide a suitable and happy home. This article aims to discuss some of the downsides of owning an Old English Sheepdog, providing a balanced perspective while still recognizing the many positive traits of this charming breed.

7 Reasons Why Old English Sheepdogs Might Not Be Right For You

  1. Extensive Grooming Needs: Old English Sheepdogs have a beautiful, but high-maintenance coat that requires regular grooming. Their long, dense fur can easily become matted and tangled, necessitating daily brushing and frequent professional grooming. This commitment to grooming can be time-consuming and potentially costly.
  2. Shedding: Along with their grooming needs, Old English Sheepdogs are heavy shedders. Their thick fur can leave a considerable amount of hair around the home. This characteristic might be challenging for those who prefer a tidier environment or have allergies.
  3. Large Size and Space Requirements: Old English Sheepdogs are a large breed, often weighing between 60 to 100 pounds. They require ample space to move around, making them less suitable for small living spaces like apartments. Their size also means they need sufficient daily exercise to stay healthy and happy.
  4. Herding Instinct: Bred as herding dogs, they may retain an instinct to herd, which can include anything from other pets to small children. This behavior needs to be managed with proper training and socialization.
  5. Potential for Health Problems: Like many large breeds, Old English Sheepdogs can be prone to certain health issues, such as hip dysplasia and eye problems. Prospective owners should be aware of these potential health concerns and be prepared for the associated veterinary care.
  6. Training and Socialization Needs: While intelligent, Old English Sheepdogs can sometimes be stubborn, making training a challenge. They require consistent, positive training methods and early socialization to develop into well-behaved pets.
  7. Exercise Requirements: Despite their sometimes laid-back appearance, Old English Sheepdogs are an active breed that requires regular exercise. Without adequate physical and mental stimulation, they can become bored and develop unwanted behaviors.

Old English Sheepdogs are affectionate, loyal, and have a playful charm, they do come with a set of responsibilities that potential owners should be prepared for. Understanding these challenges is crucial for ensuring a fulfilling and happy life for both the dog and its family, highlighting the importance of informed and responsible pet ownership.

On The Other Hand…

5 Positive Qualities About Old English Sheepdogs

  1. Gentle and Friendly Nature: Old English Sheepdogs are renowned for their gentle and loving disposition. They are incredibly friendly and are known to get along well with children and other pets. This makes them excellent family dogs, perfect for households looking for a sociable and affectionate pet.
  2. Intelligent and Trainable: Despite their sometimes stubborn nature, Old English Sheepdogs are highly intelligent and capable of learning a wide range of commands and tricks. With consistent training, they can excel in obedience and agility, making them not only great companions but also impressive performers in various canine sports.
  3. Loyal and Protective: Old English Sheepdogs are fiercely loyal to their families and can be protective when necessary. This loyalty makes them not just pets but devoted guardians of their homes and loved ones. They are known to form strong, enduring bonds with their owners.
  4. Good Exercise Companions: Their need for regular exercise makes them excellent companions for active individuals or families. Old English Sheepdogs love walks, hikes, and playtime, encouraging a healthy, active lifestyle for their owners as well.
  5. Adaptable to Different Living Environments: While they thrive best in homes with plenty of space, Old English Sheepdogs can adapt to various living conditions, including city living, as long as their exercise and mental stimulation needs are met. They are versatile and can enjoy life in both rural and urban settings.

Old English Sheepdogs are not only charming in appearance but also possess a range of admirable qualities. They are gentle, intelligent, loyal, and adaptable, making them a wonderful addition to many homes. Their friendly and protective nature, combined with their ability to bond deeply with their owners, makes them a beloved breed for those who are willing to meet their care needs.

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