Is an Old English Sheepdog a good first dog?

If you’re a lover of all things shaggy and cuddly, you’re probably already swooning over the Old English Sheepdog (OES). You might have seen one on TV or at a dog park and wondered if this big ball of fluff could be the dog for you. Well, if you’re in search for a first canine companion, the Old English Sheepdog might just be the one you’re looking for!

Now, let’s explore the top reasons why Old English Sheepdogs could make great first-time pets, but not before we delve a bit into their history. It’s not really English, and it does not really herd sheep. An interesting paradox, isn’t it? Known as the “Bobtail,” these dogs actually hail from the western counties of England and were primarily used to drive cattle. Their overflowing coats had a practical focus – to protect them from the harsh English weather.

An OES could be the right fit for your family if you favor a large, loving, and active breed. Weighing anywhere from 60 to 100 pounds, these dogs are known for their playful nature and their loyalty towards their families. They are friendly, adaptable, and intelligent. A bundle of joy that’s wrapped in a coat of fur, they love spending time with their human pals – be it on a walk, a run, or just lying around the house.

Their smarts, however, come with a dash of stubbornness. Training an OES requires patience and consistency. After all, they were bred to make decisions while herding, so they’re not necessarily inclined to take your command at face value. But don’t worry, it just takes a bit more perseverance and creativity. Use positive reinforcement methods and make training engaging and fun. This breed is generally eager to please and with some effort, they can pick up tricks and commands well.

If you’re physically active and looking for a companion to join your fitness journey, you’ve got the right breed! Old English Sheepdogs are not couch potatoes. They require regular exercise to keep them happy and healthy. Long walks, runs, or engaging playtimes in the backyard can help burn the energy reserves of your OES.

Now, you might look at that profuse coat and think, “that’s going to be a lot of work.” You’re not wrong. Grooming the Old English Sheepdog can be quite a task. Regular brushing is essential to prevent matting and tangling of its fur. Owners often opt to keep their OES in a puppy cut, which is a shorter trim that is easier to maintain and can help the dog stay cool.

While they are generally healthy dogs, OES is prone to certain breed-specific conditions, including hip dysplasia and certain eye disorders. Regular vet checkups and preventative care can help ensure that your pup stays in the best of health.

It’s also worth noting that OES are known for their clownish behavior. One of their signature moves is the “Old English Sheepdog Shuffle,” where they bump or push you with their rear. This originally was a herding technique, but in a home setting, it translates to lots of laughter (and some occasional toppling)!

While Old English Sheepdogs can make wonderful first dogs, they may not be the best fit for everyone. They are a good choice for active individuals, families with kids, or those who have a spacious outdoor area. Also, they are perfect for those who don’t mind spending some time on grooming and training.

So, in the end, whether the Old English Sheepdog makes a good first dog truly depends on your lifestyle and what you’re looking for in a pet. Keep in mind that owning a dog is a long-term commitment and it’s important to research and consider the needs of the breed before making a decision.

As with any breed, an Old English Sheepdog brings unique quirks and qualities to your life. If you embrace their playful nature and invest time in their care and training, you’ve not only got a first dog, but a best friend in these wonderful canines.

In all, it’s safe to say that if you want a dog that’s large and lovable, intelligent yet slightly goofy, active but equally apt at cuddling, the Old English Sheepdog could be the best fur buddy you’ll ever meet. They are equally at home in the park chasing balls as they are couch surfing on a lazy afternoon. This versatility is, after all, part of their charm and why they make such an excellent first dog!