With its shaggy coat and loveable characteristics, the sheepdog has become a favorite pet to all types of families.

This dog breed combines intelligence, a hard-working ethic and an overall cuteness to win over human”s emotions. They also can perform duties as a sheep herder, and that instinct continues today.

These herding dogs have lots to give to whoever owns them.

The deep-rooted ability to herd comes naturally for sheepdogs. He also can be a great sportsman and retrieve its master”s hunting kills. The dog has excellent mouth control.

If trained well, they can remain at their masters” heels. The dog has quickness, instinct and level-headedness, which makes him excellent out in a forest, pasture or just at home as a pet.

Although many sheepdogs are on the show circuit, many more remain home soaking in all the hugs and love from a family. Most other dogs aren”t quite as clean, affectionate or adaptable. Sheepdogs also make great watch dogs.

The Sheepdogs” History

The ancestry of sheepdogs remains hard to define. Dog lovers disagree on which period it appeared on the forefront of villages and homes. However, these dogs have been spotted in artwork and in prose watching over flocks and herds in most countries.

It is thought that the sheepdog could have a family line with similar dogs in Russia, the Himalayas or in the Pyrenees. Those animals were bred to be more massive, powerful and meaner than the sheepdogs of today.

The dog came to England in the 19th Century. Evidence shows that the breed was found in many parts of the country. Writers talked much about the dog”s even temper and level-headedness.

Sheepdogs also became popular in Scotland, where it was called a Bearded Collie. The dogs had been immune to taxation because they had been kept for working purposes.

The Scottish sheepdog had a tail, but the English would get rid of the tail. Generations of breeding of dogs with tails and dogs without tails now end up with some litters having a mixture of bob-tailed Sheepdogs and other pups with full-length tails.

Sheepdog Characteristics

Popularity of this dog breed grows through promotion.

The Old English Sheepdog Club was founded in 1888 to help promote the breeding of the old-fashioned English sheepdog. The members developed a guide of what an award-winning English sheepdog should look like, act like and be all about.

Some of those recommendations included that the general appearance of the breed should be strong, compact-looking with great symmetry. The dog should look elastic in its gallop. Its coat should be full all over. When the sheepdog walks or trots, he will have an almost sauntering look. His loud bark will include a unique ring in it.

The sheepdog possesses a thick but muscular body and an intelligent expression. The color of its coat should be gray with or without white markings. Judges would object any dog with brown or sable coats.

The size of the breed begins at about 22 inches.

Care of Sheepdog Puppies

The bone structure and body of a sheepdog distinguishes itself from other breeds. So, it is essential for the puppy to get enough nutrients to start out healthy. Owners should not allow the mother to bring up too many of the litter on her own. She can feed six or seven. A foster mother should be used to feed the rest of the litter, which sometimes can be a dozen or more.

If the mother is fed well, she will be able to grow her pups quite quickly the first three weeks. At that age, they will be old enough to lap food themselves. Feed them about five times a day, and keep them moving about on a regular basis. Within a short period of six weeks, the puppies can fend for themselves. A good supply of milk will help to continue their strong growth.

As puppies, they should never get wet. Their sleeping area should be dry, clean and well-ventilated.


Leighton, R. (2004). Dogs and all About Them. Retrieved March 24, 2008, from The Project Gutenberg EBook of Dogs and All About Them Web site: