Cheerful, intelligent, temperamental
His clumsy impression is deceptive. The Bobtail or Old English Sheepdog comes across as a sluggish, shaggy bear. But there is a real clown in the big, hairy guy. He wraps his owners around his finger with a lot of charm and a big heart. At the same time, he looks after “his family” with enthusiasm.FCI Group: Herding Dogs – Cattle Dogs
- Size: medium
- Weight: 30-35kg
- Life expectancy: 12-14 years
- Coat type: long hair
- Colours: Blue Merle, Blue, Grey, Grizzle
The Bobtail is originally a herding dog or shepherd dog. He still shows great enthusiasm for his former job. It can quickly happen to his master that he herds them together like a herd. His alert nature cannot stand when family members separate. That’s why he’s extremely loyal.
The bobtail is always ready to act as a defender.
As an excellent family dog, he takes care of the children with a lot of enthusiasm. He loves to play with them. He watches over them responsibly. A strong protective instinct leads him to protect weaker creatures.
This herding dog requires close ties with family and needs to feel loved. He rewards his owners with his peaceful, good-natured nature.
The character of a bobtail is characterized by cheerfulness and an exuberant temperament. But he’s also sensitive. He resents overly severe correction.
Although he appears confident, he needs a lot of attention. The bobtail is in the thick of it and gets involved in exuberant games.
As a herding dog, he had to be fast and cover long distances. In addition, a high level of intelligence and the ability to learn were prerequisites for this task. Of course, the Bobtail still has these characteristics.
He is extremely persistent. His urge to move is above average. Intelligent and eager to learn, he would like to be challenged and encouraged.
He doesn’t care about bad weather because he always wears the right fur clothing. His long hair is warm.
The undercoat is water-repellent. This is the perfect kit for cold or wet weather. However, he does not feel comfortable under the bushy fur in summer.
You will certainly never forget your first encounter with a bobtail. His lush mane is very impressive.
With a maximum shoulder height of 61 cm, he is rather medium-sized. But his fur makes him appear bulky, even if he only weighs 30 kg. His body is muscular and shows great strength. Its ears are small and its head is large and square.
His coat is typically gray, grizzle, and blue in various shades.
The head, breast and front legs are white. Sometimes he also wears white socks. The long hair is hard, shaggy and not curly.
His trademark is the tail. Some dogs are born with short tails.
This earned him the name Bobtail or “stump tail”. Until 1998, this short tail was often artificially created by docking. In addition, the breed has a particularly memorable, expressive voice with recognition value.
Basically, the Bobtail is an unproblematic eater. Precisely because he likes to eat everything, a little caution is required. Sweets and spiced leftovers are not healthy for any dog. That’s why you should keep an open eye on what he’s eating. This is especially important in a family with children.
They would like to do something good for their darling. Therefore, you should know what he can eat and what not.
Did you just bring your puppy home? Then he should first get his known food. Saying goodbye to mother, siblings and familiar surroundings already causes stress. A change in eating habits can then lead to diarrhea.
You can choose a different food later. You mix the old with the new food over a period of several days. The proportion of old and new food shifts a little every day.
In any case, you must give your four-legged friend high-quality food for puppies and young dogs. In this way you prevent diseases that worsen during growth.
Only an adult dog may be fed with normal dog food.
Wet food is rather complicated to administer. The extensive fur around the mouth becomes very dirty and sticky. In addition, many bobtails do not tolerate this food well and react with diarrhea. If you prepare his food yourself, make sure it is of high quality.
Some foods stick his beard so much that cutting helps.
Treats in between are allowed. Due to the bobtail’s pronounced drive to move, it has a higher nutrient requirement. Therefore, he does not tend to become overweight so quickly. Nevertheless, you feed him once or twice, subtracting the treats from the total amount.
Of course you like to spoil your darling with special treats. Maybe there is not only in between, but also with the main meal. A bobtail is a quick learner and extremely stubborn. Be careful that he doesn’t just want the treats and get his hands on you anytime soon.
The long fur gives it its magnificent appearance. Without extensive care, however, it soon looks matted and unkempt. Get the puppy used to regular grooming. It is best to brush off loose parts and dirt immediately after you have been outdoors. Then there will be no tangles at all.
In addition, you have to intensively care for his fur several times a week with a brush and comb. A bath now and then can never hurt. If tangles do occur, the dog groomer will help. In summer he is also the place to go for a close shave. A shorter coat makes your dog easier to cope with in the summer heat.
Some owners cut their facial hair for a clear view. Others braid or tie a pigtail. No matter what you choose, the hair around the mouth must be washed regularly. You also wipe out the eyes and genital area. This will prevent permanent discoloration of the fur.
Of course, many foreign bodies and ticks get caught in such a distinctive coat of hair. Small injuries are difficult to detect. That’s why you often search your four-legged friend and take a close look. The ears also need special attention.
You will certainly spend some time gently but firmly training your bobtail.
He is a little stubborn and tends towards dominance. Therefore, it is wise to devote enough energy to your manners.
You can keep your bundle of energy busy with long walks. When it comes to dog sports, he shows a lot of talent. Agility, flyball and obedience are conceivable.
It is important that he finds an outlet for his temperament and his desire to run.
How the history of the Old English Sheepdog actually begins is a matter of debate. In fact, he’s English. In his home country he leads the list of herding dogs. Today he is the oldest of the English Shepherd Dogs. It first appears in written documents in the 18th century.
The first paintings showing him also date from this time.
His ancestors are probably English and German shepherd breeds. A shot at Russian and Hungarian Shepherd Dogs is also included. These crossings were made around the time of the Hundred Years War. Such a good mix ensures his exceptional performance as a herding dog.
His duties included driving the herds to market. He also had to protect them from predators and danger.
Its fur made it impervious to work in any weather. The tail was probably deliberately docked by keepers. This might have marked the dog as a working animal and paid less tax.
It is also believed that the bobtail should be prevented from hunting small animals by the missing rod.
In 1890 the Kennel Club recognized the Old English Sheepdog as a breed. The FCI groups the Bobtail under the standard number 16 in the group of herding dogs and cattle dogs. He belongs in the shepherd dogs section.
The Bobtail isn’t used that often as a herding dog these days.
Mainly you will find him as a loyal member of a family. It is also very popular at exhibitions. His looks predestine him for a career in this field. Nonetheless, he still works diligently in many fields. This includes working as a rescue dog and tracking dog.
Brushes and combs are standard equipment for Bobtail owners. Fur comb and fur brush for long-haired dogs are recommended. Use fur shears to remove unwanted hair on genitals, ears and paws. With the de-matting rake and the undercoat brush you take care of the water-repellent, oily undercoat. A dog shampoo completes the coat care products.
General dog accessories are quickly acquired. Collar, leash, bowls and dog basket – and your bobtail moves in. Which toy should you choose? Your dog is happy about everything that is fun. If you decide to do a dog sport, you will definitely want to buy training equipment.
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