The Bobtail or the Old English Sheepdog is a large, squarely proportioned, agile dog with a profuse shaggy coat. The body is stocky, well balanced and muscular. It is a strong, compact-looking dog of great symmetry.
All round it is a thickset, muscular, able-bodied dog, with a most intelligent expression, free of all Poodle or Deerhound character. The sum of these qualities, combined with its agility, make it able to meet the tasks required of a shepherd’s or drover’s dog.
Blue, gray, blue gray or blue merle, often with white markings, sometimes white is the predominate color with markings of the above listed darker colors.
Coarse, long double coat with coarse guard hair, soft downy undercoat. It needs constant care to keep it in top condition. Unless it is combed and brushed right through to the dense, waterproof undercoat at least three times per week, it will become matted and the dog may develop skin problems to be plagued by parasites. Clip out any tangles carefully so as not to nick the skin. If the dog is not being shown, the coat can be professionally machine-clipped every two months or so, about one inch all the way around. This breed is a seasonally heavy shedder, usually in the spring (April -May).
This breed is generally healthy although it is sometimes prone to hip dysplasia and cataracts.
Bobtails are friendly, intelligent, faithful and protective. Several generations ago, this breed was described as fierce and untrustworthy, but its characteristics have long since disappeared. It is even-tempered and adaptable. The Bobtail is a gentle, loving and lovable teddy bear.
This dog has a strong herding instinct and may try to herd the family, especially small children, by bumping, not nipping, but is otherwise excellent with them. Wanting to play more then anything else. This breed needs firm obedience training; it can be strong-willed. It likes to stick close to home; it makes a good couch potato. It is very much part of the family but also wants some time alone.
The Bobtail is very good at herding and taking instructions, but tends to anticipate commands or does it its own way if it thinks its way is better. This breed makes a fine family companion. This dog was developed for hard work and loves a good run. This breed remains “young” and active for many years, and then suddenly becomes old.
Some of the breed’s talents include: retrieving, herding and watchdogging. The Bobtail is a fine herding dog, but it has also been used for reindeer herding because it tolerates cold weather so well.
This breed will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. It is fairly active indoors and will do best with at least an average-sized yard.