Everything you need to know to buy or adopt an Old English Sheepdog puppy or adult dog.


BE PREPARED

For Your New

Old English Sheepdog!

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Raise and train your dog the RIGHT way and he will live a long, healthy, well-behaved life – and both of you will be happy!

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Old English Sheepdog dog breed

Buying or Adopting an Old English Sheepdog

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Is a DOG really the right pet for you?

I've been helping people choose and find dogs for over 35 years now, and I have to say that for many people, dogs are not ideal pets.

Pros AND Cons of Owning a Dog


Should you get a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog?

Don't set your sights on any purebred dog until you read these three eye-opening articles:

The Truth About Purebred Dogs

The Truth About Crossbred Dogs

The Truth About Mixed Breed Dogs


Is an Old English Sheepdog the right breed for you?

Old English Sheepdogs: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em

Old English Sheepdog Health Problems


Are YOU right for an Old English Sheepdog?

Can you provide what this breed needs?

  • Someone home most of the day
  • Fenced yard (not an electronic/underground fence)
  • Restricted exercise when young – until maturity (at least 18 months old), exercise restricted to multiple short (20 minute) walks, fetch games, and playing with other dogs – no forced running (beside a jogger or bicyclist), no long-distance treks, minimal jumping
  • Ample exercise after maturity – enough ongoing exercise that your Old English Sheepdog stays slim and is tired enough to sleep contentedly and not get into mischief
  • "Mental exercise" – interesting activities that keep the mind stimulated, such as a challenging dog sport (agility, rally obedience, herding, carting); challenging dog toys; a homemade obstacle course; tricks and games such as Musical Toys and Hide 'n Seek; instructions in my training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words
  • Brushing – a lot (unless you keep the coat clipped short)
  • Trimming/clipping – every few months
  • An indoor lifestyle, except for exercise and bathroom breaks
  • A meat-heavy diet, either homemade or commercial – meat is expensive, so people with less money should opt for a small dog
  • An owner with enough money to treat the health problems Old English Sheepdogs are prone to (pet health insurance can really help here!)
  • An owner who is okay with moderate shedding (especially if the coat is clipped short, which means the shed hairs fall out freely)
  • Commitment to provide thorough socialization – introducing your Old English Sheepdog to lots of people and other animals, diligently correcting any signs of misbehavior
  • Commitment to establish the right Leader-Follower relationship with your Old English Sheepdog, teaching him to listen to you and do what you say

Should you get a male or female Old English Sheepdog?

Symbols for male and female Male Dogs vs. Female Dogs
Which one makes a better pet?


Should you get a young puppy, an older puppy, or an adult dog?

Girl hugging a dog Puppies vs. Adult Dogs
What age should your new Old English Sheepdog be?


Where can you buy or adopt an Old English Sheepdog?

Old English Sheepdogs are moderately common in the United States. Out of 189 breeds in the American Kennel Club, where 1 is most popular and 189 is least popular, Old English Sheepdogs rank 75th.

Adopting From Dog Rescue Organizations
Old English Sheepdogs are often available from Dog Rescue groups. Old English Sheepdogs may be turned over to Rescue because they need too much grooming or exercise. Owners often give up their Old English due to rambunctious behaviors or dominance issues. You would need to provide these dogs with the exercise, training, and socialization that they are lacking.

Other Old English Sheepdogs are given up simply because of changed family circumstances, and these dogs may have no behavior problems at all.

Adopting From Public Animal Shelters and Humane Societies
Old English Sheepdogs are sometimes found here, although OES Rescue groups do try to move Old English Sheepdogs out of shelters and into their rescue network.

Buying From a Dog Breeder
You can buy an Old English Sheepdog from a show breeder, who breeds Old English Sheepdogs to match a detailed standard of appearance for the dog show ring. You can also buy an Old English from people who "just breed pets" or "just had one litter." But should you? Be sure to read the article to learn more about these people.

Here's one difference between a responsible breeder and an irresponsible breeder – BOTH PARENTS of an Old English Sheepdog puppy should have:

  • a certificate from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) – dated within the past year – certifying the dog to be free of eye diseases
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) or PennHip certifying the dog to have normal hips
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) certifying the dog to have a normal thyroid

If a seller can't show you those certificates, the puppies are higher risk for health problems. You might choose to accept that risk. But then you need to be willing (and able) to pay a couple thousand bucks for future surgeries and lifelong meds if your Old English Sheepdog ends up with cataracts, thyroid disease, and hip dysplasia.

Puppy in a pet shop window Pet Shop Puppies: Buying a Puppy From a Pet Store
Old English Sheepdogs are sometimes found in pet shops. I have plenty to say about buying a puppy from a pet shop!


Related Articles

Girl holding up a puppy and looking at him How To Choose a Good Old English Sheepdog Puppy
How to test the temperament and personality of Old English Sheepdog puppies and pick the best puppy in a litter.


Pedigree parchment AKC Registered Puppies: Are AKC Papers Important?
Should you consider buying only AKC registered Old English Sheepdog puppies? Do AKC papers and pedigrees really matter?


To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.

book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.