Friday, September 24, 2010
The breed standards describe the ideal Old English Sheepdog as never being nervous or aggressive. The New Zealand Kennel Club adds that "they are sometimes couch potatoes" and "may even try to herd children by gently bumping them." This breed's temperament can be described as intelligent, social and adaptable. The American Kennel Club adds that the breed has "a clownish energy" and "may try to herd people or other objects."
With wide open spaces being the ideal setting for an Old English Sheepdog, the breed is a natural fit in a rural setting, such as working on a farm; although they are perfectly comfortable with a suburban or urban lifestyle (with proper exercise). Their remarkable, inherent herding instincts, sense of duty, and sense of property boundaries may be nurtured and encouraged accordingly, or subdued by their owners. Old English Sheepdogs should not be deprived of the company and the warmth of people.
The Old English Sheepdog's long coat requires a thorough brushing at least once weekly, which may take one to three hours. Without regular care, the coat can become a trap for dust, debris, fecal matter, urine and moisture. Matting may become painful to the animal, such as in between the toes, and can restrict movement in severe cases. Although Old English Sheepdog puppies are cute, prospective owners may be deterred by the level of care required if long hair is desired.
The preferred method of grooming involves starting from the base of the hairs to keep the thick undercoat hair mat- and tangle-free. The brushing should be started at a very young age to get the dog used to it. A hairband may be used to keep a dog's fur out of its eyes. Many people trim their dogs' coats to a more manageable length. A professional quality electric shear reduces time spent trimming. However, dogs that are being shown in conformation must retain their natural coat.
Veterinary school data shows the Old English Sheepdog to have a life expectancy of 6.9 years, but data collected from owners in the United States estimates the life expectancy as 11.19 years. The Old English Sheepdog Club of America sponsors investigations into diseases encountered in the breed in order to assist breeders in selecting healthy dogs for breeding, and breeders of Old English Sheepdogs who are members of the Old English Sheepdog Club of America must support its Code of Ethics in breeding and selling sheepdogs. There is no data on how many dogs are affected, or what percent of the breed is affected by any of these ailments. Heatstroke is also a serious concern in full coated dogs. Cancer is a major cause of death amongst Old English Sheepdogs. Puppy buyers should ask breeders if they have tested for these disorders in their breeding dogs. Trimming the long protective hair over an adult sheepdog's eyes must be avoided, as they become accustomed to the filtered sunlight, thus it can be damaging to the eyes. This can be avoided early on if the hair is kept consistently trimmed starting at a young age, and the normally pink tissue surrounding the eyes may become dark (for non-show dogs). The underside of the ears should be kept clean, and matted hair in the ear canal should be removed periodically by a veterinarian.These are some of the common diseases of the Old English Sheepdogs include allergies, cataracts, deafness, diabetes, hip dysplasia, ectropion, entropion,glaucoma, thyroid problems and skin problems.
Cataracts is the opacity of the lens. Inherited cataracts can often appear in young dogs, in most cases a veterinarian or veterinary ophthalmologist will have to make this diagnosis; owners are often unaware of small focal cataracts. There are also late onset cataracts that may not show up until middle or older age. Cataracts may develop because of an inherited defect, with age, or secondary to inflammation, trauma, diabetes, or retinal degenerations.
Ectropion is a medical condition in which the lower eyelid turns outwards. The condition can be repaired surgically.
Entropion is a medical condition in which the eyelids fold inward. It is very uncomfortable, as the eyelashes rub against the eyeball constantly. Entropion is usually caused by genetic factors and may be congenital. Trachoma infection may cause scarring of the inner eyelid, which may cause entropion.Treatment is a simple surgery in which excess skin of the outer lids is removed. Prognosis is excellent if surgery is performed before the cornea is damaged. Entropion has been documented in most dog breeds, although there are some breeds (particular purebreds) that are more commonly affected than others.squinting, it is often related to allergies. (no image available)
Glaucoma happen if the pressure inside the eye is too high. The eye is full of fluid. The fluid is constantly produced and drained from the eye and supplies nutrition for all parts of the eye. Glaucoma is caused by a decrease in the amount of fluid that flows out of the eye. This is a serious disease and without proper treatment it can result in blindness. Glaucoma is one of the most frequent causes of blindness in adult dogs. The treatment chosen (i.e. surgery and/or medical therapy) will be influenced by what the goal of therapy is: to stop pain in a blind eye or to preserve vision. Medical treatment consists of a number of different drugs used in combination. Some are given by mouth and effect the whole body, while others are put directly into the eye and have a local effect. The drugs that work when the problem is first diagnosed may not work forever. Therefore, the intraocular pressure needs to be monitored on a regular basis so that the medication regimen can be altered to fit the needs of the patient. Unfortunately glaucoma cannot be cured, only controlled. When medical treatment fails, surgical therapy can help prolong vision.
Posted by helloiamallaine at 9:04 PM
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
If you want a dog who...
• Is enthusiastic, bouncy, and bumptious, and loves to romp and play
• Makes a sensible watchdog, but is usually not aggressive with strangers
• Is usually peaceful with other pets
• Is shaggy (unless clipped)
An Old English Sheepdog may be right for you.
If you don't want to deal with...
• An extremely careful search to avoid highstrung, neurotic, nasty Old English Sheepdogs
• Rowdiness and exuberant jumping, especially when young
• Strong-willed mind of his own, requiring a confident owner who can take charge
• Slobbering and drooling in some individuals
• Shedding (average)
• Lots of grooming: either regular brushing or regular clipping
• "Shaggy dog syndrome," i.e. debris clinging to the coat, water soaking into the beard and dripping on your floors
• Gassiness (flatulence)
An Old English Sheepdog may not be right for you.
Posted by helloiamallaine at 7:02 PM
Monday, September 20, 2010
The Old English Sheepdog is nicknamed the Bobtail, since tail docking was traditional in the old sheepdogs. The breed is well known as the Dulux dog, as a result of their long-running use in advertising Dulux paint. The Old English Sheepdog is a large dog, immediately recognizable by its long, thick, shaggy grey and white coat, with fur covering their face and eyes. The ears lie flat to the head. In places where tail docking is still legal, the tail is completely docked, resulting in a panda-like rear end. The Old English Sheepdog stands lower at the shoulder than at the lion, and walks with a "bear-like roll from the rear". When the dog has a tail, it has long fur (feathering), is low set, and normally hangs down. Height at the withers is at least 61 cms (24 ins), with females slightly smaller than males.The body is short and compact, and ideal weights are not specified, but may be as much as 46 kg (101 lbs) for large males. Colour of the double coat may be any shade of grey, grizzle, blue, or blue merle, with optional white markings. The undercoat is water resistant. Puppies are born with a black and white coat, and it is only after the puppy coat has been shed that the more common grey or silver shaggy hair appears.
The origins of the Old English Sheepdog are not well-known, but the general theory is that it was created from the combination of other English or Russian dogs. The modern version of the breed was created in England and was used for herding cattle and sheep – that much is known. Some farmers would shear their Old English Sheepdogs and use their plentiful coat to make blankets or clothes as if it were one of the sheep being herded. The breed was first shown in the UK in 1873.
There are also few theories about the origin of the Old English Sheepdog. One is that it is related to the Poodle and the Deerhound. Other theories are it is related to the Briard and the Bergamasco, or from Scotch Bearded Collies and the Russian Owtchar, a hairy Russian breed brought to Great Britain on ships from the Baltic. The Old English Sheepdog was developed in the western countries of England by farmers who needed a quick, well-coordinated sheep herder and cattle driver to take their animals to market. The dogs became widely used in agricultural areas. Farmers began the practice of docking the tails in the 18th century as a way of identifying the dogs that were used for working so they could get a tax exemption. For this reason the dogs were given the nick name "Bobtail". Each spring when the sheep were sheared farmers would also shear the dogs coat to make warm clothing and blankets. The Old English Sheepdog has been used for reindeer herding because they tolerate cold weather so well. It was first shown in Britain in 1873 and by the AKC in 1888. Some of the Old English Sheepdog's talents include: retrieving, herding and watchdog.
Posted by helloiamallaine at 4:29 AM