19. ShermanSo you want to own an Old English Sheepdog?
The Old English Sheepdog’s coat is one of his most distinctive features. The coat is profuse, but not excessive, and may take three to four hours a week to groom. The Old English Sheepdog is known to shed, so if you have an aversion to dog hair, you may want to consider another breed. The Old English Sheepdog loves his home and family. He is an extremely affectionate dog who makes an ideal house-dog.

Does the OES require a lot of grooming?
Yes. When showing or growing out the initial puppy coat, daily grooming is an absolute necessity to avoid mats and tangles. If you do not plan to show your OES, a weekly grooming session (usually about an hour) is satisfactory or less if you plan to keep your OES in a more manageable puppy clip.

20. WilsonDoes the OES shed?
With daily/weekly grooming sessions, the brush will remove most of the loose hair. The OES is not considered a “shedding breed” as it maintains its dense coat throughout the year. The little hair that is shed is relatively easy to remove from carpeting and clothing, more so than the short prickly hairs of some of the shorter coated breeds (e.g., Bull Terriers).

Is the OES considered to be a hypoallergenic breed?
Because the breed’s coat is so soft and “human like” it is less likely to harbour the dander that most people react to. While many people with allergies seem to have little or no reaction to the OES hair, it is still not considered to be a truly hypoallergenic breed.

Does the OES eat a lot?
During their first year, OES grow from about one pound (500g) to about sixty pounds (30kg). When fully grown, they will often weigh between 70 to 110 lbs. (30-50 kg). Consequently, OES require plenty of food to support that growth. Once they reach adulthood, however, they have a very low metabolism and do not eat a lot. Of course, the amount of food consumed varies significantly depending upon level of exercise, individual variation, and climate. Overfeeding an OES is easy to do because the profuse coat readily hides extra pounds. It is extremely important that you check your dog’s weight regularly.

Is the OES protective of the home and family?
Some are and some are not. Of course, the sheer size of the OES and the barking he will provide is protective in and of itself. However, many OES have been known to welcome friends and strangers alike into the home without so much as a bark. If you are specifically looking for a guard dog, you may want to consider another breed.

23. OES close upHow much exercise does the OES require?
Because of its herding origins, an OES should be exercised regularly. The amount of exercise required will vary depending upon the dog’s age. Puppies have a lot of energy, so much so that they will use it to destroy your home if they do not have daily outlets. On the other hand, aging dogs often prefer to lie on the couch and will need substantially less exercise. Between those extremes, 1-2 hours of daily exercise should be sufficient. It is important to note that the OES can readily adjust to less exercise, but this is not particularly healthy for him.

Health Concerns
In general the Old English Sheepdog tends to be a very healthy breed but as with any breed of dog there are certain diseases which they are predisposed.

Cerebellar Abiotrophy (Ataxia)
The Cerebellum is part of the brain that is critical for controlling smooth and effective movement. The most obvious abnormality in dogs with CA is a base-wide rear stance and gait. Typically when dogs walk they should move
their paws towards midline. CA dogs tend to stand with their hind limbs far apart and have mild to moderate circumduction. Circumduction is where the paw is carried outside of a line dropped vertically to the ground from the hip joint. The paw also strikes the ground far from the midline and usually outside of a line dropped vertically from the hip joint.

The gait of affected dogs may also appear as “high-stepping”. This is best appreciated in the forelegs. While this prancing gait may be considered desirable in other breeds, in the Old English it is not and can be a sign of CA.

In the later stages of the disease, the dogs are extremely wobbly (ataxic) and their gait problem becomes much easier to appreciate. Although the condition has been presented in young adult dogs, there may be subtle changes even in puppies.

In 2012 a genotype CA test was made available to breeders.

24_Say_CheeeeeeezeHip Dysplacia
Hip dysplasia results from the abnormal development of the hip joint in the young dog. It may or may not be bilateral, affecting both right and left sides. It is brought about by the laxity of the muscles, connective tissue, and ligaments that should support the joint. Most dysplastic dogs are born with normal hips but due to genetic and possibly other factors, the soft tissues that surround the joint start to develop abnormally as the puppy grows. The most important part of these changes is that the bones are not held in place but actually move apart.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy
PRA (progressive retinal atropy) is a common cause of blindness that affects several different breeds of dog. It is actually several different conditions that all result in similar changes in the eye leading to blindness. It is an inherited condition; in most breeds it is recessive condition meaning that to develop PRA a dog must receive two of the abnormal (PRA causing) genes.

25. B and CoraAutoimmune Disorders
The ability of the immune system to recognize the “self” marker is lost, and it begins to attack and reject the body’s own tissue as foreign. One specific tissue type such as red blood cells may be affected, or a generalized illness such as systemic lupus may result. What causes the immune system to short circuit and start rejecting normal body tissue? Many theories exist, but the ultimate answer is “We don’t know.” Jean Dodds, a veterinarian studying immunology, feels that multivalent modified-live vaccines overstimulate the immune system. Others blame environmental pollutants or food preservatives such as ethoxyquin, an antioxidant found in most dog foods. There is strong evidence for a genetic factor in the development of autoimmune disease in many species. And some cases occur spontaneously, causing damage to kidneys, lungs, or thyroid gland.


Sam – Breton’s Last Samuri

Charlie – Breton’s Good Time Charlie
27. Charlie








Madilyn – Breton’s Made to Order
28. Madilyn







Neve – Breton’s Never Knowingly