The Old English Sheepdog, or OES, originated in England in the early 19th century and is strongly believed to have relatives that include the Scotch Bearded Collie and the Russian Owtchar. The OES was bred as a herding dog of cattle or sheep and tends to do this naturally, even today. This breed had the nickname “Bobtail” due to their tails having been docked as proof they were a working dog in England and tax exempt. Today many countries have banned docking and it has become not a breed requirement everywhere. The life expectancy of this breed averages 11 to 19 years. This thick double coat is not difficult to brush if the dog has been brushed regularly, especially as a pup. The color of the coat can be any shade of gray, grizzle, blue or blue merle with or without white markings. This breed was a pet to Franklin D. Roosevelt, and was the “Martha My Dear” Paul McCartney wrote about in his Beatles song. You can see the OES in many TV shows and movies like Sesame Street, Chitty Chitty, Bang Bang, 101 Dalmatians, The Shaggy DA and the movie Cats & Dogs. The AKC recognized this breed in the Herding Group in 1888.
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