Basics of Dog Breed : Bobtail

Posted on September 27 2018

Basics of Dog Breed : Bobtail

The English Old English Sheepdog (Bobtail) is a large dog, strong, muscular and with a harmonious constitution. He is easily recognizable by his abundant fur, his distinctive voice when he barks, and his singular gait, which may recall that of the bear. The Bobtail presents an intelligent expression and his body is writable in a square.

Breed Information:

Other names: Ancestral English Sheepdog, English Sheepdog, Old English Sheepdog
Origin:  UK
FCI Group: Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs)
FCI number: 16
Hair type: Long
Shape of the head: Carree

Race history

The Bobtail is now considered a very old dog of British origin. It comes from the cross between different European breeds of sheepdogs : on the one hand, the British sheepdogs and, on the other, the Caucasian Shepherd and most probably the Shepherd of Bergamo. From the beginning, the Bobtail specialized in the care and management of herds. Its very well-stocked dress and its great resistance allowed it to remain effective in mountain and rural environment. The first exhibition of an English Ancestral Sheepdog dates back to 1873. The current official standard of the breed was published on October 13, 2010.

Physical characteristics

His hair: abundant, rough, shaggy and not curly, nor curly. The hair covers the whole of his body. The undercoat provides effective protection against the elements. 
Its color: gray, gray or blue. Uniform color for the body and hindquarters, with or without small white marks at the ends of the legs. The head, the neck, the legs and the underside of the belly are imperatively white, with or without mark. 
His head: voluminous and square. The stop is well marked, the truffle is strong and black, with large nostrils. The snout is strong, square and truncated. 
His ears: small, flat on the sides of the skull. 
Their eyes :dark or minnows, well apart. The edges of the pigmented eyes are looked for, but not the clear eyes. 
His body: short, compact, writable in a square. The kidney is broad and slightly arched, the chest is full and well down. 
His tail: short of birth or shortened. Natural port, well fringed and covered with an abundant and hard hair.

Weight and size

Weight Cut
Female Between 28 kg and 38 kg Between 55 cm and 62 cm
Male Between 30 kg and 40 kg Between 56 cm and 66 cm

A Bobtail dog is classified as a large dog .

Behavior and character

From its past as a sheepdog, the Bobtail retains the characteristics of an active animal, getting along with other animals, intelligent , faithful and reliable , but also less easy to train . Its natural sweetness and interest in the game make it a perfect companion for children. In addition, it is never aggressive until you push it to its limits. The Bobtail is a dog alert and therefore quite fit to guard , but much less in defense.


Active dog,  sometimes turbulent  and not really aware of its strength, the Bobtail must be  educated rigorously , without being severe. Especially since he is  not inclined to dressage . He must be  accustomed to early leash outings  and good driving during walks. It is naturally attracted to its congeners and other animals, which is not negative in itself, but can sometimes make it difficult to manage during walks. A strict and fair education makes the Bobtail an excellent pet dog.


The Bobtail is a rustic dog and health rather solid . It does not present a particular health problem, which does not prevent it from requiring the basic care, as with any race of dog: vaccines, vermifuge, etc.

Maintenance & Hygiene


The Bobtail is a dog that requires a lot of maintenance because of this abundant hair . It must not curl or curl, which may happen if it is neglected. If knots are formed, the only solution is to take him to the groomer.


The  Bobtail dress is to examine and maintain every day  to be untangled and clean. Regular  visits to the groomer  are recommended, especially if the dog is intended to compete or be exposed.

Physical activity

The Bobtail  needs long daily trips  to stretch his legs. Some games are not too much during these walks.

Living conditions

The Bobtail is primarily a mountain and country dog . He is certainly happier than in town, and even more so than in an apartment. Nevertheless, a fenced outdoor space allowing him to enjoy a certain freedom of movement and long walks allow him to remain balanced. The English Ancestral Sheepdog is more for masters who have a minimum of experience in dog training and are willing to devote time to his daily maintenance.

Price and budget

Minimum Maximum
Buying price 800 € 1200 €

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