The early pioneers of the Old English Sheepdog were very wealthy Americans, who traveled to England. They were very educated about the Bobtail and his working abilities along with the farming and climatic environment he worked in. They originated in the Southwestern Counties, hence one of the first names they were called were “Sussex Sheepdogs” and they were also known as “Smithfields” because they helped taking New Forest Ponies to the Smithfield Market.

General Appearance

A strong, compact, square, balanced dog. Taking him all around, he is profusely, but not excessively coated, thickset, muscular and able-bodied. These qualities, combined with his agility, fit him for the demanding tasks required of a shepherd’s or drover’s dog. Therefore, soundness is of the greatest importance. His bark is loud with a distinctive “pot-casse” ring in it.


An adaptable, intelligent dog of even disposition, with no sign of aggression, shyness or nervousness.


Height (measured from top of withers to the ground), Dogs: 22 inches (55.9 cm) and upward. Bitches: 21 inches (53.3 cm) and upward.


Any shade of gray, grizzle, blue or blue merle with or without white markings or in reverse. Any shade of brown or fawn to be considered distinctly objectionable and not to be encouraged.

Learn more at the The Old English Sheepdog Club of America.