Temperament and Characteristics
The Old English Sheepdog is a playful, affectionate, fun-loving "clown," who delights in frolicking with his family and neighborhood children. In fact, adolescence in the OES often extends to approximately age three and your adult OES will retain his playful demeanor well into his golden years.
An intelligent breed, the OES is a quick learner, always looking for something interesting and fun to do. OES are capable of performing numerous tasks - herding, agility, obedience trials, and search and rescue. This breed requires significant physical exercise as well as mental exercise. If your pup does not receive enough of either, you may come home to find the mischief he has so enjoyed in your absence.
A properly bred OES will be good-natured and kind and this is what makes the OES an excellent children's companion and great family dog. An old description of the breed refers to the OES as a "Nanny." This term of endearment arose because of numerous stories surrounding the role of the OES in the family. Some have said that the OES will supervise a young child by insuring that the child will remain in a particular area by herding him into it. Others have described the OES who acts as a means of support to the toddler learning to walk. Although the OES is excellent with children, it is extremely important to note that children should never be left unsupervised with any dog, regardless of breed or temperament.
When considering owning an OES, you must remember the two biggest requirements of the breed: grooming and exercise. If you cannot commit to both of these, you may want to consider another one of the many wonderful breeds available
The Old English Sheepdog FAQ, Copyright 1996-1998