As a long-time owner and an ardent lover of Old English Sheepdogs, it’s not uncommon for me to encounter widespread misconceptions about these beautiful, loving creatures. With their iconic shaggy coats and their gentle yet playful nature, Old English Sheepdogs have won the hearts of many – yet the myths persist. In this post, I will debunk five of the most prevalent myths associated with these charming dogs.
Myth 1: Old English Sheepdogs are High Maintenance
The voluminous shaggy coat of the Old English Sheepdog is iconic and striking, but it can also lead to the belief that these dogs require high maintenance. Indeed, their coat does need regular grooming to prevent matting, but this does not necessarily translate to ‘high maintenance’. With a consistent grooming schedule, and perhaps a shorter haircut, you can easily manage their beautiful coat. Also, contrary to belief, they’re not excessive shedders.
Myth 2: They are Inherently Stupid or Clumsy
Because of their portrayal in various films and cartoons, some people believe that Old English Sheepdogs are innately clumsy or lacking in intelligence. This couldn’t be further from the truth. These dogs are smart, agile, and quite adept at learning new tricks or commands. Their seemingly bumbling nature can usually be attributed to their playful and jovial disposition, rather than a lack of intelligence.
Myth 3: Old English Sheepdogs are not Good with Children or Other Pets
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Old English Sheepdogs are known for their gentle, patient, and loving temperament, which makes them great family pets. They typically get along well with children and can also coexist peacefully with other pets. As with any breed, early socialization is key to promoting healthy relationships with children and other animals.
Myth 4: They are Inactive or Lazy Dogs
While Old English Sheepdogs are calm and can be quite content lounging around, they are not inherently inactive or lazy. They were initially bred for herding, and as such, they have a fair amount of energy and require regular exercise to keep them healthy and happy. A daily walk or playtime in the yard will usually suffice for these robust dogs.
Myth 5: They are Prone to Many Health Issues
It’s a common misconception that Old English Sheepdogs are prone to numerous health problems because of their size and breed. While it is true that they may have a predisposition to certain conditions like hip dysplasia or eye disorders, these are not inevitable. With regular vet check-ups, a balanced diet, and adequate exercise, an Old English Sheepdog can live a long, healthy, and active life.
In summary, Old English Sheepdogs are much more than what they are commonly portrayed as. They are intelligent, gentle, and active dogs that can provide you with endless love and companionship. While their maintenance needs are a bit higher compared to some breeds, the joy and loyalty they bring make every grooming session worth it.
As a long-time owner, I encourage potential owners not to let these myths sway them. Remember, every dog deserves a loving home, and every home deserves a loyal, affectionate, and protective friend like an Old English Sheepdog. Enjoy the journey and the rewarding companionship that comes with owning one of these wonderful dogs!