Other names: Ancestral English Sheepdog, English Sheepdog, Old English Sheepdog

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The Bobtail or Ancestral English Sheepdog (Old English Sheepdog), is a large, vigorous, muscular dog with a harmonious constitution. He is easily recognizable by his very thick fur, his particular tone of voice when he barks, as well as his singular gait, which could recall that of a bear. The Bobtail will take care of each member of its family as if it were in charge of a herd. He does not require excessive physical activity and his diet is rather basic. On the other hand, the Bobtail requires a very particular maintenance and daily brushing.



Photo: Bobtail dog on Woopets
Hair type Long
Origin Britain
Template Big
Head shape Square
Weight and size
Sex Weight Cut
Female From 28 kg to 38 kg From 55 cm to 62 cm
Male From 30 kg to 40 kg From 56 cm to 66 cm
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History of the breed

The Bobtail or Old English Sheepdog is today considered a very old dog and of British origin. However, his past is hardly obvious. It is believed that his ancestors belong to European Shepherd Dogou dogs like the Owtcharka and the Bergamasco . The Briard and the Russian Shepherd can also be its ancestors, just like the Caucasian Shepherd and the Bergamo Shepherd, from which it takes up certain characteristics.

From the start, the Bobtail specialized in the care and management of herds. Its very thick dress and its great resistance allowed it to remain efficient in mountain and rural environment. The name of Bobtail comes from the fact that its tail is intentionally shortened. It is not uncommon for him to be amputated. The first exhibition of an Ancestral English Shepherd Dog dates from 1873. The official current standard of the breed was published on October 13, 2010.

Bobtail Pictures

Photo of JOY, BobtailPhoto of Mr. pupoo, BobtailPhoto by Yankee, BobtailPhoto of Cacahouette, BobtailPhoto of Beïlyn, BobtailPhoto of Martha, Bobtail

See all Bobtail photos from Woopets members

Physical features

His hair: abundant, rough, shaggy and not curly or frizzy. The hair covers the whole of his body. The undercoat provides effective protection against bad weather.
Its color: gray, grizzled or blue. Uniform color for body and hindquarters, with or without small white markings 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: large and square in shape. The stop is well marked, the nose is strong and black in color, with large nostrils. The muzzle is strong, square and truncated.
His ears: small in size, worn flat on the sides of the skull.
His eyes: dark or minnow, wide apart. The outlines of pigmented eyes are desirable, but not light eyes.
His body: short, compact, writable in a square. The kidney is wide and slightly arched, the chest is ample and well let down.
Its tail: short from birth or shortened. Natural habit, well fringed and covered with abundant, hard hair.

Behavior and character

Barks / howls

Behavior with others

Cohabitation with children
Sociable with other animals
Love strangers

From its past as a sheepdog, the Bobtail retains the characteristics of an active animal, getting along with other animals, intelligent , loyal and reliable , but also less easy to train . Its natural softness and interest in play make it a perfect companion for children. In addition, he is never aggressive until we push him to his limits.

The Bobtail is a warning dog and therefore quite suitable for guarding , but much less for defense. The Bobtail values his adoptive family as if he were herding sheep. In fact, he will be attentive, benevolent and above all with unparalleled kindness. He can therefore be abrupt at times, but without an ounce of nastiness. The Bobtail also appreciates foreigners . He can be scary with his impressive build.

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Active dog, sometimes turbulent and not really aware of its strength, the Bobtail must be educated in a rigorous way , without being harsh. Especially since he is not very inclined to dressage . He must be accustomed very early to outings on a leash and to good behavior during walks. He is naturally attracted to his fellows and other animals, which is not negative in itself, but can sometimes make him difficult to manage during walks. Strict and fair education makes the Bobtail an excellent companion dog.

Living conditions

Suitable for apartment living
Good for new masters
Love it hot
Love the cold

The Bobtail is primarily a mountain and country dog . He is certainly happier there than in the city, and even more so than in an apartment. Nevertheless, a fenced outdoor space allowing it to enjoy a certain freedom of movement and long walks allow it to remain balanced. The Ancestral English Shepherd Dog is rather intended for owners who have a minimum of experience in dog training and who are ready to devote time to it on a daily basis for its maintenance.


Ease of gaining weight

The Bobtail is a hardy and fairly healthy dog. It does not present any particular health problem, which does not prevent it from requiring basic care, as with any breed of dog: vaccines, dewormer, etc. It can live for more than a dozen years in perfect conditions.

Hypoallergenic breed


Litter size

Between 6 and 10 puppies

To protect yourself from these risks and insure your companion in the event of health problems, Woopets recommends a Bobtail dog insurance .

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Life expectancy

Minimum: 10 years

Maximum: 12 years

The life expectancy of a Bobtail is, on average, between 10 years and 12 years.

Calculate the human age of your Bobtail!

To choose… 1 year 2 years 3 years Four years 5 years 6 years 7 years 8 years 9 years 10 years 11 years old 12 years 13 years 14 years old 15 years old 16 years old 17 years 18 years old 19 years old 20 years 21 years old

Maintenance and hygiene

Ease of maintenance
Cost of maintenance
Hair loss
Drool level
Ease of grooming

The Bobtail is a dog that requires a lot of maintenance due to this abundant coat . It should not curl or curl, which can happen if it is neglected. If knots do form, the only solution is to take it to the groomer.



The Bobtail dress is to be examined and maintained every day in order to be untangled and clean. Regular visits to the groomer are recommended, especially if the dog is intended to compete or be exhibited.

Price and budget

Purchase price

800 €
1200 €

The purchase price of a Bobtail is between 800 € and 1200 €.

Annual maintenance cost

€ 1,500
1600 €

The annual maintenance cost of a Bobtail is between € 1,500 and € 1,600.

No name is currently proposed. Use our tool to find the name of your Bobtail!


The Bobtail supports all types of food . Whether human or simple high quality kibble. You just have to be careful not to change your diet all the time, at the risk of causing some problems to your digestive system, which is particularly fragile.

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Physical activity

Energy level
Potential to play

The Bobtail needs long daily outings to stretch its legs. A few games are not too much during these walks.


Classifications & Standards
(FCI) Fédération Cynologique Internationale
(KC) The Kennel Club
(NZKC) New Zealand Kennel Club
(UKC) United Kennel Club


Master character <span class="btnTooltip qTip2" title="- Calm: the master must be gentle and know how to show patience.
– Active: the owner must be energetic and dynamic to live in harmony with his dog.
– Hyperactive: the owner must be stimulating and very restless to suit the temperament of his dog.”>

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FCI Information



FCI Group

Group 1: Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs)

Recognized by FCI

Since 1963


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