Docile dogs with thick coats and intelligent eyes, i Bobtail they love company and are very patient with children. I’m medium sized dogs with a docile and faithful character, long-haired to protect themselves from cold temperatures, as they remain a lot outdoors, as used shepherd dogs.
The common name derives from the fact that historically the tail was cut so much as to resemble a panda, but in reality the official name is Old English Sheepdog. Perfect animal as a companion dog and for family life, it is also recommended when there are children. It doesn’t bite, it doesn’t hurt, and it’s really loving. Let’s get to know him better!
Bobtail: the origins
Also known as Old English Sheepdogis one of the dog breeds recognized by the International Cynological Federation in group 1 ‘Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs’, on whose origins a veil of uncertainty remains. It probably comes from a common West Asian strain.
It was initially used in the past centuries in England as a dog for the surveillance, protection and guidance of flocks and cows, especially to lead them to markets.
The only certain information, however, dates back to an 1873 dog show in Birmingham, in which it was not particularly successful. This breed arrived in America after 1880 and was highly regarded by joining the Westminster Kennel Club.
Only years later did it become a model sought after by enthusiasts for its good-natured character. What is certain is that he was born as a working dog, accustomed to the rustic life. Today it is a very beloved breed in England, but still not very widespread in Italy, perhaps because it still needs large spaces, a garden and a temperate climate.
The habit of cutting the tail stems from the fact that these dogs could meet other animals and fights could arise: eliminating the long tail could help him to save himself.
Bobtail – the look
The distinctive characteristics of the Old English Sheepdog are the short tail, the massive appearance and the remarkable abundance of thick and long hair, usually gray and white, which also covers the muzzle and eyes.
- height: at the withers about 60 cm for males 50-55 cm for females.
- body: robust, compact and muscular, average weight of 45 kg (in males), between 30 and 40 kg for females who are slightly smaller
- tail: the peculiarity of this dog is the cut tail, so much so that it resembles a panda. Hence the name bobtail which means ‘severed tail’. Today this procedure is prohibited in many countries. Thus the tail appears long covered with a long hair.
- hair: white, black and gray, with a thick water resistant undercoat. In puppies it is black and white and only later it becomes grizzled.
- pace: has a gait characterized by a particular rocking when walking. This peculiar way of walking suggests the typical movement of bears.
Like other shepherd dogs, it has a very sweet and affectionate character, both with the owner and with the whole family that adopts it.
- it is never aggressive and does not biteif not attacked, and hardly shows unmotivated aggression.
- he is courageous, caring and faithfulso much so that he always defends his master, for his nature as a shepherd dog
- lively and playfulespecially as a puppy, but when he becomes an adult he is more obedient, but always full of energy.
- he is used to living in large spaces and outdoors, needs to run and socialize with other dogs or animals. It needs many outings, to walk at least an hour a day, even if it does not like to be on a leash.
- it is very docilebalanced and obedient
- he is a lover of children, towards whom he shows a protective attitudeconsidering the family that adopted him as his human herd.
- is fit for life in the apartment despite the size.
- is obedientso it responds well to training.
Given these peculiarities, it is the most suitable dog for life in families with even small children, with people with disabilities, with the elderly. It also tightens a very strong bond with the person to whom it binds and will be a faithful friend forever, and in particular with the children with whom it grows up.
Not being wary of strangers and is considered among the dogs that do not bark: precisely for this reason they are the most suitable to do as watchdogsbecause they only alert in case of need.
Among its flaws we can say that:
- he is not an easy dog to manage and he is stubborn: must be educated from a puppy to be obedient and to respect the rules because otherwise he feels free to act as he wants and hardly changes his mind.
- it is in need of attention, affection, contact with the owner and play: do not adopt it if you thought of leaving it alone a lot, because it would suffer!
- needs a lot of exerciselong walks and being outdoors every day, do not adopt it if you live in an apartment and cannot take it outside
- suffers from loneliness so it can’t be left alone all day
- its coat is thick and long, and loses a lot especially during the moult. It needs to be brushed every day.
- may suffer from ear problems and eyes caused by parasites or bacteria
- is prepared genetically to the hip dysplasia
Sheepdogs, here are the most popular breeds:
Bobtail: diet and health
This English sheepdog breed is always on the move, it is an energetic animal and for this reason it needs a balanced and correct diet that provides it with the right amount of proteins, vitamins and minerals.
We recommend adog food in packaging for medium to large dogs. Ask your vet for advice.
In general, it needs little daily care. The only attention to be paid is to its long coat, which tends to fill with dirt, dust, debris, fecal matter and urine and tangle in knots.
It should therefore be brushed every day with a dog brush and with particular care at least once a week – for a couple of hours – to prevent too many knots from forming.
We recommend the grooming once a month to wash it and to keep the hair at a suitable length.
If cared for following its natural characteristics, guaranteeing it a good diet and allowing it adequate daily movement, it has a life expectancy of 10 to 14 years.
How much does a Bobtail puppy cost
It is not very common in Italy. In any case, when choosing the breeding it is good to check the registration with the ENCI in the appropriate section of the breeders.
At the time of purchase, the puppy must be delivered after the 60th day of life, dewormed, vaccinated, equipped with a microchip. It must also be accompanied by a medical certificate confirming your health condition after visiting a veterinarian.
A puppy costs between 1,000 and 1,500 $. It depends on pedigree and from the geographical area where it is purchased, as well as the breeding to which it is addressed.
Where are the Bobtail farms in Italy
The advice is to buy purebred dogs only from certified breeders who can provide Pedigrees and who also offer the right assistance to breed them.
In Italy this breed is not among the most widespread but it is certainly a popular and sought-after dog. Here are some important farms in northern Italy.
- Black label breeding in the province of Varese
- Bobtail from Pistoia
- Bobtailland in the province of Vicenza
- Apple’s Angel near Ferrara
- Golden Years turtleneck in Monza
What is the Japanese Bobtail
It is not a dog, it is a very appreciated and famous cat in Japan, its country of origin. Its characteristic is the extremely short tail, which seems to be precisely cropped.
Other shepherd dogs
You may be interested in other sheepdogs, discover them with our guides:
And here are other interesting articles for life with our four-legged friend:
Bobtail character, breeding and prices of this docile and intelligent dog