TOP DOG

With fur cov­er­ing its eyes and a goofy per­son­al­ity, this hi­lar­i­ous pooch is truly a sight to be­hold.

Pets (Singapore) - - Contents - BY CHRISTIANN PRIYANKA

Old English Sheep­dog

fans of Dis­ney’s The Lit­tle Mer­maid will in­stantly recog­nise Prince Eric’s shaggy, large grey and white pup, Max, as an Old English Sheep­dog. Goofy, fun and lov­able, Max is so af­fec­tion­ate and friendly that he be­friends Ariel the mer­maid early in the film even though she’s just a stranger. The breed is ex­actly the same in real life.

Orig­i­nat­ing in the western coun­ties of Eng­land, the Old English Sheep­dog was ini­tially used to cart cat­tle and sheep into mar­kets. They were bred to be well­co­or­di­nated and quick, mak­ing them per­fect for the role of drovers. To prove that they were work­ing dogs and to get ex­empted from taxes, farm­ers docked their tails. This earned them the moniker 'bob­tail'. This shaggy breed of­ten had their fur shaved along with sheep. The hair would then be turned into yarn and used to make clothes.

Adapt­able, bub­bly, play­ful and lov­ing, this breed makes the per­fect fam­ily dog. The Old English Sheep­dog loves its home and will not roam or get into fights with other an­i­mals. It's also highly adapt­able, mak­ing the breed suit­able for apart­ment liv­ing. This pooch is also ex­cel­lent with chil­dren be­cause it's friendly and gen­tle. A quin­tes­sen­tial fam­ily dog, the Old English Sheep­dog thrives in close com­pany with its paw-rents.

Though goofy and happy-go-lucky, Old English Sheep­dogs are strong-willed and need a firm owner to con­trol them. They will lis­ten to com­mands but will ig­nore them if they feel that their paw-rent is not firm enough. This makes them un­suit­able for first-time own­ers. They are bois­ter­ous, mis­chievous and clumsy when young and will need con­sis­tent cor­rec­tion and train­ing to de­velop into a well-man­nered adult pooch.

Old English Sheep­dogs also have a nat­u­ral herd­ing in­stinct and will herd chil­dren and small an­i­mals by bump­ing them. They don’t make good guard dogs be­cause of how friendly and easy­go­ing they are.

With a dog as large and furry as an Old English Sheep­dog, groom­ing and care is def­i­nitely time­con­sum­ing. This breed has a dense, in­su­lat­ing, wa­ter­proof dou­ble coat that pro­tects it from the cold and heat. It sheds fre­quently and its fur needs to be brushed at least three times a week. Over­growth of fur can lead to mat­ting and skin prob­lems. Tak­ing this pooch to the groomer si rec­om­mended be­cause groom­ing them at home can be a her­culean task. The Old English Sheep­dog should be bathed ev­ery six to eight weeks. This pup drools a lot and the fur around its mouth will of­ten clump, hence, al­ways keep wet wipes on hand to wipe away the col­lected drool.

Th­ese dogs need to be taken on daily walks or runs since they have a lot of en­ergy to ex­pend. If they can­not get rid of stored en­ergy, they can be­come de­struc­tive and bark ex­ces­sively.

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