Old English Sheepdog, breed of medium-size herding dog, used primarily for guarding herds of sheep or cattle. The breed is believed to have developed in western England in the 17th century. The dog can also be trained as a retriever and as a draft animal, and because of its even temper is a good companion for children. The male varies in height from about 53 to 64 cm (about 21 to 25 in) at the shoulder; the height of the female is somewhat less. The animal has a square-shaped skull, dark eyes, a tapering nose with a blunt end, medium-sized ears lying flat to the sides of the head, straight forelegs and muscular hind legs, and moves with a characteristic rolling gait. Many of the breed have no tail; some have tails that are about 5 cm (about 2 in) in length. The coat is profuse, usually either gray or bluish-gray and sometimes with white markings; it is occasionally so shaggy that it conceals the dog’s eyes.
Old English Sheepdog: The Old English sheepdog, typically trained to protect flocks of sheep or cattle, can also be trained as a hunting or draft dog. Many Old English sheepdogs have their tails cut off as puppies for show.