The Old English Sheepdog  -  Bobtail

The history of the  Old English Sheepdog - Bobtail can be traced back approximatley 140 years. He was originally kept by shepherds and drovers as a sturdy working dog .As is usually the case with working dogs, the sheepdogs looks played a minor role. It is presumed, that various shaggy working dogs from the south of England are among the bobtails ascendants. Another opinion is that the Old English Sheepdog and the Scottish Bearded Collie have the same origins. One major difference between these two breeds is that the Scottish dogs had long tails, whereas the English were bred shorttailed, or had their tails docked.

In 1873, at the Dogshow in Birmingham, the first three specimens  were shown, and in 1875, the first two dogs were entered in the English Kennel Clubs book of breeds as  „Short Tailes English Sheepdog“. 

For a short period, the names „Colley (English Short Tailed)“ and „Sheepdog (Bob-Tailes)“ were also used. The first Standard was set in 1885, and recognised by the English Kennel Club in 1890.  „Old English Sheepdog“ has been the accepted standard name since 1893.

The records of earlier breeders show that many puppies were born tailless, giving the  Old English Sheepdog its more widely used name „Bobtail“. In his book "The Old English Sheepdog", Henry Arthur Tilley, founder of the world famous "Shepton" kennels in 1880 and one of the real pioneer OES breeders, presumes that dogs with docked tails were classified as working dogs and therefore free from being taxed. 
Nowadays however,
tailless pups are no longer born.

For some years now, the docking of dogs tails has been prohibited in Switzerland among other European countries, and import regulations have also been made dealing with docked dogs.Whether one supports these laws or not, it is clear that they have considerably changed the image and movement of the Bobtail as we have known them for many generations.

Excerpt from the book  „Britische Hütehunde“ by Barbara Müller    


 and from the same author:

Both books are published by 
Verlag Müller-Rüschlikon 


Both books can be ordered from the publishing company, or simply per email directly from us!