The Old English sheepdog, or Bobtail, lacks a tail but no more. In England, this tailless wonder helped shepherds with sheep and guided other types of flock. The tail was removed so it couldn’t be caught from behind.

The Old English sheepdog, tailless and shaggy, it is a medium sized dog with a profuse coat over a compact, muscled body, capable to swift movement and an elastic trot. The Bobtail’s coat is not the proverbial blunt, but on the contrary, it is profuse, without being excessive, and the hair covers the eyes, although it never prevents its sight. Solidity is the most important thing for this square and compact dog, which stands at 61 cm, 5 cm less for the females. The eyes are brown or blue, sometimes one on each color; the small ears drop flat against the head, moderately covered in hair; the skull is quite square with a well defined stop; the nose it large and black. The neck, good size, strong and generously curved. The dog is higher at the rump than the withers, which gives it a peculiar upper line. The tail is docked to a stub – if not born like this naturally -: the breed receives the name Bobtail (tailless) due to this characteristic. The forelegs, straight; the hind legs, rounded and muscular, the hocks well let down. The coat is rough in texture, neither curly or straight, but it is desirable that it is woolly, the coat should not diminish the dog’s natural outline -.The legs (hind) have denser hair. The color is gray, grayish or blue, with or without white. Any brown shade is a flaw.
An excellent family dog, ideal size for children, the Bobtail enjoys playing with its own. The puppy needs supervision and education since early age.

Shaggy but strong, the Bobtail is a self sufficient dog, good character. It can get excited and with set ideas. It also likes children, and plays rough, for which the smallest in the family need supervision when playing with it. It is fearless and an excellent guardian, although it is a shepherd by nature, not a fighter. It should be handled firmly and corrected specifically to maintain its obedience.
When born the Bobtail weighs between 280 and 450 g. It is born black and white with an unpigmented nose. After a few days the nose should begin pigmenting, and complete after 8 and 12 weeks, although sometimes it can take longer. The tail is docked a few days after born; it should be docked as close to the body as possible. The owner should choose a solid puppy, with a healthy aspect, desired square build and jovial and extroverted personality.
We should watch that the nose is black and well pigmented, the forelegs straight, and a fluid movement. There can be blue eyes and even an eye in each color (admitted in the US, but not by the FCI standard); although not penalized, in the show rink darker eyes and eyelids are prepared.  For a company specimen, the eye color, as well as the coat, is a matter of personal taste. Hair care is demanding from early stage, and even more during shedding from puppy to adult and during seasonal shedding.
The Bobtail mother should be kind with people, never shy or nervous. It puppies happily inherit her good nature.

The Bobtail has its fair share of health problems, which doesn’t mean it is not a healthy breed. On the contrary, the breed’s average life span is between 10 and 15 years. Most importantly, hip dysplasia is a real problem, and X – rays are mandatory. The Wobbler syndrome (a cervical deformity) has been documented; it usually starts with a partial limp and can lead to complete quadriplegia; the first symptoms usually take between 3 and 12 months. The most common problems that affect this breed are related to skin and hair. Veterinarians also report eye problems, amongst them cataracts. In some lines deafness. Hair care is demanding and vital. The owner should be committed to devoting at least 4 hours per week in hair care. We should pay attention to the ear, neck, chest, limb and pad areas. We should keep ears and pads free of excess hair to avoid rash and infections. Other less common problems reported in the breed are juvenile cataracts and prepuberal vaginitis; the latter is usually corrected after the first heat. 

Don’t choose the shaggiest or dumbest puppy! Seek an extrovert puppy, with a medium hair length, boney, with a square body and straight legs.