You only need to read some of the stories in the Antics and Brags portions of this forum to realize what wonderful dogs they are. Ask anyone here and they'll tell you they're the best breed there is. Of course, we're slightly biased.
If you've done your research you know that they are high maintenance. Their coats require daily brushing to keep them from matting. Matting can be painful and harmful to the dog. Most people who are owned by OES find this to be a great time of bonding with their dogs and enjoy it. The puppy will need to be trained from an early age to be groomed, even though when you bring him/her home, their hair won't really need it. You have to start early so they'll learn to enjoy the grooming and be still for you.
They're herders, so by nature the puppy will nip at your heels, hands, feet, arms, legs...lol...anything he/she can reach. It will require consistent training to correct this behaviour. This can also be scary for small children. You haven't said if you have kids, but if so, they will need to be trained as much as the puppy.
They're smart, so he/she will need to be in a puppy class as soon as they're old enough.
They grow fast!! When they get bigger, their boisterious behaviour can be challenging, too. They'll knock your stuff off the tables, counter surf in your kitchen for food, and sit their 85 lbs selves in your lap! Of course, for sheepie owners, these are the behaviours we love and laugh about.
I've had a few people tell me, too, that they always thought these dogs were mean. There have been others here on the forum who've heard similar things when people see their dogs, too. I honestly don't know where it comes from.
They're sweet, loving, snuggly, attention mongers who will steal your heart the moment you meet them. Anyway...that's my two cents worth!
|Thanks Tammy, They sound wonderful!! We have two kids aged 6 and 2 and a half. Both my husband and I work which is my biggest worry but I am able to come home every 2-3 hours to let dog out and spend 15 mins or so with it. When my kids arrive home after school the dog will be bombarded with love/attention/time as well as on weekends. I hope this is realistic. Are there many people who own them that also work full time? I might also add that we have 1.5 acres for the dog to roam around.|
|Forgot to add, we also live 5 minutes from a beautiful big beach along the Irish sea. Do these dogs tend to like the water? Thanks for all your help thus far.|
Looks like Tammy and I are the only ones up this morning!
It's funny because I have never heard that sheepdogs are mean. After having joined this forum and reading posts that people have said that people have come up to them saying that sheepdogs are mean, bad dogs, I was so surprised.
They are definitely high energy dogs (especially when they are young), but also have their vegging out moments too--don't worry, they aren't always running and playing! My last sheepdog (which is really my parents' sheepdog and they were selfish enough to keep her when I moved out !!!) is 8 now and she is finally starting to be mellow. She is a great dog--a little skittish for no particular reason, but otherwise great. She doesn't nip...doesn't have an aggressive bone in her body. Her 2 'bad' behaviours have been mega counter surfing (an extreme version of the sport) and 'crazy legs' where she would pick a course (she had 3) and run full speed around the house. The ending of one course was the couch, which was backed up against the wall and she would fly onto it and the couch would lift and hit the wall
She loves to cuddle. She'll sit in your lap. She'll share your pillow (actually, she'd prefer it if you got your own pillow).
We got her when us kids were all fairly grown, so there was no worry of little hands grabbing fur--but that could be a worry if you have little kids. But you can judge your own kids and see if they would be able to be 'nice' to the sheepdog.
Our only 'bad' sheepdog experience came when we were little kids (we've had sheepdogs our whole lives). Our female sheepdog Blossom was in the front yard. My brother (probably about 4 at the time) was at the front door. He calls out, Here Blossom! and she comes running. He slams the door in her face just before she gets there. Well, this continues for several times and the last time, he was too slow and she came flying through the door and nipped his nose. He needed 2 stitches, most likely from the force rather than the bite. She was just annoyed--wouldn't you be? But that's the type of thing you have to watch out for--even the most even tempered dog can get pushed over the edge.
My current puppy Barney is HIGH energy, but so loving...he had a tendency to nip, but you just have to be on top of it and make sure that you tell them no and it'll stop the behavior. It's just natural for them. But it isn't hard, or mean, it is just what they do, but it could be scary for little kids.
Hope this helps! Keep us posted and show us pictures when you have them!
|The area you're in sounds wondeful, Nicola! Lots of room and the beach nearby! Lovely!
Yes, I work full time, too. So, it can be done. When I was potty training Beaureguard, I brought him to work with me for the first two months so I could be consistent with his training. Once he reached a point where he could "hold it" for a couple of hours on his own, I had a neighbor come in a few times a day at home and take him out to potty. She has a little boy who likes to play with him, so that has continued to work out well for me.
I look forward to hearing stories about your baby and seeing lots of pictures!
|Thanks, You are both very kind. I will be certain to keep you posted on the progress and pictures. I will no doubt have countless other questions closer to the time of getting the puppy (not for another 3-4 weeks). Any further advice/comments would also be much appreciated!|
|Welcome to the forum and conragts on the pup! Once a person has an oes they tend to want more...lol...
We are all biased of course and most of us have 2 or more, but really, they are the most wonderful breed I've known.
They do require a lot of grooming, they are silly bouncy clowns in a big fur coat, but that fur coat can be clipped for convenience and cleanliness if the dog will be around water a lot. Some like the water, some don't. Every dog is different.
Also with children, as with ANY dog, adult supervision is necessary, they are still dogs, and the children and the dog must be trained as to how to treat each other.
Training must be consistent for all involved, and things should go fine
|Hi Nicola! Welcome to the forum! I was in the same position you are in March - I knew nothing about dogs or OES, and my husband was begging for a puppy. Someone should have told me the following things:
1. Your puppy will be smart but he'll also be stubborn. Be patient and consistent, and he'll catch on pretty quickly. Take him to obedience classes as soon as he has all his shots. Involve the whole family in the training and make sure everyone is consistent.
2. Groom, groom, groom! You might be tempted to slack off in the early days because puppy fur doesn't matt as much, but adult fur does so you need to train yourself and your puppy to do regular grooming. We keep our dog in a shorter cut because it's hot here, so it doesn't take all that long.
3. Puppies nip. Puppy teeth are sharp. It's unavoidable. But with patience and training and age, they grow out of it. It seemed like a big deal at the time but in our case it was over by 5 months. Just make sure to have a lot of toys and bones around that your puppy can chew on and eventually he'll figure out the right things and wrong things to chew on.
This is a great breed to have. Our puppy is big and furry and fun-loving and goofy, and he's a joy to be around. (He could be better trained but that's our fault, not his!) He's friendly with people and other dogs. He is a big licker and the messiest drinker I've ever seen, so I've learned to live with wet floors and dog drool. As long as you and your family are committed to doing your part (training and grooming), you'll have a wonderful pet.
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