Hair Over Eyes


I just wanted to ask about the hair over the old english sheepdogs eyes. I have read in a book that they can see through their hair, despite it covering their eyes. I've also noticed though on a lot of your pictures you have tied your dogs hair back.

Can they see? Should i tie it back when it grows?

I really like the way sheepies look with their full coat so i don't really want to cut it
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When I trimmed the hair from over Pud's eyes he quit running into the wall as much :lol: I personally do not think that they can see through the hair. Someone else here may have a better answer.
There are a couple of other threads on this topic that you may pick some information out of:
If you don't want to clip the hair, I would say simply to be diligent and tie the hair into a topknot so it's up and out if the eyes. Personally, I clip the hair short so they can see... I'm not always diligent :wink:

When we registered Emma and Darby with the AKC, they sent a page entitled "Congratulations On Your New Old English Sheepdog". Here is a brief quote- jeez...hope it's okay to do this but it's for the health and safety of a sheepie-

At the top of the page it has a picture of two sheepies with their hair pulled up in topknots and it says, "Old English Sheepdogs Need to See!".

"...Please keep the hair out of your pup's eyes. Many Old English Sheepdogs have lost an eye by running into sticks or household objects. Keeping the hair cut in a visor above the eyes or wearing a topknot allows your dog to see his world and enjoy it safely..."
Copyright 2003 OES Club of America
Things that Clyde has run into when I didn't have his hair pulled back:
the wall
a parked car
a parking meter
our other dog Lucy

Things that Clyde has run into when he did have his hair pulled back:
the wall
a parked car
a parking meter
our other dog Lucy

I think the biggest difference in the 2 is the strength of impact! At least when he can see, he'll realize (albeit usually too late) at the last minute that he needs to stop. He's a goofball no matter how his hair is cut!
Very funny! My husband was convinced Molly had something wrong with her eyes until we went to the vets (her eyes are fine!). I think she's just so easily distracted.

I think having read your comments and the links (sorry i hadn't realied someone had already posed the question) i will cut her hair. I don't want her to hurt herself - and i think she needs all the help she can get!

Don't feel bad about asking the question again, you can't possibly know what has or has not been asked. I was glad the link was posted for you. As you can see this is a much discussed subject. I don't have any idea who started that silly old myth about them being able to see through all that hair but it's just plain hoey. They need their hair out of their eyes just like you and I do.

Whether or not Bobtails can see through their fall is a topic that comes up here and on other OES forums and lists quite frequently. It is also a topic that can result in a "heated debate".

Nevertheless, I strongly feel that these dogs can see through their fall if it is properly brushed, if their eyelashes are intact and full and if their eyes are clear of any tear/dirt debris allowing them to open their eyes fully. Indeed my very first post here was in responce to the same question you have asked. That thread is:

The experiment that I proposed in that thread, and which was subsequently conducted by Saulmr and which I have conducted myself in the past, is actually much more limiting than a Bobtail's fall in that a fabric has both vertical and horozontal threads in it's weave. The Bobtail fall is essentially a loose collection of vertical "threads" without the horizontal threads to bind them together and effectively double the optical density. Hence if you do try the experiment it is twice as limiting as your Bobtails properly brushed fall.

Further to this thread there was an extended debate in the spring which is thread: This thread started as a pole about tails but grew to include the fall and in it you can see how deeply the sentiments run on both sides.

When all is said and done I believe that the evidence presented strongly indicates that they can see and that their tendency to run into things is more a result of them keying on motion and possibly being far sighted. You must however review your and your dog's situation and do what is best for the two of you.

Thanks and Cheers

:oops: Carl, please accept my apologies for my rather flip statement. Your knowledge and opinion is above question or reproach, my rather plebeian statement was made from my own limited experience.
Tasker's Mom,

Note that in my reply I have specifically said:
these dogs can see through their fall if it is properly brushed, if their eyelashes are intact and full and if their eyes are clear of any tear/dirt debris allowing them to open their eyes fully

If any of these conditions are not met then your dog's ability to see will be compromised. The more matted or dirty the fall, the more tear/dirt debris limiting their eyelid opening or if there is any damage to the eyelashes then the less the dog can see. If a dog is very active outdoors in an area where there are brambles, burrs and thistles then the dog's parents will need to be more diligent in keeping the fall properly groomed, otherwise it needs to be bound in a hairtie or elastic of some sort.

As with virtualy every aspect of OES husbandry, every Bobtail parent needs to review their specific conditions and make appropriate choices in the dog's best interests. Michele and my boys don't run in brambled areas, we somehow make the time to ensure they are always well groomed so our three can see through their falls. It is not always easy but those are the priorities _WE_ have set in _OUR_ lives. Other peoples' situations may not permit this so they need to do what "works" for them. (Ok I admit Dawn doesn't have much of a fall yet :lol: makes it a lot esier for a few more months - I hope for months anyway:!: )

Anyway, sorry if it seemed I came down hard on you specifically. My emphasis was that they can see given the chance, no criticism of anyone or their situation in specific.

Thanks and Cheers

Carl, you need to add Dawnie to your signature! LOL
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