Old English Sheepdogs are wonderfully versatile dogs that can adapt well to apartment life or roaming acres of land. This highly intelligent dog is both active and beautiful, making it an excellent addition to any family. What attracts most people to the Old English Sheepdog is the wonderfully thick and wooly coat, patterned in trademark black and white coloration.
With the thick double coat and propensity to shed, the Old English Sheepdog is not the best option for people who suffer from pet allergies. The double-layered coat means this dog will shed tremendously throughout the year and may cause problems with fur and dander in the home. The Old English Sheepdog can be made a manageable pet option for allergy sufferers with routine bathing and grooming.
If you are not ready to commit to ongoing routine brushing and bathing, the Old English Sheepdog is probably not the best option for you if you suffer from allergies. Instead, a better option may be to look for a mixed designer dog breed. Growing in popularity, the Sheepadoodle is a cross between an Old English Sheepdog and a Poodle.
The resulting dog has the intelligence and size of a traditional Old English Sheepdog while maintaining the Poodle’s hypoallergenic qualities. Remember that every Sheepadoodle will inherit different traits from the mother and father dog, so just because one parent is hypoallergenic, it does not guarantee that the Sheepdoodle will carry these same hypoallergenic traits.
- How Can I Tell If An Animal Is Hypoallergenic?
- Is An Old English Sheepdog Hypoallergenic?
- Can Grooming Help Manage Allergies?
- What Large Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds Exist?
- Related Questions
How Can I Tell If An Animal Is Hypoallergenic?
It is vitally important to understand that there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog. Most dogs considered hypoallergenic are only classified this way because they shed so little compared to other dogs.
Usually, pet allergies are triggered by large amounts of dander and animal hair. Thus, the less an animal sheds, the fewer allergens in the home, the less severe an allergic reaction might be for a person who suffers from allergies.
Therefore, the easiest way to determine if an animal is hypoallergenic is to consider how much an animal sheds. Dogs like a husky that shed a profuse amount will cause more severe allergic reactions in people than a dog like a Poodle.
Although Poodles still shed, they are largely considered hypoallergenic because they shed so lightly. Further, hypoallergenic dogs do not produce the same amount of dander compared to other dogs. When shedding is light, it is not enough to trigger a full-blown allergic reaction in people who suffer from pet allergies.
It is important to note that just because an animal does not produce a high amount of dander or fur, it is still possible for a person to be allergic to the oil on the skin or the dog’s saliva.
Is An Old English Sheepdog Hypoallergenic?
While no dog can be truly hypoallergenic, the Old English Sheepdog is far from being a good choice for those who suffer from pet allergies.
Due to the thick, double-layer coat and the ongoing shedding, the Old English Sheepdog is probably not the right choice for allergy sufferers. Managing the shedding with routine grooming and bathing can help mitigate shedding and make pet allergies more tolerable for people with only mild pet allergies.
Can Grooming Help Manage Allergies?
Because many pet allergies are caused by fur, dander, and ongoing shedding, grooming your dog can help manage pet allergies. Keeping up with a good grooming routine can limit the amount of loose hair floating through your home, thus reducing the number of allergens in your home environment.
It is important to remember that grooming consists of both routine brushing and bathing. You’ll want to keep to a regular brushing routine to thoroughly remove any loose and dead hairs at least three times a week. Regularly bathe your dog to not only keep its fur and skin healthy but further to remove loose hairs from your dog’s coat.
How Often Should You Groom An Old English Sheepdog?
Part of what attracts owners to the Old English Sheepdog is the thick, luxurious fur. The Old English Sheepdog has a double coat, making it extra thick.
The topcoat is made of coarse hair that works to keep wind, rain, and snow away from your dog’s skin, while the undercoat works to keep your dog warm. Professional grooming is required to keep this double coat looking great and shedding at a minimum.
You’ll want to take your dog to the groomer’s at least once per month for a professional trim. The groomer will be not only able to brush and bathe your dog but also be able to trim the fur to keep your dog looking great.
Grooming your dog by a professional is a great way to reduce shedding at home, but it is essential to also keep up with routine grooming. You’ll want to regularly brush your dog to remove any loose or dead hair from the coat at least three times a week.
What Large Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds Exist?
It is important to remember that no dog is truly hypoallergenic because every dog can produce fur and dander that can irritate people with pet allergies.
While an Old English Sheepdog is not considered hypoallergenic, many other large breed dogs are considered hypoallergenic. Some other large breed dogs that are excellent choices for those that suffer from pet allergies include:
- Giant Schnauzer – The Giant Schnauzer is a loving, active, and adventurous dog. This large breed can reach 95 pounds as an adult. This dog has soft, curled fur that rarely sheds, making it an ideal hypoallergenic dog.
- Standard Poodle – Although cartoons depict the Poodle as a high-maintenance type of dog, this dog is actually extremely intelligent and active. The soft curly fur rarely sheds, making it a hypoallergenic option.
- Airedale Terrier – With a high energy drive, the Airedale Terrier is a large, hypoallergenic dog option for allergy sufferers. The dog usually reaches about 50 pounds at its maximum weight.
- Afghan Hound – This large and beautiful dog is known for its stunning coat, but it may surprise people to learn that the Afghan Hound is considered hypoallergenic. This dog’s fur is more closely related to human hair, so pet allergies are minimal.
- Samoyed – Although this big dog may look like it has loads of fur and a propensity for shedding, the truth is the Samoyed is largely considered hypoallergenic because this breed rarely sheds. Samoyeds are intelligent and beautiful
What About A Sheepdog Mix?
Designer dogs are becoming more popular as new mixes between purebred species are created. One of the most popular designer dog breed mixes is a Sheepadoodle. This dog mixes a traditional Old English Sheepdog with a Poodle.
The result is a slightly smaller version of an Old English Sheepdog with irresistibly soft fur. The fur on this dog more closely resembles a Poodle, which is great news for allergy sufferers worldwide.
Poodles are largely considered hypoallergenic, and finding a Sheepadoodle mix may be an excellent solution for people who suffer from pet allergies.
While every Sheepadoodle combination will acquire different traits from the mother and father dog, many Sheepadoodle mixes are much more hypoallergenic than a standard Old English Sheepdog. If you suffer from allergies but are in love with the appearance of an Old English Sheepdog, a Sheepadoodle may be an excellent compromise for you.
Are Old English Sheepdogs good apartment dogs?
Even though a full-grown Old English Sheepdog may reach weights that top 100 pounds, it may surprise many to learn that an Old English Sheepdog can make an excellent apartment dog.
This breed of dog is very adaptable and can find itself happy in just about any situation. As a young dog, the Old English Sheepdog enjoys adventure and activity and has plenty of energy.
Be sure that your dog is getting plenty of exercise every day outside the apartment. Even though the Old English Sheepdog can be happy in an apartment, a dog that is bored or has excess energy can become stressed and destructive.
Is it easy to train an Old English Sheepdog?
Because of this dog’s size, training is essential. You’ll want to teach your Old English Sheepdog at least the basic commands to ensure it is well socialized and well-mannered.
At a minimum, you should teach your dog to sit, stay, leave it, and come when called. These basic behaviors will help teach your dog to be well-mannered and could even help keep your dog safe in the event of an emergency.
Luckily, training is very easy with the Old English Sheepdog because this is an extremely intelligent dog breed. The Old English Sheepdog will learn quickly and adopt new behaviors in little to no time.
Always be sure to use positive training techniques to create a positive and bonding experience with your dog. Positive training uses plenty of praise and treats to reward a job well done.