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Are Old English Sheepdogs Hypoallergenic?

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The Old English Sheepdog (or the OES) is a large breed of herding dogs that- as their name suggests- originated in England.

The breed was developed from the ancient British and Irish breed called the Old English Pointer. The OES has been used for centuries to herd livestock, such as sheep and cattle. 

Old english sheepdogs on chair

Today, they are also known as the Shetland Sheepdog or simply the Sheltie.

We are going to be taking a look at this loveable breed in general, as well as whether they can be considered hypoallergenic. Let’s get started.

The History of the Old English Sheepdog 

The Old English Sheepdog is an old breed that originated in Britain and Ireland during the Middle Ages. They were bred to herd flocks of sheep and to protect them from predators.

During this time period, farmers would use their dogs to keep watch over their animals while they worked. This led to the development of the Old English Sheepdog as we know them today.

The Old English Sheepdog Characteristics

Today, there are many different types of breeds within the Old English Sheepdog family. There are two main types of these dogs: the short-haired type and the long-haired type.

The short-haired type is more common than the long-haired type because they require less maintenance. Both have similar characteristics though.

Both types of Old English Sheepdogs have a double coat with soft undercoats. Their coats are usually black, brown, white, fawn, or tricolored.

These dogs have thick, wavy hair on top of their head, which is often referred to as “the beard.”  The Old English Sheepdog has a very friendly personality and tends to make friends easily.

They are loyal companions who enjoy being around people.

The Old English Sheepdog is a medium to a large-sized dog, weighing between 50 – 70 pounds. The Old English Sheepdog is one of the most popular breeds in the world.

They stand about 24 inches tall when fully grown. They have strong legs and sturdy bodies. Their heads are broad and square-shaped. 

They have flat skulls with wide foreheads. They have dark eyes, round ears, and a bushy tail.

These dogs are a very intelligent breed and trainable dogs that are great with children and other pets. They are good guard dogs too.

The Old English Sheepdog is not a particularly high-energy dog. They require little exercise and only need walks once a day.

However, they do need mental stimulation and socialization. If you want a companion dog, then this is definitely the right breed for you! 

Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds

Hypoallergenic dog breeds relate to dogs that have fewer allergens than other breeds. In order to determine if a particular breed is hypoallergenic, you must first understand what causes allergies.

Allergies can occur due to environmental factors, food allergies, genetic predisposition, or even stress. 

When a person is exposed to something that triggers an allergic reaction, their body produces antibodies to fight off the allergen. Once the allergen is gone, the body no longer needs to produce those antibodies. 

Pet allergies can cause symptoms ranging from mild irritation to severe discomfort.

Some of the symptoms include sneezing, coughing, itching eyes, runny nose, watery eyes, skin rashes, hives, and breathing difficulties. Dogs can also be affected by pet allergies, just like humans. 

Symptoms may vary depending on how much exposure your dog gets to the allergen. For example, if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, he will likely get more contact with pollen and dust mites.

This could lead to more frequent respiratory problems, such as asthma, for both the dog and the owner. 

Are Old English Sheepdogs Hypoallergenic?

Running old english sheepdog

Old English Sheepdogs are not considered a hypoallergenic breed, in that they can cause allergies in some individuals. Some people may experience skin rashes, itching, hives, and even respiratory issues.

This is due to the fact that the Old English Sheepdog sheds its outer coat twice a year. 

When the weather gets cold, the dog will shed to prepare itself for winter. During this time, the animal may rub against things such as furniture and carpeting, causing allergens to get trapped inside the house.

It is important to keep your home clean so that these allergens don’t accumulate. You should vacuum regularly and wash your carpets frequently.

If you are allergic to any kind of pet, then you probably shouldn’t own an Old English Sheepdog.

It’s important to note that although the Old English Sheepdog does not shed as much as other breeds, it still sheds enough to cause problems for those who are sensitive to fur and pet dander.

Old English Sheepdogs and Allergens

There are many different types of allergens that can be found in animals. These include:

  • Pet hair – the hairs left behind after grooming can also trigger allergies.
  • Fleas – flea bites can trigger allergies in some people.
  • Pollen – pollen grains are carried by the wind and land on plants. They can cause mild to severe allergies and can become attached to a dog’s coat.
  • Dust mites – these tiny insects live on dust and dander.
  • Dog saliva – dogs have bacteria in their mouths which can cause allergies. Dogs also lick themselves and others, which can cause irritation. 

Can I Have an Old English Sheepdog If I Have Allergies?

If you do have allergies, then you should avoid owning an Old English Sheepdog because they can aggravate them. However, there are ways to reduce the risk of having an allergy problem with your dog.

The best way to prevent allergies is to keep your dog away from the sources of allergens. 

For example, if you have carpets in your home, then you need to vacuum regularly so that the allergens are removed. You should also wash your hands frequently to remove dirt and germs.

Make sure that you don’t let your dog sleep in bed with you. Instead, make sure that they sleep in their own bed and keep it clean and comfortable for them. 

Also, try to limit the amount of time that your dog spends indoors.

Finally, you should always use caution when handling your dog if you are an allergy sufferer. Be cautious with those cuddles?

Final Thoughts

The Old English Sheepdog is not considered hypoallergenic, due to their long, shaggy coat that can often lead to skin irritation and create a build-up of pet dander.

That being said, it is not impossible to own one of these lovely dogs if you do suffer from pet allergies. If you do decide to take the plunge, then make sure that you have a regular grooming routine in place.

You should also first consult your doctor to see what precautions you need to take to ensure that you won’t develop an allergy problem. 

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About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.