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History of the breed
Bobtail in the whole history has never been associated with the aristocracy. The breed was bred in Europe, on the territory of modern Spain, France and Andorra. The purpose of the dogs is to serve the farms: the huge shaggy dogs performed their guard, hunting and herding duties impeccably.
About 2500 BC, bobtails appeared in England, where they quickly spread throughout the territory. The contempt of the aristocracy for the “yard” dog was more than compensated by the attitude of farmers – the universal dog became irreplaceable.
From 476 to 1500, the breed was divided into several types: English, Welsh and French Bobtails. The dog’s responsibilities have become more specific.
- Helping the shepherd manage his flocks.
- Protection of the herd from predators and robbers.
- Home protection.
Shepherds used bobtails as drover dogs, leading the herd in a given direction, and on the sides they were helped by faster collies. It turned out well with not too agile dogs and drive the herd into a tight formation. Strong dogs actively helped drive the sheep into the river, for washing, in order to improve the quality of the wool.
Large predators capable of coping with a huge dog, by this time there were no longer in England, and the vagabonds, who looked after a sheep in the herd, refused to abduct animals at the sight of a bobtail’s grin.
In their free time from grazing, the function of protecting the farm from any intruder – human or animal – fell on the trouble-free dogs. Any intruder was instantly attacked by a powerful dog.
By the 11th century, the bobtail could be seen on almost any farm in England. Due to the lack of constant transport links, in different parts of the country, the dogs were different, representing the local species. Both tailed and tailless bobtails could be found in neighboring areas.
In the south of the country, the breed was not in demand until the 18th century. The author of the 1879 book Dogs, William Yatt, quotes contemporaries as claiming that the dogs of this breed are the result of a mixture with a long-haired water dog. Such dogs are large and muscular, they have an awkward build, coarse hair and no tail.
The first images appeared much later – who would dream of drawing a “dirty farm shepherd”? It is unpleasant for a self-respecting gentleman to stand next to her.
Despite the disdainful attitude of the aristocrats, among the villagers, the demand for unpretentious, powerful dogs only grew. And in the 19th century, Mr. Richard Lloyd Prinz opens a kennel in North Wales, where he begins to breed and improve the breed of “Old English Sheepdogs” – it was under this name that the breed figured until the end of the century.
In England there was a law that stipulated a tax on dogs. Its value depended on the length of the animal’s tail. That is why farmers docked the tails of their helpers. The modern name of the breed indicates this fact. The literal translation is “short cut tail.”
At the dog show in Ismington, in 1865, dogs of this breed were first presented. Two dogs without pedigrees, both named Bob.
In 1888, the first Old English Shepherd Dog Club was established. Unfortunately, the names of the people who determined the direction of development of the breed and its subspecies have not survived. But bobtails acquire a more aristocratic look and receive the prefix “Sir” or “Lady” to their nicknames.
By the end of the century, interest in bobtails increased. They came to be seen as companions and show dogs. Demand creates supply, and enterprising people began to open specialized kennels. Among the owners were both true connoisseurs of the breed, and merchants, focused only on making a profit.
To breed the brightest representatives of the breed of dogs, they began to buy up in the villages, offering small, but significant money for farmers for a quality dog. The swindlers sold not only tailless shepherds, but also tailed ones, having docked the tail beforehand. Experienced breeders easily distinguished the “fake”, technology did not allow to hide the scars in the place of the tail.
Articles about dog breeds in various publications, such as “The Athlete’s Cabinet”, were written mainly by “real” gentlemen, full of arrogance, but not knowing about the described dogs. One such “connoisseur” was Revdon Lee, editor of the dog section of Field magazine. Thanks to his efforts, the description of bobtails of that time is sinful of contradictions and inaccuracies.
Lee, in his book Collie and Shepherd Dogs in 1890, writes that those who like Old English Sheepdogs admire the obedience and rationality of these dogs, “rave” something about the beauty of the eyes and impressive coat, and haters indicate a tendency to cunning, cunning and unattractive breed for an “educated” person, in the house such a misunderstanding has nothing to do – let him wander in the fields. What to talk about, even if the collie club refused to recognize the Old English breed. Some enthusiasts had to organize their own club.
Another gentleman, Edeston, writes that the Old English Sheepdog understands only a shout, and the punishment for it can be a strong blow with the heel.
At the same time, there were those who liked the breed. Since 1873, when the first official show of bobtails at the exhibition took place, they began to be used as companions and as show dogs – both in the Old and New Worlds. The breeders were impressed by the rugged attractiveness and unconventional appearance of the Old English Shepherd.
The first bright representatives of the breed appeared in Wales. Separately, it is worth mentioning Dr. Edward Kera, who invested a lot of effort in obtaining high-quality Old English Shepherd Dogs.
The first known champion dog, Jocky, is described as a smooth-haired dog. The reason for this is the usual haircut for bobtails of that time, for the hygiene and convenience of the owner.
Description of the breed
The dog will be really happy if it has something to do and the attention of its owner. With pleasure he performs tricks and commands, performs clear tasks. In the case of the bobtail, a happy dog is an obedient dog. Shows aggression only in a force majeure situation, if scared or traumatized. [/сolor-box]
Dog intellectuals really enjoy learning and training. Assimilate new information quickly. The owner can act as a trainer – no special knowledge is needed to educate bobtails. But understanding of the hierarchy is necessary. Respect for a person and the need to obey the puppy must learn immediately.
- The herding instinct requires constant employment and work, new tasks.
- The will and stubbornness inherent in an adult dog is easy to overcome at an early age – the puppy initially needs to be instilled with good habits and obedience.
- Bobtails do not like the routine, so it is better to use a variety of teaching methods.
- Motivational training is best suited for the breed, it will add interest and attention. Development is very fast.
- They respect confidence and firmness, recognize the owner’s right to a tough tone and obey.
- Are loyal and strive for close relationship with the owner.
At a puppy age, raising a Bobtail will take a lot of effort, but as a result, a loving, selflessly loyal pet will grow up..
- Eye diseases: volvulus, cataract, retinal atrophy.
- Distended belly.
- High susceptibility to drugs.
- Vertebral problems in the neck.
- Dysplasia of the pelvis.
- Predisposition to hearing problems and diabetes.
Depending on the purity of the breed and the characteristics of the puppy, its cost varies from 20,000 to 35,000 rubles.
List of nurseries
- Kennel iz White-Blue Angels, Moscow – bobtail-angel.ru/
- Bayline Moscow – www.bobtail2012.narod.ru/
- The Poet’s Dream Smolensk – www.hochusobaku.ru/kennel/525/
- From sunrise, Maykop – www.hochusobaku.ru/kennel/527/
- Bobtail Breeder Sochi – www.hochusobaku.ru/kennel/2046/