Old English Sheepdog Rescue List

Old English Sheepdog & Shaggy Dog Rescue Assistance
& Home Grooming The Companion Old English Sheepdog.

Note: This list is in the works and not yet complete.

Things To Consider & Questions To Ask
When Buying An Old English Sheepdog Puppy

"Buy an OES from a responsible breeder or adopt one from a rescue or shelter."

We often have an immediate desire to own an Old English Sheepdog puppy and there's probably a breeder somewhere that will sell us one. But how do we know we're buying a quality puppy? Buying a puppy is often an emotional purchase.  We see that adorable puppy before us and common sense often goes right out the window. Not all breeders are ethical in their breeding practices.  Even with a breed club endorsement, we still need to ask these questions before selecting a puppy.  This list may help you to ask those questions in your search for a companion OES that you may live with for the next 10-15 years.   Our hope is that you will be able to make a better informed decision.

#1 Priority: Good Temperament & Good Health.
Beauty and conformation complete the total package.
If you end up with only one of these things, hope that it's a good temperament.

1. Temperament- Are both parents friendly with strangers?
If one or both puppy parents have a fearful, aggressive or otherwise unsound temperament, can we expect their puppy to be any different?  No one wants a dog that bites or who's behavior is aggressive or unpredictable.   If at all possible, visit the breeder and meet both mother and father of the litter to determine if they are friendly and social.  Do they come up to you like they're happy to see you or are they nervous, standoffish or trying to avoid you?  Aggressive dogs or nervous dogs with unstable temperaments should never be the foundation for future OES puppies.  You do not want the puppy you purchase to have behavior problems that make him/her difficult or even dangerous to live with.  The parents temperament is the genetic foundation of your puppy... experiences, training and socialization will help to form the dog your puppy will become.

  • Are both parents friendly toward strangers?      Yes    No

  • Are both parents comfortable in public places/situations?     Yes    No

  • Has either parent ever displayed any nervousness, fears or phobias?    Yes    No
    If yes, have they ever taken medication for it?

  • Are there any known temperament problems in the lines?      Yes    No

  • Are puppies still with their mother or has the breeder removed puppies from her care?      Yes    No

  • Were there any negative incidents while in the breeder's care that might affect the puppy long term?    Yes    No

Parents Certification & Titles:  These are qualities that may support higher puppy prices and help provide information about the parents.  Example:  Canine Good Citizenship or Therapy Dog Certification indicates a dog's training, good manners and self control while in public.  Remember that a championship only means a dog physically represents the breed... it says nothing about genetic health.

Canine Good Citizenship (CGC)    Certified Therapy Dog   Agility      Herding    AKC Championship   Other_________________________________________

 Visit the CHIC website for the 3 tests EVERY OES breeder should be OFA certifying.
The Canine Health Information Center:

2. HEALTH: The CHIC indicates our breed should have minimum OFA certification for THYROID, HIPS & EYES.

What testing has been done on the parents of this Old English Sheepdog
puppy and what known health problems have appeared in the parents lines?

Mom Dad

Test Type

Mom Results Dad Results   Mom Dad

Test Type

Mom Results Dad Results

Hip X-rays
Elbow X-rays 



 CERF (eye testing)


THYROID Testing-  Verify both parents have been cleared of thyroid disease.  This is not simply a T4 test to check for hypothyroidism but a full thyroid panel through one of the approved labs to rule out lymphacytic thyroiditis which is a heritable from one or both parents.   By ignorantly, or worse yet intentionally, breeding dogs affected with lymphocytic thyroiditis or hypothyroidism, this breed will become more and more affected as the years pass.  Thyroid test results should be current meaning within the last 1-2 years based on the age of the dog.  Dogs that pass will be rated "normal" by the OFA.

For further reading on TgAA+ dogs, please visit this address-

What is lymphocytic thyroiditis (autoimmune thyroiditis)?

"...Lymphocytic thyroiditis is the underlying cause in many cases of primary hypothyroidism in dogs and the predisposition to its development is believed to be highly heritable. It is an immune mediated disorder characterized histologically by a diffuse infiltration of lymphocytes, plasma cells, and macrophages in the thyroid gland..."

Read more at:

Have all breeding dogs been tested and certified by the OFA, PennHIP or OVC and CERF rated? 
(OFA certification will be used as an example in the information below.)

Responsible breeders in the USA will not breed their dogs before they have been OFA and CERF rated. Dogs cannot be tested in order to obtain OFA hip ratings until after the age of 2 years.  So it is likely a red flag if the mother and father were under 2 years of age when bred because they couldn't be tested and OFA hip certified.  Do not rely on the word of the breeder that breeding dogs are "just fine" because their personal vet has said so... request the dam and sire names and registration number and verify it yourself.

Hip Certification:
OFA- Orthopedic Foundation For Animals for hip/elbow certification.
PennHIP- The University of Pennsylvania
(PennHIP test results are not currently available online.)
OVC- Ontario Veterinary College for hip/elbow certification. (Canada) For a great article on choosing a breeder in Canada, please visit- .

Other Health Certifications:
OFA- Orthopedic Foundation For Animals for health ratings.

Eye Certification:
CERF- Canine Eye Registration Foundation.  An ophthalmologist performs the exam and the findings are sent to CERF for registry.  CERF certificates are valid for 1 year and must be repeated annually.  

Are both parents registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC)?  Request the registered name and/or registration number of both parents and ask which organization has provided health certification.

  • Dam (Mother)
    Registered Name _________________________________________________________________
    Registration Number ___________________________________________________
    Health certification is through-  
    OFA     PennHIP (request copy from breeder)      OVC     CERF
    How old is the mother? ____________________
    How many litters has she produced or whelped?______________________
    If this isn't her first litter, when was her preceding litter born?_____________________________
    Has she been a healthy dog? _____________________________

  • Sire (Father)
    Registered Name _________________________________________________________________
    Registration Number ___________________________________________________
    Health certification is through-   
    OFA     PennHIP (request copy from breeder)      OVC     CERF
    How old is the father?_________________
    Has he been a healthy dog? _____________________________

With the dam and sire information, visit the website of the organization that certified the health of these dogs and search for test results.  The OFA provides unbiased ratings on canine orthopedic and genetic health.  Reputable breeders will pretest their dogs (before breeding), then submit the x-rays or test results to the OFA (or PennHIP or OVC).  The OFA publishes results online for the public to view.  

Important: Acceptable OFA ratings are not a guarantee that a dog's puppy won't suffer from a genetic condition.  Even dogs with excellent hips can produce puppies with hip dysplasia... and dogs with fair hips might produce puppies with good hips-   A breeder's experience, knowledge and research plus OFA certifications give us the best chance at buying a healthy puppy.  No matter how many years experience or what titles a breeder may hold, it is never an excuse to skip OFA certification of hips, thyroid and eyes (CERF).

 What health conditions have affected the breeder's lines?
Hypothyroidism, Hip Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Cerebellar Abiotrophy (CA), other autoimmune disorders ranging from allergies to life threatening blood disorders just to name a few.  Health issues can pop up in the best of lines and not all health problems are genetic. (Over exercising a puppy or keeping a puppy too heavy can play a part in joint problems.)  It's what a breeder does once this happens that shows a breeder's dedication to the breed's future and the puppies they produce.  A responsible breeder will not intentionally breed affected dogs nor repeat a breeding where there has been a genetic defect but will instead spay/neuter the dog(s) that passed along the defect so no future dogs will inherit the condition.  Some conditions can be managed, others can be heartbreaking.


Ask if the puppy has been BAER tested because deafness does occur in Old English Sheepdogs. 
Information on BAER testing (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response) -

Were any other tests performed? _________________________________________________________________________
List of DNA testing- 

How many of us would stand on the steps of a car dealership, point to a car in the lot and say, "Oh, I love the color of that one. Does it have leather seats? It does?  Okay, I'll take it!".  Some of us buy Old English Sheepdog puppies just this way.  However, when buying a car, most of us want to start it up, see how it runs and have someone who knows about cars check under the hood to see if it's mechanically sound.  Testing AND OFA & CERF certification of both puppy parents is like having a professional mechanic check under the hood and tell us if a car is mechanically sound. 

OES puppies come from three  types of parents...

A.  Tested and Certified Parents
If a breeder both tests and has those tests evaluated by the OFA and CERF, they have taken one step in verifying the health of their breeding dogs. This means a minimum of hips, eyes AND thyroid (some breeders are skipping OFA certification of thyroid.) These breeders have sought the expert opinion of unbiased, third party professionals in the health fields.  If testing reveals there is a genetic defect, these dogs will be removed from their breeding program and spayed/neutered to prevent future puppies for suffering.

B.  Tested but Uncertified Parents
If a breeder tests their breeding dogs but doesn't have these tests evaluated by the OFA and CERF, how are buyers to substantiate a breeder's claim of good health? General practitioner veterinarians are seldom specialists in the orthopedic and ophthalmology fields. If parents have been tested but not OFA/CERF evaluated, ask why.  Would these dogs pass inspection by OFA/CERF experts?  OFA rating is rather affordable, especially when considering the purchase price of just one puppy and if the testing has already been done.  You can view current OFA fees for hips and elbows here - and how OFA experts rate hips here-

C.  Untested and Uncertified Parents
If a breeder has not tested and has not certified their breeding dogs, they're only guessing that their dogs are in good health and unaffected by hereditary conditions like hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism and genetic eye defects.  It makes sense that puppies from these parents would be relatively inexpensive.

"...There are a number of dysplastic dogs with severe arthritis that run, jump, and play as if nothing is wrong and some dogs with barely any arthritic radiographic changes that are severely lame..."
Quote: The Orthopedic Foundation For Animals -

It can be difficult to convince some breeders of the importance of OFA certification... until health conditions begin showing up in their puppies.  A great contract at this point will not save buyers from having had to witness first hand the effects of a hidden genetic defect in the puppy they've grown to love not to mention the suffering the puppy may have to endure.  Health testing and OFA/CERF evaluations provide us with a professional's expert opinion on health for the conditions tested.

 How is the breeder sharing test results if not through the public health database of OFA and CERF?  If the breeder is relying on their personal vet's opinion, does he/she specialize in orthopedics, ophthalmology, cardiology, etc?  TTere can, at the very least, be a perceived conflict of interest if a breeder is relying only on their personal veterinarian's word that hips and elbows are fine and dogs are unaffected by any hereditary eye condition.  Remember that vet's providing care for a breeder’s dogs and puppies, along with others that will be produced in the future, are profiting from their relationship with the breeder. 

We buyers don't know the first thing about the health of the parents that produced the puppy before us or in the pictures on online. OFA evaluations provide buyers with a higher level of confidence that both parents are physically sound for the conditions rated... unless of course a breeder goes on to use dogs that were certified as unhealthy.  Buyers do not need to rely solely on a breeder's opinion that their breeding dogs are of good health... we can pass on a puppy if a breeder cannot provide OFA and CERF proof that the minimum of hips, thyroid and eyes has been done and the results are favorable.

OFA and CERF evaluations also add some level of value to a breeder's reputation if an expert has said their dogs are free of say hip dysplasia. If a breeder knows there are other issues in their lines, they need to test for and OFA those also, if testing is available.  It does no good to only test for hips if a breeder also knows about heart problems in the lines. This is why we need to ask what conditions have affected the lines so we can make an informed decision.  The pacifying answer, "Frankly, they all die of old age." may be true but dogs could have suffered from an inherent condition the entire time.

With the high prices many breeders are asking for OES puppies and the affordable prices of health certifications in comparison, is there a valid reason to test but not OFA and CERF evaluate?  Especially if a breeder doesn't have the expense of showing or competing with their dogs.  If a breeder isn't confident their breeding dogs will pass certification, they shouldn't be breeding them.  OFA ratings allow both breeders and buyers to know a little bit about what's going on INSIDE the parents that may also be going on INSIDE their puppies.  Think of other things we buy that come with 3rd party certification... diamonds?  cars?  Granted, homes cost a lot more but do we have someone inspect a house BEFORE we purchase to see if there are any hidden problems because we ourselves don't know what to check for?  Testing and OFA/CERF certifying breeding dogs is as close as we can come to fulfilling this same objective. 

 How many litters has the mother produced and has she been given adequate time to recover from her preceding litter? 
Many responsible breeders skip one heat cycle after a litter was born before breeding the mother again so she can again reach optimal health. She should not be bred every time she can produce puppies.  If a breeder is breeding the mother consecutively, meaning each heat cycle, be sure to ask more questions.  It's certainly a red flag if a 2+ year old bitch has produced a third litter but it may also be a red flag if the mother has already produced one litter of puppies in the past year.  It could indicate the breeder is focusing too much on the money to be made rather than producing quality puppies and properly caring for their breeding dogs. Remember that a healthy mother has the best chance at producing healthy puppies.

Terms and Things to Consider...

The Breeder:  People often buy from people they like.   A breeder may be the nicest person you've ever met but they may be doing irresponsible things as a breeder.  Some have not been educated in responsible breeding practices and others are simply focusing on the money to be made from buyers who don't know any better.  You want the breeder of your puppy to be approachable but you also want them to be caring, knowledgeable and responsible.  Only you can attempt to figure out a breeder's motives for breeding... whether it's for the betterment of the breed or the money to be made.  Puppies may simply be a "product" to some breeders.

Things to look for in a good OES breeder...

  • Tests their dogs before breeding them, only using healthy dogs AND uses a 3rd party rating like the Orthopedic Foundation For Animals to confirm test results.  Does not rely solely on the their personal vet to substantiate the test results because of a possible or perceived conflict of interest.

  • Carefully researches the lines of their breeding dogs to ensure the best possible health.

  • Only uses breeding dogs with naturally good temperaments.

  • Provides all age appropriate vaccinations and wormings required to ensure you will receive a healthy puppy.

  • Has a contract that requires an owner to return the OES they purchased to them if they can no longer keep or maintain it for any reason during the lifetime of the dog.  Also outlines what will happen if a puppy purchased is proven to sick or have a genetic defect.

  • Teaches or provides buyers with educational resources on how to properly groom and care for every OES they sell.

  • Follows up periodically with the buyer to be certain the dog they sold is safe and still wanted.

  • Cleanliness.  Unless you're looking for a puppy that will live out with your goats and sheep, you'll likely want a puppy that's been living inside and interacting/socializing daily with people  Be observant of the surroundings where the dogs are being kept.

    • Are both mom and puppies kept in the house, in a kennel or outdoors?

    • Are puppies handled by people throughout the day or have there been several hours during the day when the puppies have been left alone because the breeder is at work or in the house?

    • Have puppies been exposed to day to day sounds and sights?  If yes, what types of things?

    • Are the puppies clean, are their eyes clear, are their ears clean?

    • Is the area where the puppies are living kept clean?  Poop and pee happen especially when there are 6-12 puppies running around but it needs to be cleaned up and shouldn't be staining or stuck in their coats.

    • Is the mother clean, adequately groomed and does she appear healthy?

    • Is the mother nurturing and loving toward her puppies?

    • Has housetraining already begun?

    • How did the puppy respond to bathing?

    • What is the temperament of the puppy being offered to me?  Dominant, submissive, confident, shy, etc.  Be sure to convey to the breeder your plans for this puppy- show, agility, herding, therapy, etc. 

AKC Registered:  This means that the American Kennel Club accepted fees and paperwork for that puppy and that puppy is supposed to be an Old English Sheepdog.  It says nothing about the health or temperament of the puppy nor the living conditions or breeding practices of the breeder.  AKC registration does not mean you have purchased a quality Old English Sheepdog. AKC registered puppies can come from anyone... show breeders, hobby breeders, backyard breeders, commercial FDA breeders or puppymill situations. 

UKC Registed:  The United Kennel Club registry focuses on performance such as obedience, conformation, agility, dock jumping, weight pull, etc. 

Birth Date:  Your puppy should be at least 8 weeks of age.  Some state laws require it.  An OES puppy leaving it's mother and littermates any sooner may not learn bite inhibition and proper dog behavior that only dogs can teach.  Remember, you are looking for an OES that has the best potential in becoming a good companion for the next 10-15 years.  So while you may be tempted, PLEASE do NOT accept an OES puppy less than 8 weeks of age.  A breeder allowing puppies to go before this age may simply be tired of cleaning up after all the little ones, choosing to no longer put money into feeding and caring for them or leaving on vacation.  Orphaned puppies will still benefit from the supervised interaction with littermates.  If your puppy is an orphan or a "singleton" (only 1 puppy in the litter), speak with a trainer or vet about possibly fostering a HEALTHY puppy close to the same age from your local shelter or rescue that appears to have a good temperament.

At what age can I pick up the puppy? __________________________

Parents On The Premises:  This may simply mean it was a breeding of convenience and not carefully researched and planned.  It could mean the breeder isn't very selective in their breeding practices.  Look further into why the two adults were bred and the family relationship between the two.

Champion Bloodlines: Keep in mind that this phrase can be used as a marketing tool. Many OESs have champions in their bloodlines... it depends on how far back those champions are.  It's much more impressive if the mother and father are champions.  Example: Champion Sired.   If a breeder is using this term, they must feel a championship is important so both breeding parents should have theirs.

Show Potential:  A breeder that shows their dogs has a better chance of declaring a puppy has "show potential".  If the breeder doesn't show their dogs in conformation (meaning dog shows), how do they know for a fact that the puppy has show potential?  Ask how they they reached the opinion that their puppies are truly show worthy.  If a breeder has the ability to advertise that a puppy has show potential, they should likely be able to guide you through the intricacies and art of show dog handling and show grooming.

White or Snow Caps, Blue Eyes: This may indicate the breeder is focusing too much on producing white headed dogs with blue eyes and less on health and temperament.  Some breeders may actually market puppies as rare if they have these characteristics or may charge a higher fee.  If considering a puppy with "blue-eyed, snowcap" characteristics, ask whether the puppies have been BAER hearing tested.  This will ensure you haven't just spent hundreds of dollars on a deaf Old English Sheepdog.

Male Puppies:  When buying a male puppy, one of the first questions should be is whether the puppy's testicles have descended into the scrotum. Do not be embarrassed to ask.  If neither or only one testicle has dropped by 8 weeks of age, the puppy may be cryptorchid.   A knowledgeable and experienced breeder will know to check their male puppies for this genetic trait. 

An undescended or retained testicle is said to cause a higher risk of testicular cancer and should be removed at the age your vet feels is appropriate.  Surgery is usually more expensive because the veterinarian often needs to search for the missing testicle which can sometimes result in more invasive abdominal surgery.   The retained testicle(s) MUST be removed not only because of the future cancer risk but also because of possible behavioral problems that can indeed occur if the dog is left cryptorchid-intact.  Before committing to a cryptorchid puppy, ask your vet the fee for neutering both a normal and cryptochid dog so you understand the difference in surgery fees.  These dogs will make great companions if properly neutered but cryptorchid dogs cannot be shown in conformation and should not be bred because it's considered a genetic condition that can be passed on to his sons and carried by his daughters.  It's also another reason to buy a puppy produced by a sire with his conformation championship... judges always make that quick check at the back of the dog to be sure they have both testicles. 

Have both testicles of all male puppies in this litter dropped?      Yes    No

Bloodlines Are OFA Certified: This appears to be a newer term in marketing puppies.  It only means that somewhere in the puppy's lineage, an Old English Sheepdog had been OFA rated for health.  It does not indicate how far back a relative dog was tested nor what the results of those tests were.  You want your puppy's parents, grandparents, etc. to have been OFA rated and the test results to have been acceptable.   

Price:  What makes a puppy worth the asking price?  More than $500 and you'll probably want to start asking what is it that makes this puppy worth the money.  Some breeders ask $800 to $1,000 or more but haven't tested/OFA evaluated both parents for a minimum of hips and eyes.  Some breeders base pricing on whatever the market will bear... supply and demand.  Others simply copy what other breeders are charging without matching all the education, study, care, testing, training, showing that goes into justifiably higher prices.  And some breeders might be setting prices based on the cost of their next vehicle, vacation or child's education. 

A responsible breeder's puppy prices are often based on their knowledge, expertise and proof of quality (the breeding dogs are champions in conformation, proven performance dogs, certified therapy dogs or something else).  They may have or have had a mentor guiding them about responsible breeding practices.  Careful planning, research and selection of the mother and father is essential.  Add to that, health testing, the cost of showing or competing with their dogs (travel, motel, entry fees, etc.).  A responsible breeder will also have a well thought out contract that states this puppy will never become a burden on shelters, rescues or society in general... that they have the first option to buy the dog back, must approve any new home or that the dog must simply be returned to them if the buyer can no longer keep the dog for any reason.  And the responsible breeder will be there for the lifetime of that dog.  Note however that just because a breeder shows their dogs should NOT be considered a stamp of approval.  Ask all the questions you feel are important when buying your next OES.

Vet Bred/Vet Raised:  If a vet is breeding and raising puppies, they know the importance of pretesting and third party verification of the health of their breeding dogs.  Ask for the OFA ratings on hips, CERF and thyroid at the very least... do not settle for a breeder's or breeder's vet's opinion on test results because they may not be impartial or educated enough to be giving those opinions.

Beware The Rave Reviews Of Recent Buyers:  Most people who have recently purchased an Old English Sheepdog puppy are still flying high on the euphoric experience of bringing one of these amazing dogs into their lives.  This usually applies to any OES puppy no matter the source.  Reviews about a person's 2-5 years old dog will give you a better view of the breeder's after sale support and the health and temperament of the dogs they produce.  See if the 2-5 year old OES is still everything the buyer had hoped for.  This will give you a better view of the buyer's experience.  If reviews are posted online, ask whether these are all the reviews that have been posted.  Some online advertising mediums allow breeders to remove less favorable reviews making the breeder look much more impressive.

Multiple Breeds Offered:  Ask what other breeds of dogs they produce as this may help you to determine the breeder's dedication to Old English Sheepdogs.  A red flag might be that they offer multiple breeds or mix-breed dogs offered as designer breeds... an example may be a Sheepadoodle.  Note however that, except for the mix-breed "designer" dogs, this may very well be negated if the breeder shows all of the purebred breeds offered in conformation or competes in agility, herding, etc. and has health testing done on all dogs bred.

Do you breed any other breeds of dogs or animals?     Yes    No
Do you breed designer dogs?    
Yes    No

That Guarantee:  READ that contract before you put a deposit on a puppy or get emotionally wrapped up in a particular litter or pup.  It's unfair for a breeder to wait until delivering a puppy for you to finally get a look at the contract.  It's also unfair for you to invest several months waiting for puppy only to find a few days before receiving him/her that the contact is less than acceptable. Some puppies are in fact sold on a contract that specifically states the puppy is NOT guaranteed to be free of genetic defects.  Look elsewhere if this is the case and you're about to pay a lot of money.  Don't set yourself up for disappointment... it's better to pass on a breeder early on.

Then too, some guarantees state they cover life-threatening conditions.  But a non-life threatening condition could be as serious as hip dysplasia, PRA (blindness), deafness, etc.  While these conditions won't kill the dog, they may end your dreams of having a normal companion, limit your activities together and in the long run cost you more money for medical care... not to mention the possible suffering of your companion Old English Sheepdog. 

Here are some important considerations about a purchase agreement and contract...

  • Will the puppy I purchase come with a health guarantee and exactly what does it cover?

  • To what age is this health guarantee good and how long after arrival do I have to get a wellness check by a licensed veterinarian?

  • If the puppy has a non-life threatening condition like Hip Dysplasia, PRA, deafness, etc.  exactly what will the breeder offer to do, if anything? 

  • Will I be required to return the unhealthy puppy to the breeder or will the breeder offer a partial refund and allow me to keep the puppy I've already bonded with?  What percentage of the purchase price will be refunded? 

  • If the puppy has a non-life threatening defect like Hip Displasia and the breeder's contract requires me to return the puppy for one from their next litter, will the next pup come from two different parents or the same parents that produced this defective puppy OR will I be offered a full refund? 

If your puppy came to you from a distance or arrived on an airline, you will likely be responsible for getting the puppy back to the breeder AND getting a new puppy to you.  Who pays these transportation fees if the puppy is deemed unhealthy?  Just a few things to consider before buying your puppy.  Be sure to get it in writing!

The Deposit:  Only put down a deposit if you are certain you want a puppy from this particular breeder.  Get it in writing that the deposit will be refunded if their female fails to produce any live puppies or simply doesn't have a puppy for you.  If they have only one female, you may be committed to waiting a very long time if she's failed to produce a litter.  There are some breeders that will not accept a deposit... they want to get to know you before committing a puppy to your care.  Not a bad thing because they're putting the welfare of the puppy before the money and the buyer's feelings.  Though it can be nerve wracking for the buyer.  Still, ask to review the purchase agreement early on to see if it's worth awaiting their approval.

Do you require a deposit?      Yes    No
How much is the deposit?  $___________
Will you refund my deposit if you cannot provide me with a puppy from this litter?    
Yes    No

If You Are Ever Unable To Keep This Puppy or The Adult Dog:  A responsible breeder makes it part of their written contract that if for any reason the buyer can no longer keep this dog that it is to be returned to them OR that they are to actively assist in rehoming and approving a new home for the dog.  A responsible breeder will never allow one of their dogs to be a burden to shelters, rescues or society.  They want to be certain the dog they sold will spend it's life in a qualified home where it will be properly cared for.   If this is not part of the contract, it might be prudent to ask why. 

AKC Registration: There are two types of AKC registration...

Limited Registration:  With limited registration, the buyer is not given rights to register any puppies that this particular puppy may produce in the future.  Dogs with limited registration cannot be shown in conformation but can participate in other events like obedience, agility and herding.  Breeders will make it part of the purchase agreement that a puppy purchased from them must be spayed/neutered by a specific age. 

By what age must this puppy be spayed/neutered?  ___________________________

Full Registration:  Full registration gives the buyer the right to register puppies this particular puppy may produce in the future as long as both parents are registered Old English Sheepdogs.  Some breeders will advertise full registration as a buying incentive.  This is almost always careless and not in the best interest of these puppies, future puppies nor the breed in general.  Future breeding rights should only be extended when a puppy is co-owned by the breeder and the breeder is mentoring and closely monitoring the owner on responsible breeding practices.

* Note: If your puppy does not come with "papers", meaning it wasn't registration through the American Kennel Club, it might mean... 

  1. One or both parents were never AKC registered.

  2. One or both parents had been sold on a limited registration contract so the breeder doesn't have permission from the seller to be breeding them.

  3. Both parents may not have been Old English Sheepdogs.

  4. The breeder simply didn't register the litter for whatever reason.

After Sale Support From The Breeder:  Show breeder or hobby breeder, ask what type of support you'll receive from the breeder after you purchase one of their puppies.  A dedicated breeder will take time to share information on how to properly care for and groom the Old English Sheepdog you are purchasing from them.  They want to ensure their puppy will be well cared for.  A few select breeders will even demonstrate how to properly groom the dog.  But many times, these transactions take place from hundreds of miles away so distance plays a factor in how the breeder educates the buyer. 

Some breeders do not provide adequate after sale support or instructions on how to properly groom and care for the Old English Sheepdog.  If this is your first OES and your breeder has failed to provide the support and information you need, a place to visit for guidance and information about Old English Sheepdogs is the forum-

Illness & Accident Insurance Policies: Problems can appear even in the best of lines and in dogs from the most selective of breeders. No matter who you purchase your next Old English Sheepdog from, consider purchasing health insurance coverage for at least the first 1-2 years.   There are even a few policies that now cover genetic conditions like hip dysplasia (some require an exam).  Whether insurance is a good investment is something you will need to decide for yourself.  These questions may help you determine this...

  1. Will I be able to afford the level of care I would deem needed if a major health problem occurs? 

  2. What if this dog requires continued care or multiple surgeries? 

  3. What will happen if I instead chose to put money aside for medical care but the funds are needed early on or I just haven't saved enough? 

  4. Can I afford to pay if more than one serious illness or accident occurs?

  5. Will my vet allow me to make payments if my dog needs care and I can't afford to pay?

A savings plan may be depleted quickly with just one health condition but is still a good  option.  If you choose to carry health insurance on your dog, select a policy very carefully because all policies are not created equal.  Remember to take out coverage BEFORE you dog ever gets sick or injured or you could be excluded from ever obtaining insurance on this particular dog. 

The information provided here may help you make a better or at least more informed
decision.  This list is surely not complete and in the end, the decision is of course yours. 
No matter what puppy you finally select, best wishes to you and your next OES companion!


Until You Find Me
3946 Park Lane -  Traverse City, Michigan 49686

Old English Sheepdog & Shaggy Dog Rescue Assistance.